The Ultimate Guide to the Rhyd Ddu Path up Snowdon

By The Bald Scrambler

Rhyd Ddu

Published By: Daniel Woodley. Updated: 20th April 2024. Filed at: Hiking Routes. Disclosure: I may earn a commission from purchases made via links. Disclaimer: Mountain hiking can be dangerous, this route description does not provide step-by-step instructions. Read Disclaimer.

Welcome to my complete guide to the Rhyd Ddu Path up Snowdon.

Watch the video version here:

Below you’ll find a route description, photos and other helpful information for this delightful hiking route to the summit of Snowdon.

This isn’t a step-by-step guide but a detailed overview of the Rhyd Ddu Path as I’ve experienced it on the many times I’ve completed it.

While this isn’t a scrambling or climbing route, dangers are still present, so read my general disclaimer.

Parking and Facilities For The Rhyd Ddu Path

The Rhyd Ddu train station car park contains 60 spaces and costs £6 all day (card only when I last checked in April 2023) and is the closest car park.

I looked around and located additional layby parking on the nearby B4418 for about 5 cars (last checked in 2024) which is just a short walk away (see on What3Words map: https://what3words.com/heartless.strictly.promote )

See Parking Map and Prices for All Routes.

There are toilets located in the car park and there is a pub in the village that is welcoming of tourists.

The summit of Snowdon has a cafe and toilets but is closed out of season and in poor weather.

Rhyd Ddu Path Map

This map shows the route (red) to the summit of Snowdon.

Download file for GPS

The 3 Sections of the Rhyd Ddu Path

I’ve found it easier to split routes up Snowdon into sections. Here are the three sections of the Rhyd Ddu Path:

  1. First section from the train station to the marker stone.
  2. Mid section from the marker stone up to the ridge.
  3. The ridge to the summit.

Section 1) From the Train Station

The first section of the route from the train station is well-marked and I’ve always found it easy to locate.

Cross the train tracks at the gate near the end of the station and then follow the well-made gravel path for around 1.5km until the path forks, with a marker stone visible (see photos I took in 2023).

At the stone, take the left route – If you miss the marker, you’ll end up going towards the South Ridge and the Watkin Path.

Rhyd Ddu station

Rhyd Ddu station – the start of the route

The well made gravel path on the lower section

The well made gravel path on the lower section

The marker stone

The marker stone

Section 2) From the Marker Stone to the Ridge

Taking a left at the marker stone and coming off the gravel path, the route now becomes more rugged and a little narrower.

Most of the path here is made from blocks of stone and is easy to follow, although on the upper section, near the ridge, I found the path less obvious in low clouds and poor visibility (see photos).

The distance from the marker stone to the ridge is just over 2km but there is considerable height gain here so some may find it slow going.

Just to be clear; this is rugged terrain and not suitable for buggies, wheelchairs etc but I have seen parents with children and pets here, although this is far from the easiest route to the summit.

Rhyd Ddu Path

The path is narrower but still easy to follow

Rhyd Ddu Path

The path is less obvious here but only likely to be an issue in very poor visibility

Approaching the ridge

Approaching the ridge

Section 3) From the Ridge to the Summit

This entire section follows the ridge with only a minor deviation at the zig-zag path.

This is my favourite section of the Rhyd Ddu path and I always stop here for a while to enjoy the views and put up the drone to get stunning footage.

The ridge does catch the wind so I suggest checking the weather forecast and wearing appropriate clothing, it can get chilly here, even in summer.

The path on the upper section is more rugged with just one little section where I had to use my hands to pull myself up over the rocks but overall, I would say that the Rhyd Ddu path is easier than the Watkin Path.

There is some exposure on this route but the path doesn’t veer too close to the edge and as you can see from my photos, you can keep away from the cliff edge if you wish.

Map of upper sections of the Rhyd Ddu path

Imagery © 2023 Google, Airbus, Bluesky, Infoterra, COWI, Cnes/Airbus, Getmapping PLC, Landset, Maxar Technologies

Above: The ridge on the upper section of the Rhyd Ddu path.

Ridge on Rhyd Ddu path

Ridge on Rhyd Ddu path

The path next to the ridge

The path next to the ridge

The rugged upper section

The rugged upper section

Snowdon's summit

Snowdon’s summit – all to myself ;-)

Descent Options

From the summit, you have plenty of options, the most popular being:

  1. The way you came, back down the Rhyd Ddu Path.
  2. The nearby Snowdon Ranger Path is a little easier with fewer rugged sections and you can get the bus back to the Rhyd Ddu car park (or walk on the road).
  3. Down the more difficult Watkin Path and get the bus back (you may need to change buses at Beddgelert but you can stop for a coffee/lunch in the village).

If you choose to go back down the Rhyd Ddu Path, watch out for the easily missed fork. I have seen a few people get momentarily lost here.

Looking at the photo below, the left line leads to the South Ridge while the right line is the Rhyd Ddu Path:

Easily missed fork

The easily missed fork on descent (take the right line for the Rhyd Ddu Path)

Route Profile and Information

Grade: The Rhyd Ddu Path is not a climbing or scrambling route but is a hiking path graded as a “hard mountain walk”. There is one section near the ridge where you may need to use your hands but only for a couple of metres.

Suitability for Beginners: This isn’t the easiest route up Snowdon but not the hardest either. While good for fine weather days, beginners may wish to try the Llanberis Path in poor weather/visibility as it’s more popular and easier to follow.

Navigation: The path is well-worn and obvious on the lower sections and only slightly less clear on the upper parts.

Dangers: Steep drops and exposed sections near the ridge, route finding in poor visibility, especially on descent coming off Snowdon’s summit and at the easily missed fork.

Length: 5.5km each way.

Time (car to car): 5-7 hours but it varies from person to person (see how long other routes up Snowdon take).

Popularity: This is the quietest of the main routes up Snowdon and I always see fewer people on this route than any other.

Fun Rating: 8/10.

My Dislikes: None.

Similar Routes up Snowdon: The nearby Snowdon Ranger Path is slightly easier. The Llanberis Path is the easiest route up Snowdon. I’ve always found the Watkin Path is more difficult due to the loose scree and navigation on the upper section.

Other Nearby Routes: Rhyd Ddu train station is near the start of the less popular but delightfully enjoyable Nantlle Ridge hike.

Scrambles Nearby:

Tregalan Couloir (grade 2).

All The Routes Up Snowdon Ranked From Easiest to Most Difficult

Not sure which route to take up Snowdon?

Watch my short video where I show you all six main paths, ranked from easiest to most difficult:

More:

I hope you find this guide to the Rhyd Ddu Path helpful, I urge you to watch my video so you can see what the path is like.

I would describe this route as the middle child; it’s easier than the Watkin Path and Crib Goch but more challenging than the Llanberis Path. It’s similar to the Pyg Track but much quieter, longer and a tad more rugged.

On this website, I primarily publish scrambling guides, photos and videos and only occasionally hiking routes that I particularly enjoy, such as the Rhyd Ddu Path.

Recommended Guide Book:

Scrambles in Snowdonia

Scrambles in Snowdonia by Steve Ashton (#ad)

About Daniel Woodley

These photos and route description were created by Daniel Woodley, aka The Bald Scrambler, and this page forms part of the Snowdon Range Guide.

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.

.

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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