Seeing the sunrise on Snowdon

Sunrise at the summit

Being at the summit of Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) to catch the sunrise is becoming increasingly popular, but brings with it additional considerations, namely having to walk up in the dark.

In the summer, the sunrise is extremely early, and some people choose to walk up late the previous night, biding their time at the summit until the dawn.

At other times of year, it is more common to walk up very early that morning, before the sunrise.

It is, of course, necessary to find the time of sunrise and this is available on the Met. Office forecast for Snowdon summit. Another useful website with sunrise and sunset times for Snowdon is the Sun-Up website.

You must then allow sufficient time to reach the summit for that time (if the summit is your target). Our pages on the different main paths give an indication of one-way times.

Walking up Snowdon in the dark clearly has inherent dangers, and this is not recommended for first-time visitors to Snowdon, unless you are with others who know the paths well. The Llanberis Path is the safest for night walking.

In addition to what you would normally take, it is imperative that you carry a good torch and spare batteries (a head torch is a good option), together with warm clothing.

Note – It is important to point out that you will need clear skies or high cloud to see a decent sunrise. If the summit is in cloud (as it frequently is), there will be no sunrise to see – the sky will just slowly get lighter. Whilst some months of the year tend to bring better weather, it’s just not possible to pick on a date weeks in advance and be sure that there’ll be a sunrise worth seeing. However, you can usually get a reliable idea of conditions a few days in advance on the Met. Office forecast for Snowdon summit.

Sunrise from Crib Goch  (© Nigel Varndell)

A note on parking if you are going up overnight:

All the National Park Authority car parks at the foot of the main paths are open 24/7, so you need have no worries about being locked out. In a National Park car park which charges by the day, if you arrive after 6:30pm, you should pay for a ticket when you arrive, and this will cover you until 8:30am the following morning. However, if you arrive before 6pm, you will need to pay for two tickets (for both days) and display them both in your vehicle. (See your path of choice for more about parking.)

The same ruling applies to sunset visits.

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