One of the best all round ways to summit, the Watkin Path & Rhyd Ddu Snowdon Loop is great way to see the highest mountain in England and Wales.
Good car parking, beautiful forest to start, huge waterfalls, old quarries, insane views and a great ridge line descent make this a winner for doing Snowdon.
Not to mention missing the hordes of people on Crib Goch and the Pen Y Pass/Llanberis side.
Distance 7.9 miles
Time 4 hours 30 minutes (walking) 2 hours (running)
Total Ascent 3,828ft
Lakes (views of) Llyn Llydaw, Llyn Glaslyn, Crib Goch, Yr Aran, Y Lliwedd
This video shows us running down the top of the Rhyd Ddu path from Snowdon summit, with a short timelapse of Yr Aran mountain at the end.
View from near the top of the Watkin Path over Llyn Llidaw, with Crib Goch on the left and Y Lliwedd on the right.
Looking down the Rhyd Ddu path, Snowdon summit behind.
1. The Bethania car park is a really handy place to start off, plenty of space and a reasonably clean toilet block. From there we cross the road and immediately take the forest trail up. Some beautiful woodland streams and wonderful light on sunny days here.
2. The path clearly snakes its way up past a huge waterfall and into the old quarries. Snowdon summit becomes visible and the steepest part of the Watkin Path meanders up, levelling out briefly between Snowdon and Y Lliwedd before a calf busting last push to the top.
3. From the summit we initially head back in the direction we came from, but ignore the Watkin turn off and continue straight down the Rhyd Ddu ridge. This is a beautiful part of Snowdon, overshadowed by Crib Goch, it’s incredible fun to run down in any weather – the drops less vertical than Crib with a nicely worn narrow trail.
4. At the Yr Aran crossroads we choose between heading up and over Yr Aran, or turning left back down into the valley to meet the Watkin Path near the top of the big waterfall. Crossing over the waterfall at the top gives a much nicer descent (keeping the waterfall on our right hand side till crossing back on a small footbridge lower down). Then it’s retrace steps back through the forest to the car park.