How Long Does It Take to Climb Mount Snowdon?
At 1085 metres above sea level, Mount Snowdon is one of the tallest peaks in the British Isles. Known as Yr Wyddfa in Welsh, the mountain is a must-climb for outdoor enthusiasts visiting Snowdonia National Park. So, how long does it take to climb Snowdon Wales? In this guide, we’ll walk you through different options for tackling the iconic mountain, with routes suitable for casual hikers, experienced climbers and even families with young kids. Ready to work up a sweat? Let’s get stuck in!
Adventures for all on Mount Snowdon
One of the most unique features of Mount Snowdon is its suitability for all ages, fitness and experience levels. Unlike other peaks in the British Isles, Snowdon can be tackled by toddlers, seasoned climbers and everyone in between. The trick is to choose the right route and plan your trip in advance.
Popular routes up Mount Snowdon
The information below should give you a good idea of the most popular routes up Snowdon. We’ve also packed in lots of information on how long to climb Mount Snowdon for each route.
Snowdon via the Snowdon Mountain Railway
Looking for a shortcut to the summit? The Snowdon Mountain Railway departs from the village of Llanberis at the foot of the mountain.
Distance: Roughly 4.7 miles (7.6km) from Llanberis to the summit
Time: 1 hour to the summit, including a 30-minute stop at the Hafod Eryri visitor centre. Allow around 2.5 hours in total for the roundtrip.
Great for: Families with kids and people with mobility issues
Snowdon via the Llanberis Path
Distance: Approximately 9 miles (14.5 km) round trip
Time: Plan for 5 to 6 hours for the ascent and descent
Great for: Families with kids and casual hikers
Popular with families, the Llanberis Path is the easiest route up Snowdon. It’s nicknamed the “motorway” of Snowdon thanks to its relatively gentle gradient and constant stream of hikers, especially in the busy summer months. These features make it an ideal choice for families with kids and casual hikers looking for a less strenuous climb. It’s also easy on the knees!
How long does it take to walk up Snowdon on the Llanberis Path? The round trip covers a distance of approximately 9 miles, and you should allocate around 5 to 6 hours for both the ascent and descent. Along the way you’ll enjoy eye-popping views of Llyn Padarn, a glacier-formed lake and one of the largest natural bodies of water in Wales. You’ll also get a bird’s eye view of the charming village of Llanberis at the base of the mountain.
Snowdon via the Miners’ Track
Distance: Roughly 8 miles (12.9 km) round trip
Time: Allow 5 to 6 hours for this round trip
Great for: Families and casual hikers
Another great option for families and casual hikers, the Miners’ Track features slightly more varied terrain and less traffic. It’s a great choice for families and casual hikers looking to explore Snowdonia. The round trip distance is approximately 8 miles, and you should allocate 5 to 6 hours for the entire journey.
As you make your way up, you’ll have pass by the historic ruins of the Britannia Copper Mine. The site is a reminder of the area’s industrial past and enjoys a picturesque setting on the slopes of Mount Snowdon. It shut down in 1916 but is dotted with the remains of abandoned buildings, machinery and equipment. The combination of epic views and local history makes the Miners’ Track a unique option.
Snowdon via the Pyg Track
Distance: About 7 miles (11.3 km) round trip
Time: Expect the hike to take around 5 hours
Great for: Hikers with a moderate to good fitness level
Slightly more challenging than the Llanberis Path, the Pyg Track is a great option if you’re looking for something a little spicier. That said, it’s still suitable for most hikers, so long as you’re confident with the occasional steep section. The round trip covers a total distance of about 7 miles. How long to climb Mount Snowdon on the Pyg Track? Plan for a 5-hour adventure at the minimum.
Breathtaking views of the Snowdon Horseshoe are one of the highlights of this route. The geological feature is made up of a series of ridges and peaks on the eastern flank of Snowdon, including Y Lliwedd, Garnedd Ugain and Crib Goch. They’re popular with experienced rock climbers, scramblers and mountaineers. Bring your binoculars for a close-up look at the adventure buffs scaling these peaks.
Snowdon via the Watkin Path
Distance: Approximately 8 miles (12.9 km) round trip
Time: Plan for a 6 to 7-hour adventure
Great for: Hikers with a moderate to good fitness level
The Watkin Path is a bit more strenuous, but you’ll be rewarded with astounding views over Snowdonia National Park. Varied terrain makes it an excellent option for those who want to enjoy a little more physical exertion during the climb. How far is the walk up Snowdon via the Watkin Path? The round trip clocks in at approximately 8 miles, and you should plan for a 6 to 7 hour hike.
As you ascend the Watkin Path, you’ll come across the Gladstone Rock. Look closely to see the initials of former British prime minister William Gladstone carved into the rockface. Once at the summit, you’ll enjoy beautiful views of Llyn Llydaw and Glaslyn, a pair of sparkling glacial lakes.
Snowdon via the Snowdon Ranger Path
Distance: Approximately 8 miles (12.9 km) round trip.
Time: Allow 5 to 6 hours for the entire journey.
Great for: Hikers with a moderate to good fitness level
Quiet and uncrowded, this less-frequented route treats you to stunning vistas and plenty of solitude. How long does it take to climb Snowdon Wales on the Ranger Path? The round trip covers a distance of approximately 8 miles, and you should allow 5 to 6 hours for the entire journey.
On your way up you’ll pass Llyn Cwellyn, a cobalt-blue reservoir framed by the rugged peaks of Snowdonia National Park. It’s a great spot for a picnic. You’ll also unlock fantastic views of Snowdon’s north ridge, a striking part of the mountain.
Snowdon via the Crib Goch Route
Distance: About 8 miles (12.9 km) round trip
Time: The ascent can take 6 to 7 hours
Great for: Experienced hikers and climbers
This is where things start to get serious. Crib Goch is a challenging ridge scramble suitable for experienced climbers only. If you’re a seasoned climber looking to test your limits, the Crib Goch Route is the ultimate challenge.
Want to know more about how to climb mount Snowdon via Crib Goch? Don’t underestimate the task – the route includes a demanding scramble along a narrow ridge and should only be attempted by those with the right skills and experience.
The round trip covers a distance of about 8 miles, and you can expect the ascent to take 6 to 7 hours. Familiarity with the technical aspects of ridge scrambling and mountain climbing is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience on the Crib Goch Route.
Pack smart on your Mount Snowdon climb
Whether you choose a family-friendly trail or a more challenging route, climbing Mount Snowdon is an unforgettable experience. However, like any outdoor adventure it’s essential to be prepared for all kinds of weather. This is especially important in Snowdonia National Park, where conditions can change in a matter of minutes.
The region’s climate can be unpredictable, so make sure to pack suitable clothing, including waterproofs and warm layers. Remember, even on the sunniest of days you could encounter icy rain and wind at the summit.
Lace up your boots
Sturdy shoes are a must when it comes to tackling the varied terrain of Mount Snowdon. At the very least you should have a pair of trainers with decent grip. Even on the easiest paths you’ll encounter loose rocks and slippery sections. Ideally, you should ascend with a pair of proper hiking boots with plenty of ankle support.
Don’t forget snacks and water
Don’t set off without a healthy supply of snacks and water. This will help maintain your energy levels throughout the journey and of course, stay hydrated. Snacks are also a great excuse to take a breather and enjoy the spectacular views.
After the climb
After burning some serious calories on the climb up Mount Snowdon, it’s time to relax and reflect on your achievement. You’ll find some great places to enjoy a post-climb debrief in Snowdonia National Park, including the famous Pen y Gwryd Hotel. Set in a valley in the heart of Snowdonia, the establishment is the perfect place for a post-climb meal.
The historic hotel is celebrated for its mountaineering history and promises a cosy atmosphere and hearty fare. As you wolf down a traditional Welsh lamb dish, you’ll be taking cues from mountaineering legends Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, who used the hotel as a training base for their ascent of Mount Everest in 1953. The hotel pays tribute to their success with an impressive collection of mountaineering memorabilia used by the Everest team.
Alternative climbs, hikes and walks in Snowdonia National Park
While climbing Mount Snowdon is undoubtedly a highlight, you’ll find a huge variety of alternative climbs, hikes and mountain walks nearby. All showcase the amazing landscapes and unique natural beauty of the region. Here are a few options to consider:
The Glyderau Range
Located just a stone’s throw away from Snowdon, the Glyderau Range offers hikes for all ages and fitness levels. Ascending 1001-metre-high Glyder Fawr is a popular choice and gives you bragging rights to the third-highest peak in Wales. There are several different hiking trails and scrambling routes to the summit – all call for a decent level of fitness and experience.
Alternatively, tackle Tryfan, another challenging peak in the Glyderau Range. As well as incredible views over the Ogwen Valley, you can check out the famous Adam and Eve stones at the summit. Like Glyder Fawr, Tryfan combines elements of traditional hiking and mountaineering. Whichever route you ascend, you’ll need to use your hands at some point which pushes Tryfan into the ‘scrambling’ category. Feeling a little burnt out? Draw inspiration from the wild goats that graze on the mountainside.
The Carneddau Mountains
With 19 peaks to explore, the Carneddau Mountains are a playground for outdoor adventurers. It’s one of the largest ranges in Wales and stretches across the northern end of Snowdonia National Park. 1044-metre-high Carnedd Dafydd is a popular hike and rewards you with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
If you’re seeking a more leisurely walk, the trail to Aber Falls is a terrific option. At the end of the trail is a cascading waterfall surrounded by lush greenery. Combine your walk with a visit to the Aber Falls Distillery, where you can try single-malt Welsh whiskey made just steps from the falls.
Cadair Idris towers over the southern end of Snowdonia National Park and is a bucket list peak for climbers. There are several different routes to the summit, all classified as ‘’hard/strenuous’ so be prepared to work up a sweat. Whichever route you choose, allow between 5 to 6 hours for the return trip.
Another family-friendly walk, Beddgelert Forest is a great way to break up a few days of strenuous climbing. Gentle paths wind through the sun-dappled woodland and immerse you in the beauty of the Snowdonia countryside.
This glacier-carved valley showcases the ancient landscapes of Snowdonia. It’s set in one of the most dramatic areas of the park and will amaze you with its otherworldly geology. Exploring Cwm Idwal, you’ll be walking in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, who carried out important scientific work in the valley. The circular walk around crystalline Llyn Idwal is beautiful. Don’t be surprised if you end up with a stiff neck after gazing up at the towering cliffs for hours.
Reach new heights and tackle Mount Snowdon
With so many paths to the summit, climbing Mount Snowdon is an adventure to be enjoyed by all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you opt for the family-friendly Llanberis Path, the challenging Crib Goch Route or a leisurely ride on the Snowdon Mountain Railway, you can tailor your experience to match your age, experience level and personal preferences.
Is climbing Snowdon hard? You bet. But the breathtaking views and the sense of accomplishment when you reach the summit make it all worthwhile. And when you’ve conquered Snowdon, cosy Welsh pubs and hearty cuisine await. What better way to wrap up a day on one of the tallest peaks in Britain?
Nick, your trusted guide to Wales travel and exploration, shares a deep passion for this enchanting land. With years of exploration, Nick offers expert insights into the best of Wales. Join him on a journey through its captivating history, culture, and hidden gems, as he inspires you to create unforgettable Wales travel experiences.