Snowdon via Lliwedd from Pen y Pass

By Dave Roberts   

Published – September 3, 2011

  4.5/5 (2)

Snowdon via Lliwedd from Pen y Pass

Further Details

Route Summary:

An alternative ascent for the avid scrambler who doesn’t want to climb Crib Goch.

Start and Finish: Pen y Pass

Distance: 6.78 km

Ascent: 908 m

Time: 3hrs 30mins

Timings are approximate and depend on the individual. Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Before You Walk up Snowdon, ask yourselfAre you equipped? Do you know what you’re doing? Are the conditions safe? If you answer no to any of these, stay safe, don’t go! Check the weather forecast and make sure you know about walking up Snowdon in the Snow. If you lack experience – hire a Snowdon Mountain Guide.


There’s a good cafe at Pen-y-pass as well as the cafe bar at Mallory’s in the Youth Hostel opposite.

Public toilets are available at Pen y Pass.

Public Transport:

Sherpa Buses allow you to reach the Ranger from Porthmadog/Beddgelert, Llanberis, Caernarfon  and Betws-y-coed. Park and ride available from Nant Peris.

See our page on Walking up Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) using Public Transport

Traveline for UK Public Transport


IN SEASON – LIMITED & PRE-BOOKING required! 8 hrs – £18 / 8-12hrs – £25 / 12-24hrs – £40. Park in Nant Peris for the Park and Ride.

Off Season – £10 a day – card only

See our Yr Wyddfa Snowdon Parking 2023 page for full information


Scrambling, Navigation and steep scree on the final section of Watkin.

Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Walk up Yr Wyddfa / Snowdon Safely Navigation and the Gear and Equipment you’ll need.

Check the Weather before setting out.

We reccommend  Met Office Snowdonia and MWIS and live conditions on Adventure Smart – live conditions

Snowdon Guidebooks:

Recommended Snowdon Maps

Snowdon via Lliwedd from Pen y Pass Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Snowdon via Lliwedd from Pen y Pass

The summit of y Lliwedd is usually taken as a descent route, an anticlimax to the Snowdon Horseshoe. Failing to make the cut for the 15 peaks, it still makes a worthy trip in it’s own right when time is short, or as a more challenging route to the summit.

Snowdon via Lliwedd from Pen y Pass Route Description

1 Start the route along the Miner’s Track from Pen y Pass. This ascends gently to Llyn Llydaw.

Snowdon via Lliwedd from Pen y Pass

2 At Llyn Llydaw, take the path left along the shore, which winds it’s way gently before ascending to the start of the steep section.

Snowdon via Lliwedd from Pen y Pass

3 After the 529 spot height, the route turns into an easy scramble. So long as you get the line right, there are no real problems other than some sections that are loose underfoot. It’s only 200m of ascent, and once you top out on the ridge, the walking becomes much more pleasant.

Snowdon via Lliwedd from Pen y Pass

4 The path continues its way around, with some easy scrambles, some steep sections – but nothing on the scale of Crib Goch. Pass the minor summit of Lliwedd Bach, or climb it if you wish, and then the going gets rockier for the final section to the twin summits of Lliwedd. Take in the views – they’re spectacular.

Snowdon via Lliwedd from Pen y Pass

5 From the summit, descend roughly NW, with multiple possible routes to join the Watkin Path at Bwlch y Ciliau. It’s loose and steep in places, and care is needed.

Snowdon via Lliwedd from Pen y Pass

6 Follow the Watkin Path along towards Bwlch y Saethau, before it zig-zags steeply to join the Rhyd Ddu path just below the summit. This section can be hard going – especially so under winter conditions where any slip could be fatal.

Snowdon via Lliwedd from Pen y Pass

7 Once on the ridge proper, turn right towards Hafod Eryri, and the steps can be easily followed to the summit.

We recommend you descend either via the Miner’s Track or the PYG Track!

In Descent – you can follow the route above in reverse, keeping an eye out for the Watkin Path fingerpost above. After descending to Bwlch y Ciliau, you need to make sure you don’t miss the path that forks left for Lliwedd.

Descending to Pen y Pass, the main descent path is clear enough due to use in clear weather.

Now visit the summit.




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Dave Roberts

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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