Horseshoe Pass (or Bwlch yr Oernant as it is known in Welsh) is one of the best hill climbs in North Wales. Taken from the south it is a really classic ride and one that is justifiably popular. The English name describes the distinctive horseshoe kink which bends around the steep slopes of Oernant. This dramatic feature gives the route much of its character and also ensures that you will be at the mercy of the negative (or positive) effects of the prevailing wind.
The climb from the south is 6.5km long climb with around 300m of height gain. The steepest section, with a gradient of 12%, is met in a wooded area near the start of the climb. Thereafter the gradient eases but the distance to the top is still considerable.
At 404m Horseshoe Pass is a high road col; consequently during the winter months it is occasionally blocked with snow.
There are various starting points, depending on your intended route, but Llangollen is the most obvious option.