Every year millions of people visit the Eryri / Snowdonia National Park with just one goal in mind - to conquer the highest mountain in Wales. Summiting Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) has become almost rite of passage for people visiting the national park, with thousands queuing to touch the trig point every weekend during the holiday season.
The very fact so many people are queuing to do this indicates just how accessible Snowdon is when compared with other iconic national landmarks, such as Ben Nevis or Scafell Pike. In fact, there are so many ways to make your climb there's literally a route for everyone, regardless of age, ability or fitness.
Snowdon's popularity isn't a recent trend. Intrepid Victorians made it fashionable back in the nineteenth century while, more recently, the mountain has been used by athletes and climbers as a test for tackling some of the toughest peaks in the world.
Sitting high above the village of Llanberis, where our hotel is located, Snowdon is part of a craggy mountain family that make up the Eryri National Park. The park is a paradise for naturalists, adventure seekers and anyone who loves being in the Great Outdoors.
For our blog we've chosen four different way to make your ascent of Yr Wyddfa. With the exception of the train, before you tackle any route, ask yourself if you are mentally and physically prepared for it. There is no shame in trying an easier route or waiting until next year when you've had chance to prepare.
And, unless you are very experienced in the mountains, do not attempt the summit if the forecast is poor. You can check weather conditions on Yr Wyddfa summit here - remember, it might be a bright summer's day down in the valley but can be several degrees cooler up top.
If you are relatively new to mountain walking, you might like to read our blogs on equipping yourself properly and what to wear. The Snowdonia National Park website also has lots of useful up-to-date information about current conditions and what's happening in the area.
There are many hotels near Snowdon but read on to find out why staying at The Royal Victoria Hotel is the best choice if you're planning to make the summit on your next holiday to North Wales.
1. Snowdon Mountain Railway
Of all the routes up Snowdon the train is without doubt the most accessible. Young and old alike can enjoy the sights and sounds of Snowdonia from the comfort of the carriage. Even if you're a mountain enthusiast, it's a really unique visitor experience and we can't recommend it enough!
Established in the late 1800s, the Snowdon Mountain Railway is one of the oldest rail operators in the world. Today, the locomotives are a mix of modern diesel engines and traditional steam engines - look out for special Heritage Steam Experience days and book ahead as they are really popular.
Taking the train up Snowdon really allows you to soak in the scenery and atmosphere of this special place. The views are just as impressive as going on foot so you won't be missing out.
Best of all, taking the train allows you to customise your visit. If you don't feel like you can attempt the full climb, why not take the train part of the way and walk the rest?
By train, the return journey takes approximately two and a half hours, which includes a 30 minute stop at the summit.
Weather permitting, the railway will reopen for journeys to Clogwyn Station from the 1st of April 2023. From the 13th of May 2023, the railway will be open to the summit of Eyryri / Snowdon for the first time since COVID hit!
There's an extra bonus when you take the train too. Of all the hotels close to Snowdon, ours is literally just across the road from the Snowdon Mountain Railway! Why not pop in and enjoy a cold Welsh beer and a delicious light meal at the Eryri Bar & Lounge after your journey? Choose from our cosy lounge bar or our lovely outdoor garden when you visit - depending on the wonderful Welsh weather, of course. We are open daily for food and drinks, please see our website for opening times.
2. The Llanberis Path - total ascent 975 metres
If this is your first time walking up Snowdon, the Llanberis Path is a great choice. Loosely following the railway track to the summit, this path is the most popular route up Snowdon thanks to its gentle incline. It can get extremely busy at peak times so be prepared to have company - you definitely won't feel alone in the Great Outdoors on the Llanberis Path!
However, even though this well-trodden route is best-suited to newcomers, don't be fooled into thinking you'll be up and down before lunch. On foot, the return journey to the summit via the Llanberis Path takes approximately six hours and covers 9 miles with a total ascent of 975 metres. That's some achievement.
3. The Miner's Track - total ascent 723 metres
Originally the path taken to work by the miner's of the Britannia Copper Works near Llyn Glaslyn. Although commercial mining ended in the early twentieth century, walkers on this path will see many relics of the copper industry along the way.
Like the Llanberis path, this is another well-maintained walking route, thanks to the efforts of staff and volunteers of the Snowdonia National Park. However you will need to do some scrambling in parts but, hey, it all adds to the challenge!
A little shorter than the Llanberis Path (but steeper in places), walking to and from the summit will take approximately six hours and covers 8 miles with a total ascent of 723 metres.
4. The Watkin Path - total ascent 1015 metres
One of the most challenging routes up Snowdon but also the most scenic. If you're prepared to put in the work, your effort will be rewarded with amazing views and some truly breathtaking scenery.
The 'secret' pools of the Watkin Path have become something of a social media sensation in recent years. It's these stunning water features - and the photo ops they bring - that make the Watkin a truly memorable route. However, beginners be warned: this is a challenging route with some very steep sections so a decent level of fitness is a must.
Walkers following the Watkin Path can expect to make a return journey of approximately six hours. The route is 8 miles start to finish, with a total climb of 1015 metres.
STAY WITH US
Every explorer needs a basecamp and what better place than The Royal Victoria Hotel? Our hotel is perfectly situated near the Snowdonia National Park at the foot of Yr Wyddfa in the beautiful village of Llanberis; you can set out on one of the many trails up Snowdon right from our doorstep!
What better way to tackle Yr Wyddfa this year than by staying with us? Book your stay today.