Oct 06, 2022
TACKLING SNOWDON FOR BEGINNERS
As the most visited mountain in all of the UK, Snowdon offers something uniquely special that attracts thousands of walkers and hikers every single year. With a varying range of routes, striking mountainous and countryside views, and plenty of flora and fauna to enjoy along the way, it’s no surprise that Snowdon consistently makes the bucket list for both beginners and experienced walkers alike.
If you’re planning a trip to Snowdon for the very first time (or have not been in a while and need a few refresher tips), we’ve assembled a guide to tackling Mount Snowdon for beginners. Below you’ll find all the basics you need to know to help you choose the right path, how to plan your journey, plus some tips and tricks to make your Snowdon adventure as enjoyable as possible.
Walking Up Snowdon - General Overview
Before walking up Snowdon, it’s key that you choose and plan for a suitable path for your skill level and experience. Standing at an impressive 1085 metres, Snowdon is no small feat, and the paths vary significantly in terms of difficulty and even safety. Thankfully, there are some easier routes for beginners that don’t require much walking experience at all – just a bit of determination and endurance for the journey.
In total, there are six main routes to choose from when walking up Snowdon:
- Llanberis Path
- Pyg Track
- Miners’ Track
- Watkin Path
- Rhyd Ddu Path
- Snowdon Ranger Path
When choosing a path, it’s really important to pay attention to more than just distance or completion time – factors such as elevation and path condition will be very important in terms of the level of experience required. However, it is widely accepted that the Llanberis Path is the most accommodating and beginner-friendly option for those tackling Snowdon for the first time.
No matter which path you choose, both beginner and experienced walkers should also take care to prepare the appropriate walking kit for their journey. This includes durable, waterproof clothing and walking boots, a comfortable and secure rucksack or bag, and enough water and sustenance for the journey (as the Summit Cafe is not always open at the top).
For additional guidance on what to pack for hiking, see our essential guide for walking in Snowdon.
How long does it take to walk Snowdon?
Regardless of which path you choose, walking up and down Snowdon will typically take between six and eight hours. It’s important to remember that with hiking and mountain walks, a shorter distance does not necessarily mean an easier route. For example, while the Llanberis Path is considered one of the easiest routes, it is the longest in terms of distance and time.
This will of course be affected by how many breaks you take – many walkers on Snowdon will stop to enjoy the view, take photos, and rest up, all of which can impact hiking time. In any case, be sure to prepare for at least six hours of walking, taking care to bring enough water and fuel. Before setting off, check the weather and sunset time, and always plan to get home safely once you get to the bottom (you’ll likely be a little tired!).
Walking up Snowdon with a Dog
Believe it or not, a common catalyst for first-time Snowdon visits and hikes are dogs. As dog owners will know, our furry friends absolutely love outdoor time and have bounds of energy to burn, making Snowdon a popular choice for dog owners.
As with choosing a path for yourself, when bringing your dog it’s important to select a route that suits their physical condition, energy levels, and even their recall and socialisation. Below we’ve compiled a quick guide to dog-friendly Snowdon routes to give you a steer. However, before planning your route, always do a bit of research to determine the perfect path for you and your pooch.
- Llanberis Path - As the easiest Snowdon path with only a short ascent and descent, the Llanberis Path is ideal for older, less agile dogs or very small dogs. However, this path tends to get busy, so if your dog has difficulties with strangers or other animals, keep them on the lead.
- Snowdon Ranger Path - While slightly more challenging than Llanberis, the Snowdon Ranger Path is also a suitable trek for beginners with agile and energetic dogs. This route tends to be a bit quieter, making it great for dogs who struggle with crowds and other dogs.
While there are other paths up Snowdon that are suitable for dogs, they are not necessarily the right choice for beginners. Even for experienced hikers, bringing a dog along on Snowdon’s more challenging routes takes plenty of consideration and planning, particularly with steep trails, loose stone and slate, and cliff edges to be wary of. If you are newer to walking or are visiting Snowdon for the first time with your pooch, stick to the routes above.
Snowdon: The Best Option for Beginners
With the above in mind, the Llanberis Path or the Snowdon Ranger Path are amongst the best choices for beginners looking to tackle Snowdon for the first time. With a relatively flat and steady path, Llanberis will require a bit of endurance (after all, it is the longest in terms of distance and time). However, you won't find a difficult scramble up or down on this straightforward path. Similarly, the Snowdon Ranger Path remains relatively flat but with a challenging ascent and descent about mid-way through. If you’ve done a few hikes and want to set yourself a small but manageable challenge, then the Ranger path is for you.
No matter where your Snowdon adventure takes you, always remember to prepare and plan for the best possible journey. Happy hiking!