The Snowdon Ranger Path provides an easy route to the summit of Snowdon, and is easily achievable by walkers of all abilities. It is probably one of the oldest routes up the mountain, and is most likely named after, John Morton one of Snowdonia's first guides, who opened the Snowdon Ranger Inn, the building at the start of the route which is now a YHA hostel. When combined with the Rhyd Ddu Path, either as an ascent of descent route, it becomes part of a classic Welsh horseshoe set amongst some of the best scenery on the country.
The Snowdon Ranger Path starts at the Snowdon Ranger Station car park (SH 565 551) on the Welsh Highland Railway and is located on the A4085 between Beddgelert (SH 590 481) and Caernarfon (SH 482 625). This is an ideal starting point for those wanting to climb on Clogwyn Du'r Arddu (SH 602 554). The carpark is also serviced by the Snowdon Sherpabus service which has various stops around the mountain and runs from Llanberis, Bettws y Coed, Caernarfon, Beddgelert, Bethesda and Porthmadog. Be sure to check timetables first as you don't want to end up missing the last bus and find yourself stuck, of course in these situations hitching is always an option.
The route starts on the A4085 next the Snowdon Ranger Y.H. and heads to the left along the side of the Snowdon Highland Railway first built in 1878 to connect Caernarfon and Beddgelert, it has now been re-opened and expanded all the way to Porthadog. A signpost directs the route right behind the Llwyn Onn farmhouse and Zig-Zags up the open hillside. After some 500 metres the path levels out, and crosses two streams. From here it continues over the southern slopes of Moel Cynghorion, avoiding the marshy ground in Cwm Clogwyn, where five small lakes cluster. From here the path heads up to Bwlch Cwm Brwynog which is reached at around 490m. The going gets harder as the route climbs upwards gradually steepening along a cairn-marked path to the top of Clogwyn Du'r Arddu. A monolith marks the point where the Snowdon Ranger Path meets the Snowdon Railway and the Llanberis Path, these tall standing-stones can be invaluable reference points to help you from loosing your way in poor visibility. The route then joins the Llanberis Path on its way to Snowdon's summit.
Just a good pair of boots, waterproofs and some lunch. If walking in winter conditions make sure you also carry an ice axe and crampons.
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Snowdonia (Official National Park Guide) by Merfyn Williams
The Mountains of England and Wales: Volume 1 Wales (Cicerone Guide) by John and Anne Nuttall
Hillwalking in Wales Vol 1 (Cicerone Guide) by Peter Hermon
Hillwalking in Wales Vol 2 (Cicerone Guide) by Peter Hermon
Hillwalking in Snowdonia (Cicerone Guide) by Steve Ashton
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