Mynydd Mawr (698m) is a graceful peak, a bit of a rose amongst the rugged mountains that stand close by, Snowdon included. In addition the mountain is quiet making for a pleasant half day climb. Mind you the climb to the summit ridge is very steep from where a grassy pass leads to the high point.
I really enjoyed the climb of Mynydd Mawr. It is an isolated mountain on the western fringes of Snowdonia. Most people will drive past on the A4085 on the journey to Bedgellert, eyes drawn to the lower slopes of Snowdon on your left rather than Mynydd Mawr on your right. The obvious place to start is the pub in the little hamlet/village of Rydd Ddu. It makes for a pleasant end to the walk in a pub full of character.
The walk itself starts along a wide forestry track. Nearly a mile on the path leaves the track and heads uphill to a stile and the open countryside. From here a path heads steeply uphill for 320m (1,000 feet) towards the subsidiary top of Foel Rudd. On arrival I certainly felt I had earned the fantastic 360 degree views! The graceful nature of the summit ridge makes for a lovely 3/4 a mile walk to the actual summit, marked by a large shelter and cairn. I returned the same way aside from a quick excursion to Llyn y Dywarchen before re-entering the forest.
The lesser visited mountains of Snowdon are superb. This is just one example but there are many others. Find my favourites under the Walks in Wales section on this website.
This is one of the very rare occasions where a there and back walk works best. Normally I would always look for a circular walk which tends to add interest but not on Mynydd Mawr. A short excursion to Lyn y Dywarchen is all that is realistically available. There is no parking at Planwydd which would have shortened the walk.
The descent off Mynydd Mawr takes you down to Craig Cwmbychan from where you can pick up a nondescript descent path that follows a stream until it joins Afon Goch, the path ends at a point where you have to cross Afon Goch, once across head diagonally right uphill to its highest point (there is no path) once at the top you will see the corner of the forest in front of you and another indistinct path which leads you to the stile you crossed on your outward route ascending to Foel Rudd.
Please be aware the path off Craig Cwmbychan can be challenging, to say the least, and not for the faint-hearted.
You can also access Mynydd Mawr via Fron, a small hamlet above Dyffryn Nantlle. Food is available at Canolfan y Fron. Less strenuous with equally superb terrain.
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