Cnicht is a 2,260ft (689m) mountain in Snowdonia National Park, North Wales. It’s distinctively peaked summit earned it the nickname of “the Welsh matterhorn” in modern times.
It’s slightly odd name is derived from the Olde English word “knight” without a silent “k”, again referencing Cnicht’s shape but this time likening it to a soldiers helmet of medieval times.
The tiny village of Croesor is the nearest settlement, with a car park that’s perfect for summiting Cnicht.
Cnicht Quarry Trail Route
Fun loop taking in a great Snowdonia mountain and a number of lakes and old quarries, just over 7.5 miles. The route has a significant ascent to Cnicht summit, a wide open stretch in the middle miles and a long east facing descent back to the start (great for sunset).
Distance 7.6 miles
Time 3 hours (walking) 1 hour (running)
Total Ascent 2,538ft
Views miles and miles of Snowdonia’s mountains in good weather.
1. This trail route begins in a small car park in the village of Croesor, leaving the village up a steep lane which soon takes a right into a small forest. Cnicht’s craggy summit appears pretty early on in the distance and it’s a fairly direct route path to the top.
2. After leaving Cnicht summit the route arcs around to the right in a wide U-shape, heading roughly towards Moelwyn Mawr summit and taking in a number of small but beautiful lakes. Although there is a fairly level couple of miles here, it’s the easiest part of the route to lose bearings in poor visibility. The path to Cnicht and the final path are reasonably simple to follow, this middle section is at times unclear and not the easiest to navigate. This route heads towards the largest abandoned quarry, with one large structure still partly intact.
3. After this quarry there’s a short climb partway up Moelwyn Mawr, and from there it’s a straightforward downhill to the final quarry before taking the old miners path back to the village of Croesor.