Distance: 5 miles
Time: 3 – 4 hours
Parking: If you can, get a free space in a layby alongside Llyn Ogwen the A5 LL57 3LZ or there is a paid car park at Ogwen Cottage (it gets very busy so get there early!)
Refreshments: Takeaway coffee shop at Ogwen Cottage
Other info: Sheep throughout.
Standing at 947m, Y Garn is the 10th highest mountain in Wales and part of the Glyderau range in Snowdonia. Y Garn is a summit which boasts incredible panoramic views across Snowdonia, we’d argue they’re some of the very best in the national park.
I’ve walked up to the Glyders many times in the past but chose my very first ascent of Y Garn as a sunrise walk! It was absolutely worth the early alarm clock and I did this route clockwise as I was very familiar with the Devil’s Kitchen but I certainly wouldn’t recommend this way in the dark – if I was to do another sunrise I’d certainly be taking the ascent up the south ridge.
This route starts at the Ogwen car park across the road from the Llyn Ogwen. You’ll begin nice and easy, with a gentle ascent to Llyn Idwal. Here, you’ll continue on a path alongside Llyn Idwal taking in the glorious views across the lake. The face ahead of you looks seemingly impassable, but you’ll soon be heading up it!
Reaching the southern end of Llyn Idwal, the path steepens, heading up towards the Devil’s Kitchen, a dark crack in the cliff between Y Garn and Glyder Fawr. This section is steep and challenging, but take your time and you shouldn’t have any major issues if you and your dog are comfortable with rocky and steep terrain.
Climb over the stile and walk up the path to a grassy plateau where you will see a small lake, called Llyn y Cwn. This lake marks a crossroads for various other hikes the horrible scree ascent of Glyder Fawr.
It’s a very well trodden and obvious path on the fairly steep final push to the summit of Y Garn, where you’ll be rewarded with phenomenal views of the surrounding mountains. Pen Yr Ole Wen sits on the opposite side of Llyn Ogwen, as a gateway to the Carneddau range, whilst Tryfan and Glyder Fawr dominate views ahead of you. You’ll be able to see Snowdon behind you, and if you look carefully you can usually see the steady stream of people heading up the path across the valley!
It’s a very straightforward descent following the natural ride back towards Ogwen Cottage.
This is honestly one of my favourite ever Snowdonia hikes and I’d absolutely recommend it for a flavour of Snowdonia. do try and save it for a good day to take full advantage of the spectacular views.
Thanks for reading,
Cara, Andy, Poppy & Maple x