Arenig Fawr is a wonderfully isolated peak with breathtaking views across the mountains of Snowdonia.
The classic route starts off with a gentle track leading up to the dam at the south east corner of Llyn Arenig Fawr. The going soon gets tougher and the steep ascent up the Y Castell ridge is both heathery and rocky. A boggy plateau precedes a push up the final summit slopes. It is possible to retrace your steps but if you have time a more absorbing circuit can be done. The circuit route heads off north westwards, and then westwards down the ridge by Craig y Hyrddod.
After some marshy ground a path leads north to an old dismantled railway line – this takes you back to the road and a 2km stomp on tarmac to finish.
It is possible to extend the circuit with an ascent of the nearby Moel Llyfnant. This is very worthwhile, although it does require a bit of off-path navigation and improvisation so save it for a clear day.
This is mountain terrain so always Prepare Well and Know Your Limits. During the winter season, typically from late October to April, there is a high probability that snow and ice will be encountered under foot. In these conditions ice axe and crampons are essential. Click the Safety & Access button below for more info.
The normal starting point is on the minor road which runs west-to-east south of Llyn Celyn. There is a small car parking space opposite the track leading up to Llyn Arenig Fawr.
Safety & Access
Enjoy the Mountains Safely. Here are a few words of advice from Snowdonia’s Mountain Safe Partnership.
1. Prepare Well
have the right equipment with you for the best and worst-case scenario! You’ll need a map and compass, torch, food and drink, whistle, first aid kit and a fully charged mobile phone.
2. Have the latest weather and ground information.
Check the Met Office Mountain Weather forecast for Snowdonia before you set out and be prepared to turn back if the weather worsens – the mountains will still be here for you to enjoy the next time you visit.
3. Dress appropriately
the weather and temperature can change dramatically between the foot of the mountain and the summit. You’ll need strong walking boots, several layers of clothing including warm ones, gloves, a hat and waterproof jacket and trousers.
4. Know where you're going
Plan your route before setting off and ask for local advice. Have a map and compass and know how to use them and choose a route which is suitable for you and your group’s experience and fitness level. Find out how long it should take and when it gets dark.
5. Know your limits
whilst being very enjoyable, getting out into the mountains can be hard work – challenge yourself but be aware of the fitness levels, and experience of the group as a whole – not just your own.
The publisher of this website accepts no responsibility for the way in which readers use the information contained therein. The descriptions and recommendations are for guidance only and must be subject to discriminating judgement by the reader. Advice and training should be sought before utilising any equipment or techniques mentioned within the text or shown in any of the photographic images.
Hill walking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.