Mount Snowdon Walk via Crib Goch Ridge Route, Snowdonia. The tallest mountain in Wales.

The best ridge walk in the UK? Mount Snowdon Horseshoe Walk via Crib Goch Route.


Crib Goch ridge, Snowdon walk, Mount Snowdon Horsehoe walk, via crib Goch Route, Pyg Track
My best photo of the the day - A walker on the Crib Goch ridge. You can just make out the summit of Mount Snowdon where the clouds have cleared a little just to the right of the walker, and further to the right is the summit of Garnedd Ugain.

Crib Goch ridge, Mount Snowdon, Crib Goch Route, Wales, 3 peaks
Looking along the Crib Goch ridge to Garnedd Ugain on the Mount Snowdon walk. The Crib Goch section of the walk is definitely the best and most exhilarating ridge route I've done in the UK to date.

I done this Mount Snowdon walk with a few mates on Saturday July 20th 2013 - and I highly recommend it via the Crib Goch route!

Getting there to Mount Snowdon:

I live in North-east England so it's a case of a few hours drive to get anywhere near Snowdon in Wales. We therefore stayed 2 nights in Wales (fri & sat) in some B&B accommodation  - and made a short early morning drive to Snowdon from our base in Wales.

The car park at Pen-Y-Pass. Unfortunately for us it was full when we arrived in the car at 8am on a saturday morning! It does say on a lot of forums etc that the car park gets full quickly - but we thought at 8am we might be ok. It was a Saturday and in the middle of a good spell of weather - but I suspect it may get full early on most weekend days - so take this into account when planning your trip. We continued down the A4086 road to Llanberis from the car park and were fortunate to get parked in a layby about 2miles down the hill from Pen-Y-Pass. I'm guessing there were free parking spaces here for about 10 cars. There is also a regular bus (every 20mins or so) which runs from Llanberis to the Pen-Y-Pass car park, and there was a bus stop at the lay by where we parked. The bus costs £1 and took 5-10mins or so for us and saved us a 2mile walk up hill (and conserve precious energy for the proper walk). So my advice if travelling in a car would be that if you can't get parked at Pen-Y-Pass - head to Llanberis - you might get parked in a lay-by - if not then you should get parked in Llanberis where you can get the bus to Pen-Y-Pass. You could do a walking route from Llanberis - but this would mean missing out on Crib Goch, which for me, is the best section of the walk.


Map of the Snowdon Horseshoe via Crib Goch Route:


Map of the Snowdon Horseshoe Crib Goch Route:
The Snowdon Horseshoe walking route (click for bigger image), best tackled in an anti-clockwise direction via, Crib Goch first, then Garnedd Ugain, Snowdon and finally Y Lliwedd. It's about 7.5miles in total. We actually didn't complete the Horseshoe on this walk - instead opting to come down from Snowdon via easier route of the Miners Track. The day we done the walk was in the middle of the July 2013 heat-wave and on one of the hottest days of the year. After catching a lot of sun, and expending a lot of sweat in the heat, the prospect of a swim in the Glaslyn tarn at the foot of snowdon was a lot more appealing than going on to tackle another peak in Y Lliwedd! Next time in cooler conditions we will do the full Horseshoe


The walk:


Right - onto the walk. From the car-park there are a few routes you can take out of it. If you plan to do Crib Goch on the walk - and I recommend you do if the weather conditions are right, then it's best to tackle Crib Goch first as it's best to do the initial steep climb of it first - rather than come down a very steep way at the end. Also - I guess you want to do Crib Goch when you have most energy - so at the start! So the route we took out of the car park was the most direct path to start of Crib Goch (the highest peak you can see in the picture above).



The initial path to Crib Goch is quite straightforward and a nice leisurely way to get warmed up!

Looking down the valley towards Llanberris & the lake of Llyn Peris. You can also make out the A4086 road where we are actually parked in the distance somewhere.

As we near Crib Goch the path starts to get a little steeper.

We begin to gain height fairly quickly as we approach Crib Goch and you can see the Pen-Y-Pass car park in the middle of this photo.

Crib Goch looms closer!

Mount Snowdon Horsehoe walk, via crib Goch Route, Pyg Track
This is where we meet the Pyg Track and where you get chance to consider if you really want to do Crib Goch haha. We met up with a group who considered Crib Goch - but then decided against it. This junction is a good place for a rest and to whack a bit of food and drink into you for the challenge ahead. We where definitely going for Crib Goch - so we didnt take the path above. You do get your first glimpse of Mount Snowdon here and the views are quite breathtaking.

Me (red top) and my mates - already got a bit of a sweat on!

You can't really miss the start of the Crib Goch path - although after here it is rather undefined and it's just a case of heading for the top, either following others ahead, or making you own way.



As you can see - there isn't really a path in much of the places - it's just a case of scrambling up. It is pretty straightforward though - you might have to use both hands - but it's not too technical.

It is quite physical the initial climb to Crib Goch - so we stopped at a few places to take in the magnificent views (or rather catch our breath lol and get a bit of water!)

In parts on the climb up - you can feel a bit exposed and your mind can play tricks on you by thinking there are sheer drops round every corner - but I felt quite safe to be honest. It's just a case of mind over matter for those who have doubts. Just concentrate on where you are on a the fairly straightforward climb and don't let your thoughts get the better of you! Just enjoy the exhilerating climb!



Like all the ridges I have climbed in the UK, including Striding Edge & Sharp Edge in the Lake District, I always think that photos make the ridges look worse than how they actually are when you are on them. Some photos give the impression that people are on the cusp of sheer drops all the time, and one mis-palced step and you are a goner! But in reality they are a bit more gradual when there in person, and quite safe. As long as you take your time, and be sure of your footing - you will be fine :-)

Nearing the top of Crib Goch here - again it's just a case of finding your own way - and trying to keep an eye of for the Cairns (piles of stones) which show you where to head. But as long as you head up - you can't go wrong really!

Mount Snowdon Horsehoe walk, via crib Goch Route, Pyg Track
I catch a glimpse of Mount Snowdon just to the right!

It gets less of a climb and no real need to use your hands as you approach the top of Crib Goch.

Crib Goch ridge, Snowdon walk, Mount Snowdon Horsehoe walk, via crib Goch Route, Pyg Track
At last, the climbing is done and time for a rest-bite! Looking along the Crib Goch ridge to Garnedd Ugain on the Mount Snowdon walk. The Crib Goch section of the walk is definitely the best and most exhilarating ridge walk I've done in the UK to date - if you have done a bit of walking/scrambling before, and have a head for heights - then go for Crib Goch - I can't recommend it highly enough!


Crib Goch ridge, Snowdon walk, Mount Snowdon Horsehoe walk, via crib Goch Route, Pyg Track
Crib Goch is a popular ridge - and no doubt others will be up there too. Some go faster than others - and just be patient if you get stuck behind someone who is just shuffling along! The ridge has a gentler gradient on the left side - and most choose to walk just to the left of the ridge in parts and use the top of the ridge as a sort of hand rail for the right hand. I found in some parts you could quite easily just stand up on the ridge and walk (if you have a head for heights) - in other parts I did want to go a bit slower and hold onto a bit of rock!


Looking back along Crib Goch. 


The 3 pinnacles of Crib Goch:

There are 3 pinnacles (rocky out crops) along the ridge. You can either go straight over the top of all of them, or it's a bit easier if you go to the left of the first 2 - then straight over the last one.

We went to the left of the first pinnacle so we could stop of for a rest and some food. In the picture above you can make out the 2nd pinnacle to the right and the 3rd pinnacle in the centre. In the above shot there is a little boy, aged 7, in the green top, who was walking the ridge with his dad - and they didn't seem to have too much difficulty!

On our rest point to the left of pinnacle 1, looking back along the ridge and where we had come from.

While the pinnacles again are not greatly difficult - you do need a head for heights!

Heading towards the 3rd and last pinnacle - it was quite easy to climb over this and is recommended as the most straightforward way to continue the walk.

The views are incredible from the pinnacles and by now you are really used to the exposure of height - and if you have got this far - nothing else will phase you!

Coming down from the last pinnacle. The most challenging parts of the walk are when coming down from the pinnacles as you have to go backwards. But if you go slow and make sure of your hands and feet its fine. I would imagine it's a lot easier doing the walk this way though and wouldn't like to think I had to make a descent of Crib Goch at the end of the Horseshoe walk via the way we climbed up it!

The decent of the last pinnacle and looking once again to the next peak - Garned Ugain.

Snowdon has now disappeared from view in the mist and I wonder if we are going to be able to see off the summit

A pic of me on the last pinnacle - bit knackered - but chuffed with myself for tackling Grib Goch! Nothing else will phase me on ridge walks now!

A view down towards the Llanberis area & the lake of Llyn Peris.

A good view of Crib Goch and the ridge we have just walked. I guess it looks a bit daunting from this angle - but it's superb ridge to walk.

Snowdon clears a little

Mount Snowdon Horsehoe walk, via crib Goch Route, Pyg Track
Looking back to Crib Goch once again

Heading up to Garned Ugain - some more scrambling involved again - but fairly easy

Little bit of mist still over Snowdon

A little bit of another ridge to Garned Ugain - but again fairly easy. By now we were loving the tops of ridges - but there is also a path to the right. 

Mount Snowdon Horsehoe walk, via crib Goch Route, Pyg Track, 3 peaks
A picture a friend took of me - with the full ridge we have walked and Crib Goch in the background

Another look a Crib Goch.


A view of Snowdon from Garned Ugain and a great place to soak in the views.

The views we got were superb - and maybe the views of the fella in the glider were even better! Would love to do this one day!

Looking down towards the Pyg Track & miners Track with Crib Goch to the left,

Snowdon to the right with Y Lliwed in the distance,


The summit of Garned Ugain to the left with Crib Goch to the right - and where we have just walked from!

An easier way to get to the top!

As our path met up with the Pyg Track there were a lot more people about walking about - quite busy in fact!

The summit! Although I'm sure it was a little more challenging for us than those who came up on the train!

The cafe summit! A good place to rest, get some food and stock up on refreshments. A good job really as we had got through most of our water

A well earned bottle of chilled lager :)

After walking for around 4 hours in the middle of the heatwave to reach the summit of snowdon - we decided the appeal of a swim in the tarn was better than to continue the Horseshoe walk

Heading down the Pyg Track

Looking back up to snowdon

A perfect way to round off a cracking walk! Normally a tarn is far too cold for me - but it was just perfect in 30c heat!

From here on in it was a nice leisurely stroll back to the car car park.


A mountain rescue helicopter going responding to a call from someone in need. A reminder that you've got to be careful on these sort of walks.



After about 7 hours walking - with about 2hours of stopping I'm pretty much at the end of the walk here and just about spent up. Ready for an ice-cream at the car park :-)

Like I said - we didn't do the Horseshoe Route in the end - but will next time in cooler conditions. I reckon you could do the full route in about 7-8hours with time for stopping here and there

Well I hope that gives you a good idea of what to expect when walking to Mount Snowdon via Crib Goch. Having not been before I tried to do as much research as poss as to what to expect - and I figured that if the weather was dry and non-winter conditions - then everyone in our group would be able to tackle Crib Goch, and that was the case. If you have done a bit of walking before then I really recommend this route, and do think that its easier than the impression pictures give. If you've got any questions or want to know anything else - feel free to comment on the blog and I'll try and help out.