Walking Britain graphic

Snowdonia Walk
Moel Cynghorion & Snowdon

Outline Route Map Walk Grading

Nat Park - Snowdonia - Snowdon & Satellites

County/Area - Gwynedd

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 13.5 miles / 21.9 km

Ascent - 4300 feet / 1303 metres

Grade - very hard

Start - OS grid reference SH567595
Lat 53.113376 // Long -4.14243
Postcode LL55 4SR (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Moel Cynghorion & Snowdon Photo from the walk - Moel Cynghorion & Snowdon Photo from the walk - Moel Cynghorion & Snowdon Photo from the walk - Moel Cynghorion & Snowdon Photo from the walk - Moel Cynghorion & Snowdon Photo from the walk - Moel Cynghorion & Snowdon 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This is a tough Snowdonia walk with plenty of ascent. However there are advantages to the route as you are likely to meet very few people except on the final stretch to the summit of Snowdon. The going is wet underfoot for section towards the end and route finding is also problematic on this section. Apart from this minor inconvenience you will be able to enjoy the crags of Snowdon alone although do remember to take the appropriate 1:25000 map.

Moel Cynghorion & Snowdon Moel Cynghorion & Snowdon Moel Cynghorion & Snowdon 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The distance and height gain is quoted from Maen-llwyd-isaf (Grid ref. SH567595). This derelict farmstead has limited parking nearby and can be reached up a gated road from the centre of Llanberis, leaving the main street by Fford Capel which leads to the Youth Hostel and then turning right by the chapel. For those without transport, the start can be gained by walking the same route and taking a more direct return at the end of the walk.

After parking, head downhill towards Llanberis for a few metres and take the signed path on your right. This leads easily into a lane, which should be followed southwards to Brithdir. Staying on this recently maintained path climb steadily to Bwlch Maesgwm (Grid ref SH 573559). Turn left and climb more steeply to the summit of Moel Cynghorion. A pleasant mountain, it offers good views of Snowdon.

Descend southeast off the summit to a further col - Bwlch Cwm Brwynog - where you will locate two stiles in the fence. The first of these will be used in the return route and the second is the one to cross. This leads to a narrow path that descends into Cwm Brwynog before climbing through a boulder field to Llyn Du'r Arddu. At times the route is hard to follow but it is there and with some persistence you will arrive at the shores of the tarn. To the south are the immense crags of Clogwyn Du'r Arddu.

Follow the northern shore of the tarn and pick up a stream that comes down from near Clogwyn Station. Follow this for a short way over easy ground before scrambling up the grassy slope strewn with boulders to reach the Llanberis path. (Note - despite the effort this route is quicker than joining the Llanberis path below Clogwyn station) Turn right onto the main path and head for the summit of Snowdon. This is the only section of the route where you are likely to meet people!

Retrace your steps from the summit past Bwlch Glas, where the path to Pen-y-pass descends right and take the next left fork. This is the Snowdon Ranger Path. Follow this as it descends across the top of Clogwyn Du'r Arddu to Bwlch Cwm Brwynog. Climb up grass to true Col and locate the two stiles detailed previously in the text. Cross the left hand stile and join a clear path that traverses across the eastern flank of Moel Cynghorion. Note this path is not shown on OS maps but exists on the ground.

There are times when the path fades. As a general rule avoid trending right towards the river (Afon Arddu), instead opting to maintain your height. Doing this ensures you will avoid the worst of the wet ground. The path twists and turns heading north before turning west near the derelict farmstead of Hella-fawr. A wall with a ladder stile will be seen on your right (Grid ref. SH 584574). Ignore this stile and continue, with the wall on your right, to reach Hella-fain, another derelict farmstead. Cross the footbridge near the buildings and follow the right of way towards Brithdir, although you might find the actual route hard to follow. At Brithdir you join the outward route, which is followed back to the start.

 
Go to full list of Snowdonia Walks

 
Maps   Ordnance Survey Logo   Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL17Sheet Map1:25kBUY MAP
Anquet OS Explorer OL17Digital Map1:25kBUY MAP
Ordnance Survey Landranger 115Sheet Map1:50kBUY MAP
Anquet OS Landranger 115Digital Map1:50kBUY MAP

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

Printer Friendly Page

For an easy to print version of this walk description and outline map Click Here

OS Map showing start

Ordnance Survey Map showing starting point of walk - Click Here

GPX File

Download GPX File

Right click or option-click the link and choose "Save As..." to download this file.

You can also view the route of this GPX file on Google Maps by following this link to the Online GPX Viewer by Tom Hallam which is hosted on an external website.

Recommended Reading

Cicerone Books

Cicerone PressCicerone Press offer a range of books and eBooks offering guides to all the popular walking areas and long-distance trails in Britain and overseas. Their illustrated guides feature walks, information and maps to help you make the most of the outdoors.
Explore Cicerone's Catalogue


Recommended Cottage Holidays

Sykes Cottages

Over 7,000 personally inspected holiday cottages. In fact, we think we've got the finest selection in some of the UK and Ireland's most beautiful places.

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

the people's poncho 2.0

Lightweight, stylish and lightweight alternative to traditional waterproofs ideal for walkers. More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains. Use the Met Office specialist reports or their iOS or Android Apps (here & here) which offer detailed forecasts for most mountain areas in the United Kingdom.

New to Walking?

Click for a simple guide of how to start walking. Includes a guide on how to select your walks.