Wales // North Wales //

Walks from the Ogwen valley

Tourists hike up Snowdon, but mountain connoisseurs prefer the sharply angled peaks of Tryfan and the Glyderau, with their challenging terrain, cantilevered rocks and fantastic views back to Snowdon. If you’re going to attempt the walks, arm yourself with either the 1:50,000 OS Landranger #115 or the 1:25,000 OS Outdoor Leisure #17 map.

Cwm Idwal

(1.5 miles return; 1hr; 200ft ascent). An easy hike on a well-graded path leading up to Llyn Idwal, nestled in the magnificent cirque of Cwm Idwal. The area was designated Wales’s first nature reserve in 1954, after botanists discovered rare arctic-alpine plants growing here. Tackling the rough, rocky paths right around the lake can turn this into a half-day outing, partly beneath huge sloping cliffs – the Idwal Slabs.

Tryfan Miners’ Track

(5 miles; 4–6hr; 2000ft ascent). The standard route up Tryfan, from the car park at Idwal Cottage. You’ll need to use your hands for the final section up the South Ridge of Tryfan, past the Far South Peak to the summit. You can then tackle the 5ft jump between Adam and Eve, the two chunks of rhyolitic lava which crown this regal mountain. Don’t underestimate the seriousness of the leap: it’s only when you see the mountain dropping away on all sides that it hits home quite how disastrous it would be to overshoot.

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