This is an awesome wild camping route (2 nights) that takes you to Snowdon, the highest mountain of Wales, also known as Yr Wyddfa. It’s slightly over 42 km long and each night you’ll spend by a different lake. Since this was the very first wild camping adventure we did in the UK ages ago my memory doesn’t allow me to give you as many details as I would like to. But hopefully some bits and pieces of what I remember along with the GPS track will be enough for you to enjoy this great backpacking trip. Btw. in terms of the the water supply, we definitely didn’t struggle to find some nice and clean streams to refill our water battles (using water purification tablets).
We left our car in Beddgelert. It is quite a busy village so it may take you a while to find a spot to park for free. From there it takes about 6.5 km to reach the first mountains but the route first takes you through Nantmor, which is a beautiful village from the 14th century of just a few houses.
Soon you’ll finally get to your first climb towards Llyn yr Arddu. Don’t get confused if you don’t see any path going up. We couldn’t find it either so just choose the most comfortable way to get all the way up. The bushes will soon be replaced by grass and stones. When the terrain starts getting flatter you’ll be slowly making your way to Llyn yr Arddu and eventually to Llynnau Cerrig y Myllt. From there it’s only about 3.3 km to get to the last lake of the day, Llyn Llagi, where you can pitch your tent and finally get some rest. From the East you’ll be surrounded by a steep, 380m tall backwall of Craig Llyn-Llagi. It is a truly spectacular spot to camp but sometimes it might get rather windy.
After you freshen up in the lake and dream about the English breakfast (while eating the basics from your backpack) you’ll make your way down to the valley passing by Plas Gwynant where you cross the road. At this point you can visit the toilet and get rid of all the rubbish you’ve collected.
Ahead of you there’s about 7km ascend all the way to Snowdon (1085m). Unfortunately, you can say good bye to the solitude for now as you’ll be sharing this bit with other hikers. The walk up is not difficult and offers some amazing views especially as you’re getting closer to the summit. Only the last few hundred metres become really fun (some call it steep) and it’s necessary to use your hands. Personally, the very top of Snowdon was the most disappointing spot of the whole backpacking route as it’s full of people and there’s also a cafe up there. Some may like to see a bit of civilisation but I’d rather prefer wolfs and bears. (btw. my girlfriend told me not to forget to mention that there’s a wi-fi in the cafe so you can catch up on Facebook and emails…)
After you’ve had your coffee / beer and taken enough pictures you’ll be walking down along the rail track following the main path as well as our GPS coordinates. There’s a little catch though – we ran out of battery in our GPS watch and that’s why the track finishes by Clogwyn, one of the train stops. But from this point it’s simple. On your left you should be able to see a little lake (Llyn Du’r Arddu) – this is your second camping spot. Just choose the most comfortable path to make your way down and enjoy your last night in Gwynedd.
Although the last day is the longest it’s definitely the easiest one because you’ll be descending most of the time. The very first 2 km might make you sweat due to the challenging terrain but as soon as you get to Snowdon Ranger Path it’s going to be a piece of cake. From there on you’ll be mostly following a path through the beautiful lands of north-west Wales. Enjoy your last kilometres of fresh air and if you’re thirsty you can stop for a beer in Rhyd-Ddu, which is approximately in the middle of the last day’s route. Alternatively make your way straight to Beddgelert passing by Llyn-y-Gadair.
We really hope you’re going to enjoy this wild camping route and feel free to share your adventure with us in the comments.