Moel Hebog, Via Cwmystradllyn, Gwynedd


Best at / for: summer sunset.

Best avoided: poor weather, otherwise good at any time.

Parking: free parking at foot of the dam.

Access: extended moderate walking required for the summit.

Notes: great hiking / wild camping opportunities nearby.


The ascent of Moel Hebog is usually associated with routes which start from the village of Beddgelert. However, my favourite route is from the opposite side of the mountain at Cwmystradllyn.

This offers a number of distinct advantages. Firstly, it is very much more remote and secluded with easy parking and a strong likelihood of having the entire valley to yourself as you set out. Secondly, the ascent from this starting point is a very much more gentle gradient than the steep climb and, in places, the necessity to scramble over rock faces using the more popular route from the valley at Beddgelert.

Once you have passed the derelict slate quarry village of Treforys, about a third of the way from the parking near the dam, there is no official marked footpath, but the dry stone walls can be scaled using the styles which can be a little difficult to locate without local knowledge. But the walking between the styles and up to the summit is a long steady gradient without too much technical difficulty. The walk should take you about 2 to 3 hours.

The views from the summit are as spectacular as any within the park, offering panoramas of the Snowdon, the Moelwyns, the Nantlle Ridge and down to the coast to Porthmadog.

From the lake all the way up to the summit there are many good spots for secluded wild camping and this is a very highly recommended location for some solitude and landscape photography.