Will Snowdon be busy?

At times, Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) gets very busy. This is not surprising when one considers that it’s the busiest mountain in Europe; nearly 600,000 walkers use the mountain every year (and the train also carries up to another 140,000 people).

The busiest paths are on the east side of the mountain:
The Llanberis Path takes some 42% of all Snowdon’s walkers.
The Pyg Track and Miners’ Track together carry another 42%.

The quietest paths are the Rhyd Ddu Path and the Snowdon Ranger Path, both on the west side of the mountain. (For many people this is the ‘far’ side.)

The queue for the summit pillar on Bank Holiday weekend, August 2021

You will have seen pictures of people queueing at the summit on busy summer days. Whilst there is never a queue for the flattish summit area itself, those wanting to go up the steps to the summit pillar can on occasion have to wait for as much as 45 minutes. (This is largely because everyone these days wants time to take selfies and other photos there.)

Hint – by going round the back you can touch the concrete base that the pillar is built on; this is 1,085m and the top of Snowdon.

Queues at the summit can also be seen out of season if, for instance, there is a forecast for a particularly prolonged good spell of weather.

Snowdon is altogether a nicer place when it’s less busy. Here are some hints for avoiding the hordes:

  • Choose a quieter path up Snowdon (though it may still be busy when you reach the top).
  • Avoid Snowdon at the weekends. (Saturday is always the busiest day of the weekend, by far; if you do choose a Saturday, head up early, though you’ll still encounter a lot of people on the way down.)
  • Avoid high season, and go up early or late in the season (July and August are the busiest months).
  • Avoid Bank Holiday weekends (the Bank Holiday Monday is usually the quietest of the three days).
  • Be at the summit by mid-morning (the summit is at its busiest between about 11:30 and 14:30.
  • Consider going up out of season if the conditions are ideal.

Failing that, have a plan B and walk elsewhere. Snowdonia has many lovely places to walk, including other mountains.

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