After months of sitting at home and missing the mountains, you’re probably quite keen to get out and stretch your legs this summer. With epic views, crisp mountain air and hundreds of hikes to chose from, you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to mountain walks in Wales.
In this post, we’ll look at some great options and choose 5 Welsh mountain walks for your bucket list.
At 2,930 feet, Cadair Idris falls just short of the requirements to make it onto the prestigious list of Welsh 3000s – the 15 mountains above 3000ft. Because of that, Cadair Idris sometimes doesn’t get quite the respect it deserves as being an epic walk in proper mountain terrain.
There are two main routes up to the summit. The Pony Path is regarded as the easiest, but the longest route and the Minffordd Path is a slightly shorter route but features some steep climbs that will have the legs and lungs burning.
Cadair Idris sits at the southern end of Snowdonia National park, and the routes and summit can often feel much quieter than some of the more tourist-driven summits such as Snowdon. If you’re looking for an escape into the mountains in which you get a real sense of wilderness, it’s possible to get this at Cadair Idris at certain times of the year.
If you ask the locals or the people who have spent a lot of time walking in Snowdonia what their favourite mountain is and more often than not the answer will be Tryfan. The route to the summit is regarded as one of the best mountain walks in the country. However, it does involve a grade one scramble so it’s not one for complete novices. You’ll need a good bit of mountain experience and a head for height to tackle this one.
At 3,010ft, Tryfan is the fifteenth highest mountain in Wales, and its classic conical shape makes it one of the most instantly recognisable mountains in the range. The hike to the summit also includes some features some well-photographed spots that you’ve probably seen on Instagram, including the Cannon Stone and the Adam and Eve step.
Moel Siabod is sometimes known as the ‘Lonely Mountain’ due to its isolated location, out on its own near the village of Dolwyddelan.
At 2,861 ft, Moel Siabod is the highest point in the Moelwynion range and is best approached from nearby Capel Curig for a walk of around 10k. On a clear day, this walk offers spectacular views across Snowdonia and from this vantage point you can see many of the highest peaks laid out in front of you.
The most popular route from Capel Curig is relatively easygoing, but for more challenging options there are a variety of scrambling routes and ridgelines to take in too.
Glyder Fach & Glyder Fawr
The mountain route that takes in the summits of both Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr is one of the best in the country. Expect incredible views, steep climbs and challenging scrambles.
The Glyder range also includes Tryfan and for a really challenging walk, you can reach all three of those summits in one day.
At 3,284 ft, Glyder Fawr is the highest in the range, but Glyder Fach is not far behind at 3,261 ft. Known as the Glyderau in Welsh, this range is known for its rocky terrain and jagged peaks. These mountains are something of a favourite with photographers too. As well as stunning views across the range and the mountain lake of Lyn Idwal, there is also the stunning rock formation of Castell y Gwynt (castle of the wind), and of course, the Instagram favourite at the cantilever rock.
The rocky terrain can make this range hard to navigate when visibility is poor, so a good level of mountain experience and navigation skills are needed to attempt this walk but catch it on a clear day and there are few better hikes in the country.
Snowdon via Crib Goch
Snowdon is by far the most popular mountain in Wales. On sunny weekends you can expect thousands of people to be making their way up the various routes to the summit. Parking problems and queues for summit photos have been well reported, and you might be a bit put off by talk of overcrowding. However, Snowdon is an incredible mountain and it must be visited at least once or twice by any serious hiker.
The infamous ridge route of Crib Goch is the one to do if you’re confident with heights and enjoy a good scramble. It’s a classic route and one that everyone should experience at some point.
Yes, Snowdon can feel a bit too busy at times, but pick the right day and you can have this route almost to yourself.
Beginning at Pen y Pass, the walk follows the Pyg Track before veering up to the knife-edged arete of Crib Goch for a grade one scramble. It’s not one for the faint-hearted but it is a proper day in the mountains and one you’ll look back at with a great sense of achievement for many years to come.