In the depths of lesser trodden Snowdonia, there’s a beast called Aran Fawddwy, a bit south of popular town Bala and to the east of Lake Vyrnwy.
This challenging trail includes waterfalls, open marshland, a truly great mountain to summit and an incredible trail to run back down to the start.
Distance 7.6 miles
Time 3 hours (walking) 1hr 30mins (running)
Total Ascent 2,706ft
Summits Gwaun Y Llwyni, Aran Fawddwy, Drysgol.
Views miles of landscape from the top of Aran Fawddwy, the trail route descends into a breathtaking valley.
The summit of Drysgol mountain
Aran Fawddwy summit just peeking through the clouds
Open boggy marshland between the top of the waterfall and the summit
Dinas Mawddwy road that leads to the National Trust car park
The summit of Aran Fawddwy, with a cloud inversion
1. Great little National Trust car park available for this trail route, at the top of the Dinas Mawddwy valley. From here it’s past the neighbouring farm and the ascent begins with a steady climb alongside the mountain stream and a series of small waterfalls.
2. As the ground levels out we head to the right, generally following an old fence line across the boggy plateau. Even in the height of summer this section, all the way to the start of the summit ascent, is generally pretty wet with ankle deep boggy moss for yards at a time. Halfway to the summit it’s possible to veer further to the right and summit neighbouring peak Gwaun Y Llwyni as a dog leg variation to get to the top.
3. Aran Fawddwy’s summit is a great one, full of craggy boulders with steep views down over the little lake Creigllyn Dyfi that then stretch out for miles on clear days. On this trail route we head back briefly from where we came, then retain the drop to Creigllyn Dyfi on our left and follow the trail to the top of Drysgol mountain.
4. Our favourite part of this trail route is the descent from Drysgol, crossing the west flank of Pen Yr Allt Uchaf on an amazing trail through the ferns. The view is breathtaking, the trail is open just enough to really stride out and it’s a truly exhilarating finale to a great outdoor adventure.