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near Ffridd Uchaf, Wales (United Kingdom)
This roundtrip takes you up to Snowdon summit via Rhyd-Ddu Path, down via Snowdon Ranger Path, and from about 1.7 km before you reach the trailhead of Snowdon Ranger Path you take another public footpath through meadows and bog and past slate heaps back to Rhyd-Ddu station. The hike was impressive with sunny weather and great views all around. The Rhyd-Ddu path and Snowdon Ranger Path are clearly visible and well-indicated and partly paved with stones. The return from the Snowdon Ranger Path to the start is clearly less-trodden, on smaller tracks, and can be muddy and boggy in places, but is well indicated with yellow arrows. I did the ascent early, and only saw people once, but at the summit and on the way down it became quite busy with people climbing Snowdon. On the return path to the Rhyd-Ddu trailhead I only saw 2 other hikers. You can find something to eat and drink at Snowdon Mountain Railway Summit station (open after the first passenger train arrives), and in Rhyd-Ddu close to the start of the hike. Hiking times: Rhyd-Ddu path to summit 2:25; summit down to public footpath turn-off 1:40; back to Rhyd-Ddu trailhead 1:30
The hike starts on the parking next to Rhyd-Ddu station (on the Welsh Highland Railway) at 205 m. Parking fee about 5 pounds for the day (do not forget to take coins). The trailhead of Rhyd-Ddu Path is closeby. A broad path takes you up to a bifurcation (see waypoint) at 330 m, where you could go right on another ascent via Afon Colwyn valley and Clogwyn Du (ridge). Instead you follow Rhyd-Ddu Path further, which becomes a bit steeper and less broad here. You climb all the way to a ridge at 740 m overlooking Clogwyn valley with a series of lakes in the shadow of Snowdon. You follow the ridge up which connects at 914 m after a series of hairpin turns to the trail following the ridge between Clogwyn valley and Tregalan valley (this is the valley from which Watkin Path ascents to Snowdon). You follow this ridge until you get to the Watkin-Rhyd Ddu bifurcation at about 1015 m. From there it is a short climb to the summit at 1085 m. Here you have a great view of Snowdonia and with clear weather you could even see Ireland and the Isle of Man (despite the fine weather I could not see that far). Just below the summit on the east side (towards Llyn Llydaw reservoir) raven were circling, sitting and tumbling through the air. I went down to this ‘raven’s seat’ at 1060 m for a better view and then climbed back up for a coffee in Snowdon Mountain Railway Summit Station, just a few meters below the summit (see waypoint). From the station you walk down in the direction of Llanberis, pass the turn-off for Miners Track/Pyg Track after about 500 m at 1000 m. Directly after the turn-off there is the turn-off for Snowdon Ranger path at 992 m. You cross the railway track and then follow the track down. I kept a bit to the right of the track sometimes to get closer to the ridge overlooking Brwnynog Valley. Here you have great views of the railway track towards Llanberis and all the trains going up and down, as well as the slate mines near Llanberis. Soon lake Llyn Ffynnon-y-gwas (see waypoint) at 420 m, with great reflections of the sky, comes into view to the left and below, and you go further down keeping the lake to your left. You reach the valley bottom which then gently slopes further down and at 386 m you leave the Snowdon Ranger path and turn left on a public footpath (you climb a fence on a ladder stile). You then follow a track through boggy, grassy and muddy terrain (wear waterproof shoes) indicated with yellow arrows at regular intervals. The track is not always clearly visible. The track takes you across a few fences, and mountain streams to large heaps of slate waste, clearly visible from a distance. Close to the slate heaps you cross Afon Treweunydd, a larger stream, on a bridge (see waypoint). You walk around and then between the slate heaps before the paths takes you across the heaps. An impressive sight. From the heaps you follow the track further back to Rhyd-Ddu station. On the way you cross the Welsh Highland railway (see waypoint). When you arrive back to the station you can finish with a small circular walk across the station platform coming to the parking lot from the back.
The trail was marked average, because it is not technically difficult and a bit easier than another roundtrip to Snowdon I posted on Wikiloc (http://nl.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=10739086). However, for inexperienced hikers, it is a long climb.
There is a bridge here across the mountain streamTreweunydd, which flow through the slate heaps.
Here the Llanberis path goes straight on and the Miners Track - Pyg Track descends to the right.
Here the Llanberis Path goes straight on and the Snowdon Ranger Path goes to the left.
Largest lake in the Clogwyn valley. When you approach it from above and the sky is blue, it reflects beautifully in the lake.
Just below the summit on the east side there is another viewpoint where ravens were sitting, calling and starting their playful flights. From this viewpoint you have a good view of Glaslyn Lake and Llyn Llydaw
At this bifurcation at 330 m, you could go right on another ascent via Afon Colwyn valley and Clogwyn Du (ridge). I did go to the right first and went up to Afon Colwyn for a view of the river and then back. I left this detour out of the track.
Here the Rhyd-Ddu path starts close to the Rhyd-Ddu Station.
You can walk across the platform and observe all the heritage and steam train particulars, such as the water tank. You can access the platform from both sides.
Here the Watkin path comes from the right and you go straight on to Snowdon summit.
Here you reach the ridge between two valleys (Tregalan and Clogwyn). The Watkin Path goes up through the Tregalan valley, and the Snowdon path goes down into the Clogwyn valley.
Here you reach the ridge on the edge of the Clogwyn Valley. Here you have a great view of this valley, Snowdon summit and back into the Gwyrfai valley.
Huge heaps of slate waste make a fascinating sight.
Here you cross the railway.
Here the Snowdon Mountain Railway Summit Station is. See http://www.snowdonrailway.co.uk/ for more information. A bar-restaurant opens after the first passenger train arrives ~10:00. Before the first passenger train there are other trains carrying e.g. staff.
At 386 m you leave the Snowdon Ranger path and turn left on this public footpath (you climb a fence on a ladder stile). You then follow a track through boggy, grassy and muddy terrain (wear waterproof shoes) indicated with yellow arrows at regular intervals. The track is not always clearly visible. You pass the slate heaps and continue back to Rhyd-Ddu station.
Snowdon summit with a panoramic table at 1085 m. Great views across all of Snowdonia, Anglesey and with luck (not on the day I did the hike) even up to Isle of Man and Ireland.
Here, the path goes across the slate waste heap.
On this ridge just right off the Snowdon path you have great views of Brwnynog Valley, Llanberis and the Snowdon Railway with diesel and steam trains going up and down.
Here you cross the railway track of the Welsh Highland Railway. There are only a few trains a day.