This is a great circular walk on the quieter side of the mountain taking in the stunning Rhyd Ddu path and descending via the much less known south ridge. Starting from just outside the village of Rhyd Ddu, the Rhyd Ddu path is typically the quietest of the six main Snowdon paths. Its gentle profile means you won’t have to climb too much.

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Car parking can be found at Rhyd Ddu station on the Welsh Highland Railway and it’s rarely busy. Aim for LL54 6TH or ///january.smuggled.united. The site is run by Snowdonia National Park Authority and takes coins as well as card payments by chip and pin or contactless. Standard daily rate of £6 or £3 for up to four hours applies. There are great toilet facilities at the start of this walk so make use of them before setting off.

How to climb Snowdon via the Rhyd Ddu Path

Leave the main car park walking past the toilets and through the overspill car park looking for the gate on the right to cross the railway. This is the Welsh Highland Railway so keep an eye out for trains as you cross. Once through the other gate walk along the path until you reach a split. Take the right-hand option here and walk around the metal gate. The path continues here gradually uphill through a couple of gates until you reach another path junction. Turn left here clearly sign posted ‘Llwybr Rhyd Ddu Path’ and pass through the gate.

If you’re lucky you’ll have views of Snowdon in the distance but first you need to climb the hill in front of you! The path here is easy to follow but isn’t in great condition in places and can be wet after rain. Eventually you’ll reach a gate in the wall and start to head left as you continue uphill.

You’ll soon reach the top of Llechog. This is a good chance for a break as you’re past half way now. The path continues along the ridge and through another gate before turning left more steeply uphill. Continue up into the zig-zags taking the chance to look at the views down to your left.

The section ahead of you can be nerve-wracking for some so take care here. The path gets very close to big drops on your left for a short section. There’s no real way of avoiding this without scrambling up on to the rocks which is not recommended. Further on you will find yourself having to use your hands for some easy scrambling – all very safe.

The path soon meets the intersection with the Watkin Path joining from the right. It’s just ten minutes now to the top!

You’ll suddenly be met by the imposing Hafod Eryri visitor centre. Walk past that on the left and continue to the summit.

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How to get down from Snowdon along the South Ridge

From the summit, head towards the left hand side of the visitor centre (confusingly sign posted ‘Watkin Path’) and start descending. Once you reach the path junction with the Watkin Path heading left, ignore it and continue straight on. Follow the ridge line downhill taking care on exposed sections. A trip or fall here will be a serious problem.

You’ll soon reach a split in the path where the Rhyd Ddu path (the one you came up on) continues down to your right but you’re going to take the left path that climbs slightly. This is the south ridge.

Route finding is pretty simple and the path is quite obvious. There are a couple of very easy ‘scrambley’ sections but nothing that’s going to overly challenge you. After a steep staircase descent you’ll reach a wall where you’ll need to turn right to walk through an old quarry. Enjoy exploring and feeling the history here. Keep walking through the quarry to pick up an old quarry track that will take you back to the path junction with the Rhyd Ddu path. Keep straight on at this point to retrace your way back to the car park.