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The best hikes in Snowdonia

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Home to the mountain peaks and lakes of Snowdonia National Park, the Snowdonia region of North Wales is one of the UK's top walking and hiking destinations. From top-of-the-world routes along rocky ridges to tranquil lakeside rambles, these hikes are the best the region has to offer.

 

The best hikes in Snowdonia National Park

With hundreds of miles of trails traversing its vast expanses, Snowdonia National Park offers hikers and walkers world-class outdoor adventure. Encompassing routes suitable for all abilities in landscapes from glacier-carved valleys to wild mountains, here’s our guide to the best walks in Snowdonia National Park.

Aber Falls

  • Difficulty: Leisurely
  • Length: 2.7 miles

     

Cascading 120 feet down a forested rock wall, Aber Falls is one of Snowdonia National Park's most beautiful waterfalls. This short and sweet, there-and-back route is among the least challenging and most accessible hikes in the park, taking around an hour to complete. Its Snowdonia For All ranking means that walkers of all ages and fitness levels, as well as wheelchair users, are easily able to follow the path, from the car park, along the Afon Goch River to the bottom of the falls.

Snowdon Llanberis path

  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Length: 9 miles (there and back)

     

It's not a visit to Snowdonia National Park without an ascent to the 3,560-foot-high peak of Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. Of the six main paths to the summit, this route is the most popular, but it's also one of the easiest options, trading a steep path for a gradual, winding route to the top. Taking roughly four hours to reach the top, the path ascends alongside the same route as the Mountain Railway line. Your reward on reaching the summit is incredible views of the Snowdon Massif, the iconic peaks in the Snowdon Horseshoe, and the deep lake valleys below.

Snowdon Ranger

  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Length: 8 miles

     

If you're looking to hike up Mount Snowdon without the crowds, this challenging route up the western side of Wales' highest peak is one of the less-frequented hiking trails up this famous mountain. The route begins on the shores of Llyn Cwellyn reservoir before winding steeply up into the mountains and joining the Llanberis Path for the final ascent.

Snowdon via Rhyd-Dhu

  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Length: 7.4 miles

     

The Rhyd-Dhu route used to be the official path to the summit but is now said to be the quietest route up Mount Snowdon, avoiding the crowds from Pen-y-Pass. Traversing a bristly ridge, the mountainside falls away on both sides for thrilling hiking and stunning views.

Moel Eilio circular walk

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 6.8 miles

     

If Snowdon's dramatic peaks seem a little too much, this moderate hike to the top of Moel Eilio offers a more relaxed trail through rolling hills and mountains. Located close to the village of Llanberis, hiking in the area also gives you the chance to visit the ruins of 13th-century Dolbadarn Castle and learn about the quarrying and mining in the surrounding UNESCO World Heritage listed slate landscape.

Cadair Idris circular walk

  • Difficulty: Moderate and challenging
  • Length: 6.8 miles

     

Heading through the Cadair Idris Nature Reserve with its rugged peaks and glacial lakes, this loop trail is hailed as one of the best hikes in the national park for its breathtaking mountain landscape views.

Cnicht

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 7.4 miles

     

Passing mountain meadows, pristine lakes and historic ruins, this hike up 2,260-foot-high Cnicht offers both natural beauty and glimpses of local history. While popular, this mountain sees far fewer visitors than Snowdon, making the route a great option for a scenic but quieter mountain ascent.

Cwm Idwal

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 3 miles

     

Once studied by Charles Darwin, the unique geological features of this dramatic mountain cirque in the spectacular Ogwen Valley now attracts hikers, climbers and scientists. The popular circular walk starts from the Ogwen Cottage outdoor center, heads to the foot of the lake and then circles around it passing through the rocky Devil's Kitchen area.

Mawddach Trail

  • Difficulty: Leisurely
  • Length: 9 miles

     

Spanning the length of the Mawddach estuary, this leisurely and scenic route can be undertaken in its entirety or in shorter sections. Passing by heathland and ancient woodlands, the trail is perfect for spotting local birdlife such as wood warblers. The broad, level path alongside the estuary also makes this a popular route for cycling.

 

What should I bring for hiking in Snowdonia?

Packing for a hiking vacation in Snowdonia, you'll want to pack comfortable but sturdy hiking boots, warm layers, waterproof gear, sunscreen, a hat, and gloves.

 

Things to know before going hiking in Snowdonia

When hiking in Snowdonia, it's important to:
  • Always check the weather forecast before heading out
  • Be prepared and pack plenty of water, food and a fully charged smartphone with maps
  • Never go hiking in bad weather
  • Know your limits and don't pursue a hike you feel is beyond your fitness level or capabilities

     


 

Hiking is the best way to experience Snowdonia

The mountain ranges and glacial lakes in Snowdonia help make the UK a world-class destination for walking and hiking tours. Experience selected epic hikes in the region and discover its rich history and culture on our immersive Snowdonia Walking Short Break tour.

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