Wales is jam-packed with natural beauty at every turn. However the Welsh Three Peaks challenge is not often the first thought when arriving in the region… But it should be!
The Welsh Three Peaks is lesser known than the National and Yorkshire Challenges. But is no less of an achievement for any adventurer! The hike includes Pen y Fan in the South, Cadair Idris in mid-Wales and Snowdon in the North.
The Welsh Three Peaks Challenge includes a total walking distance of 27.4km. An ascent of 7657ft. And approximately 135 miles of driving in between!
While Snowdon is by far the highest of the three, Pen y Fan and Cadair Idris have other challenges with their positioning.
Even if you are not up for doing all three in one hit, we would highly recommend summiting them one at a time. All three peaks have something beautiful to offer and not only at the summit but throughout the ascent.
Prior to the challenge
Prior to your challenge there are several things to note to prepare yourself as much as possible:
- Firstly check the weather forecast and ensure you are well equip for any sudden weather changes.
- Arrange to have a designated driver (who is not taking part on the challenge) who can safely transport you from mountain to mountain.
- Make sure you have enough food and water for all three mountains, its a good idea to store some in your transport vehicle to avoid carrying anything unnecessary.
- Lastly, plan your timings well so that you begin your first ascent early and try to return before dark.
Planning your route
There are many other routes to go for, we chose our preferred routes based on personal challenge and the beautiful views. To get you started here’s the trails that we went for… Firstly, for Pen-y-fan we enjoyed the Storey Arms route, for Cadair Idris we went for the Pony Path and finally for Snowdon we took the Pyg trail ascent and the Llanberis descent.
How long does it take?
So the hikes are very dependent on your groups experience, ability and rest times but here’s an average of the routes advised above:
- Pen-y-fan: 2.5 – 3.5hr
- Cadair Idris: 5 – 6hr
- Snowdon: 6hr
Where to stay
Looking for somewhere to stay in Snowdonia after your descent? We highly recommend staying at YHA Snowdon Pen-y-Pass after your hike. This hostel is located at the foot of Snowdon’s railway trail and will be open waiting with a new brew at the end of your hike.