The Best Routes Up Snowdon For Dog Walkers & Kids

by the bald scrambler

Published By: Daniel Woodley. Published: 2nd May 2024. Filed at: Hiking Routes. Disclosure: I earn commission from purchases made via links, read more.

My name is Daniel and I’ve been to the summit of Snowdon dozens of times, including at night, in winter and even during stormy weather.

I’ve also taken two dogs to the summit; a Miniature Schnauzer and a Labradoodle.

If you’ve never been to the summit of Snowdon, consider one of these three routes.

The truth is, I have seen dogs and parents with their children on all of the main walking routes on Snowdon but I feel my three suggestions are the safest options.

Note: All routes up Snowdon involve some risk as all the paths are rugged. This page does not contain step-by-step instructions nor does it highlight every risk.

1) The Llanberis Path

The Llanberis Path is by far the most popular route up Snowdon and I’ve seen dozens of dogs and hundreds of children on this route over the years.

At 9 miles/14.5km and taking 6-8 hours there and back, this is one of the longest routes but is also one of the shallowest and with so many others using the Llanberis Path, it’s very unlikely you’ll get lost.

The route has no scrambling sections and can be completed by foot; you won’t need to use your hands to pull yourself over any rocks and it’s unlikely you’ll need to lift your dog up either, unless it’s tiny! Both my Miniature Schnauzer and Labradoodle were fine on the Llanberis Path.

While every route up Snowdon has its dangers, the Llanberis Path is widely considered the safest way to the summit, outside of winter. There are very few points where one could fall any distance (provided one takes reasonable care), only near the summit are there steep drops to be concerned about.

I took a 5-year-old Miniature Schnauzer up here in spring 2020 and while she was tired after a long day, it was well within her capabilities.

Here are a few photos of the route:

Llanberis Path aerial photo

The path at lower elevations is shallow and runs parallel to the railway tracks

Llanberis Path aerial photo

Looking downhill towards the town of Llanberis; the starting point

Me in the grassy valley next to the Llanberis Path

Me taking a break near the Llanberis Path with Snowdon shrouded in cloud

Fork in the path

Screenshot of me taking an early morning sunrise walk up the Llanberis Path

Watch my video of the circular path which takes the Llanberis Path to the Summit and then down the Ranger Path, and finally back to the town of the Llanberis Path via the connecting path:

2) The Snowdon Ranger Path

The Snowdon Ranger Path is slightly shorter at 8 miles/13km and is very similar in terms of ruggedness and difficulty to the Llanberis Path.

The key difference is that this route is much quieter than the popular Llanberis Path so if you prefer to get away from the crowds but want an easyish route to the summit, this would be a great choice.

I don’t recommend this route in cloud/fog as it’s not quite as easy to follow as the Llanberis Path and there are fewer people around – I sometimes find busier routes are great for first-timers as they are less likely to get lost with other people around.

The first 1/3rd of the route is mostly gravel before narrowing to a rugged but walkable path. The upper section joins with the Llanberis Path for the final push to the summit.

The only section with steep drops nearby is where the route skirts the top of Cloggy, a well-known and popular climbing cliff but the path never gets closer than 20m from the edge so dogs on a lead should be fine.

I took a 3-year-old Labradoodle up this path in 2022 and he was fine, I didn’t need to lift him over any sections and other than being tired, he had a great day.

Here are some screenshots from my video guide to the Snowdon Ranger Path:

Snowdon Ranger Path

The start of the route is gravel and very easy to follow

Views up to Snowdon

The views up to Snowdon aren’t too bad either 🙂

The most rugged section on the Ranger Path

This is the most rugged section of the entire route

Cairns on the Ranger Path

Cairns mark the way nr the top – helpful in fog

Watch my video guide to the Snowdon Ranger Path, you’ll get to see what the route is like:

3) Pyg Track and Miners Tracks

The final route up Snowdon I feel comfortable recommending to dog walkers and those with children is the Pyg and Miners Tracks.

These two routes start and end at the same point so are usually taken as a circular route, totalling around 7.4 miles/11.9km and taking 5-6 hours on average.

They offer one of the quickest ways to get to the summit but are more rugged than the Llanberis and Ranger paths and extra care is needed on a few sections, most notably near the zigzag section and where the Miners Track and Pyg Track join – there is some loose scree and the terrain is somewhat rugged.

I’ve taken both a Labradoodle and a Miniature Schnauzer on these routes and there was one section on the Pyg Track where I had to give them a helping hand, but only because they’re small dogs.

View from the Pyg Track

The view from the Pyg Track looking down to the Miners Track

View of the Pyg and Miners Tracks

Me looking across to the Miners and Pyg Tracks

More Challenging Routes

I’ve seen dogs and children on all the main hiking routes up Snowdon but for first-timers and those unsure of their abilities, I think these routes should be left for subsequent visits:

The Watkin Path – This route is a little hard to follow in low cloud near the top and there’s loose scree and one section where you will probably need to lift your dog up. I’ve always found the Watkin Path route very unstable in descent. I did take a small dog up here a few years ago but probably wouldn’t do so again, it’s also a very long route:

Dixie at the top of the Watkin Path/Rhyd Ddu Path

Dixie the Mini Schnauzer looking very proud at the top of the Watkin Path/Rhyd Ddu Path

The Rhyd Ddu Path – I’ve seen plenty of dogs and kids on the Rhyd Ddu Path but there is a steep cliff with no barrier and also an exposed ridge further up, it’s doable but not the safest route for kids/dogs:

Ridge on Rhyd Ddu Path

A somewhat exposed ridge on the Rhyd Ddu Path

The path next to the ridge

A cliff on the Rhyd Ddu Path

The South Ridge – This is similar to the Rhyd Ddu Path but is much quieter and requires a little bit of scrambling to get on the ridge proper. It shares the upper section with the Rhyd Ddu Path.

South Ridge viewed from a drone

The South Ridge

Crib Goch and Other Scrambling RoutesCrib Goch and most of the other climbing and scrambling routes are not suitable for dogs and children would need to be supervised by a competent adult.

Tips

If you’re taking a dog up Snowdon, I suggest avoiding the hot days in the summer as there are very few shaded areas and all the routes are over 11km there and back.

While there are streams near some of the routes, they often run dry in the summer, so bring lots of water.

There are sheep on the hills so you’ll need to keep your dog on a lead.

Do consider going very early (setting off just before sunrise) to avoid the midday heat during the summer. Spring and Autumn are good times to take dogs as it’s cooler.

None of the routes are suitable for prams etc.

About Daniel Woodley

This guide to the best routes up Snowdon for dog walkers and children was created by Daniel Woodley, aka The Bald Scrambler.

From walking along beaches and kayaking down rivers to making his way up mountains and even jumping out of planes, Daniel has a love of the outdoors but scrambling is his real passion.

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Daniel Woodley

Daniel Woodley aka The Bald Scrambler

Have fun, keep safe. Hopefully I’ll see you on the mountains one day

By The Bald Scrambler

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