Walking Yr Wyddfa  (Snowdon)

Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon in English) is the most popular mountain in the UK for a good reason - on a clear day the route and the view from the top are stunning. On busy weekends the mountain can get very crowded, with queues on the upper section of the mountain.  Here's how to pronounce it properly.

In good conditions Yr Wyddfa summit can be walked in 5-7hrs return by a fit party.

For a shorter day you can also walk part-way. Llyn Llydaw via the Miners' track is a very pretty 1hr walk from Pen y Pass for example. 

Parking in the Yr Wyddfa area can be a major difficulty on busy weekends and the police regularly ticket and tow away illegally parked cars - see our parking guide below to avoid that fate! Also consider using the very good Sherpa bus service, of which more also below.

Walking Routes:

The National Park Website says this:"Reaching the summit of Yr Wyddfa is a challenging undertaking. The Snowdonia National Park Authority classifies all of the routes up Yr Wyddfa as hard, strenuous routes. A good level of fitness is required, and navigation skills are essential." We agree.

There are 5 main footpaths leading to the summit, and many other alternatives:

    RouteStart Parking Notes
    The Llanberis PathMini Roundabout opposite the Victoria Hotel, Llanberis. Then down Rhes Victoria.Llanberis village Car Parks. e.g. This one.The most popular & straightforward of the routes. The recommended option for less-experienced walkers. Often busy.  6-7Hrs
    The PyG trackPen y Pass Car ParkPen y Pass, Pen y Gwryd,  Nant Peris Park & Ride, Llanberis Park & RideAlong with the Miners' Track the shortest route and very pretty. Summer & weekend parking can be difficult, so know your options. Pen y Pass car park usually must be booked in advance. 5-6Hrs.
    The Miners' trackPen y Pass Car ParkPen y Pass, Pen y Gwryd, Nant Peris Park & Ride, Llanberis Park & RideAlong with the PyG Track the shortest route and very pretty. Summer & weekend parking can be difficult, so know your options. Pen y Pass car park usually must be booked in advance. 5-6Hrs.
    The Watkin PathPont Bethania Car ParkPont Bethania Car Park & limited roadside parking. Consider using the Sherpa Bus from Porthmadog.

    A long, strenuous route, with 300m more climbing than the PyG & Miners tracks. Popular and good. 6Hrs.

    Snowdon Ranger PathSnowdon Ranger Youth hostelSnowdon Ranger Car Park. No roadside parkingA lesser-walked route than the others, but well worthwhile. 6Hrs

    Parking & Sherpa  Buses:

    There is a fair amount of parking around Yr Wyddfa, but in recent years car parks have overflowed on busy weekends and most of the nearest car parks to popular routes will be full by around 9am on a typical summer weekend. Driving from Isfryn (~1hr 15minutes to Llanberis) you therefore need to either make an early start or consider the other options:

    One option is to take the Sherpa Bus from Porthmadog: Leaving Isfryn at, say, 9.15 would get you Porthmadog for 10.00 for the 10.30 bus, arriving at Pen y Pass for 11.30, giving you 7hrs to complete the walk before the last return bus at 6.30pm.

    If you do want to drive and you're aiming for the ever-popular PyG or Miners Tracks during a busy period my top tip would be to start from Isfryn before 9am, and use the Nant Peris or Llanberis Parks & Sherpa bus. Don't be tempted to join cars parked illegally at Pen y Gwryd - you are very likely to get ticketed or even towed.

    Starting from Llanberis on the North side of Yr Wyddfa and going clockwise you have:

    Car Park

    Llanberis VillageThe main car parks are on the side of Llyn Padarn on the A4086, just a few hundred metres from the village centre. e.g. Here.The  biggest area of local parking. Park here for the Llanberis Path and kit shopping. Also an option for the PyG & Miners Tracks, as the Snowdon Sherpa buses run to and from Pen y Pass every 30 minutes.
    Nant Peris (Park & Ride)300m East of the Vaynol Arms, just outside the villageMy recommended option for the PyGMiners tracks. Sherpa buses run every 30 minutes to & from Pen y Pass.
    Llanberis Pass LaybysThere are several laybys with free parking between Nant Peris and Pen y PassThese will be full well before 9am on a sunny weekend, though you could get lucky.
    Pen y PassAt the top of Llanberis PassThe car park is booking-only spring-autumn and costs around £20/day. The PyG & Miners tracks both start here.
    Pen y GwrydA498 Roadside, near the Pen y Gwryd HotelThere's quite a bit of roadside parking here, but it's notorious for illegal parking, ticketing and towing of badly-parked vehicles. Often used when doing the PyG or Miners tracks, but it does add ~30minutes each way to the route. The Pen y Gwryd is open in the summer only and is famous for it's links to the 1st ascent of Everest.
    Pont BethaniaA498 between Llyn Gwynant and Llyn DinasThe starting point for the Watkin Path. Cafe nearby in the summer. Fills up early (often well before 9am). At time of writing (2023) there is some roadside parking nearby, but take care not to park illegally or to block access or you are likely to be ticketed or towed.
    Rhyd DduRhyd Ddu StationThe car park for Rhyd Ddu station on the Snowdon Mountain Railway - perfect for the Rhyd Ddu path. Only 20 minutes walk to Snowdon Ranger, if that car park is  full.
    Snowdon RangerOpposite Snowdon Ranger Youth hostel, by Llyn CwellynThe starting point for the Snowdon Ranger path. The car park is fairly small. Rhyd Ddu is a fallback if it is full.
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    There are several car parks in Porthmadog. The National Park recommend LLyn Bach Car park or Iard yr Orsaf (750m walk to bus stop).The Bus Stop for the S4 Sherpa Bus to the Watkin, PyG & Miners Tracks is on High Street Porthmadog, Stand C, near opposite The Australia Pub.