This is a long and involved ride linking remote bridleways and byways with sections of equally remote mountain road. The route uses quiet and rarely used tracks with a series of climbs over mountain and moors.
Once out of Betws y Coed the route crosses the river just up from the Fairy Glen, and then makes a steep climb before sweeping round the back of Dinas Mawr. It then follows minor roads on the hillside above the A5 and up to Pen yr Orsedd. As you reach the Pentrefoelas Moors the road deteriorates to a grassy track and you follow the Hiraethog trail for a short distance. You then drop down to the A5 and the tiny village of Rhydlydan. The route then heads south and swings around the southern flank of Moel Eglwys, before cutting back westwards and climbing up to Bwlch Blaen-y-cwm, and then reaching Ybyty Ifan. A steep climb takes you over the tops to descend into Penmachno. Here you follow 5km of maintained mountain bike trail on the Dolen Eryri loop, before dropping down to the road, and heading back to the start in Betws y Coed.
The route is quite remote so make sure you have a map and compass, plenty of food and water, plus adequate clothing and bike spares. You should also tell someone of your intentions and estimated return time, just to be sure.
This is a wild mountain biking route as opposed to a purpose built trail, and as such it can be very challenging in poor weather conditions. In the very worst winter conditions the higher sections of the route may be blocked by drifting snow. If undertaken in the wet the route will feel a lot longer given the nature of the riding and the lack of shelter.
Start from anywhere in Betws y Coed, Dolwyddelan or Ysbty Ifan.