Paths up Snowdon in Order of Difficulty

Here’s the official Walk up Snowdon list of the Routes up Snowdon in order of difficulty. We’re including all 8 of the main routes up (anyone who claims there are only 6 walks doesn’t know Snowdon!) We’ll also try and justify our order – why one walks is easier than the previous walk and harder than the next one!

The difficulty of a walk is also very subjective – are we looking at technicality or pure physical effort? We think that all the routes are physically demanding, with the Llanberis Path being the longest of the lot – and that’s certainly not the hardest of all the paths up Snowdon! We think that the two hardest routes and the two easiest routes are pretty clear cut, but the four in the middle are somewhat more difficult to rank.

The Hardest Route up Snowdon to the Easiest

1 – Crib Goch.

Crib Goch is firmly on the top – no doubt about it. As it’s an exposed grade 1 scramble, it’s by far tougher than all the other main routes up Snowdon. The NE ridge up Crib Goch is the toughest approach, with the usual PYG track approach being next. While they’re not main routes up Snowdon – we think that the next hardest routes would be Y Gribin and then Y Lliwedd – but we’re not counting them in this list!

2 – The Watkin Path

No need to justify why it’s easier than Crib Goch, that’s not in question. The final section of this path is what elevates it to 2nd toughest. It’s also physically demanding – with more ascent than any other direct ascent. However – the upper section is currently being built and that might make it slightly easier.

3rd – 6th Hardest Routes up Snowdon

We’re getting into murkier water here – with the next four paths needing a bit of thought. We’re certain that the South Ridge is tougher than the Rhyd Ddu path and that the PYG is tougher going than the Miner’s Track underfoot.

3 Snowdon South Ridge

We think of these middle four that the South Ridge Route is the hardest as it is longer and does involve a quieter path with some sections of scrambling and exposure on Bwlch Main. This scrambling isn’t as hard as the inconvenience of the scree on the Watkin Path (which we’re not keen on) – so puts it at the 3rd hardest.

4 Snowdon PYG Track

We found this one was difficult – and although the actual distance and ascent is shorter than the Rhyd Ddu path and Miner’s Path we think it’s just about harder. It’s much rougher underfoot however, and we think that this is what you’d need to think about on choosing the PYG. As already mentioned, the technicality of the route should be the most important factor, and that the effort should only be a factor if a route is inordinately longer than another.

5  Rhyd Ddu Path

The Rhyd Ddu path is largely straightforward except for the section over Bwlch Main – so it’s easier than the PYG for that reason. But with some of the steeper sections and the traverse of Bwlch Main, it edges the Miner’s Track to no 5. Only just, as we considered placing them an equal 5th, but that would be too easy!

6 Miner’s Track

If we went on the first half of the route, then this would be the easiest hands down! But the second half is reasonably tough – and we’re not sure if we should average them out – or go on the hardest section of path. We found that deciding between the 5th and 6th position the toughest, as they’ve both got sections that can be deemed difficult. It’s the fact that the Miner’s starts off so easy that puts it at 6th.

7 Snowdon Ranger Path

This is a straightforward path, and were it not for the steepness of the middle section, it would be classed as our easiest route. The initial section has now been improved – it’s practically a road for the first few kilometres.

8 Llanberis Path

It’s generally regarded as the most straightforward route up Snowdon, mainly as the gradient is steady all the way. Despite all that, it’s still the longest route to the top – and by some measures is actually the hardest 😉

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Dave Roberts

Editor at Mud and Routes
Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader.
Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.
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8 thoughts on “Paths up Snowdon in Order of Difficulty”

  1. I am planning a nearly all 8 routes challenge this summer for my 50th Birthday in aid of The Alzheimer’s Society – ‘The Snowdon Forget-me-not Trek’ 5 ways in 5 days using all of the above mentioned routes either up or down with 1 partial duplication and including the railway! (I am not doing Crib Goch as I am too old and unbalanced) You can check out the details on our website – http://www.artworksaberdyfi.co.uk/
    I would obviously welcome advice.

  2. hiya guys im climbing snowdon in september as i thought it would be the mildest but told its not ? anyway im doing it to raise money for my hospital ward for valuable equipment. Any tips greatly recieved

    1. Hi Emma, you can get perfect conditions up Snowdon in September with a late summer, but you could equally have an early winter and find snow on the ground! All we can say is keep an eye on the mountain forecasts and be prepared to delay your trip to the following weekend – and just hope the weather is on your side!

  3. Hi

    I did the 3 peaks challenge about 10 years ago, so i can hardly remember the details of tracks n things but I now have a 7yr old and plan to take him up Snowdon in the summer. Just wondering what path you think is best? I’d like to take him up the one i did but can only vaguely remember it! It was a steady track but nearer the top there was some climbing over slate/stone required. It overlooked the big lake down to the left. If you know what i’m talking about could you let me know or if you have any advice on a route for kids. Not too easy though he’s a determined bugger and enjoys a challenge.

    Thanks

    Shelton

  4. Afternoon Dave,

    I’ve created a GPX file of the proposed route I would take. I’ve added the descent down the Watkin path and onto Y Lilwedd, then down to join the miners path as the 9 ascent/descent.

    June 22nd, proposed start would be 4:30/5am. Weather Permitting

    starting;

    Llanberis path – summit
    Summit- bottom of Watkins
    Watkin-Summit
    Summit-start of Crib Goch path
    Crib Goch path-Summit
    Summit- Y Lilwedd- down to where the trail meets the Miners Track
    Miners Track- Y Lilwedd – Summit
    Summit-Snowdon south Ridge path
    south ridge -Summit
    Summit-Rhyd Ddu
    Rhyd Ddu- Summit
    Summit-PYG track
    PYG track-summit
    Summit-Miners Track
    Miners Track- Summit
    Summit- Snowdon Ranger
    Snowdon Ranger- Summit
    Summit- Llanberis path (finish)

    Basically descend and come back on yourself bar LLanberis path.

    I’d like to stick to this sequence but it would be weather dependant. I want to get the toughest routes out of the way early.

    I’m going to base the start and end point on each path as there stated in the officially Mt Snowdon OS map.

    rough guide on mileage is 63 miles & 24,000 ft.

    Any comments or advice on route would be greatly appreciated before I make the challenge official and notify people of it.

    thanks

    Jack

    1. Ah – got you! We’d looked at walking every path – not literally UP every path. That’s quite a challenge.

      Getting the tough ones out of the way first is a good idea, with the remaining routes not really making much difference on order considering the magnitude of the challenge! But finishing on the Llanberis path is a definite as it’s the one that’s easiest to walk down and probably best on tired legs.

  5. Evening, I’ve ran/ hiked all 8 of these routes over the last 18 months.
    I’m curious to know if anyone has ever done all 8, in one go as a challenge.
    I’ve looked through the internet and can’t find any proof that anyone has, if you’ve seen something I haven’t or heard of anyone who has I’d love to know.
    Looking at completing this challenge on 21st June 2019.

    Thanks

    Jack scott

    1. Hi Jack, I’ve certainly read somewhere about doing this and we even planned a figure of 8 route one year as a paper exercise but not sure beyond that. Get in touch via the contact form or i’ll just email you if you want to know more (and possibly featuring the challenge on our site if you want more coverage – especially if you’re doing it for charity).

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