Miners’ Track

Path summary

The Miners’ Track (Llwybr y Mwynwyr) is so called because it was built to give access to the old copper mine up at Glaslyn. It starts at a height of 359 m (1,188 ft), so the total ascent is only 723 m (2,372 feet).

The first 2 miles are very leisurely and easy, but then the serious ascent starts. After 3¼ miles the path joins the Pyg Track at the Intersection. From here the path, although engineered and clear, is rugged and more difficult, with hands needed in a couple of places.

Distance: 4¼ miles (7 km) to the summit one way
8½ miles (14 km) there and back, if returning on the same path

Time: Allow between 2½ to 3½ hours each way, depending on your level of fitness.

Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2024

Getting there

The path starts at Pen y Pass car park, off the A4086. Pen y Pass is 5 miles up the Llanberis Pass from Llanberis.

Parking for the Miners’ Track

See our ‘Parking at Pen y Pass’ page.

Other facilities
  • There are toilets at Pen y Pass, open 24/7 through the year.
  • There is a café at Pen y Pass (open seasonally, though not always open mid-week).
  • There is a small shop and information hub (open seasonally, though not always open mid-week).
  • There is a drinking-water tap for filling bottles, etc.
  • The Youth Hostel over the road has a licensed café and bar, open throughout the year, and showers which can be used for a small charge.
  • There is free WiFi at Pen y Pass near the building (there is no phone signal).
  • Pen y Pass is served by Sherpa bus services S1, S2, S3 and S5 (which includes the Park & Ride buses) and local taxis.
Path description
  • The Google Trekker (like StreetView) will provide you with a ‘virtual’ walk up the mountain on this path.
  • When you are actually on the mountain, the Snowdon Walks App will show a map of the path, with your exact position on it. It doesn’t require a signal, and it also provides information about places and features you pass on the path.

The Miners’ Track starts at the far left-hand corner of the Pen y Pass car park, opposite the entrance.

After the initial gentle ½-mile ascent, a sharp right-hand bend in the path will reveal the summit of Snowdon for the first time, flanked by the lesser peaks of Y Lliwedd and Crib Goch (which together comprise the Snowdon Horseshoe).  From here the next 1½ miles is fairly level, on a good wide path. After a further ½ mile the path passes Llyn Teyrn on the left, with the old miners’ barracks near the shore.

The path passes Llyn Teyrn, with the summit and Horseshoe in the distance

You’ll also see the pipeline, which takes water from Llyn Llydaw (the next lake) down to Cwm Dyli hydro-electric power station, the oldest in Britain. (It opened in 1906 and is still operational.)

After a total of about 1½ miles you’ll reach Llyn Llydaw, a large and deep lake, which you cross by a stone causeway, built for the copper mine in the 1850s. (This causeway can be surprisingly exposed in strong winds, so take care.)

Llyn Llydaw, with the summit and Crib Goch

On the far side of the lake you’ll pass the old Britannia Copper Mine crushing mill on your right; the mine itself is much further on (up by Glaslyn, the next lake) and ore came down to the crusher via an aerial cableway.

Round the corner from the old crusher is virtually half way to the summit, and now the ascent really starts!

After another ⅔ mile you will reach Glaslyn, another glacial lake, with more old barracks beside it. The copper mine was on the hillside on the far side. Just past the barracks is a small standing stone, and this marks the start of the path upwards. This part of the route is a hard climb, with some looser sections.

The path twists and turns as it winds its way upwards. It’s mostly stepped, and if you’ve gone more than 10m without signs of an obvious path, you’ve gone off it so go back and find it!  After about ¼ mile the path joins the Pyg Track at what is called the Intersection, marked by a standing stone. (Make a mental note of this point if you  are coming back this way.)

The small standing stone at the Intersection, where the Miners’ Track joins the Pyg Track

From here it is exactly a mile to the summit (which will take you a good 45 minutes), and the path continues to be steep. To your left are the former workings of the Britannia copper mine, and it is important to keep to the path here as the mine workings can be dangerous and the terrain is badly eroded.

Looking down on the path from Glaslyn up to the Intersection, past the old copper mine

Another ½ mile will bring you to the Zig-zags, a steep stepped section, after which a short, narrower and slightly exposed section comes out on the ridge at Bwlch Glas, which offers splendid views for the first time of the west side of the mountain. The weather often changes at this point, depending on the direction of the wind.

Bwlch Glas is marked by a huge 8-foot standing stone (make a mental note of it if returning this way). Here the path joins the Llanberis Path, which comes in from the right. The Snowdon Ranger Path also joins at this point, coming across the railway line.

Bwlch Glas, where the path joins the Llanberis Path, just 10 minutes from the summit

Turn left here for the final ⅓ mile up to the summit, the path following close to the railway line. (Please don’t walk on the line – it’s private property and damages the ballast ‘shoulder’.)

On returning from the summit, head back down the path close to the railway for ⅓ mile, and at Bwlch Glas, where the huge standing stone is, remember to turn right back down towards the Zig-zags. After a total of a mile from the summit, look out for the small (unmarked) standing stone at the Intersection, and head back down the Miners’ Track, down the steeper section to Glaslyn.

Distances up the path

Base map © S.N.P.A.

Combining with other paths

The Miners’ Track is often combined with the Pyg Track (they both start at Pen y Pass) and it can also be combined with the Llanberis Path by using the Sherpa bus service or the Park & Ride service up the Llanberis Pass.

See the page on combining and mixing paths on Snowdon for more.

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