From the summit, I could see Pembrokeshire to the south and Anglesey to the north. Wait, that’s the whole of Wales!? An ideal spot to watch the sun set over the Irish Sea and rise again over England. You should do it.
Here are details of my short 2 day wild camp route using quieter routes up to Cadair Idris.
I parked in Dolgellau, you can use the large pay and display on the south bank of the river or find another on street spot around the town. I then took the no.28 bus to Arthog. There are two bud stops on the west side of the central square in Dolgellau, you want the southern one and the bus stops just over the road as it comes through on that southern edge. The single ticket cost £3 and the journey 20 minutes.
Getting out at Arthog, I walked back towards the river and the path was through a small break in the wall (well hidden) opposite the church. You head up, following the river for quite a while. When you come out of the trees, don’t cross the river bridge, turn right through a gate and up a grassy track to turn right onto a tarmac road.
Keep heading up and wind around the front of the mountain ridge, at first in front of you and then on your left, bearing seaward (south west). You have great views of Barmouth estuary to your right. Keep on this track until you reach the end of the ridge, and the forest comes up to join you from the right. Now head left and up onto the ridge towards Cwm Llwyd.
I had started my walk early evening, so arriving on the ridge with evening sunshine over the bay. The views are wonderful. The walk continues along the ridge which is kind of S-shaped along up to Cadair Idris. Such amazing scenery and still not another person in sight.
Snake around up onto Craig-y-Lln and continue along the splendid panoramic walkway to the imposing Tyrrau Mawr. You can choose to skip this peak by skirting around the lower contours or take I’m more great views over the top.
Now you cross and join the Pony Path, whish was where I first encountered others on the mountain. They’re were quite a few, heading to the summit for the sunset. The path is now very well written as you head up over a rocky area towards the last part of the ridge and up onto Cadair Idris summit.
There is a bothy just below the summit rocks but you wouldn’t want to sleep in it unless you were desperate in blizzard conditions. There is space for a tent in front of it. I chose a spot on the east side of the peak, nestled between outcrops and with a view towards the sunrise.
After getting up to watch the sunrise, well I had the urge to get up and relieve myself then anyway, I stayed longer in my warm bag delaying the inevitable. It had been a fabulous sunrise and I could see it all from the comfort of my tent. There was just a small enough gathering of clouds by the horizon for the sun to paint with and the result was beautiful.
I could see others who had hiked up to catch the sunrise and was glad to be snug as a rug whilst enjoying God’s nature display.
Today we continue inland along the ridge to Mynydd Moel and the impressive edge of Mynydd Gwerngraig. Continue on and if you divert to the left along the fence and Minnfordd descent path for a hundred yards, after a while I could look back and see the Cadair Idris horse shoe ridge and Lyn (lake) in the centre. Worth a quick detour for the view.
Continue back along the ridge and start descending more steeply onto a lower ridge which continues in the same direction NE.
I turned left just before Gay Craig to wind back down into Dolgellau. The path here was a little trickier to follow as paths take you through farmers fields and then it joined the lane which was a large part of the route back into Dolgellau. My route took me through a forest and onto the end of South Street (really a lane) as I has parked along here.
For the full GPS route of my trip, along with elevation follow this link. The route here is not split into two days. https://www.plotaroute.com/routeplayer/1211794?init=share