Llyn Glaslyn, Snowdon Horseshoe

The Snowdon Horseshoe: Best hikes in the world

Author: Rosie Fuller

In this week’s instalment of our online series of AT’s favourite 100 hikes worldwide (first appearing in our 2012 special celebratory edition of Adventure Travel which marked its 100th issue), we turn to Wales for one of the UK’s finest ridge walks and one of the best routes up Snowdon – The Snowdon Horseshoe…

The Snowdon HorseshoePhoto: StevenBrace

It’s only a day long, but we’re happy to put this beauty right near the top of our UK list. The Snowdon Horseshoe is probably the UK’s most famous high-level walk, and it’s easily the most spectacular way to summit Wales’ highest mountain.

The crux is the infamous Crib Goch knife-edge ridge and it’s exhilarating whether you’re an experienced mountaineer or a first-timer. There’s a little hands-on scrambling involved on the ridge, but you’ll soon be rewards with jaw-dropping views and that incredible sense of achievement on reaching the top. And if you’re worried the route’s going to busy, just start nice and early.

The Snowdon HorseshoePhoto: Mike Bean

Unless you are properly equipped and experienced, you should probably not attempt the route in high winds or in winter conditions and it is not one for anyone with a fear of heights. The walk starts at Pen y Pass and sees you cover just over seven miles and roughly 1,094m of ascent. There are plenty of facilities at the start of the walk and also at Snowdon’s summit, where a visitors centre features toilets and a cafe where you can purchase refreshments. Bear in mind that it will take you about 6-7 hours to complete, so if you want to beat the crowds make sure you’re up nice and early. It’s an experience you certainly won’t forget in a hurry.

Looking for more great hikes in Wales? Check out our pick of the best routes in South Wales here.