Keep to the path
Keep to the path as the area is dotted with tunnels, spoil heaps and pits.
Total steps: 6
Total steps: 6
National Trust car park, Nantmor, grid ref: SH597462
From the car park, go through a gate near the toilet block and turn left for Aberglaslyn. Walk up through the woods, when you reach the river turn right to follow it upstream. This fisherman's path will take you along the side of the Aberglaslyn gorge. Great care should be taken when negotiating this part of the path, especially the stone buttress above the river. Continue until you reach the railway tracks and take care when crossing: the Welsh Highland Railway service travels between Caernarfon and Porthmadog along this route. Cross the railway line and turn left onto the bridge to cross the river, then turn right towards Beddgelert and continue upstream.
The Glaslyn river
The copper sulphate of the hills you'll climb gives the Glaslyn River its distinctive turquoise tinge. The spray from the river and the coolness of the gorge provides ideal conditions for ferns, mosses and liverworts. The river itself is home to otters, salmon, kingfishers and dippers.
As you approach the village of Beddgelert don't miss the detour on the left to see Gelert's grave from the famous Welsh legend. See if you can spot the special bronze sculpture of Gelert nearby.
The legend of Gelert's grave tells the story of the 13th-century Prince Llywelyn and his faithful hound Gelert. On returning from a hunt one day, Prince Llywelyn was greeted by Gelert, who was covered in blood. The prince rushed to the cradle of his young son only to find a bloodstained room and an empty cradle. Furious, he plunged his sword through Gelert. Later Prince Llywelyn discovered a dead wolf nearby and heard the cries of his son. Gelert had killed the wolf and saved the child.
At Beddgelert head right over a footbridge then left, following the river upstream. Cross a street and go through a gate.
At the next gate, turn right onto a narrow lane. Follow this past Sygun Copper mine. At the river, turn right to follow the path upstream towards the lake.
The path from Beddgelert up along Llyn Dinas has recently been improved by the National Park and National Trust. As you walk past Sygun towards Llyn Dinas you can see Moel Siabod ahead of you, in the distance.
By the lake shore (Llyn Dinas) turn right up a stone-pitched footpath that zig-zags up the hill. At the top continue for half a mile (ignore the first path on the right) at the fork, bear right.
According to legend the red dragon rests in the depths of this placid lake. Today Llyn Dinas is part of the Llyndy Isaf farm estate, cared for by the National Trust following a public appeal in 2011. Farming for conservation is encouraged on the estate by grazing Welsh Black cattle, which you might spot along the lake in early summer. Head up the zig-zag path and admire the handy work of our footpath team, who have been busy creating a stone-pitched path to help alleviate erosion here.
From Bwlch y Sygun take the left path (heading south). Then bear right, down Cwm Bychan to the car park.
Industrial past and wildlife
As you descend into the valley along the path you'll notice several pylons within the landscape. These are the remains of the aerial ropeway built in 1927 to carry copper ore from the upper end of Cwm Bychan down the valley. Historical accounts show that the system wasn't a complete success, with buckets often said to hit the ground, spilling their loads. The remains of the ropeway entrances, spoil heaps and other buildings hark back to the area's industrial past. The area also includes internationally scarce heathland, which can only be found in western coastal areas of Europe. This provides habitat for butterflies such as the grayling butterfly and birds including the wheatear and whinchat.
Nantmor car park, grid ref: SH597462
The route is steep in places and it's strongly advised that you keep to the path as the area is dotted with tunnels, spoil heaps and pits.
National Trust car park, Nantmor, grid ref: SH597462.
Nearest train stations at Penrhundeudraeth 4.5 miles (7.2km), Porthmadog 5 miles (8km) and Rhyd Ddu 6 miles (9.5km)
Cycle route number 8 is in the area, not leading to Craflwyn or Beddgelert directly, so follow on-road routes (which can be busy at times).
Post code is LL55 4YG but please note that sat nav will not take you direct to the car park, but onto a B road 0.6 miles away at Nantmor village.
From Beddgelert: Follow the A498 towards Porthmadog. After approximately 1 mile (1.6km) turn left over the River Glaslyn onto the A4085 signposted Penrhyndeudraeth. After about 0.2 miles turn left up into the car park.
From Penrhyndeudraeth: Follow the A4085 signposted Beddgelert for approximately 6 miles (9.5km). After Nantmor village turn right into the car park.
From Porthmadog: Follow A487 towards Caernarfon for approximately 6 miles (9.5km). Turn right over the Glaslyn River onto A4085 signposted Penrhyndeudraeth. After about 0.2 miles turn left up into the car park.
Dogs are welcome in Snowdonia in general, but please keep them under control, especially around livestock
National Trust car park at Aberglaslyn in Nantmor.
There are toilets in the car park at Nantmor.
Steep and challenging trail.
Steep and narrow trail in places. Railroad to cross.
Enjoy a pleasant walk past waterfalls and through beautiful oak woodland to reach this summit of this legendary hill, where Merlin once trod and where a dragon still sleeps.
This walk leads you from the village centre, along River Glaslyn's banks to Gelert's grave site. You'll also discover the legend of Gelert & Prince Llywelyn which gave the village its name.
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