Arenig Fawr is in our opinion the most all round beautiful place in the entirety of Snowdonia National Park.
The summit views are a full 360 degrees of uninterrupted wonder, the bothy is possibly the cosiest trail retreat ever, the lake is staggering….and on and on….
NOTE: the descent on this trail route is completely off trail for a long section. This means no path, no clear route and many obstacles. It’s also very boggy, meaning wet feet throughout the year. It took doing this mountain many many times to feel comfortable going at any speed over this route.
Reaching the summit of Arenig Fawr and returning the way we came is the route we use in either the toughest conditions or on lazy wandering days.
Distance 5.9 miles
Time 2 to 3 hours (walking) / 1 hr 15m (running)
Total Ascent 1,868ft
Summits Arenig Fawr.
Views 360 degrees of pure mountains and massive horizon landscape, off the chart on a clear day.
Highlight video from the Arenig Fawr trail route, filmed August Bank Holiday 2019.
1. For years we’ve parked at an unused open space of land just opposite the quarry, but it was blocked off in around August 2019. There are a number of small laybys and spaces to park safely around this area. The route starts with a bit of normal tarmac road to warm the legs up, eventually getting a lovely view of Llyn Celyn just as the trail path heads off to the right through a small silver metal stile and up the hill.
2. The path snakes around and finally levels out as the view of Llyn Arenig lake begins to appear. A short descent ends by the lake with the tiny open stone bothy cottage, a fantastic place to rest up.
3. The real ascent begins from here, crossing the reservoir stream and following the ridge line to the left of the lake. The path clearly continues onwards and upwards, crossing a couple of small fences and a short levelled out section with boggy ground. After this the best way to summit is follow a footpath across to the left, staying at a constant elevation, and then crossing the boulders and scree diagonally to the top. The summit itself is fantastic, with unimaginably good views in literally every direction. The stone circle is two sided and provides decent wind break cover in most conditions.
4. Descending is a choice of challenge at this point: on lazy days and harsh conditions we often retrace our footsteps and go back the same way we came. However, this trail route is for an off trail descent that provides a ton of physical and mental challenge to cross. There’s no path for the last quarter of this Arenig Fawr trail route, it’s across completely overgrown ground with many boulders, foot holes and tough obstacles. But we find it insanely good fun. The toughest section is over when we get to the unmarked reservoir, then we cross to the edge of the old quarry and follow the narrow path back to the start.