Walking in Snowdonia: Day one
Snowdonia, Gwynedd, WalesRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Day one of a 21 mile two-day walk taking you across two dominant mountain ranges in Snowdonia's National Park: The Carneddau, named after the many cairns you'll find along the top, and the Glyder range, which gets its name from 'cludair', meaning 'a pile'. The whole area is steeped in history and you'll pass fractured remnants of Iron Age and Bronze Age settlements against a backdrop of dry-stone walls.
- Bus stop
Start: Gwen Gof Uchaf car park, grid ref: SH673606
From the car park, take the path to the left of the cottage, cross the stile, turn right, then left in front of the gate. Follow the path to the east of Tryfan bach (keep it and Tryfan on your right).
Walking up the Tryfan valley, you're likely to see lots of feral goats, whose beautiful huge horns make them look like beasts dropped in from the Himalayans, though in fact they've been part of the Snowdon landscape for centuries.
Follow this path for 2.5 miles (4km) to the valley head and take the path through scree diagonally up to the ridgeline, emerging near Lake Llyn Caseg fraith. Head west, following the cairns across the summits.
Emerging on the ridge close to the lake of Llyn Caseg fraith, then heading west, savour the views of Tryfan. Jagged peaks mark the landscape forged from volcanic rocks pushed up from an ancient, prehistoric seabed. They stick out of the land at odd angles like the masts of shipwrecks.
After Glyder Fawr ignore the first right and instead turn right downhill in front of the lake Llyn y Cwn, down the path known as Llwybyr y carw.
As you walk down the path to the steeper section you see the Devil's kitchen (SH639589) through the cleft, dropping down to Llyn Idwal. Follow the edge of the lake down to the car park.
As you reach the steeper section of the path known as Llwybyr y carw, which translates as the Deer footpath, the Devil's Kitchen, a large crack in the cliffs with dark wet ledges, becomes apparent. As you head past this deep cleft, views open up of Llyn (lake) Idwal and its cwm, which was designated as Wales first National Nature Reserve back in 1954. The rock faces of the Devil's Kitchen get their name from their blackened appearance, as if indeed smothered and charred by fire and soot.
End: Idwal Cottage car park, grid ref: SH649604
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- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Hard
- Distance: 6 miles (9.6km)
- Time: 5 hours to 6 hours
- OS Map: Outdoor Leisure17: Snowdon
Some steep descents and ascents. You'll need to know how to use a compass in bad or mediocre weather and be able to map read. Cairns run along the route but can be confusing or hard to pick out in poor weather. Dress for all weathers as the the weather here can change in an instant; walking boots essential. Dogs welcome under close control. PLEASE NOTE: the map provided is intended as a rough guide, please take a map and compass with you.
- How to get here:
By bus: The Snowdon Sherpa shuttles around the base of Snowdon connecting all 6 main footpaths and the surrounding villages. See Gwynedd Council for details
By train: nearest stations, Bangor and Betws y Coed. See Traveline Cymru for details
By car: on A5 between Bangor and Betws y Coed. Car parks at both ends of the walk and lay-by at the start
- Telephone: 01248 600954
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/carneddau-and-glyderau/