Mount Snowdon is Wales’ and England’s highest peak but is also a very achievable day hike. I assembled an awesome girl-gang for a very fun weekend in Wales, and we set off early armed with a ton of snacks and enthusiasm. We were rewarded with one of my favourite days out in 2016 and some spectacular views of the gorgeous Welsh countryside.
The YHA tucked into the side of the mountain
I drove the 7 of us from London to Snowdon in one looooong night, with the requisite stop for fast-food along the way. I wouldn’t recommend doing it this way if you can avoid it, but on the other hand it meant we could fit everything into a weekend, start bright and early the next day, and saved Sunday for exploring the local area (more soon!) and a more relaxed drive back. We stayed at the YHA Pen-y-Pass, which was great – modern, comfortable beds, and provided packed lunches for us.
It was a cloudy morning when we set off, on a track already humming with other adventurers. We chose to go up the Pyg track and down the Miner’s Track (check out the options here), which is a classic route for Mount Snowdon – not too tricky, but not the train either! The steep ascent soon had us stripping layers off, and taking the classic excuse of “just a couple of photos” for a breather.
Yr Wyddfa is the Welsh name for Snowdon
Mount Snowdon is 1,085m high (3,560 ft for you imperial lot), making it the highest mountain in Wales and England. It wouldn’t even make the top 10 in Scotland though – and is 200m shorter than Cairn Gorm, another epic hike I can’t recommend highly enough.
Heck yes, we’re cool (Photo credit: Jess Chow)
You’d want to be of reasonable fitness and well-prepared to make the climb, but people were doing it in all sorts – we saw one woman in kitten heels! I enjoy the comfort factor of lycra anyway, but conditions changed a lot during the hike and I always get nervous for people whom I see hiking in sneakers and jeans. It’s that Kiwi mountain-safety training that gets drummed into us!
Can you spot the teeny people already at the top?
One of the steeper parts of the hike…
Our elation at ascending the steepest part of the Pyg track was tempered by the sight, just over the brow, of the train that takes people most of the way to the top from the other side of Snowdon. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for lots of people being able to experience such views… but it did look a little too easy!
Stoked to have made it
The hilarity of the very crowded and rather tiny top of the peak
We took our time resting our somewhat shaky legs, chowing down on our lunches and watching the clouds roll past and over the peak. The views were truly spectactular!
Our bones somewhat less wearied, we got our girl-gang photograph before making our way down. At first the track followed the same steep zig-zags, before branching off onto the Miner’s track which took us next to Lake Glaslyn and along the edge of Llyn Llydaw.
The relief when we made it to flatter ground was palpable!
Chilling out, skipping stones
We made it back to the hostel with time to spare for a nap before heading out locally to dinner. The next day we planned more North Wales fun – check back next week for more!
Much like Hiking the Seven Sisters, our day out on Mount Snowdon was one to restore the soul. I love getting into the fresh air, and while the hike was more challenging than most I’ve done in the UK, it was still a good one for our whole group. If you’re a fan of beautiful views, the Welsh countryside or wide open spaces, this is definitely one for you!
Have you climbed Mount Snowdon? Or taken the train?!