Mynydd Mawr & Moel Tryfan

Difficulty: Medium

Distance: 15km

Time: 6hrs 

Ascent: 810m

Fitness: Moderate. Steady walking throughout with a few steep sections. 

Technicality: Walking. No Scrambling.

Terrain: Mixture of rough tracks and paths across comfortable terrain. Some steep ground through one section.

Navigation: Reasonably easy in good visibility but in low cloud you will definitely need to be switched on and have ability to ruse map and compass.

1 SH 526 588. Start at the Snowdonia Parc, remember to pop in if you use the car park and let them know of your plan to visit on your return. At the main road, turn left (S) and walk the short distance to the road that turns right at SH 526 587. Follow the road to the viewpoint at SH 515 583, making sure to catch the steep turn to the left along the way. From the viewpoint, head SE to the Tyddyn where you pass between the two compounds and turn left (E) behind to follow the track up to Moel Smytho.

2 SH 521 576. From the split boulders on Moel Smytho, head South and follow the track that borders the planted woodland and looks rightwards to the slate tips of Moel Trfan quarry. Handrail the wall to your left until you turn the sharp corner at SH 528 559. Cross the little wet area and pick up the track SE at SH 529 559. This is your second climb of the day and where the sauntering comes to a temporary halt! The track to the summit of Mynydd Mawr is well defined and bears roughly SE for the duration. Take care for the steep ground of Craig Cwm Du to your left and stay on the path straight to the top!

3 SH 539 546. Summit of Mynydd Mawr. The immediate summit area is a bit of a rocky ankle trap, but if the weather is good, stick around and enjoy the wider grassy plateau and the sweeping views to Snowdon and the Nantlle ridge then Yr eifl and if you know your hills, you may even be able to name a few of the Glyderau peaks! You can head NE to the cairn near Craig Cwm Bychan or S then E, past Craig y Bera and over to Foel Rudd.

4 SH 531 555. After returning to the summit cairn, head back down the way you came up, bearing NW but this time, take the path to the left (West) at SH 531 555 and over to Moel Tryfan. There are lots of little tracks cutting through the heather, so just head toward the slate tip and then the left of it, where you should eventually hit a dirt track at about SH 519 559.

5 SH 519 559. From here, head right or NE along the track, keeping to the safe side of the quarry fence. Follow the track as it winds through the old quarry site and eventually curves back to the NW and up towards Moel Tryfan. Do not enter the main quarry area where the deep lakes are, but stick to the dirt road and then pick up the tracks through the heather and once you leave the immediate area of the quarry, you should be heading W/SW towards the summit of Moel Tryfan. The high ground around the top of the quarry is fenced off and safe, as long as you stick to the tracks!

6 SH 515 562. Moel Tryfan. An out of place little lump of rock on top of a heathery hill, but an interesting and pretty one. Read about the history before heading NE and downhill towards the right hand side of the tips, where you will pick up a track that passes Hafod Ruffydd and weaves roughly North between the houses and back to the viewing point, where you will pick up the road you started on. Depending on how tired your legs are, either enjoy or endure that steep road back to the pub for a well earned reward or two!