The Llanberis Path is widely regarded as the ‘easiest’ way up and in normal summer conditions it’s little more than a long uphill walk with a couple of much steeper bits. Howver, it’s just under nine miles (around 14.5km) there and back so it’s also the longest route and will take the average person between six and seven hours to get up and down.

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There’s plenty of (rarely good value) parking available in Llanberis – the largest, most convenient and therefore most expensive can be found directly opposite the Snowdon Mountain Railway Station (close to LL55 4TU or SH 583 598 or ///shady.ground.joys). You’ll save a few pounds using smaller car parks further in to the village but will receive firm Welsh scowls from the locals and very likely a parking ticket if you try and park in side streets or in resident permit areas.

How to climb Snowdon via the Llanberis Path

On arrival in Llanberis make your way to the far west of the village where you’ll find the Snowdon Mountain Railway Station. Here you can grin at the tourists taking the hour-long, uncomfortable train ride to the summit knowing you’ll have a much greater sense of achievement at the end of the day.

With your back to the railway station, turn right and walk away from the village towards the Victoria Hotel on your left until you reach a mini roundabout with a finger point signpost handily sending you right down Victoria Terrace. Follow this narrow road for 300m until it becomes an even narrower (but still tarmaced) track which quickly begins to steepen. A lot! Take your time here. This is actually one of the steepest parts of the whole walk and you’ll do yourself no favours knackering yourself out in the first half hour of the day. Bring your pace right down to that of a snail and take it easy.

Keep heading uphill around the bends until you reach the Pen Ceunant cafe on your left, your last sign of civilisation for a while. Carry on winding your way up and very quickly the track becomes much more friendly and you can start to relax. You’ll pass some farm buildings on your right before finally getting to a well signposted footpath on your left for ‘Llanberis Path’. This is where you leave the track and start going ‘off road’.

Head through the small gate and follow the well-trodden path gradually upwards. Eventually the path goes beneath the railway line for the first time and before you know it you’ll reach the Halfway House, a small pit stop selling drinks, snacks and tacky souvenirs usually only open on summer weekends and so named as it’s sort of the half way marker (it’s actually a little more than half way in distance but in fact takes its name from being half way up from sea level). When you’ve had a break continue on along the same path. You’ll soon reach the next steep section up to Clogwyn Station. It’s a tough but short stretch along a nicely stoned path so just like at the start of the day, take your time and know that you’re getting close to the summit! When the path flattens out you’ll again pass beneath the railway line and turn right alongside the track for a short time.

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There’s now less than a mile to go! Keep plodding on uphill and over the brow when the gradient relaxes and you reach a point where three paths converge, the Snowdon Ranger Path from the right and the Pyg Track from the left. It’s worth pausing here, looking back and making a mental note of the scene as there is often confusion on the return with walkers taking the wrong path down.

You should (hopefully) have a good view of the summit just 500m ahead. Continue along the obvious path to you make your way to the summit area. The path becomes a staircase as you bear left to reach the summit stone. Congratulations – you’re now the highest person in Wales … for a few minutes. Grab your selfie and take the time to look around. If you’re lucky enough to be there on a clear day the views are amazing.

At this point you may have noticed the large spaceship-type building to your right. This is Hafod Eryri, the Snowdon Summit Visitor Centre and unsurprisingly the highest visitor centre in the UK. Here you’ll find toilets, an ok cafe, lots of useful information boards and a chance to buy some Snowdon souvenirs but beware the visitor centre is only open when the Snowdon Mountain Railway operates which is typically from around late Spring until the last weekend in October and even then only on good weather days.

How to get down from Snowdon along the Llanberis Path

When you’ve had your lunch and seen enough of the views retrace your steps back along the path you came up on keeping the railway track down to your left until you reach the point I mentioned earlier where three paths now diverge. Ignore the paths going steeply downhill to your left and right and instead continue dead straight ahead still keeping the railway track to your left. The Snowdon Ranger path bears left here and crosses the railway so if you find yourself doing that turn around and try again. The route back is fairly straightforward and is now very familiar. You’ll reach the short tunnel for Clogwyn Station followed by the first steep descent. Take care on the steep downhill stretches as there are plenty of trip hazards for those not paying attention. Soon you’ll be back at the Halfway House then the railway passing overhead and eventually you’ll get to the tarmac. Turn right here and continue downhill. If you’re at death’s door you can call a taxi from the cafe on the corner who will come and take you back to your car or you could just battle on for the final stretch down into the village. Now’s your chance to pick up some souvenirs, have a pint and relax. Congratulations you’ve just climbed the highest mountain in England and Wales!


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