Snowdon Mountain, which sits in Snowdonia National Park, is the highest peak in Wales and it’s quite an adventure getting to the top of it, even if you choose to take the train instead of hiking it. The mountain is 3,560 feet in height and the views from the summit are quite fascinating. Snowdon Mountain is quite accessible due to its location and is well worth a visit.
There are numerous trails that lead to the pinnacle and you don’t really need to be an experienced climber to take it on. However, you’ll still need to approach the climb sensibly and make sure you’re prepared for the changes in weather that you might experience on the way up.
[Photo By 23351536@N07]
If you’re planning to make the climb a map of the mountain will definitely come in handy as it will show the various trails to the top and all of their starting points. A good map will also include the area’s car parks, equipment shops, and visitor facilities. Most of these locations can be found in the small and charming villages of Beddgelert, Capel Curig, and Llanberis, which is generally considered to be the best starting point.
You’ll also find there’s a bus network that travels to all of the main trails as well as the above villages and Bangor, Caernarfon, Llanwrst, and Porthmadog. The peak of the mountain also has visitor facilities including a shop and café which are situated in the mountain railway train station.
There are several routes that lead to the top of Snowdon Mountain, but there are half a dozen main ones and these will be marked on the Ordnance Survey map. The Llanberis trail begins in the village of Llanberis and it’s nine miles in total for a return hike. The Snowdon Ranger Path begins in Llyn Cwellyn and it’s eight miles for a roundtrip.
The Rhyd Ddu Path begins in the car park at Rhyd Ddu and is a 7.5 mile return climb. The Pyg Track begins at Pen y Pass and is seven miles in length. The Miners’ Track also begins at Pen y Pass and is eight miles return while the Watkin Path is also eight miles and begins in Nant Gwynant(Bethania).
You can get all the information you need on the mountain from the Snowdonia National Park internet site. The two routes that are considered the most challenging are the Pyg Track and Watkin Path. The Llanberis Path is the longest climb and some of it follows the mountain railway to the peak, making it the easiest of them all to climb.
The time it takes to reach the apex of Snowdon Mountain will basically depend on your hiking experience and the kind of physical shape you’re in. For most people, the average round trip takes approximately six hours to complete. Some of the upper slopes on the mountain are actually quite steep, so be careful, especially in bad weather. The steep slopes were carved out centuries ago by glaciers and make for some dramatic scenery.
If you’d rather skip the hike and get to the top of the mountain in relative luxury, you can always hop on the train during the summer months. This railway has been running up and down the famous mountain since way back in 1894. If you’re heading to the mountain in the busy summer season you may want to book an advance ticket for the train trip. You can also buy one-way tickets if you’d like to walk up or down. However, you may be out of luck if the train coming back down is full.
Whether you hike Snowdon Mountain or take the railway, once you reach the peak you’ll be treated to some magnificent views. If it’s a clear day you may catch glimpses of Wales, England, the Isle of Man, Ireland, and Scotland.