Cader Idris from Dolgellau

Submitted by Timwoods on 20 August 2008
OS Explorer Maps: OL23 - Cadair Idris & Bala LakeOL18 - Harlech, Porthmadog & Y Bala
 
(18 votes)
A circular, multi-day mountain (above 600m) walk in national park Snowdonia (Wales) starting at Dolgellau, Gwynedd, about 17km (roughly 11 miles) long and unsuitable for families with children, prams/pushchairs, wheelchairs.

Cader Idris is one of the best walks in Wales. Its rocky ridges and steep cliffs stand out amongst the more gentle hills in this part of Wales. Most walkers use the path up from Minffordd, but this route takes the quieter approach from Dolgellau. It can be done in a long day from here, but the best way to enjoy this mountain is over two days, camping at Ty-nant or, even better, Llyn y Gadair. This puts you right in place for an early ascent and, with any luck, you'll have the summit to yourself!

Start: Dolgellau, OS Grid: SH728177 Elevation Profile (x: waypoint number, y: metres)
Gain (+/- 10%): 1635m (5365ft)
Total (+/- 10%): 3270m (10728ft)
Loss (+/- 10%): 1634m (5363ft)
Max. Elevation: 850m (2788ft)

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Waypoints
OS Grid: SH728177
The walk starts in Dolgellau. There are no trains, but several bus routes stop here. Head south out of town and pick up the bridleway towards Nant y Ceunant.
About 2 km (roughly 2 miles) from 1 OS Grid: SH716164
Across the road, the bridleway becomes a footpath and heads southwest. Keep going until you hit another minor road.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 2 OS Grid: SH706160
If you are taking two days, it's decision time: either follow the road for 1km to the campsite at Ty Nant, or continue south on the footpath towards Llyn Gafr and Llyn y Gadair.
About 2 km (roughly 2 miles) from 3 OS Grid: SH701138
Is there a better wild camp in Britain? This corrie, overlooked by the Cyfrwry arete and Penygadair, the summit of Cader Idris, is as dramatic a place to camp as you can find. Follow the base of the mountain to the western end to pick up the Pony Path.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 4 OS Grid: SH696131
Head up the Pony Path to the summit.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 5 OS Grid: SH709130
Reach the summit of the mountain, also known as Penygadair.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 6 OS Grid: SH718134
Great views over Llyn Cau as you follow the summit ridge east.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 7 OS Grid: SH727136
At 863m, this is the second highest summit on Cader Idris. Enjoy the views back into the horseshoe and across Llyn Cau before following the ridge west back to Penygadair.
About 2 km (roughly 1 miles) from 8 OS Grid: SH742140
Take care as you descend via Gau Graig.
About 2 km (roughly 2 miles) from 9 OS Grid: SH743158
Head for Bwlch 'coch and then follow the track back to Dolgellau.
About 2 km (roughly 2 miles) from 10 OS Grid: SH727176
Relax and recuperate in Dolgellau. There's a selection of quiet, friendly pubs in the town - check out the Cross Keys Inn on Mill Street.
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