Tryfan is without doubt our go to mountain in Snowdonia for fun, and this is the best Tryfan hiking loop.
Ascending the north face at either walk or run pace is a really amazing experience; loads of scrambly bits and short bouldering sections to freeclimb.
There’s no single definitive path, and despite summiting this mountain well over 100 times to date, we have yet to take exactly the same route twice.
The north face ascent usually takes around 50/60 minutes walking, and the descent around 30/35 minutes. We run this trail up in around 40-50 minutes and descend between 10 and 20 minutes.
Distance 1.6 miles
Time 1 hour 30 minutes (walking) 50 mins to 1 hour (running)
Total Ascent 1,983ft
Summits Tryfan (917m)
Views Ogwen Valley, the Glyderau, the Carneddau, Snowdon Horseshoe, Llyn Boclwyd, Llyn Idwal, Llyn Ogwen
Pete running down the west face in 10 minutes.
Full walkthrough of the best Tryfan hiking loop.
Timelapses at Tryfan.
Llyn Ogwen from Tryfan’s lower north face
One of the Adam & Eve summit stones in the cold mid-winter
Tryfan from Llyn Idwal
1. We park by the Tryfan end of Llyn Ogwen and head through the stile looking up at the north face. The familiar dry stone wall soon disappears by the stile and the fun begins up to the left, using the partial steps and various boulders/cracks/small gulleys to head UP quickly.
2. There’s so many highlights in this incredibly short but steep route, with the popular “tryfan cannon stone” around halfway up being one such area. As we snake around the ridge taking in a short path above heather terrace, the views both east towards Moel Siabod and west over the Ogwen Valley are all simply breathtaking, in every weather condition.
3. Similarly to Snowdon itself, we rarely find ourselves on Tryfan at weekends due to the deluge of tourists and mountain leader types. The weekdays and particularly mid-week evenings are more often than not the best times for us. Tryfan’s summit with the Adam & Eve stones is a truly special place, and making time for regular sunsets there is an essential part of life.
4. Descending via the west side into the Ogwen Valley is simply amazing, every time. The top section of boulders take around 10 minutes walking briskly, then it’s “the floor is lava” (bouncing rock to rock without touching the ground) all the way back down to Llyn Ogwen. Running this section is one of the finest thrills on offer in Snowdonia National Park.