At 1,085m (3,560ft), Snowdon – or Yr Wyddfa in Welsh – is the highest mountain in Wales, and the highest point in the UK and Ireland outside of the Scottish Highlands. So, it is no surprise that thousands of people flock to the peak every year. In fact, with its summit café and a mountain railway that will take you all the way to the top, it’s probably not a huge surprise to learn that visitors frequently queue for half an hour or more just to grab that obligatory summit selfie.
“Don’t get us wrong, Snowdon is a majestic mountain … but only on the rarest of occasions will you have the summit to yourself”
Don’t get us wrong, Snowdon is a majestic mountain, and with plenty of routes to choose from it is possible to find a quieter way up, but only on the rarest of occasions will you have the summit to yourself. Which is why we’d suggest something altogether different. With so many incredible peaks in the Snowdonia National Park, there is really no need to simply follow the hordes up Snowdon. So, here are some of our favourite alternative summits to tackle next time you visit North Wales, which not only promise similarly panoramic views, but also offer a far quieter and more tranquil day in the mountains.
Height: 689 m
Mountain range: Moelwynion Range
English translation: Knight
Often dubbed the ‘Welsh Matterhorn’ due to its distinctive shape when viewed from the Croesor valley, this pint-sized peak makes for a great adventure, where the rewards far outweigh the efforts required. Standing at 689 metres or 2,260 feet, the climb up Cnicht can easily be completed in a couple of hours. The summit offers incredible views in all directions but the vista is particularly spectacular looking southwest to Porthmadog, as the Afon Glaslyn winds its way out to sea and Tremadog Bay sparkles in the distance.
The most popular route up is from the tiny hamlet of Croesor. From the car park head uphill past the old school and church. Head through a kissing gate and climb up through some woodland before turning right through a gate at a sign for Cnicht. There’s a clear path that takes you towards the foot of the mountain. Where the path forks, head slightly right and climb up to cross a stile and ascend to the summit ridgeline.