Best walks in Snowdonia - Moel Siabod hike Snowdonia

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Best walks in Snowdonia, Wales (including easy walks too)

Planning a trip to Snowdonia in north Wales and wondering what awesome walks you should do whilst you are there? Maybe you’re panicking because Snowdonia is pretty huge and there’s so much to do! Well, don’t worry I’ve compiled a list of the best walks in Snowdonia National Park. After several hiking trips to north Wales, including several soakings in the rain, these are my favourites hikes.

There’s a mix of hikes here for everyone, some easy walks if you fancy a couple miles on well-established paths and relatively good terrain. Then I’ve thrown in a couple of epic mountain walks (well it is Snowdonia after all), including the mighty Mount Snowdon, with a couple of options for different hiking trails.

Most of the routes are circular walks and include the route starting point, distance, time and walk difficulty rating. But remember, the weather can change at any time in the mountains so even an easy walk can be challenging in bad weather conditions. Check out the Snowdonia weather forecast here before you start.

So get ready for gorgeous photos of my best hikes in north and south Snowdonia in Wales.

Is your favourite Snowdonia walk on the list? 

*Learn some Welsh….the word Llyn means lake and Moel means hill in Welsh 🙂

Moel Siabod walk

Moel Siabod best walks in Snowdonia
Moel Siabod – Is this the best short walk in Snowdonia?

Walk location: North Snowdonia (near Betws-y-Coed)
Start point: Pont-Cyfyng (SH 73425 57183)
Route length: 6 miles/ 10 km
Hiking time: 3-4 hours
Hike difficulty: Moderate
Ordnance Survey map: OS Explorer OL17 – Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa)

Moel Siabod is a walk known as one of the best half-day walks in Snowdonia. Why? Well on clear days at the top of Moel Siabod you can see 10 out of 14 of Snowdonia’s highest mountain peaks.

The walk is fairly challenging, the elevation gain is approximately 718 m to reach Moel Siabod summit at 872 m.

There are a couple of options from Pont-Cyfyng to summit Moel Siabod. Option one is straight up the ridge or if you prefer a challenge when the path splits at grid reference SH 72429 56243, take the left-hand path which takes you past the old quarry and Llyn y Foel. Then at the lake, you scramble up to Moel Siabod summit. It’s challenging but not too difficult. Although in bad weather means it’s more difficult to navigate to the top.

The trail back down to the start is fairly clear, although there are some loose stones and rocks so take it slow!

Mawddach Trail

Mawddach Trail - Snowdonia National Park
Sometimes the easier walks are just as beautiful

Walk location: South Snowdonia (near Barmouth and Dolgellau)
Start point: Morfa Mawddach Station (SH 62865 14156)
Finish point: Dolgellau (SH 72706 18004)
Route length: 8 miles/ 12.5 km
Hiking time: 3-4 hours
Hike difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Ordnance Survey map: OS Explorer OL23 – Cadair Idris and Llyn Tegid

Firstly, if you are catching the train here, this is a REQUEST stop, make sure you tell the ticket conductor that you want to get off! This walk is one of the easier routes to follow since the Mawddach Trail is signposted and it also follows the river all the way to Dolgellau.

The Mawddach Trail is also a popular route for cycling too so you’ll probably meet several cyclists on the route.

Top tip – if you have time at the start, then take a walk across the Barmouth Bridge for some beautiful views.

Tryfan mountain

Tryfan Snowdonia - best walks in north Snowdonia
Hanging out at the top of Tryfan mountain, north Snowdonia

Walk location: North Snowdonia (near Bethesda)
Start point: A5 layby near Llyn Ogwen (SH 66817 60054)
Route length: 3 miles/ 5 km
Hiking time: 2.5-3.5 hours
Hike difficulty: Moderate to Hard
Ordnance Survey map: OS Explorer OL17 – Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa)

Tryfan mountain is on the list of the 15 of Wales’s highest mountains over 3,000 ft high, at 3,010 ft it just makes the list. The great thing about this walk is that you don’t have to hike far to get to the base of the mountain, literally as soon as you get out of the car you’re on the mountain.

There are plenty of laybys that you can park along the A5 (next to Llyn Ogwen), plus a couple of car parks. All parking is free so you do need to arrive early on weekends to secure your spot.

The route up Tryfan does involve some scrambling, mainly up large boulders. It’s also the same on the walk down the mountain.

Climbing Tryfan, although short in distance it is a steep hike so be prepared to be out of breath on the walk up haha. If you’re brave enough (and not too tired) when you reach the time you can climb onto one of the rocks at the top known as Adam and Eve. Many people jump across the gap between the two rocks. As you can see from the photo I was happy sitting and posing for a photo after my walk to the top!

Want to extend the walk? How about adding Y Foel Goch

Tryfan hike north Snowdonia - best walks
Views of Tryfan mountain on the walk to Y Foel Goch

There are a few options for extending the Tryfan walk. Once you’ve descended Tryfan, instead of taking the path on your right, go left over the stile in the wall. You can add a little there and back route up to Y Foel Goch at grid reference SH 67759 58183. Whilst I don’t always like repeating my route by doing the extra 2 miles/ 3 km to the walk you’re treated to some epic views of Tryfan and Glyder Fach from the other side!

Well worth hiking those extra mile if it’s not pouring with rain. Although, even on a rainy day you can still have a lovely walk if you’re wearing a good waterproof jacket!

Aber Falls walk

Aber Falls Snowdonia
Waterfalls are best enjoyed on a rainy day

Walk location: North Snowdonia (near Bangor)
Start point: Coedydd Aber Nature Reserve (SH 66236 72006)
Route length: 2.75 miles/ 4.5 km
Hiking time: 1-2 hours
Hike difficulty: Easy
Ordnance Survey map: OS Explorer OL17 – Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa)

The Aber Falls walk takes you through beautiful woodland to the wonderful Aber Falls at the end of the trail. There are a couple of paid car parks you can start the walk from, the upper car park also had a toilet. Postcode LL33 0LP. Car parking cost is £2 for the day. Although the upper car park closes at 7 pm (so don’t get locked in!)

It’s a lovely easy walk and great for everyone, with even a pushchair/ wheelchair friendly route. You can enjoy the Coedydd Aber Nature Reserve, spotting the different trees and lichens on the walk to the waterfall.

If you want a different (and slightly longer route back then you can cross the wooden bridge (in the photo above) to loop back round to the start of the walk. It will add about 1.25 miles to the walk so 4 miles/ 6 km in total.

Mount Snowdon

Miner's Track to Snowdon base in Snowdonia
Mount Snowdon summit creeping out from the clouds

Walk location: North Snowdonia (near Nant Peris)
Start point: Pen-y-Pass (SH 64745 55622)
Route length: 8 miles/ 12.5 km
Hiking time: 4-6 hours
Hike difficulty: Moderate
Ordnance Survey map: OS Explorer OL17 – Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa)

There are lots of different routes to walk up Mt Snowdon which is why it makes it one of the best walks in Snowdonia. That and the fact that it’s the highest mountain in Wales too!

If you’re planning on walking up Mt Snowdon, the most popular route is the Llanberis route, a longer walk but not as steep. However, the circular route detailed above starting at Pen-y-Pass takes you up via the Pyg Track and back down via the Miner’s Track.

The Pyg Track takes you up a steep climb to start but with that means you have great views right from the start. On the descent, you have the decision to either return back via the same route or at grid reference SH 61413 54826 take the steep downhill path on the Miner’s Track, where you walk alongside the lakes of Mt Snowdon.

Mount Snowdon is also the start of the Welsh 3000s Challenge, you can read about my attempt here.

Cadair Idris walk

Cadair Idris - Best walks in Snowdonia Wales
Views of Llyn Cau on the way up to Cadair Idris summit

Walk location: South Snowdonia (near Dolgellau and Machynlleth)
Start point: Minffordd Path car park (SH 73202 11563)
Route length: 6 miles/ 10 km
Hiking time: 4-6 hours
Hike difficulty: Moderate to hard
Ordnance Survey map: OS Explorer OL23 – Cadair Idris and Llyn Tegid

A gorgeous hike in south Snowdonia up Cadair Idris (also known as Cader Idris). A challenging hike to the summit, since it’s a steep walk up but amazing views at the top, on a clear day of course!

There are a few different routes up Cadair Idris but walking up via the Minfford Path, is the shortest route up (also the most challenging walk) but take your time and enjoy the beauty of south Snowdonia.

You can read my full post here on hiking Cadair Idris via the Minffordd Path route

Options for a shorter, easier walk

If you want to still enjoy Cadair Idris but don’t want to summit the mountain you can still enjoy the hike by walking up the Minfford Path to Llyn Cau. The return hike is about 2.5 miles/ 4 km and will take 2-3 hours.

It’s still the same steep first section through the forest but this way you can still have a lovely day out in the mountains. Llyn Cau is the best stop for a picnic!

Precipice walk

Precipice Walk - Snowdonia
Precipice Walk – still beautiful on a rainy day in Snowdonia

Walk location: South Snowdonia (near Dolgellau)
Start point: Near Nannau (SH 74581 21175)
Route length: 3.5 miles/ 5.5 km
Hiking time: 1-2 hours
Hike difficulty: Easy walk
Ordnance Survey map: OS Explorer OL23 – Cadair Idris and Llyn Tegid

This is a perfect easy walk for beginners in south Snowdonia. There’s a small car park with a toilet at the start, on weekends it’s likely that this will get busy (Car park postcode LL40 2NG). The beginning of the walk takes you towards Llyn Cynwch, where you have the option to continue alongside the lake or head up to the right (grid reference SH 74037 21259).

There is a short uphill section, as you can see from the photo above. I did the hike on a very wet day in Snowdonia but you could still see how beautiful the walk was, I’d love to do it again on a sunny day!

Llyn Idwal walk + Bonus walk

Tryfan hike no. 2 (18)-3

Walk location: North Snowdonia (near Bethesda)
Start point: A5 layby near Llyn Ogwen (SH 64919 60404)
Route length: 2.5 miles/ 4 km
Hiking time: 1-2 hours
Hike difficulty: Easy walk
Ordnance Survey map: OS Explorer OL17 – Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa)

Another walk close to the Tryfan walk, there are actually so many amazing walks you can do around here you’ll be spoilt for choice. Close to the YHA and Outdoors Pursuits Centre, there is a car park with public toilets and a snack bar. It costs £2.50 for 4 hours or £5 all day until midnight (or alternatively find a free space further down the road and walk to the start).

For such a short hike I definitely think this deserves to be on the best walks in Snowdonia list! A well-maintained path takes you up to Llyn Idwal and once you reach the lake you can opt to walk around in either direction. Be sure to look across to Tryfan mountain and Pen yr Ole Wen in the distance on the walk back.

Want to extend your walk (and make it more challenging?)

Best hikes in Snowdonia - views of Llyn Idwal up Devils Kitchen
Awesome views of Llyn Idwal up Devils Kitchen in Snowdonia

If you walk around Llyn Idwal in an anti-clockwise direction at grid reference SH 6422 5932 you can take a path going up (and up) via Devils Kitchen – no idea why it’s called that! It’s a steep but fairly clear path that takes you to a higher vantage point over the lake. Plus some awesome views of Pen yr Ole Wen mountain on the other side of Llyn Ogwen.

In walking distance, it will add an extra mile to your hike and since this is mostly uphill it will add about an extra hour to your hike. But it is well worth it on a clear day for those views!

The Glyders (Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr)

Glyder Fach Snowdonia
Glyder Fach in north Snowdonia

Walk location: North Snowdonia (near Bethesda)
Start point: A5 layby near Llyn Ogwen (SH 6588 6019)
Route length: 7 miles/ 11 km
Hiking time: 4-6 hours
Hike difficulty: Hard
Ordnance Survey map: OS Explorer OL17 – Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa)

Finishing with one of my favourite walks and once you’ve done this hike, although challenging you’ll see why it makes the list of best walks in Snowdonia.

Starting along the same main road as you do for the Tryfan mountain and Llyn Idwal walk you make your way up via Llyn Bochlwyd then up to The Miner’s Track (not the Mt Snowdon one) at grid reference SH 66711 58259. At this point you then turn to hike up first to Glyder Fach, then continue along the path to Glyder Fawr and finally descending to Llyn y Cwn.

At the summit there are jagged rocks scatted everyone, left over from the ice age, it’s truly magical but in bad weather, it’s very tricky to navigate (check out my Snowdonia Insta Story highlights for a bad weather day!)

Do you have another Snowdonia hike that you think should be on the best walks in Snowdonia list? Let me know in the comments below or ask me any questions about these walks.

Read here – What to take on your UK day hike?

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Best walks in Snowdonia, Wales
Best walks in Snowdonia, Wales
Best walks in Snowdonia, Wales

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Comments (14)

  1. I love your suggestions here – your Cadair Idris routes is one of my favorites. We really enjoy getting off the beaten path in this part of the world so I’ll be really interested to try your alternative route up Snowdon. Really like your ideas for extending some of these walks too.

  2. This is a fantastic post with lots of practical info! I love walking/hiking and I live right next door to Wales (Shrewsbury) so I’m definitely bookmarking some of these 🙂 I’ve also just sent your post to a friend of mine to suggest we get ourselves a map and give a few of them a go!

  3. thanks for these great suggestions! I admit I am surprised at such great visibility – what time of year did you take these photos? we are coming to visit next week and I’m trying to guess what will be blooming and the likelihood of clear views. (chilly temps and rain don’t bother us at all.)

    1. I was there in June and July this year, but I was also in Snowdonia last year a couple of times too. Most of the photos are from my July trip but it did rain a few times whilst I was there, I’m just skilful at taking photos when it doesn’t rain haha! There will still be some heather out, that will look pretty in photos. I can definitely feel the temperatures cooling in the UK now so it could be cooler high up. I’d always recommend plenty of layers and a warm hat and gloves too 🙂