National 3 Peak Routes up Snowdon
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National 3 Peak Routes up Snowdon Details
For the Snowdon leg of the National 3 Peaks, The PYG and Miner’s Tracks are often the most popular Snowdon routes. They have the least amount of ascent and distance, and are the nearest by road from the Lake District (barring the Llanberis Path!). The Llanberis path is longer, but steadier and easier going underfoot.
There are a number of walks up Snowdon, with some routes being more suitable for the three peak challenge than others. Which is the best choice? Here’s our route by route run down for the best choice as a 3 peak route up Snowdon courtesy of Walk up Snowdon.
Why the PYG Track is Good for the three peaks Challenge
The PYG track is the shortest route up Snowdon, has the least amount of ascent and should therefore be the quickest way up. There’s also good facilities in Pen y Pass, with a café, youth hostel and toilets. It’s also one of the nearest to Scafell Pike (along with the Llanberis Path) so this reduces travel times between the summits.
Why the PYG Track is not so good for the three peaks Challenge
Parking in Pen y Pass is a nightmare. If you need to consider parking, this can be a deal breaker. If you can be just dropped off in Pen y Pass, then that’s no problem (the importance of having a driver – this is a blog post idea as well e.g. drop off, catering, not tired – so safer).
The PYG Track can also be rough in places, so isn’t the easiest path underfoot, requiring a couple of sections of very easy scrambling.
Verdict: Fastest three Peak Route up Snowdon
Why The Miner’s Track good for the three peaks Challenge
The Miner’s Track up Snowdon has all the advantages of the PYG track above by starting off from PYP. Not only that, but it’s much easier on the feet for the first 5km.
Why The Miner’s Track Is not so good for the three peaks Challenge
It’s longer than the PYG, and the pull up from Glaslyn is enough to finish you off! Doesn’t avoid the rougher sections of the PYG which are shared with the Miner’s track, and the easier start only lulls you into a false sense of security.
Verdict: The start is easier on the legs
Why Crib Goch is good for the Snowdon section of the three peaks Challenge
You want to boast that you’ve done the 3 Peaks the hard way! Combine with the CMD on the Ben for a superb alternative 3 peaks. You will need those 24 hours to complete it, as well as a decent scrambling speed! And think of the photo opportunities! It also boasts the same advantages as the PYG and Miner’s tracks by starting off from Pen-y-Pass.
Why Crib Goch is not so good for the Snowdon section of the three peaks Challenge
It’s the hardest walker’s route up! You’ll either have tired legs from completing the Ben and SP, or you’ll tire yourself out for the peaks to come. Absolutely not for large groups of people, novices or anyone who doesn’t think that traversing the apex of a 900m high building doesn’t sound like bags of fun. You also have to climb over Crib y Ddysgl, so you’ve already walked three peaks in the process of climbing one!
Verdict: The Toughest 3 Peaks route up Snowdon!
Why the Llanberis Path is good for the three peaks Challenge
It’s a gradual (slog) and steady (slog) path that’s easiest on the feet. There’s a cafe half way up! There are loads of facilities in Llanberis, making it a good base, and a pub actually ON the path (if you count that it starts at the cattle grid at Victoria Terrace!
Why the Llanberis Path is not so good for the three peaks Challenge
It’s the longest route at around 7km, or 14km both ways. That’s only a couple more than most other routes, and you may well make up that distance as it’s easier going. You can still base yourself in Llanberis while walking up some more impressive routes.
Verdict: An option as a 3 peaks Descent of Snowdon, especially if you’ve been dropped off at PYP. Finish off with some cakes and beer at Ceunant Fawr?
Why the Ranger Path is good for the three peaks Challenge
You’ll probably find a space in the car park and you won’t see that many people on the path. If the Ranger’s crowded, be prepared for awful crowds on the summit!
Why the Ranger Path is not so good for the three peaks Challenge
Not the most interesting route in itself, but does hold impressive views on the ascent.
Verdict: The quiet Snowdon 3 peak route, to do when you can’t get parked at Pen y Pass
Why the Watkin Path is good for the three peaks Challenge
This is the scenic way up. Not only do you have Cwm Llan on the way up, but views across to Crib Goch once you reach the ridgeline.
Why the Watkin Path is not so good for the three peaks Challenge
There’s more ascent here than any other direct route! The final section to the summit can be loose, not ideal for tired legs.
Verdict: The Scenic 3 peaks Route up Snowdon with the largest amount of ascent.
Why the Rhyd Ddu Path is good for the three peaks Challenge
You’ll get to finish in Rhyd Ddu, which has one of our favourite Snowdon Pubs. Bwlch main is as close to scrambling as you can get without actually scrambling and is one of the best walks up Snowdon.
Why the Rhyd Ddu Path is not so good for the three peaks Challenge
The lower section has little going for it, until you reach the Llechog ridge above Cwm Clogwyn and the views open out. The exposure on Bwlch main may be a bit much for some and will need more concentration as you descend this with tired legs.
Verdict: The Mystery Choice – why ever not!
Full information on all the walking routes up Snowdon