If you’re looking to climb all the major summits of Cadair Idris, this is the route for you.
Starting your hike in the small hamlet of Llanfihangel-y-pennant, the trail will take you a little over 15.5 miles over varying terrains to the tops of Cadair Idris and the outlying hills. The trail is estimated to take between 8 – 10 hours depending on your abilities, so pack accordingly.
Starting from the carpark in Llanfihangel-y-pennant, follow the country lane and take a right at the track which leads uphill. Follow the path up an increasing incline to an old cottage, and take the stile to the right-hand side. Head towards to top of the slope ahead, where you will eventually reach a path.
Here the trail becomes more level as you reach the grassy ridges of Mynydd Pencoed, and the route up to the rocky summit of Craig Cwm Amarch becomes easier to walk up. Here, this route joins together with a number of other paths to the peak, as well as some spectacular views of the Snowdonia.
Follow the Minfford Path that crosses the summit as you decline to the col where the Llyn Cau path joins your route. Be cautious as this route has eroded over time.
From here, follow onwards to Pen y Gadair, the summit of Cadair Idris. The route is not overly challenging or demanding and is cairned all the way. You will see the summit to your right and eventually reach the summit shelter as pictured below. Once at the summit, descend Pen y Gadair using the Pony Path, often said as one of the most scenic routes of the entire mountain.
On a clear day, the path to Mynydd Moel is easy to follow, but we advise to take precautions when visibility is poor. The summit of Mynydd Moel will be your next stop before returning the way you came and back onto the Pony Path. Some parts of the descent may require you to use your hands depending on weather conditions.
Follow the path towards the bottom, before taking on the penultimate summit, Tyrrau Mawr. Follow a gradual ascent following a fence, here you will see Carnedd Llwyd in the distance, which may resemble a quarry from a distance. The actual summit is a short yet steeper walk beyond this. The views from here are spectacular, with the final summit of Craig y Llyn in view, as well as the coastal town of Barmouth.
Don’t let the view of the final summit worry you, the scale of the hill is often misjudged from this angle. The climb should only take 15 to 20 minutes. Walk along the ridge to the point marked as Craig y Llyn on your map, following the fences heading south by southeast. In poor weather conditions, the shelter in the cairn is a perfect place to stop for a refreshment at the summit.
From here, it’s time to start your journey back to Llanfihangel-y-pennant. Start your descent by following a fence to the track, which provides an easy descent to your starting point. Turn right at the first junction and continuing to Hafotty Gwastadfryn. Be aware that there is land being used for cattle on your descent, which may blog your way. You’ll eventually reach a minor road that leads you to a memorial of Mari Jones before you arrive at the car park.
This information has been adapted from a user-submitted route from Mud & Routes. For more information, please visit: http://www.mudandroutes.com/cadair-idris-from-llanfihangel-y-pennant/