Climbing Mount Snowdon with kids: The Snowdon Ranger Path, North Wales

This is my guide to climbing Mount Snowdon with kids on The Snowdon Ranger Path. Honestly, it’s one of the best things that we’ve done on our family adventures, and something we’re all proud of. We are keen walkers but it’s the first time we’d ever climbed a mountain, let alone with kids! 😂 And, I’m here to tell you to go for it because, although it was challenging in parts, it’s totally do-able and so worth it.

We stayed at Haven’s Hafan y Mor Holiday Park, which was a brilliant base for a family holiday. So keep reading to find out everything that you need to know before you begin your climb, including: where to park; how long it takes; what to expect; what to pack; what to wear; and for our beautiful photos of the views too!

Climb: September 2021


Which is the best route for climbing Mount Snowdon with kids?

There are a number of routes for climbing Mount Snowdon, but we chose the Snowdon Ranger Path because it’s deemed suitable for kids but it still offered us brilliant views across Snowdonia National Park as we climbed. Even right at the start of our trip, we were blessed with this gorgeous view…

Climbing Mount Snowdon, The Snowdon Ranger Path with kids, frugal mum guide, North Wales, mountain climbing, view

However, the Llanberis Path (though it may take a bit longer as it’s a longer route) is said to have a more continuous gradient for beginners so it could be a good option if you’re feeling less confident, or for families with children who are looking for a lesser challenge. If you’re happy to take a bit longer it could be an easier trek – though I have heard that the views along the way aren’t quite as special as they are on The Snowdon Ranger Path. So, for us, it was definitely the right choice of route.


Where do you start the Snowdon climb?

You can start and end the walk for the Snowdown Ranger Path at the Llyn Cwellyn Car Park, off the A4085. This is pay and display but it was only a couple of quid for the whole day. There’s a portaloo here but beware – when we washed our hands they smelled like stagnant water! Luckily we were able to wash them off in some streams along the way as it was awful. If you use the toilet, opt for hand sanitiser instead! 😂

Climbing Mount Snowdon, The Snowdon Ranger Path with kids, frugal mum guide, where to start walk

From the car park, cross the road and follow the path past an old farm house to begin the trail. The first part of the trail is a steepish zig zag, but after a while there’s a period of more gentle climbing before the hardest section of the walk begins.


What’s the Snowdon Ranger trail like?

As I mentioned, the first part of the Snowdown Ranger path is fairly steep. But, once you get past that bit, there’s a nice flatter section which is easier on the thighs, and pretty leisurely. We passed streams and sheep in the fields, and still had this beautiful view over the lake. Don’t let this lull you into a false sense of security though, because once the ascent properly starts the route can be quite hard work.

Climbing Mount Snowdon, The Snowdon Ranger Path, North Wales, mountain climbing, view, lake, frugal mum children family

The pathway becomes really narrow in places, the stone underfoot is loose and there are some tall steps for little legs. The end of the route, for at least the last hour, is quite hard work and very steep. There’s a grassed area about halfway through the tricky part, so this is where we chose to have our lunch and rest the kids’ legs to break it up a bit. Not a bad view for lunch eh… 😉

Climbing Mount Snowdon, The Snowdon Ranger Path with kids, frugal mum guide, mountain climbing, view

Finn was tired but determined to finish, but Lola at this point did have a moment where she was ready to give up. She took the last bit slowly and really pushed herself to finish the climb. We do a lot of walking and hill hiking as a family, but this was definitely the biggest challenge the kids have taken on and we were so proud that they completed it.


Who’s the climb suitable for?

Finn and Lola are aged 8 and 10 and, although it was tricky at times, climbing the Snowdon Ranger Path was certainly manageable for them. The last bit was tough, but they were perfectly happy heading back down and seemed to get a second wind. The next day, when Jay and I ached like mad, the kids acted like they hadn’t even climbed a mountain! 😂

In fact, after dinner on the day of the climb, they wanted to go and play in the park at the holiday park and were running around as normal – at this point Jay and I were exhausted! So, although they found the climb trickier, they definitely recovered a lot more easily than we did – my calves still ached for days!

Climbing Mount Snowdon, The Snowdon Ranger Path, North Wales, mountain climbing, frugal mum children family

Personally, I don’t think that I would want to climb Snowdon with a child younger than about 7 years old, and I think really small children would struggle enormously with the last section of the climb – it would be dangerous and hard work if you needed to carry them too. Snowdon isn’t really suitable for young children.

I also think it would be a bit much for elderly people, or anyone unsteady on their feet, so for the older generation I would only tackle Snowdon if I was really active and fit. There’s also the option to get a train up the mountain three quarters of the way, so that might be a good alternative for those who want to see the Snowdon summit without the climb, or to shorten the route for those with little legs!


How long does it take to climb Mount Snowdon?

We stayed at Hafan y Mor Haven Holiday Park which was about 30 minutes drive away from Mount Snowdon. We wanted to leave ourselves plenty of time so that we would be back way before dark, so we woke up at 6.20am and by the time we’d got organised and driven there we started our climb not long after 8am.

I’d pre-packed our backpacks before we’d left home from Kent, so that they were organised. We climbed the mountain the day after we’d driven to Wales, due to the weather forecast looking less happy towards the end of the week. I’d made lots of flapjack and goodies at home which we brought with us, and then I just made sandwiches etc to be chilled in the fridge overnight to save time in the morning.

Climbing Mount Snowdon, The Snowdon Ranger Path with kids, frugal mum guide, view of lake, photo

It took us about 7 hours in total, up and down, to climb Mount Snowdon using the Snowdon Ranger Path. We probably had at least an hour’s worth of breaks along the way – so it’s perfectly doable in a day in a decent amount of time.

It’s best to start early, so that you can make allowances for the kids needing to rest or snack, and so that you can take your time without worrying about losing the daylight. It was also handy to be finished well before tea-time – as carrying two meals up a mountain would be a bit much!


What are the views like at the Snowdon summit?

The views for our entire climb along the Snowdon Ranger Path were incredible. It was breathtakingly beautiful and 100% worth the effort of climbing it. We’ve since been told that we were really lucky as we had a brilliant view from the top, which is apparently often blocked by the clouds. It was such a warm, clear and gorgeous morning when we visited.

Climbing Mount Snowdon, The Snowdon Ranger Path, summit view, frugal mum photo

When we started heading back down the mountain around lunchtime there were some clouds creeping in and, as we looked back on the summit from lower down during the afternoon, the clouds had completely covered it! So I think we definitely had luck on our side!

Climbing Mount Snowdon, summit view, clear day, frugal mum photo


What supplies do you need to climb Snowdon?

The best advice that I can give you is to invest in some good walking boots. The path is often loose and uneven, and the last thing you want on the side of a mountain are damaged feet or a twisted ankle. Not only that but they’ll be sturdy, waterproof in case of a change in weather, and they’ll keep your feet warm and comfortable. Make sure that you break in any new shoes too – we did some hill hiking in the couple of weeks before to prep our shoes and our bodies!

You’ll need plenty of water and food for the climb, particularly foods that will keep your energy levels up. We also, as a precaution, packed a whistle, some torches and some plasters – which came in handy as Finn got blisters bless him so we were able to pad out his heels.

Snowdon ranger path with kids, frugal mum guide, photo of children

We started in trousers but packed shorts (and soon changed into them!), waterproof trousers and raincoats – even if the weather looks fine at the bottom of the mountain, it may not be the same at the top. Not only that but it’s a lot colder at the top. Be sure to check the Snowdon Summit weather forecast before you set off. You’ll basically want to wear layers, and bring extras like sunglasses too to make sure everyone is comfortable.

Just be prepared, start your climb early in the morning and you’ll have an incredible experience exploring Mount Snowdon with the kids – it’s definitely worth the climb. 😍


Where’s the best place to stay near Mount Snowdon?

Haven’s Hafan y Mor was a fantastic base for climbing Mount Snowdon – it’s a great holiday park with lots of things for the kids to do. We also had a fabulous day out at nearby Greenwood Family Park which Finn and Lola loved. So, if you’re looking for a great family staycation in Wales, then make sure that you check out these articles too…

Wales with Kids: Hafan y Mor Haven Holiday Park Review, Pwllheli, North Wales

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Wales with Kids: Greenwood Family Park Review, North Wales

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