A round of Moel Hebog
Key: Mountain over 914m Peak over 600m Peak under 600m
Length: 10km Height gain: 992m Highest point: 782m Approx time: 4.5 - 5 hours gpx file
This walk covers Moel Hebog, the highest mountain this side of Beddgelert, and also goes over two of its neighbors. I have been on Moel Hebog several times in poor visibility, and have not found the navigation too difficult. The most difficult part as far as route finding goes is trying to pick a route back through Beddgelert forest so that you finish where you started! There is a small amount of very easy scrambling near the top of Moel Hebog, and the slope down can be slippery when it is wet.
Begin by the outdoor center in Beddgelert, and walk down the road towards Caernarfon for a very short distance until a road / track goes off to the left. Follow this past a house and carry on past a track going off to your right through the trees (you will aim to return by this track). After a further 250m you will reach a ladder style across a wall on your right, by an old house. Cross this style, and you are on the main track up Moel Hebog. Follow what is not obvious but a noticeable track around crossing a wall ahead of you, and then heading to another wall by some sheepfolds. Now begin to head up hill, in a westerly direction until you reach another wall.
In clear conditions you can see across to the Snowdon Range behind you. Now make your way up (still on a defined track) so that you are heading up a grassy slope. You should be walking on a high section of ground with Cwm Bleiddiaid to your right, and Cwm right, and Cwm Llwy to your left. You will reach some rocky ground where the track leads round to the left and then turns right (WNW) to ascend some rocky ground and reach the summit ridge. Now simply keep the cliffs on your left, and make your way across to the summit trig point. From the summit take the time to look across to the Moelwynion to the East, Snowdon to the North East and the rest of your route with the Nantlle ridge behind to the North.
From the summit follow the wall leading down to the North West. This is slippery ground when wet, and care should be taken. The route is simple enough - just keep to the wall all the way down. If you want to cut the walk short here, wait until you reach the low point between Moel Hebog and Moel yr Ogof. Now turn right and descend to Beddgelert forest. Otherwise, the wall will eventually bend to the left, and you should stay with it, walking by a small lake which can lead to unaware members of a group getting wet feet! Moel yr Ogof is now ahead of you. Walk up a passage between two sections of rock and then make your way to the summit, by initially heading round to the left, and then cutting up North to the peak. It can be deceptive which side is higher, and you should make for the far side of the mountain. Ogof Owain Glyndwr can be found here.
From here take the time to look back across to Moel Hebog from where you came, and also across to the coast in the East. Your walk continues by picking a route down to a fence just by the peak. Head off just to the right, and make your way down carefully and over some rocks to reach it. Now carry on over easy ground to the next summit ahead of you, which is Moel Lefn, the last peak for the day. It is probably easiest to return to the bwlch between Moel Hebog and Moel yr Ogof before descending, taking care of small cliffs on the descent. Make your way through the forest to the start point, ideally reaching the point mentioned earlier in this description. The forest changes so rapidly with Forestry Commission work that I will not attempt to describe what I feel is the best route since it will lead to confusion.