The hardest route up Snowdon
In terms of walking the hardest route up Snowdon is the South Ridge. It is the most difficult because it is the highest and scariest. It starts at a lower elevation than the other walks, therefore has the most height gain from the car park to the summit and the narrow ridge at the end is a test of bravery.
Easiest Snowdon route
All of the paths up Snowdon are strenuous mountain hikes that take even the fittest walker hours to get up and down. All paths are proper mountain routes with the most serious of consequences if you get it wrong. The routes in order from easiest to hardest are:
Llanberis Path (Easiest)
South Ridge (Hardest)
The Llanberis Path is the easiest route up Snowdon but it is also the longest. The gradient is the least steep so it is the least strenuous. There is a good footpath for most of the hike. In spite of this, Snowdon is a British mountain subject to our fickle weather which can turn instantly. The summit of Snowdon is enveloped by cloud more often than not and when it is, it's easy to get lost. Mountain Rescue was called out to Snowdon over 75 times in 2012 with the majority of those callouts being summer weekends. If you haven't spent much time in the British mountains before and can't navigate using a map and compass we recommended you get a guide.
Which route should I take?
There are 6 main hiking routes up Snowdon. For more information about these please take a look at our guide to all the footpaths:
There is also 1 popular scrambling route up Snowdon:
Crib Goch (Grade 1 Scramble)
Click here for a detailed comparison of the paths up Snowdon.
The Llanberis Path and the Ranger Path are the easiest routes up Snowdon. These routes are therefore the best if you want a more relaxing amble to the top or are worried about your fitness (see below).
If you want a physical challenge of fitness and endurance then the Watkin Path and the South Ridge are the best choices.
For an exhilarating adventure with steep rocky sections of scrambling while the world plunges below you as you navigate a high ridgeline then the South Ridge is for you. A proper mountain adventure!
All the routes have fantastic views but the best are the Ranger Track, Miners & Pyg Track and The South Ridge.
If you want to nip up and down as quickly as possible the Pyg Track & Miners Track can be the fastest but not the easiest.
How long does it take to climb Snowdon?
5-8 hours on average. Depending on the route and your level of fitness, it might take a little less time or a little longer. The record for fastest ascent and descent from Llanberis stands at 1:02:29, set by elite fell runner Kenny Stuart in 1985.
Which Snowdon path has the best views?
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder".
The South Ridge
The Pyg Track & Miners Track
All the walking paths up Snowdon have varied and amazing views plus the view from the summit is spectacular when the weather permits. Each route has different highlights, which are listed here, but Walk Snowdonia's top two are the South Ridge and the Pyg Track.
The South Ridge
1. The South Ridge hike starts in ancient woodland and follows the 'Afon Cwm Llan' river and it's waterfalls before joining the ridge itself which has spectacular views for over two kilometers making it a top choice. Interest is sustained throughout making this one of the most picturesque routes up Snowdon. The higher you get the more dramatic things become, culminating in the narrow rocky ridgeline of Bwlch Main. From here you will have heady views of the ridgeline which connects Snowdon to the dramatic spires of rock which make up the twin peaks of Y Lliwedd. To the south is the stunning pyramidal peak of Y Aran and to the west is the epic Nantlle Ridge where the lakes of the Nant y Betws valley unfold below.
The Pyg & Miners Track
2. The Pyg Track is a rugged mountain hike situated in an amphitheatre of rocks and mountains which make up the infamous Snowdon Horseshoe. The route passes the lakes of Llyn Llydaw and Glaslyn with great views of the Trinity face as it narrows to become the summit of Snowdon. The route increases in steepness as the top of the valley climaxes between the two highest mountains in Snowdonia; Snowdon (1085m) and Garnedd Ugain (1065m). From here you will have awe-inspiring views of these mountains as well as the knife-edged ridgeline of Crib Goch. The height, commanding position and other mountains linked by dramatic cliffs make this one of the best views that Snowdon and Great Britain have to offer.
Other Scenic Snowdon views
Expansive views across the Nant y Betws valley and it's lakes
Great view of the Nantalle Ridge
Scenic ridge walk
Epic views of Cwn Tregalan and the cliffs of the South Ridge
River and waterfalls
Cross the causeway of Llyn Llydaw lake
Touch the waters of the legendary lake Glaslyn
Spectacular views down the Cwm Clogwyn valley and across to Llechog and Bwlch Main ridge
Passes the Llyn Ffynnon-y-gwas reservoir
Best views of the cliffs of Clogwyn Du'r Arddu and its lake
Fantastic view of the Glydders and Llanberis pass at the Clogwyn Station
Am I fit enough to climb Snowdon?
Half a million people summit Snowdon every year. They are people of all ages and the oldest person to walk up is thought to be Ron Barnes at 84. That being said you do need to be reasonably fit and healthy as it takes the average walker 6-8 hours to get to the top and back down. This time includes about 4 hours walking uphill, some of it steep, and 2 or 3 hours to walk down. The footpaths vary in quality and are uneven in places. You need to be reasonably fit and healthy to be able to do this. If you are asking yourself this question then the Llanberis Path is the most appropriate way to the top for you. If you are not sure then please don't hesitate to contact us or you can book your own Private Guide who will be able to meet all your requirements.
What equipment do I need for Snowdon?
To walk up Snowdon in summer conditions (no snow or ice) you will need:
A guide or a map and compass (and knowledge of how to use them)
Walking boots (or robust trekking shoes)
Waterproofs (jacket is essential trousers are highly recommended)
Suitable walking clothes (no jeans)
Warm clothes (an extra fleece, a hat and gloves)
Food and water
First aid kit
Mobile phone (fully charged)
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. It is often cold and wet on the summit of Snowdon even on a nice summers day.
When is the best time to climb Snowdon?
June, July and August are usually the best months to walk up Snowdon. The weather is generally warmer and you are more likely to get a clear day to enjoy the magnificent views from the summit. The longer days give you more time to get up and down. That said, the weather can be freezing cold, with driving rain/ hail and ferociously windy at any time of the year.
There is no best time of the day to walk up Snowdon. Remember that it takes 6-7 hours on average to get to the top and back down so make sure you leave yourself plenty of daylight. Generally speaking, the earlier you start the better as you will have more daylight.
When is Snowdon open?
The paths up Snowdon are open all year. However, you should stick to the summer months (April- October) unless you are an experienced mountaineer with the right kit such as ice axes and crampons.
Where to park for Snowdon?
It depends on which route you are taking.
The best place to park to walk up Snowdon is the village of Llanberis (start of the Llanberis Path). There is more parking here than at the start of any other route.
Route: Llanberis Path
Llanberis Path Parking
Postcode: LL55 4TD
Start point: Village of Llanberis
After this, the village of Rhyd-Ddu also has a decent-sized pay and display car park but this does fill up on busy days with nowhere else to park nearby.
All of the other routes have car parks but spaces are limited and the local council hand out dozens of fines on busy weekends to people parking illegally.
You can park at the car parks at the foot of Snowdon and use The Snowdon Sherpa bus service which travels around the foot of Snowdon linking all the car parks to all the routes. https://www.gwynedd.llyw.cymru/en/Residents/Parking-roads-and-travel/Travel-passes/Snowdon-Sherpa.aspx
Where do I start Snowdon?
It depends on your route. A popular place to start your walk-up Snowdon is from the village of Llanberis. There are lots of car parks in the village and the Llanberis footpath is the easiest in terms of difficulty and navigation. It is also the busiest.