OverviewA quite long, but easy route that crosses five other summits on the way: three of them 3,000'ers. It starts from quite a remote spot, (reachable by car), so probably tends to be a less well used way to get to the summit of Carnedd Llewelyn. Maybe a good walk to do on an otherwise busy weekend when the weather is good.
There is a fairly well defined track most of the way. One that becomes more distinct the closer you get to Llewelyn.
Once you have got up to the first of the Welsh 3,000'ers on this route, Foel-fras, you stay high up with only gentle ups and downs.
For all but the fastest of walkers this route will give close to a full days hiking in a really lovely part of Snowdonia.
Getting ThereFrom the B5106 that links Betws-Y-Coed with Conwy, and when heading down South from Conwy, turn almost due West onto a narrow country lane just before Tal-y-Bont. The turn off is just by a pub. If you pass the pub and then cross a very small bridge over a stream with another turn to the West you have gone too far! The lane twists, turns and climbs for maybe 6 kms, (3.6 miles), and then ends in a small unsurfaced parking area just after it goes over a cattle grid. The lovely views are spoiled here by overhead electricity pylons and wires!
An alternative narrower lane runs from Rowen which is a turn off West from the B5106 in Ty'n-y groes, (North of Tal-y-Bont on the B5106). This lane joins the one described above about 2 kms, (1.3 miles) from the parking area. But it is very narrow in places with dry stone walls either side and a couple of gates to get out to open and close after you've gone through them!
Route DescriptionLeave the car parking area and cross the ladder style by the gate and head along a gravel track heading WNW for about 1km, (0.6m) Cross a stone wall that crosses the gravel track, (another ladder style), and then turn SW, (left), and pick up the path that immediately starts to go uphill next to the stone wall.
As the path climbs away from the valley the North Wales Coast becomes visible to the North West: this part of the Carneddau in Snowdonia is very close to the sea!
The route now follows the dry stone wall that soon becomes a wire fence for some considerable distance. Heading mainly South or South West. Summits will come quite soon. Some barely recognisable as such, the first, Carnedd Ddelw, (688m, 2256 ft), is one of these! Next comes Drum, (771m, 2529m), and, after the fence turns back to a dry stone wall again, the first 3,000'er of the day, Foel-fras, (942m, 3090 ft). Approaching this latter summit the path has been slowly veering West until it heads almost due West for a short while.
After Foel-fras the wall is left behind as the path heads down slightly before heading South West and very gently up to the summit of Garnedd Uchaf, (926m, 3037 ft).
Leaving Garnedd Uchaf the path dips again and head just about due South before climbing up to the top of your third 3,000'er of the day, Foel Grach, (976m, 3201 ft). It's worth pausing here to take in the view to the South West, dominated to some extent by Yr Elen and Cwm Caseg, with a small lake tucked away under the 962m, (3155m), high summit.
Leaving Garnedd Uchaf, Carnedd Llewellyn, the sixth summit and the fourth 3,000'er of the day, is just West of South in front. A band of rocks and stones has to be crossed as the route steepens a bit. But it is still just a walking route with no need to use your hands on the rocks.
For this part there is not always an obvious path to follow, so trend slightly to the right, (West), as there are some very steep cliffs to your left here! Before long the summit mini rock "shelter", (just a horseshoe of rocks with no roof!), of Carnedd Llewellyn appears in front of you.
Realistically the only return route is the way you have come as, if you left your car in the suggested car park, that is the only sensible route back.
Essential GearNormal hiking gear. In poor weather navigation can be difficult once you are high up in this area, so ensure your normal hiking gear includes a local map and a compass! Ordnance Survey Explorer map OL17, "Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa" at 1:25000 scale is ideal for this walk. For those not familiar with these maps don't forget it is printed on both sides of the paper!
Link to places to obtain this map below.
External LinksStanfords This well know London shop claims to be the biggest map shop in the world.
Snowdonia map at Stanfords There are quite a few clicks to get to the right map once you have got to Stanfords online via the above link. Hopefully this link will get you directly to the map that covers the above route to Carnedd Llewellyn!