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Snowdon Circular Route Section 4 Nant Gwynant to Pen y Pass

By Dave Roberts   

Published – March 2, 2019

  5/5 (1)

Snowdon Circular Route Section 4 Nant Gwynant to Pen y Pass

Further Details

Route Summary:

The 4th section of the Snowdon Circular route between Nant Gwynant and Pen-y-pass.

Start and Finish: Nant Gwynant to Pen y Pass

Distance: 7.08 km

Ascent: 445 m

Time: 2.5 hours

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 the Caffi Gwynant in Nant Gwynant and of course Mallory’s and the cafe at Pen y Pass. The Pen y Gwryd hotel is only slightly off path, and we recommend a detour to this historic inn if time permits

Public Transport:

The Snowdon Sherpa bus can be caught to the start of the walk, but service can be sparse to Nant Gwynant (it’s much more regular to Beddgelert and Pen-y-pass). Check out the Snowdon Sherpa page for the latest Snowdon Sherpa rundown.

Traveline for UK Public Transport


Some sections above Llyn Gwynant is narrow and slippery, while the section between the Gwynant Campsite and Cwm Dyli can flood in heavy rain.


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 Circular Route Section 4 Nant Gwynant to Pen y Pass Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Snowdon Circular Route Section 4 Nant Gwynant to Pen y Pass

The Snowdon Circular Route is a low to mid level walking route around Snowdon, from Llanberis to Rhyd Ddu, Beddgelert and back to Llanberis via Pen-y-pass. This is the final section that’s currently walk-able, from Nant Gwynant to Pen-y-pass. This route also makes a perfect way to complete a circular walk up Snowdon that combines the Watkin Path with one of the Pen-y-pass routes such as the Miner’s or PYG Tracks.

Snowdon Circular Route Section 4 Nant Gwynant to Pen y Pass

1 From the car park at Nant Gwynant, cross the road towards the Watkin Path but take the lane to the right instead. Follow the lane for around 100m or so and take the path to your right that heads towards the river bank. Follow the path along the riverbank, and after 1km or so you’ll cross the Afon Glaslyn on a substantial footbridge.

2 From the footbridge, keep an eye out for the reddish-brown way-markers which you’ll initially need to follow as the path takes you over the farmland to join a good track. At the track, follow it right. You’ll soon see another footbridge to your right – an ancient one – but ignore this and instead follow a faint path up to your left. This section can be difficult to follow in places.

3 The track soon becomes clearer as you climb, funnelling you up a valley through the remain of old copper mines before entering the woodland. This is largely a good path, but is muddy and slippery in a few places and needs care. There’s a pleasant surprise at Penmaen-brith with an excellent view over Llyn Gwynant. From there, the path descends through the woodland to the Gwynant Campsite footbridge.

4 – The trail continues, straightforward to follow, wet in places an with the potential to flood in very heavy rain. If it is impassable, return to Gwynant Campsite and take the right of way to the minor road that can be followed to section 5. It shouldn’t be hard to follow as it keeps to a narrow strip of land between the Afon Glaslyn and the steep slopes of Clogwyn y Bustach which tower impressively above.

5 The final section from Cwm Dyli Power station is on newly built paths, suggesting that this t least will be the official route to Pen y Pass. The track is perfectly clear and impossible to lose as you climb steadily to start with, before ascending a grassy ridge between Afon Trawsnant and Nant Cynnyd where the route finally begins to properly climb up to Pen-y-pass. The new path finishes at this climb, but the climb is still straightforward enough to follow to Pen-y-pass.


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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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