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?
Also, there is a path (recently created by the park authority) that links the Snowdon Ranger Path to the more popular and even easier Llanberis Path.
If you like the idea of doing a circular route and exploring two sides of the mountain in the same day, check out my 3 minute video here:
Length: 8miles/13km there and back
Starting elevation: 590ft/180m above sea level
Total elevation gain: 936 metres/3070ft.
Difficulty: Second easiest route up Snowdon but still classed as a hard mountain walk. No scrambling is required.
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.
Parking and Facilities For The Snowdon Ranger Path
The Snowdon Ranger car park contains a limited number of spaces and costs £6 all day (last checked August 2023) and is the closest car park for the route.
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 (white) to the summit of Snowdon.
Imagery © 2023 Google, Airbus, Bluesky, Infoterra, COWI, Cnes/Airbus, Getmapping PLC, Landset, Maxar Technologies
The 3 Sections of the Rhyd Ddu Path
Here are the three sections of the Snowdon Ranger Path:
- The first 1/3rd of the route is a gravel path that I’ve always found easy to follow and not particularly steep.
- The mid-section of the route is the most rugged, but no scrambling is required.
- 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, 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.
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:
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):
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.
If you want to try a circular route, I suggest going up the Llanberis Path and down the Ranger Path, then taking this route back into Llanberis.
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 August 2023)
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 too.
The path narrows and there is a short rugged section ahead. I’ve never found this part difficult it’s just rocky and rugged.
The path is still easy to follow here.
I’ve seen mountain bikers come down this path – they just about made it!
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.
The path soon merges with the Llanberis Path until the summit, only a short distance away.
At this point, the other side of the mountain is now visible.
Here I step over the railway and onto the top of the Llanberis Path towards the summit.
The view down the other side of the mountain with the Pyg and Miners tracks visible.
Snowdon’s summit – all to myself 😉
From the summit, you have plenty of options, the most popular being:
- The way you came, back down the Snowdon Ranger Path.
- 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.
- 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:
- Ranger Path.
- Llanberis Path.
- Crib Goch.
- Pyg Track.
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 challenging 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 cloud.
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, extra attention is required in low cloud.
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.
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 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 aka The Bald Scrambler