High point of the Elenydd, a vast area of moorland and peat bog in the wild heart of Mid Wales, Drygarn Fawr has a surprisingly remote feel. Up on top, the barren moorland is attractive for its spacious scale, while the lower valleys are more conventionally picturesque. Perhaps the two most obvious approaches to the hill are from the south via Cwm Gwesyn, and from Cwm Elan to the north, where the twisting Rhiwnant offers a quietly scenic approach. The Rhiwnant route is described here as a circuit, with the addition of some off-path fun to boost the challenge (easier variants are also possible).
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Distance: 9.07 miles (14.60 km)
Total ascent: 480m
Time: 5 – 5:30 hours (Walking)
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SummitsDrygarn Fawr 645 m
Visitor car park near phone box just west of the head of Caban Coch Reservoir, SN900617
From farm tracks and well-made paths, to long challenging stretches on pathless bog and tussock. Stream crossings may need care in wet conditions.
The high level sections of the route could feel very exposed in bad winter weather. Deep bracken is a bit of an obstacle on the lower slopes in summer.
Bus from Rhayader to Elan Village
OS Explorer 187 (1:25,000), OS Explorer 200 (1:25,000), OS Landranger 147 (1:50,000) Directory Listings:
Find more Listings near this route Tourist info:
Rhayader (01597 810591); Builth Wells (01982 553 307); Llanidloes (01686 412 855)
by Dan Bailey UKH