Home » Snowdonia Walks » Walking In Eryri Snowdonia » Walk up Yr Aran from Rhyd Ddu 

Walk up Yr Aran from Rhyd Ddu

By Dave Roberts   

Published – September 3, 2011

  4/5 (1)

Walk up Yr Aran from Rhyd Ddu

Further Details

Route Summary:

Yr Aran is a shapely summit to the south of Yr Wyddfa that makes a worthy outing in it’s own right if time is short. Better still, you can tack the summit onto the start of an ascent up Yr Wyddfa via the South Ridge for an epic day out.

Start and Finish: Rhyd Ddu

Distance: 10.1 km

Ascent: 524 m

Time: 4 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 a decent pub in Rhyd-ddu – Cwellyn Arms – that has a wide selection of decent ales and food, as well as a tea room.

Beddglert in the opposite direction has plenty of pubs, cafes and a small shop.

Public toilets can be found in both villages but there are none on the route.

Public Transport:

There are regular Sherpa Buses and you can also use the Welsh Highland Railway. Both allow you to reach the Ranger from Porthmadog/Beddgelert and Caernarfon, with connections to Pen-y-pass and Betws-y-coed.

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

Traveline for UK Public Transport


Parking is usually OK at Rhyd Ddu, but can still get full on fine days in the high season. £6 a day, £3 for 4 hours – Card only.

See our Yr Wyddfa Snowdon Parking 2023 page for full information


Some easy scrambling on the way up, while the descent involves route finding as the path is often non-existent. Some of the descent back to the quarry track can be boggy, but most can be avoided if you choose your line wisely!

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

Walk up Yr Aran from Rhyd Ddu Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Walk up Yr Aran from Rhyd Ddu

There’s always something special when you manage to fit a decent walk in on a weekeday. It’s almost like stolen time as we aren’t meant to do fun things on a weekday. It’s all work, work, work. So you have to work around that, and make the most of things. Well, I live so close to the hills that a bit of organisation means we can be treading the footpaths by half five (and this was later than I’d anticipated). What for? To bag a peak that’s been like a stone in my shoe for years. I’d been to Bwlch Cwm Llan somany times, and on all but one occasion gone straight over or turned left for the South Ridge. On the one occasion i turned right, i found my boots had no grip and had to turn back. So I was finally going to go up Yr Aran from Rhyd Ddu.

Yr Aran is an ideal easier winter summit, especially if you’re building up your winter skills. There’s a couple of sections that are steep enough to need care without being overly easy.

Walk up Yr Aran from Rhyd Ddu Route Description

The walk up Yr Aran from Rhyd Ddu is quite straightforward from the car park at Rhyd Ddu  following the path across the Welsh Highland Railway and towards Yr Wyddfa. This is a wide and easy path, posing no problems.

Walk up Yr Aran from Rhyd Ddu

After a while, you will come to a gate that says “Footpath to Snowdon” or similar on it. Don’t turn off here or you’ll end up on the Rhyd Ddu path to Snowdon. Instead, continue on the path, through the spoil heaps, and eventually to Bwlch Cwm Llan. There is one point where you are nearly at the bwlch, and there will be a lake to to your right and a steep slate path ahead. Both lead to Bwlch Cwm Llan, and it’s personal preference. Going along the lake side is marginally shorter, but may also be boggy. This is definately an interesting place for people with interest in industrial archaeology. The slates here are less sterile than the tips above Llanberis, and are softened by thick lichen growth. From some angles, the tips almost look green.

Walk up Yr Aran from Rhyd DduAt the bwlch, there is a dry stone wall. Follow this right. The path can be steep, and is polished rock in places (why i had to turn back before when wearing inadequate boots), and loose scree where it isnt! Fortunately it follows the wall for most of the route up. Once the wall starts veering left, you will find yourself on a shoulder with no wall. Following the path right will take you hassle free to the summit. Views from here are extensive, from Snowdon to the Rhinogydd..

Walk up Yr Aran from Rhyd DduThe time has come to descend, and you can do that the way you came if you wished. In that way you could combine this summit with an ascent of Snowdon’s South Ridge. The quickest way down is to follow the path along the ridge. There is no clear path to take you back to the track, but the gound isn’t too difficult to cross. We left the path at SH 601 514, which is as soon as you can descend safely in reality. If it’s clear you need to be aiming for the dam at the lake in the bwlch, or take a bearing. Trying to cut across to hit the path lower down will bring you a problem of a barbed wire fence, so the route on the map is the better one. The ground towards the lake becomes a little boggy, but once on the dam it’s an easy task of retracing your steps to Rhyd Ddu.



Please rate this

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.

Related Posts

Live Yr Wyddfa / Snowdon Conditions

Gear You May Need

Subscribe to the Mud and Routes Newsletter

* indicates required

Choose interests

I would like to stay subscribed to this newsletter

Mud and Routes will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected]. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.

4 thoughts on “Walk up Yr Aran from Rhyd Ddu”

Comments are closed.