Ogwen Valley is home to some of the best hiking trails and mountains in all of Snowdonia but there’s one that most people forgot about making it one of the best hikes you can do.
Y Garn via Devils Kitchen.
With Tryfan, the mighty Glyderau, and Pen Yr Ole Wen all in the same valley, it’s easy to see why Ogwen is such a big attraction to people all over the UK.
But one of the mountains that offer some of the best views, especially of Tryfan, has to be y Garn.
Home to my very first wild camp, Y Garn holds a special place in my heart and will forever be a mountain I go back to whenever in the Ogwen Valley.
Despite the hike, and the views, being some of the best in Snowdonia. The history that surrounds Cwm Idwal is nothing short of incredible and some of the rocks date back thousands and thousands of years.
Quick Facts about Y Garn via Devils Kitchen
- Distance: 7.6km
- Time: 3-4 hours
- Best travel time: Anytime, but maybe avoid weekends if you want it to be quiet
- Difficulty: Not too difficult, the route up DK can be slippery when wet.
- Parking: Ogwen Cottage or anywhere in the OV.
High Points of Y Garn, Snowdonia
- Superb panoramic views throughout all of Snowdonia
- Rewarding hike that gets the legs and lungs burning
- Interesting history surrounding Cwm Idwal
- One of the more quiet 3000ft peaks
Low Points of Y Garn, Snowdonia
Slippery in the wet, be careful.
How to get to Y Garn, Snowdonia
If you drive in through the Ogwen Valley from the A55 then Y Garn is one of the first mountains you’ll see as you weave down towards Ogwen Valley.
Right behind the Ogwen cottage, this is a prime location for easy accessibility and hiking.
If you cannot park at the Ogwen Cottage, then parking in the lay-bys further up will be fine, you’ll just have a short road walk to start the trail.
Once starting the trail to the left-hand side of the Ogwen Cottage, you’ll cross the bridge and follow the man-made stones up towards Cwm Idwal.
The path will fork off here to access Tryfan and the Glyderau, so you’ll want to swing left and keep Tryfan behind you.
Once you reach Cwm Idwal you’ll have two choices.
You can do this trail either clockwise or counterclockwise. I’ve always done it counterclockwise as I prefer to come down via Devil’s Kitchen rather than up it, but ultimately the choice is yours.
For the sake of this guide, you’ll go right on the shores of Idwal and follow the well-worn path through a small gate before starting the uphill climb to the summit.
This is a tough climb, but a rewarding one with greater views over Pen Yr Ole Wen and Tryfan the more you climb.
Once at the summit, you can see down towards Devil’s Kitchen and it’s a fairly easy path to follow until you’ll take a left, head over the style, and then head down Devil’s Kitchen bringing you out on the other side of Idwal.
My Experience of Y Garn in Snowdonia
Home to my first-ever wild camping experience. Y Garn will forever be in my fondest of memories as one of the best mountains in Snowdonia.
A typically quieter peak than the other 3000ft peaks to choose from, it’s a great day out if you’re wanting to get some solace in the mountains.
The climb up Y Garn is tough, but super rewarding, and personally think it’s one of the best sunrise and sunset spots in the whole of Snowdonia.
As you climb the views over Tryfan just get better, and better.
From the summit you can see all the way to the ocean, through to the Snowdon horseshoe, over the Glyderau, Tryfan, Pen Yr Ole Wen and the Carneddau.
What to do after your hike up Y Garn
Maybe you fancy getting some watersports in whilst you’re in North Wales? Visit Llyn Gwynant and paddle on one of Snowdonia’s finest lakes. If you’ve not got your own paddleboard or Kayak, you can rent one from the Llyn Gwynant campsite itself.
But if you’re making a weekend of it, here are some more ideas for you to tackle whilst you’re in god’s country, also known as Wales.
Tryfan via North Ridge
Moel Siabod via Daedu Ridge
Secret Waterfall – Snowdonia’s Last Hidden Gem
Llanberis Waterfall – A must-see!
Angelsey Barracks – Snowdonian History