Cwm Idwal

Looking back up the lake.

Description: A short easy walk around Cwm Idwal in the Ogwen Valley.
Parking Information: Pay-and-display car park at the start, or numerous free car parks on the road towards Capel Curig.

View the map and download the GPX of this route.

I’d been itching to visit Cwm Idwal and do this walk for a while, so I was glad to finally make it happen, and also glad that the walk didn’t disappoint. It’s a short and easy walk, but gives a real sense of being in the mountains without having to do very much climbing at all. It’s a popular walk though, so there were lots of other people enjoying it, and it meant that I had to park about half a mile down the road towards Capel Curig before beginning the walk. There are a number of free car parks on this road though, or a pay-and-display one right at the start, if you’re there early enough to find a space!

The route begins beside the Ogwen Snack Bar, just follow the stone path up, through the gate and across the bridge. Navigation is very easy, as it’s a well-maintained stone path for the first half, and there were bags of stones in place ready to do the same for the beginning of the second half.

The gate near the start of the path.
The gate near the start of the path.
The well-maintained path continues.
The well-maintained path continues.
View across the head of Llyn Idwal, with Devil's Kitchen on the left.
View across the head of Llyn Idwal, with Devil’s Kitchen on the left.
Devil's Kitchen.
Devil’s Kitchen.

Once you reach the head of the lake (Llyn Idwal), you can either continue straight on towards Devil’s Kitchen, which requires a bit of climbing and scrambling, or bear right and follow the easier path of this route around the other side of the lake. The path here becomes muddier and narrower, but is still an easy walk.

The return track, looking to Pen Yr Ole Wen.
The return track, looking to Pen Yr Ole Wen.

The track follows the lake and drops down to the water’s edge near the end, from where you follow the gravelly shore back to pick up the path you began on, then follow it back to the start.

Looking back up the lake.
Looking back up the lake.
A lovely view of Tryfan reflected in the lake.
A lovely view of Tryfan reflected in the lake.

View the map and download the GPX of this route.

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