Y Garn

Y Garn mountain (947m / 3,107 ft) located in the Ogwen Valley is one of the Welsh 3,000s and the 10th highest mountain in Wales.

Lets be honest, via it’s main path Y Garn is a horrible mountain to walk up, with a long section of man made steps making the most popular ascent route from Llyn Ogwen pretty tiresome and hard work. Heading up from Devils Kitchen/Glyder Fawr side fares a little better, but still has a long grinding hill walk to the top.

However, all moans disappear at the summit with incredible 360 degree views that take in the whole Ogwen Valley, the Snowdon Horseshoe, Elidir Fawr and down the Nant Ffrancon pass towards the North Wales coast. Viewing Tryfan at sunrise from Y Garn can be one of those life changing experiences.

Viewed from the Ogwen Valley side Y Garn has the look of an enormous armchair, the steep sides of Cwm Clyd and Cwm Cywion creating the chair’s outstretched arms.

Y Garn Trail Routes

Popular ways to reach the summit of Y Garn mountain.

Distance 3.5 miles

Time 2 hours (walking) 50 mins (running)

Total Ascent 2,183ft

OS Maps click to open this route on the OS Maps website

Summits Y Garn (946m)

Views Llyn Ogwen, Llyn Idwal, Pen Yr Ole Wen, Glyder Fawr, Y Gribin, Y Garn, Elidir Fawr, Snowdon (from Y Garn summit).

Y Garn Trail Route 3D Map

Up and down the north east path of Y Garn mountain in Ogwen Valley, Snowdonia National Park, North Wales. We find this the most straightforward way to do this mountain in any weather conditions.

1. Parking near Llyn Ogwen and the visitor centre, this route wanders up to Llyn Idwal, briefly touching the tip of the lake before heading west towards the huge armchair shape of Y Garn.

2. The path ascends fast and soon becomes a long series of man made steps. The view behind towards Tryfan gives a great reason to stop for a breath every so often.

3. The trail momentarily levels out into Cwm Clyd – the glacial bowl directly underneath Y Garn’s craggy summit with the small lake Llyn Clyd at the bottom. This route bears to the right hand side of the valley bowl, quickly becoming a moderately exposed ridge walk.

4. The steepest section of this trail is a diagonal path through the scree that reaches a plateau just short of the summit. Y Garn’s summit features a roughly built stone circle and wonderful 360 degree views across Ogwen Valley, Elidir Fawr and Snowdon. This route retraces our steps to descend.

Distance 4.6 miles

Time 2.5 hours (walking) 1 hour (running)

Total Ascent 2,368ft

OS Maps click to open this route on the OS Maps website

Summits Y Garn (946m)

Views Llyn Ogwen, Llyn Idwal, Pen Yr Ole Wen, Glyder Fawr, Y Gribin, Y Garn, Elidir Fawr, Snowdon (from Y Garn summit).

Devils Kitchen & Y Garn 3D Map

This scenic trail route wanders past Llyn Ogwen, ascends the infamous Devils Kitchen stairs and reachest its highest point at the summit of Y Garn mountain. Y Garn is a fabulous mountain for it’s 360 degree views, but the normal north east path is a drag to go up, so we usually head this way around as Devils Kitchen is much more fun and picturesque. The loop takes in four lakes, Llyn Ogwen, Llyn Idwal, Llyn y Cwn & Llyn Clyd.

1. Parking near Llyn Ogwen and the visitor centre, this route wanders up to Llyn Idwal, taking in the beautiful west side of the lake. The ascent begins at Idwal Slabs, a huge open faced stretch of rock at the south tip of Llyn Idwal.

2. The path crosses under Idwal Slabs and weaves up through the boulders to the Afon Llyn Cwm waterfall. Up to the left of the waterfall is the familiar stile and dry stone wall – a great place for the view in good weather and a welcome shelter for a breather in challenging conditions.

3. Just as the trail flattens out, the beautiful little lake Llyn y Cwn comes into view, we skirt around the right hand side of the water and pick up the path towards the summit of Y Garn. This is a straightforward hill walk to the top.

4. Continuing north from the summit down the Cwm Clyd valley bowl, there’s a path that drops off the edge to the right and then follows the ridgeline all the way down. The trail becomes man made stone steps before evening out at Llyn Idwal, a few minutes from the end back at Llyn Ogwen.

Y Garn Photo Gallery

Some of our favourite memories from a huge number of trips to the summit of Y Garn mountain.

How To Find Y Garn

The nearest parking is at Ogwen Cottage, sat nav postcode LL57 3LZ