If you only do one ride on Snowdon, this is it: a huge climb, a proper summit tick and one of the best singletrack descents in the UK.

Statistics

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Exposure

Exposure

The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.

Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Description

The pride of Welsh mountain biking.

A huge climb, a proper summit tick and one of the best singletrack descents in the country.

A proper UK classic. But, classic or not, it's no pushover.

You'll be in the granny ring, legs screaming, before you've even left the tarmac of Llanberis.

Luckily, it's not long before you're off road and on to the Snowdon Tourist Track.

The gradient eases a little now, and becomes a whole lot more interesting, which helps take your mind off the huge climb ahead.

Small rock slabs need solid climbing technique to clean, loose rock requires decent line choice and the near-vertical kilometre of climbing needs big legs.

It's right on the limit of endurance and ability, but definitely all rideable, right up until you hit the section near the second railway bridge.

Get anywhere near the bridge and you'll earn some serious bragging points.

Once above this stretch it's not far to the top, where you can shoulder your bike and carry it up the steps to the trig point for a quick summit photo.

But you didn't come for the climb or the photo.

You came for the descent, and the fun starts when you swing off the main track and on to the Ranger Path.

This is a cracker.

It goes without saying that it's rocky, but it's flattish and not too technical near the top, meaning plenty of speed and time to check out the view.

Dropping further down, the trail gets rockier and rockier.

Things are pretty pretty technical now, with a superb view that keeps trying to drag your attention away from the trail.

Turn your focus back to the your riding though, because it gets better and better, narrowing into a superb stretch of singletrack and narrow switchbacks before throwing you into the jagged gully, where it gets really hard.

Find a line that works, sketch down the toothy rock steps and then let off the brakes and enjoy the significantly easier riding below. A final slog uphill sees you into telegraph valley.

Brush up on your hops as the trail here is motorway-fast, but littered with rocky water bars that won't do your wheels any favours if you clip them.

Slow down, wiggle through the farm buildings and drop through the back streets of Llanberis to the cafe, a nice cup of tea and a biscuit. Route info – you're looking at 18 kilometres and just over 1,000 metres of climbing on the Ranger Track.

Flat out, it might take 3 hours, but probably a fair bit longer. On a serious note, while Snowdon is fantastic fun to ride, there are a couple of things to note: Every man and his dog tends to head up Snowdon when the weather's good, which means a lot of walkers to dodge.

And when the weather's bad, you might find yourself looking at snow, sub-zero temperatures and high winds.

Pick your day carefully.

In addition, there's a voluntary restriction on riding Snowdon between 10 a.m.

And 5 p.m.

From 1 May to 30 September.

Please respect this, if only because it get so busy with walkers that it won't be much fun for you or them if you ride during these peak hours.

Outside the restricted times is fine, meaning really early or late starts if you want to ride in summer, or any time you want during the rest of the year.