Hiking to Snowdon’s summit is deservedly popular; this may well be one of the busiest mountains in the world. Wales’ highest is a majestic peak and grand massif. Its pyramidal apex, a great meeting point of tremendous ridges, is a sensational viewpoint. Yes, a train goes up it and, yes, there’s a café at the top; but Snowdon is so huge you can always find a wild adventure here, whilst the train enables access to the summit for all.
A mountain offering almost endless adventure
Arguably Snowdon’s most exquisite feature is the great amphitheatre caused by the horseshoe of peaks and ridges to the east of the summit. Nestled under these rocky buttresses are two gorgeous lakes: larger Llyn Llydaw and the smaller, higher Glaslyn. It is a dark, fairytale landscape steeped in Arthurian legend.
If you want to avoid the crowds, head up for sunrise or sunset, when the light is at its most dramatic. The views from the top are extensive: Snowdonia’s high mountains rise and fall in all directions. Perhaps the finest sight is that of Snowdon’s twin lakes bounded on both sides by Garnedd Ugain, Y Lliwedd and Crib Goch.
There are so many great walking routes to Snowdon, all with accommodation options at its base. Generally, expeditions that start from the Llanberis side are the busiest. A shuttle bus runs from Llanberis to the popular, elevated starting point of Pen-y-Pass. The car park here is expensive and fills up very early. The south side of the mountain is much quieter and wilder. Campsites, guest houses and hostels can be found around Rhyd-Ddu and Beddgelert.
Most hikes to Snowdon are achievable by the whole family, but there are exceptions. Crib Goch’s main ridge is sensationally narrow. Whilst the traverse is technically straightforward, mountain rescue receives many call outs every year when people become cragfast: stuck on the ridge, suddenly lacking the confidence to move forward or backward. Snowdon is also serious business in winter conditions and should be left to equipped mountaineers.
Snowdon is perhaps the most ascended mountain in the world, and with good reason. This is a majestic mountain, as is befitting of Wales' highest point.
Its glory lies in the myriad routes to the summit. There's everything from the gentle inclines of the Llanberis path to the knife-edged arête of Crib Goch. The south side of the mountain is generally quieter, with the south ridge in particular a fine route up the mountain. The Miner's and Pyg Tracks are straightforward, classic approaches that enter the incredible natural amphitheatre that holds Llyn Llydaw and Glaslyn.
To get the summit to yourself, rise early and avoid peak season.
January 6, 2021
The views from Snowdon's summit can be spectacular on a clear day—you just shouldn't expect to be rewarded with them on your trip. As typical in this part of the UK, the weather can turn at a moment's notice, so pack a raincoat regardless of the weather forecast, and be prepared to get your kicks from the climb—not the view.
The summit is home to a fantastic summit station, complete with tea, coffee, beer and cider, and tons of merchandise if you're into that sort of thing. You can also get tickets for the train that'll take you back down the mountain, just prepare to part with £20 for the privilege. If you do take the train, it'll drop you out in the village of Llanberis, from where the Snowdon Shuttle will take you back to your car if you came up one of the other paths. Spot for a quick coffee or a beer on the summit. You can also buy train tickets here, just be warned: they're not cheap. A single adult ticket back down the mountain costs £22.
The top of the world! If you're in Wales, anyway. The view from the top is cracking when the weather's good, but we didn't have such luck on our trip. To snap a photo of the summit cairn, you may have to stand in line.
Great spot on a clear day. All those that are not able to climb can take the train and meet you at the cafe. Check the weather forecast before you climb if you want a view. The weather can change very quickly up there.
August 3, 2017
Wow just wow! Climb a mountain and theres a cafe right at the top! It also has a gift shop!
The train arrives here (not that I went on the train) so every hour or so a trail of 80 passengers trail through to look at the summit before catching the train back.
Great views in good weather. Still spectacular in bad weather. Huge sense of achievement just getting there. I smiled for hours after making it to the top.
Dont bank on walking up and catching the train back down - that dosent happen - tickets are for a round trip so theres unlikley to be any spare seats.
March 7, 2018
Amazing walk to the top of an amazing mountain! Typically takes 4 hours to reach the summit and 2 hours to get down. Views are great on a clear day. Don't take the train if it's a cloudy day you won't be able to see a thing from the summit just endless fog. Amazing hike for beginner's.
September 5, 2018
On a few websites this is meant to be one of the best views in the UK on a clear day of course, and I have to agree on the day I last went it deserved that recognition. There's a cafe which some people love and some loathe on the peak, it's open during the summer months only. Pay particular attention at the trig point as there's not much space, so do be patient when others are up there taking there selfies.
I prefer to walk up and down, but in truth I don't think it matters how you get up to the top, just get there to take in the view.
April 26, 2018
It’s a highlight in that’s its at the top of a magnificent mountain. Other than that it’s one of the most hideous mountain tops I’ve ever stood on. Way too many people up there and the cafe area is like the back of a football stand!
October 5, 2018
Put your preconceptions to one side and forget what you think you know about mountain-top cafés, intrusive train lines, and tourist-crowded summit cairns. Snowdon is a masterpiece. With a cartwheel of ridgelines separating unique cwms, each of a different character, and studded by copper-tinted lakes deep in legend, Snowdon is possibly the finest massif in Britain.
December 13, 2019
If you want to avoid crowd on the way to Snowdon then Watkin path is for you. On the top there are toilets and small gift shop. In good weather conditions you can see beautiful spectacular views and even Barmouth at the sea.
Snowdon is a cool place with a great view, on a good sunny day you can see Barmouth by the sea. At the top we have a shelter ala where we can buy food, drink and souvenirs. There are toilets and you can also take a cable car up there.
December 12, 2019
The summit gets extremely busy with literally thousands of people on the mountain side at any one time during core hours. If you really want to experience it at it's best go early dawn or late evening.
August 14, 2019
What can you say. Another morning sojourn up Snowdon guiding clients on the UK three peaks. Snowdon being the last one. Any day up Snowdon staying dry is a bonus and this was one of them :-)
December 30, 2020
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