Current status of the summit building
CURRENT STATUS: Hafod Eryri, the summit building, is still closed. Therefore there are no facilities of any kind at the summit. The railway company has stated that Hafod Eryri will re-open on 24 June 2023 (postponed from 13 May) – weather permitting – when trains will return to the summit.
(You can read more about the summit building below.)
Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) stands 1,085m (3,560 feet) high. When visibility and conditions are good, the summit is a stunning place.
In addition to views of the adjacent lower, surrounding peaks, when conditions are perfect it is possible to see as far as Merrick in Scotland, the Peak District and the South Pennines in England, the Isle of Man, and the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland. It’s also been long said that it’s possible to see a total of 24 counties, 29 lakes and 17 islands from the summit, although we never have!
On top of the summit pillar is a brass toposcope naming 100 peaks and features which can be seen in all directions when visibility is at its best.
(To read more about what the toposcope shows, see this blog.)
The summit pillar
The summit pillar in late December 2021
At busy times there will be a queue to go up the cairn steps to the summit pillar. (See ‘Will it be busy?’) However, you’ll never need to queue just to get to the flattish summit area in front of the cairn.
The view east from the summit, over Crib Goch and Llyn Llydaw
Hafod Eryri, the summit building
Hafod Eryri, the summit building (translating roughly as ‘Snowdonia’s summer upland residence’), is owned by the S.N.P.A., but is run on a day-to-day basis by the Snowdon Mountain Railway.
Hafod Eryri is only open when trains are running to the summit. It is usually open from early May to the end of October, opening at about 10:00 in time for the first passenger train up, and closing late afternoon as the last train leaves.
However, note that if trains are not running to the summit (if, for instance, it is deemed too windy), then the summit building will not be open. On a windy day, wind speeds are monitored regularly so that Hafod Eryri can, if necessary, be closed early if speeds are likely to increase and exceed 50 mph.
Hafod Eryri offers a good selection of refreshments, snacks and souvenirs, and there are also toilets and information panels. You can even indulge in times past and send a postcard from the summit post box!
Hafod Eryri sells both hot and cold drinks, including bottled water, but please don’t ask them to fill up your water container; all the drinking water used at the summit has to be brought up by train, so they naturally have to be sparing with it. (The toilet areas use recycled rainwater, but it’s not suitable for drinking.)
Whilst the railway company obviously like you to spend money in Hafod Eryri, they don’t mind you going in and eating your own packed lunch there. (You might want to buy some drinks, though, as a gesture of goodwill.) However, if the weather is poor outside, it can sometimes get uncomfortably crowded inside during the middle part of the day.
Although signage on the door indicates that dogs are not allowed in, the staff don’t mind dogs in the lobby area, and also usually turn a blind eye to well-behaved dogs being inside in a quiet corner.
Inside Hafod Eryri, the summit building. They make a most welcome cup of tea.
To see how the summit used to look over a century ago, read our blog ‘Ghosts at the Summit’. Or you can read about the previous building in our blog ‘The highest slum?’.
And click here to read our blog item about the Gwenllian plaque at the summit.
Please don’t leave plaques and memorials at the summit; they will be removed in line with the National Park’s policy. This page explains more.