I wanted to share a few things about staying around and venturing up Mount Snowden. I will discuss the paths I experienced and give some detail as to how long it took. This advice is only from my experience and I would always suggest you research the trip for yourself prior to your own adventure.
Staying in Snowdonia
The first time I visited Snowdonia I wasn’t sure what to expect so I decided to spend a couple of nights at Bryn Dinas Camping Pods (www.bryndinascampingpods.co.uk). I had access to a heated pod which contained two private beds and some storage. Wi-Fi was available for a small fee. The pod also contained plug sockets to charge my equipment. The site itself had shared toilet and shower facilities, full kitchen access and a washing machine / dryer. If you do decide to stay here please consider using my Booking.com link below as any support goes a long way.
In my opinion, Snowdonia doesn’t get any better than Llyn Gwynant (gwynant.com). On site is a beautiful lake which is perfect for water activities such as paddle boarding and canoeing. There is also a side track leading onto the Pyg or Miners track to Snowden summit. This camping site has everything you need for a chilled camping experience with sinks, microwaves, hot water tap, showers, toilets and access to washing and drying machines for a small fee. I honestly cannot express how good [another word for good? Serene, amazing, relaxing, invigorating] camping here is. Waking up at the base of a mountain adjacent to the lake is something that you must experience for yourself. If you do decide to stay here please do share your story with me via social media.
My two trails to Snowden summit
There are six paths leading to the summit. I will only mention the paths I have ventured on myself but will link a site at the end of the page detailing other trails to the top of Snowden.
The Watkin Path - My choice for the climb - 4 hours (one way)
Officially opened in 1892 by William Gladstone, the Watkin Path is named after Sir Edward Watkin, Liberal Member of Parliament and a railway entrepreneur. Watkin was responsible for creating the path from South Snowdon Slate Quarry to Snowdon’s summit. Notably the path has a summer house by the start of the trail.
The reason this path was so special to me is not only the stunning views into the valley but the lack of human traffic during the climb. Compared to the other paths this is quite possibly the emptiest and visually most stunning of the paths due to the terrain that surrounds you as you climb.
The Ranger Path - My choice for the descent - 4 hours (one way)
The path begins near the ‘Snowdon Ranger’ youth hostel, close to Llyn Cwellyn. John Morton, the self-proclaimed 'Snowdon Ranger,' used the path to guide Victorian tourists to the summit. He opened a tavern where the youth hostel site stands today and called it the ‘Snowdon Ranger Inn’.
This was the path my friend and I used to descend from the summit of Snowden. I will advise that this route is quite bare as hiking paths go since there is almost no signage on the way down. Please also be aware that the terrain is often unpredictable and consequently sometimes you must climb and shimmy down some interesting rock faces and loose gravel tracks. However, the reward is undoubtably worth it. I couldn’t ask for a better way to end the day as I could see into the other valleys of Snowdonia, the beautiful lakes and of course the incredible sunset in the distance.
There is little to no cell signal around most of Snowdonia until you get higher into the terrain
There will be other people on the various trails most of the time within a certain range of you but you should always tell people you’re going up Snowden and roughly what time you are expected back
Basic first aid kits will go a long way. Blisters and headaches are possible with dehydration, especially in Welsh wind and rain
A ration pack will go a long way. Remember to pack a snack just in case anything could possibly go wrong, I personally use Carb Killa protein bars, roasted peanuts and always have biscuits or cookies with me for fast glucose release.
Respect the nature and please don’t leave litter. It breaks my heart seeing people leaving trash now and again on a path
- Be smart about your trip to Snowdon. I will discuss this further in another post named ‘Snowden - a Mountain of Lies’
Sources to help you plan your own journey