Ideally suited for a two-day trip, the route to the summit of Cadair Idris from Dolgellau offers unparallelled views of Snowdonia, before making a relaxed and easy return via the Penmaenpool to Mawddach walk.
Spanning over 24km, this route takes around 10 hours on average to compete, reaching an elevation of 1200m.
Starting from the square in Dolgellau, head east outside of the town centre, crossing a river before reaching a junction. Follow the road and head up the hill, before turning left after a payphone, which will bring you to the track. Following the right of way and take the path that will lead you through a number of fields.
The clear path will guide you over the ridge and into the following valley, eventually taking you over moorlands. Once you reach the stile at SH 745 152, follow the wall up towards the summit. On your right, you should be able to see both Mynydd Moel and Pen y Gadair, the summit of Cadair Idris.
As you reach the top of Gau Graig, use the clear path along the broad ridge heading towards Mynydd Moel. Following the fence to the right, you will eventually arrive at the end of the plateau where you will need to be on the right-hand side of the fence. As you carry on this route, the incline will grow steeper and may be challenging for non-experienced climbers. Once you have cleared the scree, you will have arrived at the top of Mynydd Moel.
From here, Pen y Gadair is relatively easy to reach by crossing a wide plateaued area. Depending on how your feelings there are steps leading to the summit and some of the most beautiful views in all of Snowdonia. Should you need to hide from the treacherous weather, the summit offers a shelter to protect you from mother nature. Continue past the shelter, keeping to the right and descending down the Pony Path.
This path will lead you to the stunning lake, known as Llyn y Gader. The lakeside has been proven to be an excellent, picturesque area to pitch a tent for climbers looking to spread their hike over two days.
The Pony Path will eventually bring you out to a carpark and public toilets. Follow the bridleway behind the toilets and past the farm of Tyddyn Evan and through partially wooded fields. Follow the signs and paths towards Kings, before joining a minor road. Once this joins the main road, turn left and across the road through a narrow road along the river.
Eventually, turn left and find yourself on a wide track alongside the river. Once you have crossed some wetlands and an estuary, you’ll find the Penmaenpool to Mawddach walk. The old railway route will take you directly back to the centre of Dolgellau.
This information has been adapted from a user-submitted route from Mud & Routes in 2011. Some of the route may have naturally changed. For more information, please visit http://www.mudandroutes.com/cadair-idris-from-dolgellau/