Taking dogs up Snowdon

Well-behaved dogs are most welcome on Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) and also on the Sherpa buses. (And yes, we’ve seen cats at the summit too.)

Whilst the Llanberis Path is probably easiest for dogs and people alike, the average fit dog will happily cope with most of the routes on Snowdon, and indeed they are commonly seen on all the paths. Dogs actually seem to cope with scrambly sections better than many humans do! However, if your dog has very short legs and is not used to this sort of terrain, it might be best to avoid the Pyg Track as you’ll likely spend time lifting it up some of the stepped sections!

Bear in mind that most of the paths up Snowdon are rock and stone underfoot – there is very little, if any, grass, so your dog will need to be used to this.

In a nutshell, you are the person who knows your dog best, and you will know what sort of terrain and distances it can cope with, so check out the paths and their distances if you have any concerns that they might struggle.

The only one of the main six paths with a stile is the Pyg Track. Although there is no official dog-flap at this point, the fence has been lifted on one side to allow dogs to go under, and has been broken down on the other, so it is no barrier to dogs. The stile on the South Ridge has a dog-flap.

Make sure you’ve got plenty of water for your dog, especially if it’s hot. On some paths you may encounter small streams lower down, but even they often can’t be relied on in the summer unless there’s recently been heavy rain. The Miners’ Track passes two lakes which often appeal to dogs. Remember too that in hot weather there is little or no shade on the mountain.

If you bring a dog with you on Snowdon, by law it has to be under ‘close control’ when on a Right of Way.

There are often sheep near the paths on Snowdon, even right up to the summit, and the Park Authority advises that dogs are kept on a lead when in the vicinity of livestock. Every year sheep on Snowdon are injured or killed by dogs chasing them. (It is an offence to allow your dog to attack or chase livestock under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, and a farmer may legally shoot any dog that is behaving in this way without notice or any form of compensation to the owner.)

Every year a number of dogs get separated from their owners on Snowdon, and it often takes up to 24 hours before they are reunited, causing heartache and distress. Keeping your dog on a lead will prevent this.

Dogs and children having a fine time on the Snowdon Ranger Path

Needless to say, dog owners should clear up after their dogs. Leaving dog poo behind can cause illness in people, livestock and wildlife. Please don’t leave poo-bags on the mountain for someone else to have to pick up.

Signage at Hafod Eryri, the summit building, says that dogs are not strictly allowed in, but 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. (Hafod Eryri is shut this season.)

As stated above, the main paths are Rights of Way. Additionally, off these designated Rights of Way, most of Snowdon is Open Access land, where a dog must be kept on a lead between 1st March and 31st July. (This is to avoid disturbance to stock – mainly sheep and cattle – and to ground nesting birds, rare plant communities and rare insects.)

Very occasionally you may encounter cattle on a lower path. Whilst Welsh Blacks are known for their tameness, if they have calves they can be very protective and become aggressive if they feel threatened, especially by dogs. Try to avoid them or use an alternative line and keep your dog on a lead. If threatened, release the dog and make your way to safety – the dog will return to you.

You can read more about dogs on Snowdon on the National Park website.


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