Summit Mount Snowdon via the Watkin Path

Watkin Trailhead

Summit Wales' tallest Mountain, in the heartof the incredible Snowdonia National Park, via the hardest direct route. Andcomplete 1/3 of the British National 3 peaks challenge in the process. You'llwalk through ancient woodlands, waterfall strewn valleys; old slatesmines, and climb the legendary finalscree chute scramble to the summit.

AlthoughMt Snowdon is only a modest 3,560ft the trailhead starts barely abovesea level, so you’ll be doing a lot of climbing, almost the wholemountain. The trailhead is located directly opposite the car parking area. Itstarts off really mellow through old ancient woodlands and is very easy tofollow. As the trail starts to climb out of the woodland, it will wind and bendits way across a waterfall strewn valley before eventually leading to a falseflat through some old slate mine buildings, (be on the lookout for bulletholes, this area was a Commando training area for the British Military duringWW2).

Once you pass through the old slate mines you’ll be faced with asteep stepped climb through piles old of slate. After this the trail becomes harderto follow as it climbs further through a small boulder-like field, look for thecairns to guide your way. Once you have climbed this steep portion you willgain the flat mellow ridge "Bwlch Ciliau".Turn to your left towards the summit. 

Thepath will lead you to the final scree chute, itwill eventually disappear and a sign pointing the way will be your only guide.There is no real trail or path up the slope; you will have to pick your ownline using your best judgement. Parts of the slope will require both hands andfeet to climb; the rock is loose and slippery, pick your lines carefully – donot attempt if you feel uncomfortable or unsure, or are ill prepared.

Once you have completed the scramble, pat yourself on the back,turn right and take the few extra steps to the summit and enjoy the view.Follow the same route back down or, like us, takea mellower route back to one of the many trail heads and catch a shuttle busback to your car. We descended via the South Ridge and linked back to theWatkin Path via another trail, just as the South ridge turns due west. All inall it took us around 7 hours, with plenty of stops.

The views all the way along this trail are spectacular. Bringyour camera or make sure your phone is charged, you'll want to take photos, alot of them.

Pack List

Day Hike Essentials

  • Day pack
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Good solid hiking boots
  • Appropriate clothing (waterproofs especially for this climb)
  • Map & Compass or GPS (I prefer both, a map & compass doesn't run out of battery)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Sun protection (glasses and sun screen)

Nice to haves

  • Camera
  • Walking poles
  • Binoculars
  • Hip Flask (could be argued to be essential)

If you want to camp before or after in Snowdonia National Park where the Mountain is located, there are a plethora of campsites available for extremely good rates, or if you really wanted you can wild camp (we used this one http://gwynant.com/campsite/). Just remember wherever you camp to respect the outdoors and pack out what you pack in.

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RT Distance 7.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 3280.8 Feet
Activities Camping, Photography, Hiking, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Advanced
Season Year Round
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Snowdon is a BEAUT!

Such a fantastic yet challenging hike. The day I summited there were extreme winds and the shelter at the top was evacuated! Highly recommended.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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