Summit Mount Snowdon via the Watkin Path

Rate this Adventure United Kingdom Watkin Trailhead

Added by Jack Henstridge

Summit Wales' tallest Mountain, in the heart of the incredible Snowdonia National Park, via the hardest direct route. And complete 1/3 of the British National 3 peaks challenge in the process. You'll walk through ancient woodlands, waterfall strewn valleys; old slates mines, and climb the legendary final scree chute scramble to the summit.

Although Mt Snowdon is only a modest 3,560ft the trailhead starts barely above sea level, so you’ll be doing a lot of climbing, almost the whole mountain. The trailhead is located directly opposite the car parking area. It starts off really mellow through old ancient woodlands and is very easy to follow. As the trail starts to climb out of the woodland, it will wind and bend its way across a waterfall strewn valley before eventually leading to a false flat through some old slate mine buildings, (be on the lookout for bullet holes, this area was a Commando training area for the British Military during WW2).

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

The path will lead you to the final scree chute, it will 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 own line using your best judgement. Parts of the slope will require both hands and feet to climb; the rock is loose and slippery, pick your lines carefully – do not 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, take a mellower route back to one of the many trail heads and catch a shuttle bus back to your car. We descended via the South Ridge and linked back to the Watkin Path via another trail, just as the South ridge turns due west. All in all it took us around 7 hours, with plenty of stops.

The views all the way along this trail are spectacular. Bring your camera or make sure your phone is charged, you'll want to take photos, a lot 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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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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Activities:

Camping, Hiking, Photography, Rock Climbing

Skill Level:

Advanced

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Point-to-Point

Distance:

7.4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

3280.8 Feet

Features:

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Added by Jack Henstridge

Outdoor enthusiast, Nature lover, Adventurer, Traveller, Mountain Biker, Hiker, Snowboarder, Photographer, Blogger, and everything in between. Get Outside!

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