Snowdon - Llanberis Path
North Wales Mountain Bike Route Guide
Snowdonia, North Wales
(Requires advanced skills and fittness)
OS Landranger 115
Route Text Download:
Snowdon - Llanberis Path
GPX and KML
(available via the full MapMyRide page for this route, on the right hand side of the page)
Snowdon - Llanberis Path Route
This 9.6 mile mountain bike route starts in Llanberis, in Snowdonia, North Wales. It climbs the Llanberis Path to the summit of Snowdon before returning down the same track. Before attempting this, or any of my other Snowdon routes, remember that Snowdon is a big mountain, don’t let the tourists and café lull you into a false sense of security. The majority of the riding is made up of steep, rocky trials that will test your riding skills to the limit. Whichever route you choose there will be a certain amount of hike-a-biking, so you must be happy with pushing and/or carrying your bike.
Snowdon Voluntary Cycling Agreement
During the summer months Snowdon is very busy with walkers and tourists. To avoid accidents and incidents with cyclists a voluntary agreement has been put in place, limiting the times bikes are allowed on Snowdon. To avoid an outright ban please adhere to the times of this agreement - available here.
1. Start from the main car park, next to the Electric Mountain visitor centre, in Llanberis (GR580601). At the exit of the car park turn left onto the main road and ride past the Electric Mountain visitor centre on the left. Continue following the road straight on, past the Snowdon Mountain Railway on the far side of Llanberis, then climb to a mini roundabout just after (GR583596). Turn right and follow the lane, past a line of houses on the left, to a junction with a lane on the right. Go straight on, then at the end of the houses cross the cattle grid that marks the start of a very steep road climb. At about half way the lane bears left after which the lane continues climbing very steeply to the Pen-y-Ceunant tea house at the top, on the left. After the tea house continue ahead up the much easier incline to a gate where the lane turns right. Once through the gate follow the lane right up a short, steep climb to the signposted junction with the start of the Llanberis Path on the left (GR581589).
2. Turn left and follow the trail through a gate then up a few rocky sections that give a good indication of what is to come. What follows is a very challenging mixture of loose rocks, slab steps, boulder cobbles, and some flatter rocky hardpack. Some sections are always a push/carry, mainly in the top third, but in good conditions the trail is about 50-70% ridable (depending on how good you are at climbing). The bonus though is when it gets too much you can rest and take in the awesome scenery. When it's open the Halfway House is a great place to stop for a cup of tea and a cake on the way up. Continue following the Llanberis Path ahead all the way to the summit (GR610544).
3. After the obligatory summit photos, taking in the views, and fighting past the crowds for a coffee the mountain has to be descended. The descent is simply a case of following the Llanberis Path all the way back down the mountain, which has the benefit that you know what to expect. While it's possible to ride 100% of the descent it's a very technical prospect with big boulders, steep scree, large rock steps and fast flowing sections to tackle. It is a popular place with walkers so it’s best to find a time when foot traffic is light or you could be slowing down every 10 meters. At the end of the descent the Llanberis Path comes to a gate. Go through the gate to the junction with the lane (GR581589).
4. Turn right and descend the lane all the way back into Lanberis, passing the Pen-y-Ceunant tea house on the way, which is licenced and good for refreshment. Continue following the lane ahead until it ends at the mini roundabout on the eastern end of Llanberis (GR583596). Turn left and descend the main road past the Snowdon Mountain Railway to a junction with a road on the left just after. Continue ahead along the main road to the next junction on the right, which is the entrance to the Electric Mountain visitor centre car park. Turn right into the car park to complete the ride.