Snowdonia (Eryri), nestled in the heart of North Wales, is a land of majestic peaks and awe-inspiring scenery. Because of this is a haven for hikers.
From the iconic summit of Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), the highest peak in Wales, to the rugged ridges of Crib Goch and Tryfan and the hidden gems of Carnedd Llewelyn or Cnicht, Snowdonia boasts a collection of mountains that will enchant you and thrill you.
If you're looking for spectacular mountain walks then Snowdonia is the place to be. The best mountains in the National Park are...
Pen yr Ole Wen
How many mountains are there in Snowdonia National Park?
In the United Kingdom, the most common definition of a mountain is a landform that rises at least 610m (2000ft) above sea level. By this definition, there are 93 mountains in Snowdonia.
Are they all climbable?
Some of the peaks in Snowdonia are remote and require good navigation skills to access. Others such as Crib Goch and Tryfan are committing scrambles that should only be attempted by experienced hill baggers.
With the right skills and experience, it is possible to climb all of the mountains in Snowdonia.
1. Our favourite: Mount Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa)
Ranking (highest in Wales): 1st
Distance (car park to summit): 6 km
Difficulty: Moderate - Very Challenging (depending on route)
Top of the list is the mountain that rises above all other Welsh Peaks; Snowdon/ Yr Wyddfa.
Snowdon is the most popular mountain in the UK and whilst many people climb it because it's the tallest in Wales, which is as good a reason as any, Snowdon is also rich in historical significance, myth & legend.
Did you know, for example, that Snowdon was used by Sir Edmund Hillary to train for Everest?
One of the best things about Snowdon is the 6 different footpaths leading to the summit. Whether you're looking for cascading waterfalls, shimmering lakes or ancient forests, Snowdon has it all and has a footpath suitable for most abilities.
Expert recommendation/ Top tip
The Llanberis Path is the best route for novice hikers, and the Watkin Path is a good choice for those seeking a challenge.
2. Glyder Fawr
Ranking (highest in Wales): 5th
Distance (car park to summit): 4 km
Glyder Fawr is enduringly popular due to its expansive views from the summit and incredible scenery along the way.
One of the highlights is Cwm Idwal, a spectacular glacial valley home to the beautiful Llyn Idwal lake and the Devil's Kitchen, a huge chasm in the rock splitting the mountains of Glyder Fawr and Y Garn.
The highest peak in the Glyderau range, Glyder Fawr (Big Mound), is the 5th highest mountain in Wales, reaching an impressive 1001m high. It has not always 'officially' been this tall. Until 2010 it was shown on most maps to be 999m, but it's height was recalculated using modern GPS and found to actually be 1000.9m high.
Glyder Fawr is best enjoyed as a satisfying circular walk from Idwal Cottage, taking in its neighbouring peak Glyder Fach (The Glyders).
The more adventurous scramblers can access Glyder Fawr via Bristly Ridge. Beware, the 'Bristly Ridge walk' involves a potentially consequential rock climbing move of a committing step on a poor foothold high above Sinister Gully.
3. Crib Goch
Ranking (highest in Wales): 14th
Distance (car park to summit): 2.5 km
Difficulty: Very Challenging (Grade 1 Scramble)
Crib Goch presents an exhilarating and formidable challenge for hikers seeking an adrenaline-fueled adventure.
The dramatic knife-edge ridge gives an airy sense of exposure and demands unwavering focus as you use your hands and feet to traverse the jagged rocks whilst surrounded by awe-inspiring views of the biggest mountains and deepest valleys in the whole country.
It's only the third-highest mountain in the Snowdon massif, but the rocky ridge of Crib Goch is the most committing and consequential. Mountain Rescue advise that only experienced mountain walkers with experience of other Grade 1 Scrambles should take on Crib Goch and that if you are in doubt, you should consider hiring an experienced mountain leader.
For an epic mountaineering day as good as they get the Snowdon Horseshoe is a spectacular circular route taking in the very best of the Snowdon mountain range. The summits of: Crib Goch; Crib y Ddysgl; Snowdon and Y Lliwedd are all linked in this exhilarating adventure.
Best avoided in high winds and please don't take your dog!
4. Cadair Idris
Ranking (highest in Wales): 18th
Distance (car park to summit): 4.3 km (Minffordd path)
Difficulty: Moderate - Slightly Challenging
Standing at 893m tall, Cadair Idris is the most popular mountain in south Snowdonia and one of the Welsh 3 Peaks.
Cadair Idris means "Chair of Idris". Idris was a poet and a giant who was so big he used the mountain as a chair while he gazed at the stars above. Legend has it that anyone who sleeps on the slopes of the mountain alone will either awaken as either a madman or a poet.
There are three main routes to the summit of Cadair Idris: The Pony Path, the Fox's Path & the Minffordd Path.
From the summit, there are spectacular views of the Welsh mountains and coastline, which stretches for miles from Tywyn to Barmouth.
The Minffordd Path is our favourite route.
Ranking (highest in Wales): 15th
Distance (car park to summit): 1.3 km
Difficulty: Very Challenging (Grade 1 Scramble)
Rising up immediately from the Ogwen Valley, Tryfan is a rugged pyramidal mountain which is a captivating challenge for experienced hill walkers.
Ascending Tryfan is an intoxicating experience demanding physical skill and mental fortitude. The two main routes are the North and South Ridge. The route variations on the North Ridge are endless, and this only adds to the sense of adventure. Beware, though, as these countless options lead to people taking the wrong turn and biting off more than they can chew (or climb!). For this reason, Tryfan is the scene of regular Mountain Rescue callouts.
Tryfan was voted Britain's favourite mountain by Trail Magazine and is perfect for those seeking adventure and stunning views on it's rugged and distinctive slopes.
The most thrilling way to ascend Tryfan is via it's North Ridge allowing you to experience features like the Cannon Stone and North Tower.
6. Pen yr Ole Wen
Ranking (highest in Wales): 7th
Distance (car park to summit): 2.7 km
Pen yr Ole Wen, a majestic peak nestled in the corner of the Carneddau range, has unique and captivating views of the Ogwen Valley as it sweeps around the base of the mountain before heading down the Nant Ffrancon valley towards the sea.
To reach the peak, the trail meanders through heather-clad slopes, offering glimpses of wild Carneddau ponies and ancient rock formations.
Pen yr Ole Wen is the 7th highest peak in Wales at 978m, making it the same height as Scafell Pike, England's highest mountain.
The most exciting and pleasing route up Pen yr Ole Wen is via its east ridge. This is a fun but never exposed Grade 1 scramble with plenty of good holds and fantastic views of the Ffynnon Lloer lake/ mountain tarn.
7. Mynydd Drws-y-Coed (Nantlle Ridge)
Ranking (highest in Wales): 52nd
Distance (car park to summit): 3 km
Embark on an off-the-beaten-path adventure to the hidden gem of Mynydd Drws-y-Coed, a tranquil mountain on the spectacular Nantlle Ridge.
As you traverse the dramatic and at times exposed ridge you’ll be treated to ever-changing views of ancient woodlands set in sweeping valleys crowned by Snowdon itself. The highlight of the ridge is the section between Y Garn and Trum y Ddysgl. Mynydd Drws-y-Coed is at the heart of this.
Mynydd Drws-y-coed means 'The Door to Wood Mountain' in Welsh.
Take two cars and park one at either end, allowing you to do the whole ridge. Alternatively, the eastern half is the best and can be done a circular walk from Rhyd Ddu, dropping down the southern spur of Trum y Ddysgl.
8. Moel Siabod
Ranking (highest in Wales): 20th
Distance (car park to summit): 4.7 km
Difficulty: Moderate - Challenging (depending on route)
Moel Siabod is an iconic island peak that boasts unrivalled views of Snowdonia’s three major ranges; The Snowdon Range, The Glyderau and The Carneddau.
As you ascend, the trail takes you on a journey through its diverse landscapes as it meanders through serene woodlands and past tranquil streams; immersing you in the raw beauty of nature.
Moel Siabod's distinctive pyramid-like shape and its tranquil ambience make it a haven for those seeking solitude and a profound connection with nature.
Expert recommendation Moel Siabod is best accessed via the Daer Ddu Ridge, a spectacular Grade 1 Scramble which is thrilling on it’s northern aspect or more gentle [ and mostly avoidable ] to the south. Finish with a slice of homemade cake at Caffi Siabod.
9. Carnedd Llewelyn
Ranking (highest in Wales): 3rd
Distance (car park to summit): 6.7 km
Difficulty: Very Challenging
The untamed beauty of the towering giant of Carnedd Llewelyn is captivating. This awe-inspiring peak offers an invigorating challenge for seasoned hikers in search of unparalleled wilderness.
As you venture along the rugged trails, you'll be immersed in a world of breathtaking vistas and rugged landscapes. The best of these trails are along the three rocky ridges rising from the south and west. The ascent takes you through steep slopes adorned with vibrant heather and grazing sheep while the cry of mountain birds fills the air. If you're lucky you'll catch a glimpse of a Carneddau Pony too.
Carnedd Llewelyn is the highest peak in the remote Carneddau range and the second-highest peak in Wales by relative height.
Carnedd Llewelyn can be combined with Pen yr Ole Wen, Carnedd Dafydd and Pen yr Helgi Du for a truly epic day of hill walking and scrambling.
Ranking (highest in Wales): 53rd
Distance (car park to summit): 3 km
Difficulty: Slightly Challenging
Cnicht offers a truly enchanting experience for hikers seeking a sense of tranquillity in a world of natural beauty, with rolling hills and lush valleys.
The trail begins in ancient woodlands before accessing open moorland, then continues up a beguiling, but never exposed, rocky scramble to access the distinctive peak that stands proudly against the sky. From here you'll be rewarded with sublime views of rolling hills, lush valleys and the Cardigan Bay.
Cnicht, a charming mountain nestled in the heart of Snowdonia, is affectionately known as the "Welsh Matterhorn" due to its resemblance to its Swiss counterpart.
We recommend finishing your walk with a cup of tea and a slice of delicious cake at Oriel Caffi, Croesor.
11. Moel Hebog
Ranking (highest in Wales): 33rd
Distance (car park to summit): 3.3 km
Moel Hebog is a true gem. This rugged peak offers a thrilling adventure for hikers in search of untamed beauty and breathtaking vistas.
Starting in the village of Beddgellert, crisscross the Welsh Highland Railway as it steams up the Nant Colwyn Valley. The views quickly open up, revealing a spectacular panorama of ancient forest bursting from lush green valleys framed by soaring peaks.
Moel Hebog translates into English as "Bare Hill of the Hawk"
After enjoying Moel Hebog, head north to the summits of Moel yr Ogof and Moel Lefn, then loop back round through the Beddgelert Forest for a varied and spectacular circular walk.
Explore Snowdonia with us
We are the Snowdonia experts and have deep knowledge of the best mountains and their most enthralling routes with the finest views along the way.
Whether you're looking for shimmering lakes, epic waterfalls or serene woodlands, get in touch and we will organise a bespoke adventure off the beaten track to the hidden gems and most inspiring places in Snowdonia.
Snowdonia is packed with majestic mountains. Each one takes you on a journey through unique scenery and diverse landscapes and reveals a unique perspective of the stunning vistas and enchanting views of the National Park.
Pack your bag, lace up your boots and let the timeless allure of Snowdonia create memories that will last a lifetime.
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