The Rhinogydd is a sprawling mass of hills which sit between the Harlech coastline and the A470 Trawsfynydd – Coed y Brenin road. If you are looking for something a little different to the typical Snowdonia upland landscape then this is well worth a look. None of the peaks here have any great height but it remains a fairly hostile and little travelled place. The craggy, heather infested terrain has few good paths and if you do venture off-piste the going soon gets tough – that heather blanket hides many ankle-twisting holes, and elsewhere boot-swallowing bogs abound. Regardless of these ‘minor issues’, the rewards for an intrepid walker are many and an ascent of Rhinog Fawr, makes for a very special day out. Skipping round the shoreline of the spookily dark (and appropriately named) Llyn Du you cannot help but feel the wildness of this extraordinary place. The rocky, and occasionally scree-laden, path that takes you to the summit is steep and unforgiving, but the view that waits on top is quite spectacular.
It is tempting to extend the walk with an ascent of Rhinog Fach to the south, but given the absence of an obvious connecting route this is perhaps best done on a separate day when you can take in the biggest peak of the Rhinogydd: Y Llethr.
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.
There are several route options available, but most visitors opt for an approach from the Coed y Brenin side or, perhaps better, to follow the Roman Steps up from the head of Cwm Bychan.
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.