25 Highest Mountains in Wales
For a country that’s just over 8,000 square miles, Wales has an incredible collection of mountains. It has over 188 peaks that are over 2000 feet. They are commonly known as Hewitts, and they are every hiker’s dream.
If you’re considering going for an expedition in Wales, here are the highest 25 mountains in the country that you have to try and conquer.
The Snowdon is a must-do for hillwalkers. The Gwynedd based mountain is located in the middle of the Snowdonia National Park and it is a National Nature Reserve. Snowdown plays hosts to over 582,000 visitors every year with an average climb taking between 4-6 hours one way on the shortest most arduous route.
Crib-y-Ddysgl (Garnedd Ugain) (3,494ft)
About 1.2 miles north of Snowdon summit is the second-highest mountain in Wales – Crib-y-Ddysgl. Garnedd Ugain is linked to the Snowdown summit via the col at Bwlch Glas. A hike up the mountain takes 3 hours and 3 miles each way using the Pyg Track. You can also follow the Miner’s Track which takes 4 hours and 3.7 miles each way.
Carnedd Llewelyn (3,498ft)
This mountain is named after Prince Llewellyn. It’s the highest point of the Carndeddau range in Snowdonia and is considered as the most challenging ascent in the British Isles. The ascent to Carnedd Llewellyn involves long and slow walks. At the summit, you’re met by a flat plateau covered in rough boulders and surrounded by cliffs for climbing.
Carnedd Dafydd (3,425ft)
Carnedd Dafydd is best known for its flat summit. The mountain is named after the younger brother of Prince Llewellyn and features temperatures of between 3 – 4 0C all year round. The easiest route to the summit is from Pen yr Ole Wen following the ridge. You can also ascend from Tal y Llyn Ogwen and follow the stream.
Glyder Fawr (3,278)
Glyder means “pile of stones”, and the Glyder Fawr happens to be the highest peak in the Glyderau range. The breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks from the summit of this mountain are what brings most mountain walkers here. The best route for ascent is the circular traverse over the main summits of Y Garn, Glyderau and Tryfan.
Glyder Fach (3,264ft)
The Glyder Fach is best-known for its cantilever stone which takes a toll on many climbers. The best and most scenic route to the top is the bristly ridge route. While conquering the route, be sure to stop by the precariously balanced Y Gwyliwr for a photo session. At the west of the summit, you will be greeted by the Castell y Gwynt which is a remarkable spiky rocky outcrop.
Pen yr Ole Wen (3,209)
The seventh highest mountain in Snowdonia is the most southerly of the Carnaddau range. It has a pyramid appearance and has a more forgiving ascent especially if you take the route starting from Tal-y-Llyn Ogwen and follow the stream. An interesting fact about the mountain is, for a long time, the name of the mountain was translated as “Head of the White Light” until it was correctly translated in 2004 as “Head of the White Slope.”
Foel Grach (3,202ft)
The Foel Grach features in the Wels 3000s. It’s an excellent walk for beginners because it has an emergency refuge built beneath the summit. Its broad summit is home to deeper snow compared to the surrounding mountains, and the slopes are high and grassy. On a clear day, you can see the Mourne Mountains from the summit.
Yr Elen (3,156ft)
Yr Elen is just over a kilometre from Carnedd Llewelyn. The ascent from Gerlan involves crossing several, challenging rivers. On drier days, you can take the crossing of Afon Caseg. For your spirited effort, you get to enjoy excellent views from the north-west, over the Bangor and Anglesey.
Y Garn (3,107ft)
The Y Garn has one of the most rewarding ascents of the mountains in Wales. It offers excellent views over the Carneddau, Ogwen Valley, Snowdon and the Glyders. The ascent is short but not one to be taken lightly. It requires tons of mountain walking experience. It’s best to start at the Ogwen Cottage where there amenities like a refreshment kiosk you can use before setting off on the challenging ascent.
This is the northernmost of the Welsh 3000 foot peaks. Unlike the others, it’s somewhat grassy and sprawling. The most challenging aspect of this ascent is rapidly deteriorating conditions. It doesn’t help that the walk is steep.
Carnedd Gwenllian (3,038ft)
Before 2009, this minor summit of the Carneddau range was called Garnedd Uchaf. It offers distant views to the north as far as Isle of Man and Ireland, and to the south, you can see the Berwyn Ranges. For walkers, there are no official routes written for this mountain. But you can find some on the maps. If you want to summit, it’s best to arrive with a pre-planned route.
Elidir Fawr (3,031ft)
Elidir Fawr is also known as the Electric Mountain. It has a small lake at the summit that flows through massive tunnels into a lower reservoir for Dinorwig Power Station – hence the name. Its history is shaped by slate mining, and the walking route is relatively short but steep. The best route is from the Deiniolen side or from Nant Peris.
Crib Goch (3,028ft)
Crib Goch sits in the Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd. Its name means red ridge, but it’s often described as a knife-edged arête. The routes for this mountain are considered mountaineering routes with scrambles in summer. They are cross-graded territory with a grade 1 scrambling making them the easiest of the paths.
Tryfan is popular among mountain walkers because of its unusual shape. It’s often described as the upper body of a shark with three fins along the top. The summit has two boulders about 4 feet apart with a significant drop between them, better known as Adam and Eve.
Aran Fawddwy (2,969ft)
The summit of the Aran Fawddwy forms a long rocky ridge. There is also another notable summit called Aran Benllyn. The best ascent route is from Cywarch in the south. If you prefer to take the longer route, you can approach from the Bala side.
Y Lliwedd (2,946ft)
For walkers looking for a quiet and peaceful ascent, Y Lliwedd is the best bet even when there are queues at the summit of Snowdon. Despite being avoided by walkers taking the Snowdon Horseshoe, the route is perfect for most walkers only requiring a good pair of boots and waterproofs. The route that begins at Pen y Pass car back is the best for the ascent.
Y Lliwedd East Top (2,930ft)
The Y Lliwedd East Top is the other twin of the Y Lliwedd summit. It’s only 5 meters shorter than the main summit and is marked by a small pile of stones. The views from here are the same as those at Y Lliwedd.
Cadair Idris – Penygadair (2,930ft)
The Cadair Idris – Penygadair is a favourite among hikers and walkers. Its summit is composed of Ordovician igneous rocks and outstanding glacial features. There are three routes to get to the summit which is covered in Scree with a Trig Point as a market. The routes are the Pony Path, Fox’s Path, which is the most direct and the Minford Path.
Pen Y Fan (2,907ft)
The Pen Y Fan is the highest peak in South Wales and another darling among walkers and hikers. The mountain is regularly used by the military as part of the selection process and claimed three lives in 2013 during the exercise. The Beacons Way is the best route to the top. The path is evenly graded from Storey Arms, and other paths are subject to ongoing repairs and maintenance by the National Trust.
Aran Benllyn (2,864ft)
Aran Benllyn is a subsidiary summit of Aran Fawddwy. Its peak is marked by a small cairn and features several rocky outcrops. If you find the mountain too challenging, there are plenty of exciting and scenic walks you can take among them The Haybarn, The Castell y Bere Walk and The Dysynni Gorge Walk.
Corn Du (2,864ft)
Corn Du has a twin top the other one being the Pen y Fan. A well-structured Bronze Age Cairn marks its summit with a central burial cist similar to the one on Pen y Fan. You can catch a glimpse of the two summits from a distance which are also famous landmarks. To get to the summit, you have to cross to the Pen y Fan. You can also use the surrounding open Moorland, but some parts of the terrain like the Peat bogs can be difficult to cross.
Erw y Ddafad-ddu (2,861ft)
Erw y Ddafad-ddu is a subsidiary summit of Aran Fawddwy Mountain and the third-highest peak in the Aram Mountain range. It has a rocky summit marked by a small cairn.
Moel Siabod (2,861ft)
This is the highest peak in the Moelwynion Mountain range and offers an excellent view of the 13 of the 14 highest peaks in Wales on a clear day without turning your head.
Mynydd Moel (2,831ft)
The second highest summit of the Cadair Idris lies to the east and is often climbed as a horseshoe. It has a bare and rocky summit marked with a cairn.