One of our favourite Carneddau trail routes, this circular walk of Drum Foel Fras & Llwytmor has nearly 4,000ft of ascent in 11 miles of staggeringly beautiful Snowdonia mountain terrain.
Beginning just above sea level in the cute village of Llanfairfechan, the route wanders up ancient Roman roads into the hills and mountains. Drum and Fras are long drawn out hills, tough on the legs, and Llwytmor is one of the most underrated mountains in the whole national park.
Llwytmor has unreal views over both the beautiful lake Llyn Anafon and the valley down to the sea, with Anglesey looking particularly stunning at sunset from this summit. We’ve timed our visits for sunset here many times, and the last few miles back to the start in darkness is simply magical.
Distance 10.9 miles
Time 5 hours 30 mins (walking) 2 hours (running)
Total Ascent 3,864ft
Summits Drum, Foel Fras, Llwytmor
Views Llyn Anafon lake, Anglesey and North Wales coastal views.
1. This Carneddau trail route starts out at the back of Llanfairfechan Golf Club, parking at a small public space on a narrow country road. The swing gate is immediately next to the parking and we head up this track which reaches the Roman roads within the first half an hour. Views out towards the sea are stunning along this section of the trail.
2. The ground levels out a little, passing underneath huge powerlines and heading straight across the Roman crossroads (signposted “Drum”). This clearly marked trail wanders up, with the view of the Anafon valley opening up the closer we get to Drum’s summit and stone circle for a coffee break.
3. Drum to Foel Fras is our least enjoyable section of this route – it begins with some really wet boggy marshland before a long grassy hill slog to the boulder field summit. Fras is one of those mountains that seems to attract the clouds and we always feel it’s worth a stop here to experience just how quickly the weather changes. Navigation is simple in any weather to this point, it’s worth noting there’s a fence line to follow easily from Drum to Foel Fras in poor visibility.
4. From the summit of Foel Fras to Llwytmor to lake Llyn Anafon there is NO TRAIL. Site visitors reading this information and intending on visiting should retrace their steps back to Drum if they wish to stay on clearly marked trails and paths. That being said, Llwytmor is one of the most underrated mountains in Snowdonia, it’s 360 degree views are breathtaking in pretty much any weather. We love spending time in the rock/boulder “castles” just off the north side of the mountain summit. Descending to Llyn Anafon from Llwytmor is challenging, having to choose a steep route down through dense ferns, gorse, boulders and many many deep hidden holes in the ground. Again, for clarity, this section is completely off trail, the only “paths” being small narrow sections of sheep trails to utilise.
5. Llyn Anafon is another underrated location, the glacial bowl lifts on three sides to the mountains of this route – Drum Foel Fras & Llwytmor. The open north easterly side follows the river, eventually to the Menai Straits. We use the reservoir track for about a mile before veering up sharp right (abandoned buildings on the left at this point). A short scree line climbs steeply to a narrow path that snakes around Foel Ganol, eventually rejoining the Roman Road by the big powerlines and crossroads sign. At this point it’s a comfy downhill back to the start.
Video highlights of the whole trail route
This day out at Drum Foel Fras & Llwytmor started out bright and sunny but Fras and Llwytmor provided plenty of dramatic clouds and light bursts.