Rhinog Fawr and nearby tarns

Rhinog Fach is located in some of the roughest terrain in Snowdonia and in addition to including the summit of this rugged mountain this walk visits five of the small tarns scattered across the landscape nearby.

Technical sheet
No. 293300
A Trawsfynydd walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 21/07/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 9h05[?]
Distance Distance : 22.22km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 947m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 922m
Highest point Highest point : 710m
Lowest point Lowest point : 164m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : Snowdonia
Location Location : Trawsfynydd
Starting point Starting point : N 52.857986° / W 3.91215°
Arrival Arrival : N 52.904068° / W 3.920275°
Download : -

Description

This is a walk which is geared more towards visiting some of the remote but attractive llyns (tarns) in the Rhinogs, rather than "ticking off" summits. To illustrate the point, five llyns are included - Llyn Du, Llyn Morwynion, Llyn Cwm Bychan, Llyn Twr Glas and Llyn Pryfed along with one summit, Rhinog Fawr.

(D) If you are using Trawsfynydd as a base, you do not need a car to do this walk. To make the walk a fifteen, rather than a nineteen mile one, you can take the X32 bus from Trawsfynydd four miles south to Bronaber (grid ref.SH713306). Taking the bus also saves four miles of unwanted roadside walking. On alighting from the bus, you need to turn off the busy main road down a secondary tarmac road that leads through fields to the bridge of Pont y Grible (grid ref. SH708305). This part of the walk is a bit of a dull trudge, but Rhinog Fach and Rhinog Fawr loom on the horizon, reminding you of more interesting things to come later on.

Over the bridge, follow the road for a couple of miles, eventually passing the car park (grid ref. SH684302), shortly after which you need to take a signed footpath to the right through the forest. The waterfall of Pistyll y Gwyn soon comes into view on the right and, a few minutes later, you go straight ahead at a crossroads before continuing through the forest. The path then exits the forest through a gate and continues to open fellside with Rhinog Fawr now seen prominently on the left.

(2) The key to the next stage of the route is to turn off this path before it gets to Bwlch Tyddiad (the highest point of the Roman Steps). To do this, you need to locate a narrow path on the left, which snakes its way up through heather, rocks and bilberry plants and leads to the pretty mountain lake of Llyn Du (Black Lake), overlooked by the shattered rocks and crags of Rhinog Fawr to the left of it. If you are lucky, you may see some wild goats, in the far distance, anyway.

(3) Follow the north shore of Llyn Du, which involves some basic scrambling over rocks. At the far end of the lake, continue to follow the path ahead which leads all the way to the summit of Rhinog Fawr, first passing alongside a dry stone wall beyond the tarn. It is inadvisable to stray from the few paths that exist around here as you could find yourself in uncomfortable terrain with ankle-twisting rocks beneath the heather. The summit of Rhinog Fawr, marked by a solid cairn, offers a fine view across Bwlch Drws Ardudwy to the other Rhinog mountain with "Rhinog" as part of its name, Rhinog Fach.and Y Llethr, the highest peak in the Rhinogs. A wind shelter, a short distance below the top, offers some shelter if the summit area is too blustery.

(4) While as a first choice, I prefer a "round trip" rather than a "there and back" on a walk route, at this point, the route repeats itself in reverse from the top of Rhinog Fawr back down to the turn off shortly before Bwlch Tyddiad. Here, turn left to reach the bwlch. Near to Bwlch Tyddiad, Llyn Morwynion (Lake of the Maidens) can be seen nestling in a hollow to the north east - though you may need to wander off the path to reach a viewpoint overlooking the lake to see it. You could make a direct approach to Llyn Pryfed from here, but that would involve venturing into some of the roughest terrain in the whole of Wales. If that is not considered a desirable option, especially if mist appears to be about to descend, then you should follow the Roman Steps down to Llyn Cwm Bychan. This path offers no difficulty from a route finding point of view, the only turn off being a path on the left that leads to another of the remote Rhinogs lakes, Gloyw Lyn (Gleaming Lake). However, that lake is not included on this walk.

(5) At Llyn Cwm Bychan, you pass through a gate and on to a tarmac road where you turn right for a short distance before following a sign for Clip to the left. This route is mostly pathless to begin with as you walk up a grassy fellside but the right general direction is clear. As Llyn Cwm Bychan becomes ever more distant behind you, a path is reached and followed all the way to the bwlch (col). The walk returns to this point later for the return to Trawsfynydd. However, this is a walk designed to include some of the remote but pretty mountain lakes of the Rhinogs and two of them are within easy walking distance from the bwlch. A half mile walk to the south east leads to Llyn Twr Glas (the lake of the blue/green tower). A few minutes walk further on brings you to Llyn Pryfed (Lake of the flies), a longer lake with varied shoreline of headlands and bays. As neither of these lakes are en route to a main summit, they appear to see few visitors.

To conclude the walk, retrace your steps to the top of the bwlch, turn right and follow the path down to the east and cross the Afon Crawcwellt (stream). Then continue to the secondary tarmac road to the west of Lake Trawsyfyndd, returning to the village by crossing the footbridge(A).

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 198m
1 : km 0.72 - alt. 177m - Bridge
2 : km 6.08 - alt. 450m - Path on your left
3 : km 6.79 - alt. 524m - Llyn Du
4 : km 7.22 - alt. 710m - Rhinog Fawr, go back
5 : km 10.77 - alt. 175m - Llyn Cwm Bychan, pass through a gate
6 : km 14.5 - alt. 539m - Llyn Pryfed
A : km 22.22 - alt. 223m

Useful Information

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Other walks in the area

distance 12.74km Vertical gain +735m Vertical drop -740m Durée 5h45 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Trawsfynydd - Gwynedd

This Snowdonia walk explores two contrasting mountains in the Rhinogs. Not so popular as other parts of the National Park this walk provides some wonderful scenery amidst unspoilt surroundings.

distance 19.23km Vertical gain +620m Vertical drop -621m Durée 7h15 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Trawsfynydd - Gwynedd

A wonderful Snowdonia walk that explores the rocky and wild terrain of the northern Rhinogs. This area sees few walkers yet offers some spectacular country. Do choose a good day as navigation can be tricky.

The Precipice Walk near Dolgellau
distance 5.4km Vertical gain +109m Vertical drop -100m Durée 1h50 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Brithdir and Llanfachreth - Gwynedd

This short walk near Dolgellau (Gwynedd) is a wonderful route offering great views and excellent walking. An ideal route if you are short of time or if the weather only allows a shorter walk.

Cae Clyd to Manor Mawr
distance 11.19km Vertical gain +487m Vertical drop -486m Durée 4h35 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Ffestiniog - Gwynedd

This walk will lead you at the top of Manod Mawr passing by the National’s Treasure Caves, which was used to store valuable paintings during WW2.

distance 8.7km Vertical gain +484m Vertical drop -487m Durée 3h50 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Llanycil - Gwynedd

A walk to the summit of Arenig Fawr is a rewarding excursion in southern Snowdonia. Starting from Arenig near Llyn Celyn, the route offers excellent walking. Passing Llyn Arenig Fawr the ascent is relatively easy. Descent is over unpathed ground and good navigational skills are recommended.

distance 13.52km Vertical gain +719m Vertical drop -715m Durée 5h55 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Llanfrothen - Gwynedd

This Snowdonia walk explores four peaks in the Moelwyns. These summits are not the most popular in the area but offer excellent walking and an insight into the now defunct slate quarrying industry.

Cregennen Lakes from Barmouth
distance 16.78km Vertical gain +353m Vertical drop -351m Durée 5h50 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Barmouth - Gwynedd

This Gwynedd walk is full of variety. The route includes a crossing of the Barmouth Bridge, a section of woodland with many waterfalls, two beautifully located lakes and some mountain vistas.

distance 8.61km Vertical gain +23m Vertical drop -23m Durée 2h30 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Barmouth - Gwynedd

A short Gwynedd walk ideal for an evening stroll. The route includes crossing the Barmouth Bridge and some excellent views across the Mawddach Estuary and surrounding mountains. The walk also includes a section of the Mawddach Trail.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.