This Cadair Idris Loop is just short of 6 miles and begins and ends at the Miniffordd Path on the south east of the mountain.
It’s a hugely underrated mountain, with a challenging total ascent of over 3,000ft and some amazing views from the summit.
The waterfalls through the forest at the start/end are of stark contrast to the boulder laden summits.
Distance 5.9 miles
Time 3 hours 30 mins (walking) 1 hour 15 mins (running)
Total Ascent 3,101ft
Summits Craig Cwm Amarch, Cadair Idris (also referred to as Penygadair) and Mynedd Moel.
Views miles and miles of Snowdonia’s mountains in good weather.
1. Parking at the Minifford car park, the well marked trail leads past the cafe and turns right into the forest, climbing steeply alongside the waterfalls. Shortly after a passing gate comes the choice of which way around to do this loop; either left through the ferns and summit Craig Cwm Amarch first or right over the stream on the slate bridge to summit Mynedd Moel first. While both are no easy option, the slog of Mynedd Moel means we go left more than we choose right, which is what this trail route describes.
2. To the left the path snakes up the valley to the stunning valley lake Llyn Cau, a great spot for a rest to admire the view. Continuing upwards around the ridge we reach the top of Craig Cwm Amarch, keeping the drop to Llyn Cau on our right hand side.
3. There’s a short descent from Craig Cwm Amarch before the path turns sharply upwards through the boulder fields to the summit of Cadair Idris. There’s a stone shelter just off the summit that’s great for a break in poor weather conditions.
4. After Idris’s summit, it’s a gentle hill wander over to the top of Mynydd Moel and then down to the south, descending fast to meet a loose scree path alongside a wall. This eventually crosses a stile and reaches the slate footbridge mentioned earlier. Retracing steps down through the forest is the final piece of the puzzle.