Snowdon, or Yr Wyddfa in Welsh, is the highest mountain in Wales and England. It is also one of the most visited landmarks in Snowdonia, not only for its mountain status but so too for its spectacular views of Anglesey, the Llyn Peninsular and the neighbouring Snowdonia peaks.


There are six paths that lead to the 1,085-metre summit of Snowdon, each with its own special character, from the gentle yet still arduous Llanberis Path to the more taxing and exciting Pyg Track, Miners’ Track, Watkin Path, Rhyd-Ddu Path and Snowdon Ranger Path.

In this guide, we take a closer look at what it takes to reach the top of Snowdon. What kind of weather might you encounter? Can beginners climb Snowdon? How long does it take and how difficult is it to climb? What should you take with you? And where are the best places to stay in the area?

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Llyn Idwal lake and mountains in Snowdonia

Where is Snowdon?

Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) is a mountain in the north-west corner of Snowdonia National Park in north-west Wales. The peak is the highest summit in the Snowdon Massif, which also includes Y Lliwedd, Garnedd Ugain and Crib Goch.

Snowdon weather

Snowdon summers are generally cool and cloudy and the winters are cold, wet and windy, often with snow lying on the upper slopes of the mountain. Temperatures typically range from 1°C to 17°C, though they can fall below freezing or above 20°C.

An annual average rainfall of more than 5,100mm (200in) a year makes Snowdon one of the wettest places in Britain.

July to late August typically offer the fairest weather for walkers, though it is in these periods that the mountain receives its highest footfall, so don't expect to have the summit to yourself.

Climbing a winter mountain
Climbing Snowdon on the Pyg Track/Getty

Snowdon height

Snowdon has an elevation of 1,085 metres (3,560 ft) above sea level, making it the highest mountain in Wales and England. It is a few hundred metres shorter than Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, which rises 1,345m above sea level.

More on mountains

From Snowdon in Wales and Ben Nevis in Scotland to the towering heights of the Lake District Fells, here is our guide to the UK's most amazing mountains, including a brief look at the history of British mountain climbing, facts and the best peaks to climb.
Ben Nevis

Snowdon walking routes

There are six routes up Snowdon, varying in distance, duration and terrain. The most popular is the gradual – yet still tough – ascent on the Llanberis Path. For more of a mountain walking experience, try one of the other routes. All are served by Snowdon Sherpa buses.

Llanberis Path

9 miles/14.5km (return) | 6–7 hours | challenging

The gradual Llanberis Path is shared with cyclists and horses and follows the Mountain Railway.

Pyg Track

7 miles/11.2km (return) | 6 hours | challenging

The shortest route starts high at Pen-y-Pass but is rugged and scrambly along the foothills of Crib Goch.

Miners’ Track

8 miles/12.8km (return) | 6 hours | challenging

From Pen-y-pass, this track traverses the shores of Llyn Teyrn, Llyn Llydaw and Llyn Glaslyn then climbs steeply over loose scree.

Snowdon Ranger Path

8 miles/12.8km (return) | 6 hours | challenging

This less busy route from Llyn Cwellyn ascends the rounded slopes on the west of the mountain with a steep finish.

Rhyd Ddu Path

7.5 miles/12km (return) | 6 hours | challenging

Starting at Llyn y Gader the quietest route on the western side has a difficult section over Llechog Ridge.

Watkin Path

8 miles/12.8km (return) | 6 hours | challenging

Hands are needed on the steep loose section of the trickiest very steep path – for more experienced walkers. Starts at Bethania.

Mountain scenery
Mountain view from Snowdon/Credit: Getty

How long does it take to walk up Snowdon?

Most of the routes up Snowdon take at least 6 hours to walk (return), but as always with mountain walking it is best to give yourself as much time as possible. The Llanberis Path take between 6–7 hours.

Snowdon checklist

Walkers wishing to climb Snowdon should be well prepared. Here is a checklist of the things you will need:

· Hillwalking experience
· Good level of fitness
· Navigation skills
· Map and compass
· Warm, waterproof clothing
· Sun protection
· Water and food
· Torch and whistle
· Good walking boots

Hiking in the mountains
Walkers wishing to climb Snowdon will need a good pair of boots/Credit: Getty

Places to stay near Snowdon

One of the advantages of having so many different ascents to the summit of Snowdon is that you have six starting points to choose from – and this means plenty of options when it comes to accommodation.

More like this

YHA Pen y Pass offers affordable accommodation and food and is a great place to stay for anyone wishing to hike the Miners' Track or Pyg Track.


Additional places to stay can be found in Llanberis (Llanberis Path), Rhyd Ddu (Rhyd Ddu Path and Snowdon Ranger Path) and Beddgelert (Watkin Path).

Snowdon map

Snowdon walking routes on map


Julie Brominicks is a landscape and travel writer who lives off-grid in a caravan in a mossy Welsh valley.

Daniel Graham of COuntryfile magazine on a hike with wet hair and blue coat and hills in background
Daniel GrahamOutdoors editor, BBC Countryfile Magazine

Danny is the outdoors editor of BBC Countryfile Magazine, responsible for commissioning, editing and writing articles that offer ideas and inspiration for exploring the UK countryside.