Great Mountain Days in Snowdonia

40 classic routes exploring Snowdonia

By Terry Marsh

Inspirational guidebook to 40 great mountain day walks and scrambles in Snowdonia. Inspirational routes for all abilities across the National Park with routes up Snowdon and Moel Eilio, the Glyderau, the Carneddau, Eifionydd, Siabod and the Moelwynion, Rhinogydd (the Harlech Dome), Migneint and the Arans and Cadair Idris and the Tarrens.



all year round but check the weather forecast before you go, choose your walk accordingly and take appropriate gear


Conwy, Aber, Betws-y-Coed, Ffestiniog, Dolgellau, Capel Curig, Llanberis, Beddgelert, Bala, Machynlleth


routes graded from moderate to arduous; map and compass skills recommended for all routes; terrain often bouldery or marshy, complex and trackless
Must See

Must See

classic summits such as: Snowdon, Cadair Idris, Pen yr Ole Wen; horseshoes such as: Carneddau, Cwm Eigiau, Moel Eilio; ridge routes and scrambles such as: Tryfan, Nantlle Ridge and family days out including Conwyn Mountain and Aberglaslyn Gorge
17 Mar 2010
22 May 2017
24.0 x 17.0 x 1.7cm
  • Overview

    This inspirational guidebook describes 40 superb routes among the valleys and heights of the Snowdonia National Park, inviting walkers to explore the less well-known regions of Snowdonia as much as those that are eternally popular. These walks have been chosen to encourage experienced walkers and mountaineers to try something new in this much-loved region, while at the same time offering clear descriptions of classic routes for those new to Snowdonia.

    All the routes in Great Mountain Days in Snowdonia are day walks – graded from moderate to arduous to help you choose the right route – and all of them make for a great day out in Snowdonia, whether in the ice and snow covered winter or during long summer days, the walks in this guide can be enjoyed all year round.

    • 40 graded walks throughout the Snowdonia National Park area
    • routes illustrated with Harvey maps and pictorial route diagrams by artist and outdoor writer, Mark Richards
    • some routes include mild scrambling or long days in rugged country

    This is the second title in the Cicerone Great Mountain Days series, which include the Lake District, Scotland and the Pennines.

  • Contents



    About this guide   
    Weather to walk?   
    Before you start   
    Recreation and the mountain environment   

    The Walks


    1.    Snowdon Horseshoe   
    2.    The Rhyd Ddu Path and the Snowdon Ranger    
    3.    The Watkin Path and Yr Aran   
    4.    The Pyg Track and the Miners’ Track   
    5.    Moel Eilio Horseshoe    


    6.    The Glyders by the Bristly Ridge   
    7.    Y Garn to Elidir Fawr and Carnedd y Filiast    
    8.    Tryfan   
    9.    Bwlch Tryfan, Y Foel Goch, Gally yr Ogof and Cefn y Capel    


    10.    Conwy Mountain   
    11.    Tal y Fan   
    12.    Drum, Foel-fras, Garnedd Uchaf, Drosgl and the Aber falls   
    13.    Llyn Anafon and the eastern Carneddau   
    14.    Pen yr Ole Wen, Carnedd Dafydd, Carnedd Llywelyn and Pen yr Helgi Du   
    15.    Cwm Eigiau Horseshoe   
    16.    Creigiau Gleision and Llyn Cowlyd   
    17.    Llyn Geirionydd and Llyn Crafnant   
    18.    The Carneddau: end-to-end   


    19.    Mynydd Mawr   
    20.    The Nantlle Ridge   
    21.    Moel Hebog, Moel yr Ogof and Moel Lefn   


    22.    Aberglaslyn, Llyn Dinas and Cwm Bychan   
    23.    Moel Siabod    
    24.    Cnicht and Cwm Croesor   
    25.    Moelwyn Mawr and Moelwyn Bach   
    26.    Moel Meirch and Ysgafell Wen   


    27.    Bwlch Tyddiad and Bwlch Drws Ardudwy   
    28.    Rhinog Fawr   
    29.    Rhinog Fach and Rhinog Fawr   
    30.    Y Llethr and Diffwys    


    31.    Carnedd y Filiast   
    32.    Arenig Fawr and Moel Llyfnant   
    33.    Rhobell Fawr    
    34.    Aran Benllyn    
    35.    Aran Fawddwy    


    36.    Cyfrwy, Pen y Gadair and Mynydd Pencoed   
    37.    Pen y Gadair from Ty Nant   
    38.    Mynydd Pencoed, Pen y Gadair and Mynydd Moel   
    39.    Tyrrau Mawr and Craig y Llyn  
    40.    The Tarren Hills    

    Appendix 1:     Concise Walk Reference and Personal Log   
    Appendix 2:     Bibliography and Further Reading   
    Appendix 3:     Glossary of Welsh Words   


  • Maps

    To aid visualisation, routes are depicted both as line diagrams and as customised HARVEY maps. The former, drawn by Lakeland author and artist Mark Richards, give an aerial perspective of the walks, while the latter pinpoint the key detail covered in the route description. HARVEY maps owe their origins to orienteering, and their bold symbols and distinctive colours make them well suited to outdoor use. Note that key landmarks that feature on the maps and diagrams appear in bold in the text to help you plot the route.

    Although the guide contains map extracts and diagrams, you are strongly advised always to take with you the relevant sheet map for the route, not only for safety reasons, but also to give a wider picture of the landscapes you are walking through.

    At present, HARVEY publish three 1:25,000 Superwalker maps of Snowdonia; Snowdon and the Moelwynion, the Glyderau and the Carneddau, and Snowdonia South, covering the Rhinogs, as well as a 1:40,000 British Mountain Map Snowdonia.

    Alternatively, the following 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey Explorer maps cover the areas described: OL17 Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa, OL18 Harlech, Porthmadog and Bala and OL23 Cadair Iris and Lyn Tegid.

  • Updates
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    Be notified by email when this book receives an update or correction

    July 2010

    There is a correction to the map in Walk 17 on page 103.

    The route description is correct but the marked route on the map after Llyn Bychan is wrong. You should take the first track on the right after Llyn Bychan (indicated correctly by the dashed red line on the detail map below) not straight on along the main forest track as indicated incorrectly on the map (see solid yellow line on detail map below). Please download the corrected pdf page here.

    July 2011

    Changes to route description on pages 146 and 147, Moelwyn Mawr.

    Having recently rewalked this route, the author has rewritten the paragraphs of the route description from "Behind the main quarry" to "climb to the summit" as follows:

    "Behind the main quarry buildings is a large and wet tunnel into the hillside, and beside it a slaty ramp by which you gain higher ground (resist the temptation to enter the tunnel). The ascent passes tiny Llyn Croesor, which looks forlorn among so much darkness, but with the sun in its heaven, Llyn Croesor sparkles with the best of them.

    Once above the ramp, you eventually arrive at a large reedy area framed by spoil that has been shaped into a trackbed. Off to the left, Moel yr Hydd looks inviting, but the easiest way to it means trekking far off-route beyond the quarry site to a low col to the south-west of the summit and walking easily up from there. The direct ascent of Moelwyn Mawr bears right from the reedy area, following a clear if damp path towards a ladder-stile, which is not needed, as the path passes to its left, and follows a clear route onto the shallow north ridge of Moelwyn Mawr and then steeply up to the squat and tidy trig pillar on the summit, trending right near the top. It is possible to count fifteen or more lakes from the top of Moelwyn Mawr, and the view, notwithstanding the dereliction, is one of the finest in Wales for extent, beauty and diversity.

    The continuation to Moelwyn Bach will call for some thought. Begin by going east from the trig, but only for about 100m, and then turn right and descend the south ridge in a series of rock steps, crossing the subsidiary summit of Craig Ysgafn, marked by a large cairn. Above, Moelwyn Bach’s crags look impenetrable and shaky, not so much a scramble as a crumble. They are avoided them by ascending a clear path diagonally left which leads to the grassy eastern spur of the mountain from where the summit is readily attained."

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Terry Marsh

Dr Terry Marsh is a Lancashire-based award-winning writer and photographer who specialises in the outdoors, the countryside, walking and travel worldwide. He has been writing books since the mid-1980s, and is the author of over 100 titles.
Terry holds a PhD in Historical Geography and a Master of Arts degree (with Distinction) in Lake District Studies, is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (FSA Scot), a member of the National Union of Journalists, and an Honorary Life Member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.

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