The Ultimate Guide to the Snowdon Ranger Path

By The Bald Scrambler

Ranger Path

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.

My name is Daniel and I own a popular YouTube channel where I publish videos of myself in Snowdonia and other mountain regions of the UK.

Welcome to my complete guide to the Snowdon Ranger Path, a route I’ve taken many times.

In a hurry? 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.

Did you know that the Snowdon Ranger Path is the second easiest route up Snowdon and also one of the quietest? It’s popular with parents taking their children up there as it’s shallower than many other routes, dog walkers also take this route.

Also, there is a path (recently created by the park authority) that links the Snowdon Ranger Path to the town of Llanberis.

If you like the idea of doing a circular route and exploring two sides of the mountain on the same day, check out my 3-minute video here which includes some footage of the Ranger Path I took in 2023:

Route Overview

Length: 8 miles/13km there and back. That’s about 5-7 hours for most people (see how long other routes up Snowdon take).

Starting elevation: 590ft/180m above sea level.

Total elevation gain: 936 metres/3070ft.

Difficulty: This is the second easiest route up Snowdon but is still classed as a hard mountain walk. There’s no scrambling required and I’ve never had to use my hands to pull myself over rocks.

Terrain: Gravel path to start with, then a mixture of gravel, loose stones and a few rocky sections.

Dog friendly: Yes, I’ve seen plenty of dogs on this route.

Dangers: The path is easy to follow in good visibility but less so in low cloud. I have seen people get a little lost near the top in poor visibility as there are several paths that fork off in different directions. Loose stones underfoot and the usual mountain hazards such as wind pose some risk.

Parking and Facilities For The Snowdon Ranger Path

The Snowdon Ranger car park contains a limited number of spaces and costs £6 all day (I last checked in May 2024) and is the closest car park for the route.

See Parking Map.

What3Words: https://what3words.com/juicy.passages.badge

OS Grid: SH 56444 55067

Postcode: LL54 7YT

Name: Llyn Cwellyn Car Park

Toilets are located in the car park (portaloos).

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

Snowdon Ranger 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

Here are the three sections of the Snowdon Ranger Path:

  1. The first 1/3rd of the route is a gravel path that I’ve always found easy to follow and not particularly steep.
  2. The mid-section of the route is the most rugged, but no scrambling is required.
  3. The final section is where I’ve seen people get lost as there are four paths that merge into one.

Section 1) Gravel Path From the Train Station

The first section of the route from the unmanned train station is well-marked, easy to follow, mostly gravel and wide.

Cross the train tracks at the gate at the end of the station and then follow the well-made gravel path northeast towards and around the house.

Note: I’ve heard a rumour that the start of the path may be rerouted by the council. If that happens I’m sure it will be well signposted.

The start of the Snowdon Ranger Path

The start of the route with the house behind me.

The first section of the route is on a well-made gravel path that zigzags up the hillside.

I found it steep enough that I had to stop a few times to catch my breath but there are no steep edges or anything like that. Just a wide gravel path.

Zig zags on the Snwodon Ranger Path

The zig zag path.

Beyond the zig-zags, the steepness of the path eases and rises slowly with stunning views up to Snowdon (in cloud here):

Mid section of the Snowdon Ranger Path

Towards the mid section of the route, here the path eases.

Towards the end of the first section, there is a marked path that leads into the town of Llanberis.

I’ve found that this path makes for an excellent circular route. In 2023 I went up the Llanberis Path and down the Ranger Path, then took this route back into the town of Llanberis.

Connecting path

This marker stone can be found here: https://what3words.com/standards.silently.news but the path is new so isn’t shown on the satellite map yet (as of April 2024)

Section 2) The Rugged Section

The rugged section isn’t particularly steep and I’ve seen mountain bikers come down this route – some of them had to dismount while some just about made it over the rocky section.

I’ve never seen anyone struggle on this section and I’ve seen plenty of dogs up here and parents with children.

The photos below give you an idea of what the terrain is like:

Start of the rugged section

The path narrows and there is a short rugged section ahead. I’ve never found this part difficult it’s just rocky and rugged.

Rocky rugged section

The path is still easy to follow here.

Mid section of the Ranger path

This is the most rugged part of the route and I’ve seen mountain bikers come down this path – they just about made it!

Cairns on the Ranger Path

At the top of the rugged section, the path levels off and cairns help with navigation in low cloud.

Section 3) The Final Section to the Summit

The final section of the path is easy to follow in good visibility, but extra care is needed in low cloud, especially in descent.

The path here merges with the Llanberis Path and passes the top of the Pyg Track. The summit is only a short distance away.

Soon after this point, the other side of the mountain is visible.

Final section

Here I step over the railway and onto the top of the Llanberis Path towards the summit.

Pyg track

The view down the other side of the mountain with the Pyg and Miners tracks visible.

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 Snowdon Ranger Path.
  2. Down the Rhyd Ddu Path, which is more difficult and either walk along the road or get the bus back to the Snowdon Ranger car park.
  3. Down the more difficult Watkin Path and get the bus back (you may need to change buses at Beddgelert).

If you go back down the Snowdon Ranger Path, make sure you don’t miss the fork in the path.

I have seen people get lost here, usually when they are distracted or in low cloud.

There are actually four routes in the image below:

  1. Ranger Path.
  2. Llanberis Path.
  3. Crib Goch.
  4. Pyg Track.
Descending the Snowdon Ranger Path

The easily missed fork on descent (take the left line (1) for the Snowdon Ranger Path)

Who I Recommend This Route To

The Snowdon Ranger Path is only marginally more rugged than the hugely popular Llanberis Path.

I recommend the Ranger Path:

  • On fine weather days when visibility is good.
  • To those who want to avoid the crowds on the Llanberis Path.
  • Anyone who wants to try a circular route.

If you’re worried about getting lost on Snowdon, I suggest trying the Llanberis Path first, I’ve never seen it quiet and if you are unsure of where to go, there will likely be others around you can follow.

I have been up and down the Ranger Path before without seeing anyone and that could be a little daunting for a first-timer, especially in low clouds when the route is somewhat obscured.

Route Profile and Information

Grade: The Snowdon Path is not a climbing or scrambling route but is a hiking path graded as a “hard mountain walk”.

Suitability for Beginners: This is one of the easiest routes up Snowdon.

Navigation: The path is well-worn and obvious on the lower sections and only slightly less clear on the upper parts, however extra attention is required in low cloud, especially in descent.

Dangers: Steep drops and exposed sections on the upper part of the route on the Llanberis Path, near the summit.

Length: 8 miles/13km there and back.

Time (there and back): 5-7 hours.

Popularity: This is one of the quieter routes up Snowdon.

Fun Rating: 7/10.

My Dislikes: None.

Similar Routes up Snowdon: The Llanberis Path is similar but busier. The Rhy Ddu Path is more rugged and quieter.

Nearby Routes of Interest: Consider the nearby Nantlle Ridge. The Watkin Path.

Not Sure Which Route to Take Up Snowdon?

Watch my short video where I list all six routes up Snowdon from easiest to most difficult:

More:

I hope you find this guide to the Snowdon Ranger Path helpful; I urge you to watch my videos to see what the path is like.

I would describe this route as an excellent alternative to the more popular Llanberis Path and the new circular path makes for an exciting link back to Llanberis.

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

Recommended Guide Book:

Scrambles in Snowdonia

Scrambles in Snowdonia by Steve Ashton (#ad)

About Daniel Woodley

These photos and route descriptions were created by Daniel Woodley, aka The Bald Scrambler, and this page forms part of the Hiking Routes section.

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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