The Nantlle Ridge is well worth a visit if you want to experience one of the best walking ridges in the country. The Nantlle Ridge is usually tackled from Rhyd Ddu, with the main decision being walking the Nantlle Ridge as a Circular walk or walking the Nantlle Ridge as a linear walk.
There are probably no other walks that cover so many summits in such a relatively short distance. It starts off with a creully steep pull up to Y Garn before you’re rewarded with the all too brief scramble over Mynydd Drws y Coed. The middle summits, Trum y Ddysgl and Tal-y-mignedd are less exciting, but still full of character. The highest point is yet to come, with a slightly unclear pull up to the summit of Craig Cwm Silyn. This is a wide plateau, with another minor summit – Garnedd Goch – at the far end. You can then descend to the final mountain on the summit – Mynydd Graig Goch. This seems to be the new discovery once it was found to be slightly higher than it was, but to those in the know, was always part of the full Nantlle Ridge!
Here are a few options to consider:
This is the classic route that covers all the summits. You need to work out how to return to the start (2 cars, taxi or you can base yourself in Caernarfon or Porthmadog and use buses). You can also do the ridge twice, which isn’t something we’d normally suggest. In the case of the Nantlle Ridge, it’s so good that doing it twice in one day is a bonus!
This circuit does have you retracing your steps slightly, with the option to walk just to Craig Cwm Silyn or making it more epic by including Mynydd Garnedd Goch. The return is wild and largely pathless through Cwm Dwyfor, but an excellent outing nonetheless.
Why not just walk the best bit from Rhyd Ddu? This route still, unfortunately, has you pulling up Y Garn but with the scramble on Drws y Coed making up most of the route. You then descend down via Trum y Ddysgl to Bwlch y Dwy Elor and back to Rhyd Ddu. You should be able to complete this in around 3 hours, which is ideal for a Sunday morning before you need to leave.
This lacks the glamour of the Rhyd Ddu end – and you do miss out on the Drws y Coed scramble – but still a short day’s outing where you’ll be hard pressed to see anyone other than on the summit of Craig Cwm Silyn.