The Snowdon Horseshoe trail is an Eryri classic. Here’s one of the finest routes to reach the summit of Yr Wyddfa.
On the Snowdon Horseshoe route, not only will you find yourself atop the highest peak in Wales, but you’ll have tackled an adrenaline-fuelled scramble to get there along Crib Goch, widely regarded as one of the finest ridges in the UK. This is an exposed walk with some areas of grade one scrambling to be wary of. Prior scrambling experience is highly recommended.
Below is the full route description for this tricky mountain climb.
Hike the Snowdon Horseshoe: route guide
- GR: SH647555 Leave the top level of the car park on the waymarked Pyg Track and follow this around the hillside on a blocky path that eventually leads steeply up to an obvious saddle – Bwlch y Moch. You now get your first view of Snowdon as well as Llyn Llydaw and the imposing crags of Y Lliwedd.
- GR: SH633552 Turn R here to follow obvious path along the crest of the saddle towards the blunt rock nose of Crib Goch ahead. Keep straight ahead to scramble steeply up the nose – the R generally offers the easiest lines though nowhere is it as difficult as it looks. The gradient soon relents and a broken slab leads easily to the mountain’s airy E summit.
- GR: SH625552 Scramble easily along the knife edge, using the crest itself for hand holds where the going gets steep. Continue to the first of the pinnacles, which can be scrambled easily enough or bypassed on clear paths, and you’ll soon reach a second similar pinnacle. This too can be scrambled easily or flanked on another narrow path. From here, drop easily into the broad saddle of Bwlch Goch.
- GR: SH621551 Crib y Ddysgl, ahead, offers further optional scrambling, or a good path flanks it and leads easily to Garnedd Ugain’s 1065m trig point. Enjoy the views W before dropping slightly into Bwlch Glas, where you meet the railway line and the main path up from Llanberis. Turn L onto this and follow it up to the summit.
- GR: SH609543 To descend, keep the café to your R and the steep ground to your L to continue SE onto the mountain’s South Ridge. Follow this down until you reach a tall standing stone at Bwlch Main. Turn L here to descend diagonally into Bwlch y Saethau. Continue across this and when the Watkin Path swings R to drop into Cwm Llan, keep straight ahead to clamber up onto Y Lliwedd. The edge can be scrambled or you can take the easier path on the R. This leads up to Y Lliwedd’s W peak.
- GR: SH622533 Continue over the E peak and Lliwedd Bach before bearing L to descend steeply to Llyn Llydaw. Turn R onto the Miners’ Path and follow it easily down to the car park.
Where to park at Pen-y-Pass
Pen-y-Pass has limited car parking, which is only accessible if pre-booked. There are other car parking spaces by the Pen y Grwyd Hotel, which is a short walk from Pen-y-Pass, or in the Llanberis Pass and at Nant Peris, which can be linked to the start by the Sherpa buses.
More information can be found at snowdonia.gov.wales.
If you’d like to see other Eryri (Snowdonia) routes then check out our guide to the best here.