Length: 6 Miles
Time: 4 Hours
Start: Minffordd Car Park
End: Minffordd Car Park
This circular route offers you the chance to climb one of the best mountains in Wales. Although many people prefer to stick to the main mountains in northern Snowdonia, Cader Idris is arguably a much more spectacular mountain, offering unparalleled views of the coast and Llyn Cau at the base of the mountain. Please bear in mind that this walk is very steep in places, and you should make sure that you are prepared for some very steep climbs.
Please also remember to check the weather, as this walk can be dangerous when visibility is poor because of the steep drops and slippy rocks.
You should also take some change for the car park, as it is no longer free.
1. Starting from the Minfford Car Park, head through the gate by the stone toilet block which is clearly sign posted.
2. Follow the track heading right from the gate which will take you past the original National Trust building, and then crosses the Nant Cader river.
3. Follow the track through the gate, and then take the woodland path up the steep hill, keeping Nant Cader on your right hand side.
4. Continue up the path past the white benches and cross the stream on the old stone bridge, carrying on until the trail opens up at the top of the woodland.
5. Once you reach the signed junction for Moel Mynydd and Cwm Cau bear left towards Cwm Cau going up into the valley.
6. The path works its way round the Nant Cadair valley and takes you up to Llyn Cau.
7. Follow the path until you reach the huge stone slabs near the edge of the lake, and then bear left up the path which takes you south to the top of Craig Cau.
8. Upon reaching the top, bear right along the rocky pathway through the vast amounts of heather.
9. Carry on until you reach the fence which spans across the mountain, and cross it at the nearest stile. There are a number of stiles located across the length of the fence.
10. After crossing the fence you should reach another rocky path, which you should follow until you reach the summit on the other side of the large boulders.
11. Climb the trail until you reach the summit of Penygadair, where you should beb greeted by one of the most wonderful views you have ever seen in your life. However, if you have decided to take the walk in the rain, be advised that you might not see much at all.
12. The peak is adorned with a Cairn and a hut which can be used as shelter or just to sit down for a rest if required. At this point you are officially 893 metres (2930 feet) above sea level.
13. From the cairn you should head south east until you reach the trail which huges the edges of the cliffs which overlook Llyn Cau.
14. Follow the trail for around 1.5 miles during which time you will cross a small waterfall before the trail bends to the right.
15. This will bring you back to the point where you earlier saw sign posts for Moel Mynydd and Cwm Cau.
16. Follow the trail which you originally took from the car park back down towards the woodland.
17. Continue to follow it through the woodland and down the edge of Nant Cader until you finally reach the car park where you began your walk.