Snowdon, located in the heart of Snowdonia National Park, is the highest mountain in Wales, standing at 1,085m tall. With its stunning views, dramatic landscapes, and challenging hiking trails, Snowdon is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers worldwide. Among the many trails that lead to the summit, the Llanberis Path is one of the most popular, offering stunning views, unique features, and a relatively easy ascent. In this feature, we’ll explore the Llanberis Path and discover why it’s such a great hiking adventure.
Llanberis Path Overview
The Llanberis Path is the longest and technically most accessible trail to the summit of Snowdon, stretching over nine miles from the village of Llanberis. The trail starts at the mountain’s base and winds up to the summit, passing through several unique features and landmarks along the way.
While it’s not the most challenging trail, the Llanberis Path still requires good fitness and stamina, as it involves a steady climb to the summit. However, with stunning views, exciting landmarks, and various terrain, the Llanberis Path is an excellent option for hikers of all levels.
Distance: 9 miles
Total ascent: 970m
How long does the Llanberis Path take to walk: 5-7 hours
Trailhead: Snowdon Mountain Railway, Llanberis
Image: Llanberis as photographed by Adrian Pugh
Getting to the start of the Llanberis Path
The starting point of the Llanberis Path is outside the Snowdon Mountain Railway in the village of Llanberis, located at the foot of Snowdon. The village is easily accessible by car, train, or bus, with plenty of parking options available. If you’re driving, you can park at the Snowdon Mountain Railway car park, which is located near the trailhead. If you’re taking the train or bus, you can get off at Llanberis Station or the Llanberis Bus Station in the village.
Highlights of the Llanberis Path
One of the most exciting things about the Llanberis Path is the unique features you’ll encounter on your way to Snowdon’s summit. These include:
- Cwm Brwynog: A beautiful valley you’ll pass through on your way up the Llanberis Path. It’s peaceful and serene and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
- Halfway House: As the name suggests, this is halfway up the Llanberis Path. It’s a great place to take a break and refuel, as there are toilets and a cafe here.
- The Snowdon Mountain Railway: The Llanberis Path essentially follows the route of the railway to Snowdon’s summit. During the summer, you’ll be sure to see the train working its way up the tracks.
- Clogwyn Du’r Arddu: This sheer cliff face is famous amongst climbers for its excellent climbing routes.
- The Summit of Snowdon: Of course, the ultimate highlight of the Llanberis Path is reaching the summit of Snowdon. From here, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and lakes. On a clear day, you can see as far as Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man.
Image: The Snowdon Mountain Railway and Llanberis Path. Photo by diego_torres.
>>> How long does it take to climb Snowdon? Find out here.
Tips for hiking the Llanberis Path
If you’re planning to hike the Llanberis Path, these tips will help you make the most of your adventure:
- Wear appropriate hiking gear: Like all mountain hikes, the Llanberis Path should be taken seriously, so it’s essential to wear proper gear, including hiking boots, layers, and waterproofs.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks: You must stay hydrated and energised on your hike.
- Check the weather forecast: Snowdon’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to check the forecast before you set off. Make sure you’re prepared for any changes in the weather.
- Start Early: The Llanberis Path can get busy, especially during peak season between April and September. Starting early in the morning will give you a quieter hike and more time to enjoy the stunning views along the way.
- Take your time: While the Llanberis Path is not the most challenging trail, it’s still important to take your time and pace yourself. Stop and rest when needed and enjoy the stunning scenery around you.
- Respect the environment: Snowdon is a fragile ecosystem, so it’s essential to respect the environment and stick to the trail. Avoid littering, take your rubbish with you, and be mindful of the wildlife around you.
Image: Looking down the Pyg Track zigzags. Photo by Lukas Blaskevicius.
Alternative routes to the summit of Snowdon
If you’re looking for a more challenging or less crowded route to the summit of Snowdon, there are five alternatives. These are:
- The Pyg Track: A more challenging route to the summit, with steeper terrain and more difficult sections. However, it offers stunning views and exciting sections, including the famous zigzag path and the glacial lake of Llyn Glaslyn.
- The Miner’s Track: The Miner’s Track is another popular route up Snowdon, offering stunning views of the famous waterfalls of the Afon Lloer river.
- The Ranger’s Path: The Ranger’s Path is a less crowded route to the summit, with stunning views and interesting landmarks, including the Clogwyn Du’r Arddu cliffs.
- The Rhyd Ddu Path: A much quieter alternative that’s a bit more challenging but provides epic views of Grib Goch, Nantlle Ridge, Moel Hebog, Mynydd Mawr, and a classic view of Snowdon.
- The Watkin Path: Considered the most challenging route up Snowdon, the Watkin Path begins close to sea level and climbs the whole 1,085m of Snowdon. You’ll be rewarded with various scenery, from woodland and waterfalls to breathtaking views of Llyn Llydaw and Crib Goch.
An exciting hike for beginners
The Llanberis Path is a stunning hiking adventure that offers a variety of unique features, breathtaking views, and a relatively easy ascent of Snowdon. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, the Llanberis Path is an excellent option for anyone looking to explore the beauty of Snowdonia National Park. With the right gear, preparation, and respect for the environment, you can have an unforgettable adventure on this iconic Welsh mountain.