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Cadair Idris Circular Walk is a 6.3 mile loop trail located near Machynlleth, Powys, Wales that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching.

Length 6.3 mi Elevation gain 2,693 ft Route type Loop

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Lake

Views

Wild flowers

Rocky

Description
Waypoints (9)
Tips

Cadair Idris is situated in the Cadair Idris Nature Reserve within Snowdonia National Park. Set off from the Tal-y-Llyn car park at Minffordd and climb uphill through the woods with the fast flowing Nant Cadair stream cascading down on the right. On exiting the wood, continue on the easy-to-follow footpath on the left of the stream & fork left onto Minffordd Path. Ascend through the wide Nant Cadair valley to the awesome Llyn Cau lake & continue up the left side of the Llyn Cau, the path up is well marked and steep, to the horseshoe of cliffs and crags known as Craig Cau, that surround Llyn Cau. The first part of this ascent is quite hard but once on top of the horseshoe it's rough terrain but not too steep and you can followed the path which is well marked with rock piles. The final climb to the Penygadair (893 metres) summit is covered in some huge boulders which were quite a challenge. The final section of the path is steep, slippery and suffering badly from erosion. A short zigzag finally brings you to the summit cairn and trig point. From Penygadair summit head northwest across the flat barren top to Mynydd Moel (863 metres) summit. Return to the fence previous crossed, then turned left to follow the fence line downhill. The path becomes steep and quite rocky and very uneven in places following the path to meet Nant Cadair stream at the corner of the pine forest.

This is not a walk to be undertaken without proper walking boots. The use of poles is also advised especially on the downwards part of the track. The rocks are very uneven and can easily trip the tired or unwary. Make sure you know the weather forecast before you set off.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (64)
Photos (372)
Recordings (42)
Completed (120)
Khin Sau
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Hiking
View Khin's Recording
James Whitehead
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Hiking
View James's Recording
Jez Francis
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Walking

A great workout, both on the ascent and the descent. The dog and I climbed through thick fog from just above the lake. We pushed on as both the Met Office and Mountain Forecast for Cadair Idris suggested it would lift not long after we planned to summit; it didn’t so no views from the top today! The weather did improve slightly as we made our way down (see photos), but not enough to really appreciate the scenery, so I decided I’d treat the people following me to a front row seat as I tripped and went head over heels down the loose rocks and scree. Fortunately, only my pride was hurt, but a useful reminder; this walk is challenging going up and coming down, with steep and lengthy scrambles. When we got back to the car park, the sun came out.

View Jez's Recording
Kris Matthews
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Hiking
View Kris's Recording
Glyn Davies
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Hiking

Trial

View Glyn's Recording
Ben Slingsby
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Hiking

very wet, bothy at the top of penygader is basic but was a fun night

Selina London
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HikingScramble

Did this on a beautiful sunny day in just over 5 hours, with plenty of breaks. Easy to follow path, but steep in places. The descent with many loose stones was hard on the knees. Great views all around. Marked as moderate, but definitely on the more challenging end of moderate

Liam Parker
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HikingMuddyRockyScramble

amazing walk and made even better with the weather being glorious ! also proposed to my now fiance over looking the lake ! hard scramble near the top but worth it for the perfect views !

Barrie Fairhurst
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HikingScramble

my favourite mountain! above the clouds the views of distant mountains looked like you could walk to them. even saw a Brocken Spectre. final bit of the descent was loose underfoot.

Louise Ricard
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HikingMuddyNo shadeRockyScramble

Très belle randonnée réalisée dans le sens inverse des aiguilles d’une montre. Le début a été difficile, beaucoup de brouillard. C’était difficile de s’orienter. De plus, le sol était boueux, rendant l’ascension un peu complexe. Le ciel s’est éclairci après le sommet et m’a permis d’observer de magnifiques paysages.

Wim Pelgroms
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Hiking

It was suit steep but the walking path was in a good condition. Reaching the top gives a lot of satisfaction. I did this with my wife, son of 8 years old and daughter of 10 years old. They also enjoyed it a lot. We had a clouded summit but still enjoyable.

Neil Zerk
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Hiking

Amazing an a little more challenging than I imagined! What I would say it can get sketchy in terms of finding the correct trail to follow when visibility is bad! As I reached the summit I followed a trail that lead me an a fair few others in the wrong direction and off course! I was lost for 3 hours

Davide Bomben
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HikingRockyScramble
Joshua Burns
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Excellent views and great exercise. Slightly smaller than snowdonia miners trail.

Barry Knott
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HikingRocky

Great alternative to doing Snowden in Wales. Fewer people and great views. Lots of sheep and cows to see along the way. Along the lower section stone steps in place used to be used by Ponies carrying people up. Loose rocks along the path at the higher level. Recommended for a good day.

Brendan Toal
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HikingNo shadeRockyScramble
Sarah Jeory
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Hiking

Did this loop with my 9 year old son. Highly recommended Cadair Idris for that sense of utter adventure, full of myths and legends. However it must not be underestimated. The path down on this loop can be difficult and unstable with lots of loose rocks and sticks are recommended. Or go on your bottom. Don’t take a child that hasn’t done a fairly steep climb before, we saw one family with a fairly distressed child. But we also saw others skipping past us. The map on this app actually cuts out the Mynydd Moel summit, and skirts round the middle. That’s fine, it’s pretty easy to figure out the route when looking from the Penygadair summit, if you did want to bag that extra peak. Prepare for humidity in the Celtic Rainforest. As you descend and get close, you can feel the heat coming off it. Truly spectacular.

Tom Sanderson
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HikingRockyScramble
View Tom's Recording
Charles Roddy
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Hard climb but views at the top are worth it.

Lindee Meredith
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HikingRocky

Breath taking views, God’s country.. I recommend this walk highly but it’s not for the faint hearted, very steep, Rocky, steep steps to begin which makes the rest of the climb hard.. the views were out of this world and well worth my legs not working today.

Cerith Griffiths
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Hiking

A rather mild January morning with hardly a breeze but temperatures soon plummet and the winds picked up the closer we got to the summit. Visibility was reduced due to fog at the summit but this just adds another dimension to the whole journey. The decent was much more difficult with my joints. All in all a wonderful day though. Highly recommended x

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