Snowdon - Llanberis Path

North Wales Mountain Bike Route Guide


Region:

Snowdonia, North Wales

Difficulty:
Difficult
(Requires advanced skills and fittness)

Distance:
9.6 miles

Map:
OS Landranger 115

Route Text Download:
Snowdon - Llanberis Path

GPS Download:
GPX and KML
(available via the full MapMyRide page for this route, on the right hand side of the page)

ViewRanger
Snowdon - Llanberis Path Route

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This 9.6 mile mountain bike route starts in Llanberis, in Snowdonia, and climbs the Llanberis Path to the summit of Snowdon before returning down the same track. Before attempting this, or any of the other Snowdon routes, remember even though it is covered in tourists Snowdon is a big mountain, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. The majority of the riding is made up of steep, bouldery trials that will test your riding skills to the limit. The percentages on what is ridable are based on a very fit rider comfortable with Scottish level black runs. Whichever route you choose there will be a certain amount of hike-a-biking, so you must be happy with pushing and 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 agreed, 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 at the far side of Llanberis, then climb to a mini roundabout junction just after (GR583596). Turn right and follow the lane past the line of houses on the left to a junction with a lane on the right. Go straight on past the end of the houses then across a cattle grid for the first climb where the road becomes very steep. At the top of the very steep incline go past Pen-y-Ceunant tea house on the left. After the tea house continue climbing the lane 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 boulders, loose scree and the occasional bit of flatter rocky hardpack. There are some sections that are always a push, 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. If 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 100% ridable it's a very technical prospect with big boulders, steep scree slopes, large rock steps and fast flowing sections to tackle. Make sure you have enough pressure in your tyres and decent brakes. There is definitely the potential for a loss of control at high speed so brake fade is the last thing you want. It is also 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 Llanberis Path go through the gate to the junction with the lane (GR581589). Turn right and return along the outward route back to the car park next to the Electric Mountain visitor centre to complete the ride.