A round of Llyn Cowlyd
Key: Mountain over 914m Peak over 600m Peak under 600m
Length: 14.5km Height gain: 1098m Highest point: 839m Approx time: 6 hours gpx file
This walk takes you onto a quiet section of the Carneddau. It is lower than any of the other routes mentioned, but has fine views over to the main mountains on the Carneddau. The ground is likely to be very wet, and most of the walk is off paths.
Begin from the footpath approximately 100m along the A5 from Bron Heulog. This path should be followed until you reach the waterway just SW of Llyn Cowlyd. From here head NE to the cliffs of Creigiau Gleision. The ground here will change from heather to rock as you progress. To the NE there are views over to Pen Llithrig y Wrach, the penultimate peak of your walk with the main peaks of the Carneddau behind it.
Carry on along the top of the cliffs, until you reach a fence leading down to Llyn Cowlyd. Do not follow this down, since it is fairly steep. An easier alternative is to carry on NE for another 300m before heading down to the dam at the end of the lake. This is a good sheltered place for lunch. If you do not wish to continue, you can follow the path around the lake to the waterway and descend to the starting point.
Walk along the length of the dam, and then carry on in an easterly direction ascending some steeper ground to reach a dip just SW of Garreg-Wen. From here take the time to look back on the cliffs of Creigau Gleision with Llyn Cowlyd in the foreground, before carrying on SW to the summit of Pen Llithrig y Wrach. From here admire the views across to Tryfan and y Glyderau (to the SW).
From here there are two options. You can head S off the mountain, following the cliffs to the other end of Llyn Colwyd to where you had lunch, and then head back down from the waterway. This reduces the distance by 1.5km and the time by approximately 100 minutes.
For the second option (shown on the map) follow the ridge to the WNW. This will take you to the summit of Pen yr Helgi Du (otherwise known as the Whaleback because of its shape when viewed from Llyn Ogwen). This will give you views across to Craig yr Ysfa and Carnedd Lleywellyn.
The descent from here is down the "Whaleback ridge" to the south. Even in good weather this is boggy near the A5, and you should be prepared for this. On reaching the road you will have a road walk back to the starting point.