Home of the most popular mountain in the UK, Snowdonia National Park is world-famous for its breath-taking views and its highest peak, sure to be top of any hiker’s bagging list, Mount Snowdon at 1,085 metres.
No peak-bagging in Snowdonia list would be complete without this Welsh star, but there are 240 other mountains, fells, hills and peaks across 9 mountain ranges within the National Park, their summits ready and waiting to be bagged too so I’ve compiled a selection of the best hikes in Snowdonia that take in some of the most popular peaks that you may want at the top of your list.
These routes are considered difficult or suitable for experienced hikers; all require a good level of fitness to reach the summit, whilst for some experience and navigational skills are required.
The highest peak in Wales, Snowdon is the top peak to bag, with an array of routes to get you there. From one of the most popular, the Snowdon by the Llanberis Path route, a 9-mile point to point trail that is longer but offers a more gradual ascent, to the king of the ridge walks, the Snowdon Horseshoe.
A 7-mile looped trail, the Snowdon Horseshoe is considered extra difficult; an exposed route that’s not for the faint-hearted, it boasts 360-views and some challenging sections as it takes in the peaks of Crib Goch (923 m), Garnedd Ugain (1065 m), Bwlch Glas (998 m), Y Lilwedd (898 m) and last but not least, Snowdon.
Peaks: Carnedd Llewelyn & Foel Fras
Carnedd Llewelyn via the Eastern Carneddau
What could be better than bagging three peaks in one walk? Bagging them twice on this out and back hike. The Carnedd Llewelyn via the Eastern Carneddau trail not only takes on the second highest peak in Wales, Carnedd Llewelyn (1064 m) but it also takes you over Foel Fras (942 m) and Foel Grach (976 m) on the route.
It is rated as a difficult 13-mile out and back trail in the Carneddau mountain range within the Snowdonia National Park. Being another great ridge walk be prepared for an exposed but beautiful hike, and although it attracts lots of hikers, it’s still less busy than Snowdon.
Peaks: Glyder Fach, Glyder Fawr & Tryfan
A Glyderau trio – Glyder Fach – Glyder Fawr and Tryfan
The peaks of Glyder Fach (994 m), Glyder Fawr (1000 m) and Tryfan (917 m) are three must-bag peaks in the Snowdonia National Park.
The A Glyderau trio – Glyder Fach – Glyder Fawr and Tryfan route, at 7.2 miles long, encompasses all three and is no easy feat, bordering mountaineering at times, with some good scrambling on scree slopes to negotiate and the use of hands and feet coming to play, which only makes reaching the summits even more of a celebration.
Pony Path, Tŷ Nant and Cader Idris
Considered a southern gem, the Pony Path, Tŷ Nant and Cader Idris 6-mile out and back hike is of the most popular routes to reach the peak of Cader Idris (893 m) – the highest mountain in the south of the National Park.
To bag this peak, you do need to traverse a steep scree section near the summit but once you reach the trig point there is a flat area so make sure you have a rest at the top (your knees will be grateful for the break before the descent) and take in the spectacular views over Snowdonia and on clear days, the coast of Wales.
Ultimate peak-bagging through Snowdonia National Park – Cambrian Way
A ‘Mountain Connoisseur’s Walk’, the Cambrian Way, snakes snaking its way along rugged ridgelines and craggy hillsides on a 298-mile coast-to-coast trail boasting untouched coastline, rolling hills and lakes, and some of Wales’s most iconic mountain peaks.
A challenging trail, the Cambrian Way connects Cardiff to Conwy, traversing some of Wales’s highest mountains. Over the Black Mountain range in the Brecon Beacons National Park, into the Cambrian Mountains and then into Snowdonia National Park where you can bag the peaks of Pen y Fan, Pumlumon, Cadair Idris and Snowdon itself.
Experience is key as this trail is primarily mountainous but despite the wildness of this long-distance trail, there are good transport links in both North and South Wales, with plenty of accommodation along the trail.