Cadair Idris and the surrounding mountains of Southern Snowdonia see fewer visitors and receive less attention – but for some this is exactly why they are so alluring. If you want to escape the crowds on Snowdon or to explore a slightly wilder side of Snowdonia then Cadair Idris should be on your shortlist.
The summit of Cadair Idris (properly called Pen y Cadair) is only 893m above sea level – but the feet of the mountain are in the sea itself, in the Mawddach estuary. A small stone summit shelter can be found just below the pile of stones marking the summit.
There are three popular walker routes to the summit of Cadair Idris:
- Cadair Idris via the Pony Path
- Cadair Idris via the Minffordd Path
- Cadair Idris via the Foxes Path
Cadair Idris via the Pony Path
This route begins amongst ancient woodlands but soon climbs steeply out onto grassy slopes and then rocks and scree. It skirts behind the neighbouring summit of Cyfrwy before reaching the rocky summit.
Cadair Idris via the Minffordd Path
The most popular of the Cadair Idris routes, it climbs steeply through waterfalls and trees before entering a hidden high valley by Llyn Cau. Another steep path reaches the horseshoe of Craig Lwyd, Craig Cwm Amarch and Craig Cau then onto the summit itself.
Cadair Idris via the Foxes Path
Starting off near the beginning of the Pony Path this quieter route crosses boggy ground under Llyn Gafr and Llyn Gadair then hooks up onto the very steep and loose ridge that tops out directly below the summit of Pen y Gadair.