The Miners’ Track is a popular route to the summit loved for its long gradual walk-in but, of course, you still have the same height to climb so expect a steep ascent in the final section. The route meanders around the beautiful lakes of Llyn Teyrn, Llyn Llydaw and Glaslyn and even if you don’t plan to reach the summit, the first part is very easy and suitable for all.

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The Miners Track begins and ends from the Pen-y-Pass car park at the top of the Llanberis Pass. Beware this is not a big car park (around 70 spaces) and it’s very popular (and expensive!) so if you want a space on a summer weekend you’ll want to aim to be there before sunrise and even that might not guarantee you somewhere to park on a bank holiday. Parking around Pen-y-Pass is strictly controlled for everyone’s safety so if the car park is full when you arrive don’t even think about trying to park on the roadside as Police regularly patrol the area and tow away what they consider ‘dangerously’ parked vehicles. Whilst my advice would always be to aim for the main car park (no matter how early you need to start!) there are other parking options. There’s a large lay-by on the A498 Beddgelert road just up from the Pen y Gwryd hotel and from here there’s a permissive footpath up to Pen-y-Pass which will only add an hour or so on to your day. The other option is the Park and Ride service operating from Nant Peris where there’s a much larger car park and regular buses up to Pen-y-Pass or even parking in Llanberis and using the same bus service. Search online for ‘The Snowdon Sherpa’ for the most up-to-date service information.

At the entrance to the Pen y Pass car park you’ll find toilets and a small cafe which, if open, is worth a visit.

The Miners’ Track is around 8.2 miles (13.2km) there and back. All Snowdon paths take roughly the same time with a faster walker being able to get up and down in around four hours but for most people, allow six or slightly longer if you’re walking with young children or in poor weather.

For an interesting circular walk that’s no more difficult, take the Pyg Track up and then return via the Miners’ Track. Find out more about this route at Snowdon summit via the Pyg/Miners Tracks.

How to climb Snowdon via the Miners’ Track

From the Pen-y-Pass upper car park look for the ‘arty’ metal gate in the bottom corner opposite the entry which leads on to a wide, stone path. Follow this easy path very gradually uphill as it meanders around the hill. This is a nice start to the walk and very easy to follow. You’ll soon reach the first lake, Llyn Teyrn down to your left. Continue on the path around the lake until you reach the banks of Llyn Llydaw where you should get your first glimpse of the summit of Snowdon in the distance. This is a great spot for a rest.

The paths crosses the lake over a causeway and bears left hugging the banks. You’ll pass a derelict mining building on your right as the path bears right and starts to climb. Head up the manmade steps along this relatively gentle slope and you’ll soon get your first glimpse of Glaslyn down to your left. Keep on the path until it comes to the lake shore, another opportunity for a short rest stop.

This is the end of the nice, easy walk-in and the beginning of your real climb. Keep walking around the lake until you see an obvious path to your right with steps leading uphill. This path will take you up to the Pyg Track and is mostly obvious but if you lose the way just keep heading in the same general direction and you’ll soon pick it up again. It’s a big of a slog particularly after such a nice start so take your time but before you know it you’ll emerge onto the Pyg Track. Turn left here.

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The path onwards becomes a bit sketchy now but make your way up however you can with the view of the summit right ahead of you enticing you on. It will soon become quite steep again and the path will zig zag a little to make the climb easier and you’ll pop out on to the top where a number of different paths converge with the Snowdon Mountain Railway track in front of you. Again remember this spot as you’ll need to turn here when you head down.

It will likely start to get busy now as the popular Llanberis and Snowdon Ranger paths join from the right. Turn left and you should (hopefully) have a good view of the summit just 500m ahead. Continue along the obvious path adjacent to the railway track as you make your way to the summit area. Finally 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 take to look around. If you’re lucky enough to be there on a sunny 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 the UK’s highest visitor centre. 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 Pyg and Miners’ Tracks

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 on your left until you reach the point mentioned earlier when three paths now diverge. Be careful not to miss this as going the wrong way will take you down into the village of Llanberis a long way away from where your car is parked. Take the steps down steeply to your right to rejoin the Pyg Track. Take your time heading down and smile at all the people still climbing and asking “Are we nearly there yet?” Keep going around the zig zag until you reach the split in the path where you’re going to take the steep path down to the right.

You’re now on the Miner’s Track which descends steeply down to and around Glaslyn (blue lake). The path here isn’t quite as good as the Pyg Track you came up along but it’s still pretty obvious where to go. You should be able to see the path you’re aiming for ahead of you so have a bit of fun with your route choice.

Once you reach the lakeside follow the path around to the left as it continues downhill to Llyn Llydaw that you saw earlier. You’ll pass some old mining ruins on your left as you walk around the lake eventually crossing a causeway. It’s a nice (long) easy walk back to the car park now and before you know it you’ll see the Pen y Pass youth hostel ahead and you’re back at the start point.


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