Cadair Idris

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Cadair Idris is one of the finest mountains in Wales and this route offers a straightforward introduction which leads to the summit from the north. It starts at a car park which is located about one kilometre past the Gwernan Lake Hotel, on the road from Dolgellau. The ridge of Cadair Idris can be seen rising above the trees as you walk along the road and join the footpath to Ty Nant Farm. Cyfrwy (The Saddle) dominates the view from the north. Further to the left, you can see Pen y gadair (the true summit) and Mynydd Moel.

The footpath goes past Ty Nant Farm and continues through woodland, where you may see foxgloves and perhaps catch sight of a dipper. There is a memorial plaque to Will Ramsbotham, a Cader race winner. As you gain height, the views open out to encompass farmland below and a line of cliffs above, guarding the northern side of the mountain.

On gaining the summit ridge, bear east and follow the Pony Path to Pen y gadair. It is possible to detour to the summit of Cyfrwy. There are views down towards Llyn y Gadair, but take care to avoid the clifftop edge in adverse conditions. The Pony Path leads to the triangulation pillar on the summit, from which many of the mountains of Mid- and North Wales can be seen on a clear day. There is a stone refuge hut just below the summit, which replaces an earlier shelter that was used by an old woman who sold refreshments to walkers.

As you descend from the summit to retrace your route, there is a good view of the Cyfrwy Arete in profile. This is graded as a difficult rock climb and was first climbed by Owen Glynne Jones in 1888. Further along the Pony Path, there are views towards Mawddach Estuary, Barmouth Bridge and the sea. The walk back to the start is enjoyable and footpath restoration has done much to improve this route in recent years.

Those who prefer a harder, but more varied alternative may wish to consider a descent from the summit via the Foxes Path (see Walk 1376) to reach Llyn y Gadair, where a feint path leads west to Waymark 4. However, it is important to locate the cairns marking the top of the Foxes Path, especially in poor visibility.

Wales - Mid Wales - Meirionnydd - Snowdonia

Features

Birds, Flowers, Great Views, Mountains, Toilets
25/03/2018 - Robert Cooper

First rate walk and description. My Satmap GPS put the distance as 5.92 miles, not 5 miles so something to bear in mind when planning the time. The time given is a little optimistic. We completed the walk in 4 hours 15 which, given the height gain of 2400 ft more or less fits in with Naismith.

04/05/2013 - EMMS TURNER

Walked this walk 30/04/13 Beautiful views, easily marked and footpath restored.lots to see, waterfalls,woodland and mountain scenery.

31/08/2005 - Sam Roebuck

Walked this August 2005. All clear and walkable. Possibly the easiest route to Cadair Idris.

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Distance away
19.9 Miles
26.1 Miles