At 1085m high Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) is the highest mountain in Wales and boasts exciting walks and spectacular views up all of it's 6 main footpaths.
It is possible for dogs to walk up Snowdon but the law states that they must be under effective control at all times and on a short lead between 31st March & 31st July. Snowdon is a fantastic walk for your four legged friend and the Llanberis Path is the most suitable route for dogs.
Do dogs often climb Snowdon?
Snowdon is dog friendly and scampering up one of it's many footpaths is about as much fun as a dog can have. They can often be spotted it's mighty slopes especially during the summer months.
In the right conditions and with the right experience they can climb Snowdon at any time of the year.
Is climbing Snowdon safe for dogs?
Snowdon is a great day out for both you and your pooch. The footpaths are mostly safe for your four legged friend most of the time. As with any mountain there are inherent and variable risks that you should be aware of.
The main hazards to dogs on Snowdon are cliffs, hot & cold weather, getting lost, litter (such as chocolate or broken glass), ticks and other dogs.
Cliffs - Falling down cliffs is one of the main causes of fatalities on Snowdon. Dog owners should keep their dogs close at all times and know the location of cliffs on the footpath they are on. If you don't know where they are or how to find them on a map it might be worth going up Snowdon with someone who does such as one of our mountain guides
Hot weather - You should be very cautious on warm days as it is very easy for dogs to overheat. To know how your dog feels, put a warm jacket on and do the walk. If you are too hot then so is your dog.
There is no shade on the mountain and the streams often dry up after dry spells making it almost impossible to cool dogs down. On hot days we recommend giving the mountains a miss and heading to a beach, forest, lake or river with your dog.
Alternatively, you can do a sunrise or sunset walk with your dog when the temperature is cooler.
Getting lost - Sadly, dogs (and their owners) go missing on Snowdon and this is especially true in poor visibility such as hill fog.
Ticks - Ticks can carry Lyme Disease and although it it rare, it is possible for your dog to contract it. If your dog has been off the footpath or brushing past long grass they might have picked up a tick. Be sure to check your dogs fur and remove any ticks when you get back to the car park. The same applies to humans.
Unfortunately, we do see other dog owners with puppies, overheating & freezing cold dogs on Snowdon. Pay attention to your dog's behaviour as they can’t tell you how they feel. Remember the summit is only half way. Be sensible. Be kind!
Which Snowdon path is safest for dogs?
Most of the year, with the exception of Crib Goch, the main footpaths up Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) are relatively safe for dogs that are under effective control.
The best route for dogs is the Llanberis Path due to the even nature of the footpath which is flanked by wide grassy slopes most of the way up. In addition there is a café half way up which sells water should you run out. This is not guaranteed to be open so make sure you take plenty of water and be willing to turn around before you run out.
In spite of the Llanberis Path being the safest route for dogs it is not without danger. The section of footpath above Clogwyn Station is particularly hazardous as the footpath crosses the steep slopes of Cwm Hetiau followed by 'The Killer Convex'.
Take a look at our blog article on The Dangers of Climbing Snowdon to learn about all of the accident blackspots and other hazards on Snowdon.
Climbing Snowdon Up the PYG Track
The PYG Track or Miners Track is another good route for dogs. This is more suitable for dogs that don't pull on the lead and can scamper up rocky slopes. These routes pass Snowdon's stunning mountain lakes.
Snowdon Ranger Path
This one of the more gentle footpaths so is a good choice. Your dog will have to be under very good control as the route crosses the huge vertical cliffs of Clogwyn Du'r Arddu.
Should dogs dogs be on leads on Snowdon?
Between 31st March and 31st July your dog is required by law to be kept on a short lead. This is to protect breeding ground nesting birds and livestock. They must be under effective and close control the rest of the year.
Under the dogs act 1953 it is an offense to allow your dog to attack or chase livestock. A farmer may legally shoot a dog behaving in this way.
How to prepare your dog for the hike up Snowdon
Being well prepared can make or break your day on Snowdon. Here are some of our top tips if you are taking your dog…
Check the weather forecast - If the weather forecast is hot and sunny it is probably better to save it for another day.
Don't bite off more than you can chew - Pick an appropriate footpath based on you and your dog's energy levels. If this is your first mountain then the Llanberis Path is probably the best route.
Do lots of practice walks - Chances are you do lots of practice walks with your dog as they require regular exercise so you should know your dogs limits.
Walking on hard surfaces such as roads or pavements will harden your dogs paws which necessary as Snowdon’s routes are rocky and rugged. Make sure your dog can comfortably walk for the 6-8 hours it takes to complete Snowdon.
If you want to do some warm up walks here in the National Park take a look at our guide; Best walks in Snowdonia with your dog to see what’s on offer!
Snowdon Packing List: What else you need for your Snowdon hike with your dog
Apart from the essentials such as dog poop bags and lead you will need the following...
Plenty of water - If the weather has been dry in the days or weeks before you arrive then chances are that most of the streams have dried up. This is especially true higher up the mountain so be sure to take more than enough water for you and your dog. If it’s raining or has been wet recently you can take less water as most dogs seem to prefer fresh streams and muddy puddles.
Extra dog food - Just like you, you're pooch will probably burn more calories than a normal day so it's important to give them a reward for all their effort.
Extra layers - If the forecast is wet and cold you might want to pack a dog coat to keep them warm. You should also be willing to turn around (ideally before your dog shows signs of being too cold).
Getting down the mountain
Remember that the summit is only half way and you still need to get back to the car park. Be careful to take the right footpath and remember that most accidents happen on the descent.
Be extra cautious if your dog pulls on the lead as this is quite dangerous when walking down a steep, rocky slope.
Descending the Miner's Track
The Miners Track splits from the PYG Track between the zigzags and Glaslyn lake and this section is very steep and difficult to descend with dogs on leads. In addition, the top section of the Watkin Path is very steep and is particularly treacherous especially if you are being pulled by a dog on a lead.
It is also easy to get lost on these sections in poor weather as the footpath turns into a rocky slope with no clear route.
Get your dog's tail wagging by booking a mountain-guided walk today!
We organise Private Guided walks up Snowdon and other mountains in the Snowdonia National Park as well as other more leisurely walks.
Get in touch to discuss the best footpath based on your pooches size, experience and energy levels. We can plan a pawfect route taking in the very best of Snowdonia's enchanting natural beauty including its most splendid waterfalls, lakes, rivers or cliffs.
Frequently asked questions about dogs going up Snowdon
Can dogs go on Snowdon Railway?
Unfortunately, only assistance dogs are permitted on the Snowdon Mountain Railway. In addition, dogs are not allowed in the summit café but they are allowed in the lobby area. That said we often see well behaved dogs in a quiet corner of the summit café.
If you want a fun family day activity with your dog then your four pawed pall is are allowed on the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway and the Llanberis Lake Railway.
Can dogs go on the Snowdon Sherpa Bus?
Dogs are allowed on all Snowdon Sherpa Busses free of charge. This means that you can take your dog on the most dog friendly footpaths; The Llanberis Path, PYG Track & Miners Track.
What is the easiest route up Snowdon with a dog?
All of the hiking trails up Yr Wyddfa/ Snowdon are rugged mountain tracks. The Llanberis path is the most well engineered and widest footpath so is the best for dogs. In addition, it is the least steep so is the least challenging.
The PYG Track or Miners Track can be a good choice for more adventurous dogs as the routes are more rugged with rocks to jump up and clamber over. This is only really suitable if your dog doesn’t pull on the lead as there are a couple of sections with reasonably steep drops.
Are there bins for dog mess on Snowdon?
There are no bins on Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) and that includes dog waste bins. As always, you should pick up their solids with poo bags and dispose of it appropriately.
We double bag our pooches dog waste and place it in a stench-proof (airtight) container which is used exclusively for this purpose.
Dog Friendly hotels near Snowdon
A charming pet friendly pub with dog friendly rooms. In addition they offer a dog menu which includes Roast Dinner, Fish and Chips and treat pots all of which can be washed down with a Barking Brew Beer or Paw Star Martini before falling asleep in front of the fire!
The Prince Llwellyn is just a short walk from Gelert's grave, the resting place of Gelert, the most faithful dog.
Padarn Hotel - Llanberis
The hotel which is situated on the Llanberis High Street could not be in a better location. It is just a short walk to the start of the Llanberis Path and the many attractions in Llanberis making it the perfect place for you and your pooch!
Can I take my dog on Crib Goch?
NO! With numerous fatalities on Crib Goch every year ensure that one of them isn't your dog.
There are endless safe and enjoyable walks for your dog in Eryri (Snowdonia). Crib Goch is not one of them. You must be barking mad to even consider it.
Walking up Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon) with your dog should be an enjoyable experience for you both. Whilst dogs are allowed to walk up Snowdon, be aware that by law they have to be on a lead between the end of March to the end of July and under effective control the rest of the year.
Many dogs have a pawsome time walking up and down Snowdon's footpaths every year. Whilst all of the trails have pawprints on them, the Llanberis Path is suitable for most mutts and all of the routes pose hazards that you should be aware of.
Be attentive to your dog's behaviour, take plenty of water and remember that it is best to save Snowdon for day’s that are not too hot.
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