Cwm Idwal

Cwm Idwal is an impressive mountain cirque in the Glyder mountans in Snowdonia containing the lake Llyn Idwal.  It is located close to the highest point of the A5 road on the pass between Capel Curig and Bethesda, and sits just above Llyn Ogwen.  The cwm is surrounded by some of the highest peaks in Wales – Tryfan, Glyder Fach, Glyder Fawr and Y Garn are all over 3000ft – but the walk up to Llyn Idwal involves only a short climb of 200ft over a distance of 0.5 miles.  The reward for such a short walk is some of the finest mountain scenery in Wales.

Climbing out of Cwm Idwal onto the surrounding mountains involves rather more strenuous walking. Options are to ascend past Llyn Bochlwyd if heading to Tryfan or Glyder Fach, scramble up the Y Gribn ridge for Glyder Fawr or Glyder Fach, ascend Twyll Du (the Devil’s Kitchen)   a steep path with impressive rock scenery, or ascend the the north ridge of Y Garn.

The photographs shown here were taken on a walk ascending the north ridge of Y Garn, then passing the small lake of Llyn Cwn on the saddle between Y Garn and Glyder Fawr, before descending steeply via Twyll Du.

Location and Parking

Post Code: LL57 3LZ

From the Welsh coast, the A5 climbs the Nant Ffrancon valley, following a route engineered by Thomas Telford in about 1820.  There is a pay and display car park at the western end of Llyn Ogwen at Pont Pen-y-Benglog, however cars are also often parked on either side of the A5 clost to Ogwen cottage.  From the car park, an obvious path climbs to Llyn Idwal which is reached after just 0.5 miles and 200ft of climbing.  The lake is circled by a path, but going higher will entail some steep climbing over rough ground – especially at  the head of the valley at Twyll Du.

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