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Climbing Snowdon with Kids

Climb Snowdon - Climbing Snowdon with Kids

If you and the kids love the great outdoors and enjoy rambling across the countryside on family adventures, there may come a time when you want to take the next step and introduce them to the mountains. And what better way to do that than by climbing Eryri’s (Snowdonia) most iconic peak and the highest mountain in Wales, Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon).

In many ways, Yr Wyddfa is the ideal candidate for your family’s first big mountain excursion. With several routes to the summit that require no real technical skills, it is a safe, accessible and rewarding hike. The surrounding landscapes are second to none and the physical challenge demands respect but is by no means beyond fit and healthy children with some hillwalking experience.

And we would know. We often lead school trips up Yr Wyddfa and regularly have families with younger children book on to our Private Guided Walks. Based on this experience, we created this quick guide to help families who want to climb Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) prepare for their adventure.

Making the experience enjoyable

The biggest mistake parents make when walking Yr Wyddfa with their kids for the first time is forgetting the experience should be fun. Walking up the mountain is an opportunity to spark a lifelong love of the mountains and outdoor activity. That will never happen if it turns into an interminable trudge to the top.

Of course, there will always be moments where you need to cajole, convince and maybe even bribe your kids to keep going. They can be pretty fickle. But it is important to put enjoyment first and try to organise and execute a trip that leaves a positive impression and good memories.

Can kids climb Snowdon?

Can kids climb Snowdon? is one of the questions we get asked most frequently. As much as we would like to be able to give a definite answer, all we can say is it depends. Just like their larger, more mature counterparts, kids’ fitness and ability levels vary drastically. Children who have been out in hilly terrain from the moment they could walk tend to be much more comfortable in that environment. Sportier kids will probably be able to go further and longer than those who don’t do much physical activity.

At the end of the day, only you know how capable your child is. While it is perfectly feasible for families to climb Yr Wyddfa (and people do it with young kids all the time), we would advise against jumping in at the deep end if you are unsure how your children will handle the physical challenge. Instead, organise a few longer days out on less testing terrain, see how they get on and build up to Yr Wyddfa.

How to choose a route

In most cases, choosing a route for kids is not too dissimilar from selecting one for adults. That’s because we are all kind of concerned with the same four criteria.

  1. Difficulty – the route needs to be achievable. This requires you to consider the physical and technical challenges involved.
  2. Engaging – we all want to find our routes interesting. But this means different things to different people. Some families might be interested in the human history associated with a route and seek out an adventure incorporating King Arthur and his legendary deeds. Others may love wildlife and nature and try to include some birding or animal spotting.
  3. Things to see – natural landmarks, such as lakes and rock formations, break up the walk and add an extra element of excitement and interest.
  4. Stops – Places to stop, break and explore give kids an opportunity to do their own thing for a while, rest their legs and refuel. If a route includes places to stop for a hot drink or features a great picnic area with remarkable views, you are on to a winner.

Which route is best for kids?

While it would be easy to just say the “easiest” route, that may not actually be the best option for your family. You may want a less busy route or something a little more challenging. With this in mind, we have provided a few options. If you want a more in-depth guide to these routes, check out our Summit Routes page.

Llanberis Path

Usually considered the “easiest” way up Yr Wyddfa, Llanberis features lower gradients, more established paths and the cafe halfway up the climb. However, it is longer than other routes and can get very busy. It is also one of the less interesting trails, with less to see than many others.

Snowdon Ranger Path

The Snowdon Ranger Path is a lot more quiet and relaxed than Llanberis. It is also shorter, though that means there are some steeper sections. Going up the Snowdon Ranger Path and descending via Llanberis Path may be a good option if the family is up to it.

Pyg Track

The Pyg Track is a step up from the previous two routes but not beyond families and slightly more experienced kids. It is the shortest route and features the least ascent of all the routes listed here. But it does feature some steeper sections, steps and maybe a little bit of scrambling.

Miners’ Track

The Miners’ Track shares its finale with the Pyg and is fairly similar in difficulty. There is a load to see along the way, making it ideal for kids. However, the upper reaches are more difficult and will have to be tackled on potentially tired legs, too. As an alternative to the loop suggested above, you may want to consider ascending via the Pyg Track and descending via the Miners’ Track.

Climbing Yr Wyddfa with kids

When it comes to planning a first family outing up Yr Wyddfa, preparation is essential. Think about your route and plan your gear, nutrition and hydration. If you really don’t know whether the kids are ready, take them on smaller adventures first. Yr Wyddfa is not going anywhere.

If you would feel more comfortable accompanied by an experienced Yr Wydffa mountain leader, check out our Private Guided Walks. Otherwise, enjoy your amazing family Yr Wyddfa adventure and maybe we will see you on the mountain one day soon!