Snowdonia - Walking Cadair Idris

Published: Thursday 25th Jul 2013

Written by: The Best of Wales Team

Snowdonia is an amazing location in which to walk.There is a great variation of stunning scenery across the whole of the Snowdonia National Park. Around 26,000 people live in the Park and it attracts millions of visitors every year. When we think of Snowdonia the first thing that springs to mind is Mount Snowdon or in Welsh, Yr Wyddfa.  In Snowdonia there are opportunities for cycling, watersports, climbing or maybe photography. It really is a huge playground. The landscape is natural and spectacular with mountains and lakes. Snowdonia is a good location for a holiday or just a short break with great range of 4 and 5 star holiday cottages.

Today the focus is on Snowdonia walks. It is much more than one mountain and covers both Northern and Southern Snowdonia. . There are actually four main areas to walk, each one is distinctive and really shows the variety of Snowdonia walks.

The areas to walk in Snowdonia are :

  • The northern area which is very popular and includes Moel Hebog, Myndd Mawr, Nantlle Ridge, Snowdon Massif, Glyderau and Carneddau. These are the highest mountains in Wales and are all around 3,000 feet.
  • The second area includes peaks such Moel Siabod, and Moelwynion and the mountains near Blaenau Ffestiniog – famous for its slate quarries.
  • The third area is Rhinogydd toward the west and Rhobel Fawr. This is more remote and less popular with walkers. 
  • In southern Snowdonia you can walk Cadair Idris, the Tarren range, Dyfi and Aran including Aran Fawddwy which is the highest mountain in southern Snowdonia.

This time just a quick focus on Cadair Idris as our walk in Snowdonia. The name derives its name meaning ‘Chair of Idris’ from the giant warrior poet of Welsh legend.

There are a number of paths to reach the mountain:

The Pony path from Dolgellau

This Snowdonia walk approaches Cadair Idris from the north and uses the former pony route. This walk is suitable for all ages and offers magnificent views. Moderate / hard – 9 miles.

Cader Idris from Llanfihangel-y-Pennant

Less arduous but longer way up Idris’s Chair A less frequented approach to the summit of Cadair Idris that avoids some of the crowds. Moderate / hard – 10 miles.

Cader Idris from Minffordd – Idris Gates and Minffordd path

This Snowdonia walk approaches Cadair Idris from the south and includes a circuit of Cwm Cau. The start is Minffordd and the route continues through superb mountain scenery crossing the summit of Craig Cwm Amarch en-route to Cadair Idris. The return completes the circuit, again enjoying fine mountain views. Moderate / hard – 6 miles.

North of Cadair Idris lies the town of Dolgellau, a convenient base, which offers a wide range of accomodation, cafes, restaurants and shops.

Snowdonia is the most fabulous and exciting area. So much choice and we will try to show you a whole range of walks and other activities in the area in future posts. Please ensure that you enjoy safely and take the necessary steps to make the most of the amazing resource that is the Snowdonia National Park.


Lisa Jones

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