4.4 of 5 (2 votes)

A crack at the Carneddau

A moderate walk (mountain (above 600m)) in national park Snowdonia starting and finishing in Gwynedd, Wales, about 17.20km (10.69 mi) long with an estimated walking time of about 8:15h (1 overnight stay). It is unsuitable for families with children, prams & pushchairs, wheelchairs.
Elevation Profile
Ascent 1122m (3681ft)
Descent 1078m (3536ft)
Max. Elevation 1050m (3444ft)
Altitude Gain & Loss 2200m (7217ft)
Capel Curig
Distance 17.20km
Duration ~8:15h
Ordnance Survey Map
Car Free Walks TeamCreated by Timwoods on 16 Oct 2008
Snowdon gets the tourists' vote, Tryfan and the Glyders are the climbers' favourite, but for walkers, nothing beats the Carneddau. The terrain seems even more mountainous and rugged out here, with the paths hugging unnervingly close to the vast, tumbling cliffs. This walk starts in Bethesda and tackles the two highest peaks in this range, Carnedd Dafydd and Carnedd Llewelyn, before descending into Capel Curig.

Walk Functions


Nearby Walks

The northern Carneddau

★★★★★ ★★★★★
A moderate, circular walk (mountain (above 600m)) starting in Clwyd, Wales, about 15.10km (9.38 mi) long, duration: ~7:00h.

Conwy mountain

★★★★★ ★★★★★
A moderate, linear walk (low hills and fells (below 600m)) starting in Clwyd, Wales, about 15.80km (9.82 mi) long, duration: ~5:30h.

Aber Falls

★★★★★ ★★★★★
A leisurely, circular walk (riverside) starting in Clwyd, Wales, about 1.80km (1.12 mi) long, duration: ~0:30h.

Walk Map

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OS Grid SH624667
Head southeast from the town centre and take the road that follows the river.
OS Grid SH638658
Cross the footbridge over the river - you need to be on the south side for the climb up into the Carneddau (the path leads into the col). Follow the footpath that runs along the river.
About 1.62 km (~1.01 miles) from
OS Grid SH653648
At the foot of Mynydd Du, leave the footpath along the river and head up the slope, sticking to the cliff line.
About 1.80 km (~1.12 miles) from
OS Grid SH658641
The cliff edge gets ever sharper and more dramatic - the glacial legacies of this place are clear to see. Stay on the edge of the hill and keep on climbing.
About 0.86 km (~0.53 miles) from
OS Grid SH663631
First summit of the day and it's a good 'un - Carnedd Dafydd, rising above the imposing Ysgolion Duon cliff. Follow the path that runs along Cefn Ysgolion Duon.
About 1.21 km (~0.75 miles) from
OS Grid SH680635
A short drop into the bwlch between the two big summits. There is a clear path on to Carnedd Llewelyn.
About 1.81 km (~1.12 miles) from
OS Grid SH683645
The second summit and highest point of the day at 1064m. If you are making good progress, there is an optional side trip out to Yr Elen, which takes about 40 minutes there and back.
About 0.99 km (~0.62 miles) from
OS Grid SH695633
From Carnedd Llewelyn, take a bearing to make sure you get the right path from the summit. Follow the cliff path to Bwlch Eryl Farchog, a sharp ridge that leads onto Hegli Du.
About 1.59 km (~0.99 miles) from
OS Grid SH698629
From the triangular summit of Hegli Du, it's another (easier) ridge walk to Pen Llithrig y Wrach, the last summit of the day.
About 0.63 km (~0.39 miles) from
OS Grid SH716624
This is the far edge of the Carneddau group, and you can see land, whilst still hilly, gets lower as you head east from here. Pick up the path dropping off the southern end of the hill, towards the bridleways that meet near Llyn Cowlyd.
About 1.79 km (~1.11 miles) from
OS Grid SH717609
At the southern end of the reservoir, take the bridleway that heads downhill into Capel Curig.
About 1.47 km (~0.91 miles) from
OS Grid SH721580
The end at last! A fine day on the hills should be finished with a pot of tea and a slice of cake in the Pinnacles cafe, just near the road junction (and the bus stop). For those in need of something stronger, the Bryn Tyrch is a five minute walk along the road to Betws-y-coed.
About 2.93 km (~1.82 miles) from

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