Snowdon via The PYG and Miner's Track Walking

As the highest point in England and Wales, Snowdon really needs no introduction. This is perhaps the most popular mountain in the UK, with hundreds of thousands ascents a year. Whilst the majority will make their way up and down the Llanberis Path, those with some experience of hillwalking may want to look at something a little more engaging. The combination of the PYG and Miner’s Track makes for a pleasant circuit in a rugged mountainous setting, with a couple of rocky sections that offer interest. The route can be done in either direction, however the PYG track, named after the Pen Y Gwryd Hotel, the original starting place for the walk, gains height more steadily rather than saving the ascent for the end. As such it makes more sense to ascend this route and then descend the Miner’s Track. Whilst not a true horseshoe as both routes share the finale up to the summit, this is a good way to get the most out of the mountain.

Snowdon from Crib y Ddysgl Photo: Shaun Walby © shaun walby  © shaun walby
Snowdon from Crib y Ddysgl Photo: Shaun Walby © shaun walby
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Detailed description

SH6474155620 Starting at Pen Y Pass can be problematic and as such there are some considerations to make the day run smoothly. The car park will often be full by 8am, or earlier in the summer months, and even out of season you will be lucky to find a place to park after 9am. See public transport for your options in this case!
Snowdon Via the PYG and Miner's Tracks  © Mark Reeves
Snowdon Via the PYG and Miner's Tracks
© Mark Reeves
With a great view down the Llanberis Pass from the off, the PYG track starts from the top right hand side of the car park and heads around the north side of the mini peaks of side of 'The Horns' (which can make a nice quieter start to the route). After 1km the path starts to ascend more steeply to Bwlch Y Moch.

SH6332555265 As you cross the stiles at Bwlch Y Moch the majestic view of the inside of the Snowdon Horseshoe opens up before you. The mountainous setting is second to none, and for this reason alone the PYG and Miner's Track combination offers an experience far beyond the actual difficulty of the route. The major path now more or less contours with, slight rises, for the next 1.5km. There are a couple of rock slabs that, whilst appearing slippery, the passing of thousands of feet has kept lichen free. Just after these slabs the path comes over a rise and turns a corner above Glaslyn. As the path contours high above the Lake you eventually reach the intersection with the Miner's Track by a small fingerstone.

SH6149654863 From the junction a short rise over rocks leads into the upper reaches of Cwm Glas where another couple of rocky sections lead up to the start of the zig-zags and some gabions (wire boxes filled with stone). Follow the path as it zigs and then zags up to the large fingerstones at Bwlch Glas and the Junction with the Llanberis Path.

SH6078754861 From Bwlch Glas turn left and follow the path up the left side of the Snowdon railway all the way to the summit. Here it is common to have to queue for you summit selfie.

SH6100454371 From the summit retrace your steps to the Bwlch Glas fingerstone and head back down the PYG track to the intersection with the Miner's Track.
Watched by bemused onlookers, an ill-equipped party set off down the PYG track  © David Dear
Watched by bemused onlookers, an ill-equipped party set off down the PYG track
© David Dear, Mar 2010

SH6152054852 Take the right fork down the steep path, where steps lead all the way down to a disused mine and ruined buildings on the shores of Glaslyn.

SH6178854767 Follow the track around the side Glaslyn and then down to Llyn Llydaw. As the path flattens out the old Crusher Mill where copper ore was processed is on the left. The track now leads around the llyn to the causeway.

SH6331254882 About 200m past the causeway the path swings to the left and heads down and round Llyn Teryn before contouring round the lower slopes of The Horns and back to Pen Y Pass.

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