Shorter Mountain Walks in Eryri – Cnicht

A 3 hour mountain walk that takes in he summit of Cnicht. Starting and finishing in Croesor.

Cnicht – Circular Walk

There are many mountain walks in Eryri that can take less than 3 hours – this one a classic

This is a walk that we enjoy. If you head into the mountains YOU must make sure that you have the fitness, experience, clothing and confidence to keep yourself safe.

Always carry a phone.

Distance: 8.5 km Duration: 3 hours

Dog Friendly: 7/10 Height Gain: 620 meters

Car Park/ Start Point: HERE Grid Ref: SH 6314 4468


Cnicht From Croesor

A circular walk taking in the summit of Cnicht, descending to Bwlch Y Battel and then back to the start. Cnicht is fondly called the ‘Welsh Matterhorn’, mainly because it’s ever so pointy – especially when you look at it from Snowdon Street in Porthmadog. This is an easy walk but short sections might require the use of your hands, sometimes the route feels a little exposed.


The car park in Croesor is well signposted and easy to find – it’s free, it’s not tiny but, on busy days, it can fill up so try and start early. There is a terrible portaloo in the car park but no other facilities, the car park is in village so don’t wee or poo in the car park. From the car park cross the wooden footbridge and head up hill on the road through the village. There will be a large chapel ahead of you and to the right, you’re going to walk past that chapel and continue up, over the hill.

At the bottom of that first little climb and at the end of the tarmac road you’ll go through two gates as the path changes from tarmac to stone track and starts to climb again. You’ll be surrounded by young oak woodland with a dry stone wall to your left.

On The Hill.

The path will flatten out a little and there’s a signposted track (600m from start) that runs off to your right (North East) through a wooden gate, you’re still walking on a stone track as you gently climb towards the very obvious steeper ground. This is a popular route and there are very visible sign posts pointing you in the right direction. From this point your pretty much climbing until you reach the summit of Cnicht, you’ll pass through two gates, some of the ground can hold the wet.

Starting to climb

You’ll approach a great rib of rock that the path contours around, there’s a stile (2.1km from start) just before this rib of rock. Once you’ve made your way around that chunky lump of rock there’s a short stretch of level ground before the climb gets steeper on a well worn path that is very easy to follow. Keep on stomping upwards, Cwm Croesor is below you, it’s a beaut walk. Just before the final, steeper, section of climbing there’s a great flat area (2.9 km from start) with lots of sheltered spots to stop for a quick break. After the ‘rest area’ the path gets steeper and heads up the right side of the craggy ground ahead, you may have to use your hands through this section, it’s a really fun little scramble if you keep to the ridge.

The Top of Cnicht

The summit of Cnicht (3.2 km from start) is distinct, craggy and pointy – there’s space to stop for a brew with a view. You cannot miss the path that continues, gently descending, North East along the ridge – continue along that high ground (which is part of the Cambrian Way). After a kilometre you’ll want to turn sharp left (West) and descend that gently sloping ground that runs down to Llyn y Biswail. You’re aiming for the Southern tip of the Llyn and the start of the stream that runs from it (4.5 km from start). Follow that stream down stepper, more interesting ground, at the bottom of the slope the stream intersects a well built dry stone wall. You’re aiming for the footpath approx. 300 meters further West along that dry stone wall. You might choose to stay on slightly higher ground when heading for the footpath – it can get damp down low.

Heading Home

You’re following that footpath all the way home. The route has higher ground to both sides as you continue South along a visible footpath that is marked as going straight through a small lake (6 km from start). Do NOT walk straight through that lake, walk AROUND the lake. The cave is NOT worth exploring and you’ll start to descend a bit quicker as the path becomes a stone track that re-joins the route you used to climb the mountain earlier in the day. You’ll know exactly where you are and will be able to find your way back to the car with no problems.


There’s loads of walks that take in Cnicht, and, if you’re starting from Croesor then most of them start the same – the first 3km take you to the top of Cnicht. From the top of Cnicht, as well as the route above, you can; head back the way you’ve come, descend into Cwm Croesor via Llyn Cwm y Foel or, for a longer day, continue the obvious loop and climb the North West slope of Moelwyn Mawr before descending the quarryman’s track back into Croesor.

That’s it – all done. Enjoy.

Closest decent coffee:

Guided Mountain Walks: