Cwm Llan waterfall walk

Including the Afon Cwm Llan Waterfalls.

Ability requirements (key)


From Cardiff, take the A470 past Dolgellau until it turns right off itself, and the road ahead becomes the A487. Continue along the A487 to Penrhyndeudraeth. From Penrhyndeudraeth, turn right onto the A4085, signposted to Beddgelert. Follow it to its junction with the A498, turn right, and follow it to Beddgelert. From Beddgelert, turn right after crossing the bridge, to remain on the A498, signposted to Capel Curig. After passing the Llyn Dinas lake and a few more houses after it, park in the dedicated parking area on the right. SH 6279 5068.


This waterfall is most often seen on the way to the top of Snowdon, as it lies beside the popular but demanding Watkin Path. In fact, if Snowdon has decided to be nice to you, you may be able to see the top - Yr Wyddfa - from the parking area. The walk to the waterfalls is the relatively easy part of the route, while the walk to the top is not to be taken lightly. While I encourage experienced walkers to extend the route accordingly, this waterfall route concentrates only on the part leading up to the waterfalls, and is suitable for beginners. If you choose to continue beyond the waterfalls, you are advised to use an appropriate route guide for the mountain, and not this waterfall route guide.

Walk out to the main road and follow it to the left using the pavement. Almost immediately, turn right into the lane on the far side of the main road, then head up the steps ahead as the lane turns right. This is the start of the Watkin Path, and after heading through the forest for a while it joins a track - follow it ahead-left. (Alternatively you can follow the lane further, then take the track to the left, to reach the same point.)

Continue along the track as it passes an old incline to the left, then slowly curves left into Cwm Dyli. High up on the far side of Cwm Dyli (not the main valley), some waterfalls can be seen on the Afon Merch. As the track finishes curving into Cwm Llan, the Afon Cwm Llan Waterfalls appear ahead, cascading in two parallel channels down the valley. Ahead, the path curves to the right, and in the distance, Snowdon's summit can be seen soaring up between the sides of the valley. Follow the path through a gateway level with the top of the waterfall, and through a narrower valley with many waterfalls below the path.

The waterfalls route ends when the narrow valley opens out near some ruins, the track becomes more level, and the track ahead crosses the river via a bridge. Return the same way. If you feel like a change of scenery, after passing the incline, stay on the track instead of the path on the right, following it to a junction. Continue ahead to reach the main road. Turn left to return to the start of the walk.

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More about this area

Whilst every care has been taken in the compilation of this description, neither the author nor his fellow walkers can accept responsibility for loss or injury arising from any errors, omissions or inaccuracies in this description. This description is intended as a guide only, and you should select a route to suit your own abilities, at your own discretion. Ability requirements are a guide only. Route maps are approximated. You follow this description at your own risk.