Secret Mountains Series. Moel HebogPublished on 6 Jul 2020 by Gwion Llwyd
Moel Hebog, it’s Beddgelert’s own mountain: a worthy day of walking that will reward you with superb 360 views of Snowdon, Snowdonia and the North Wales coast.
If you are staying in or near Beddgelert, then Moel Hebog is hard to miss: the mountain dominates the view west of Snowdonia’s prettiest village. This circular route offers a full and rewarding day’s walking.
Introducing Moel Hebog
At 782m Moel Hebog is no lofty peak, but it shouldn’t be underestimated. Our circular route covers around 9km and will take you the best part of a day. Make sure you check the weather, and that you will have enough light to finish, before you set off.
Be aware that this is a steady uphill walk which gets progressively steeper towards the rocky summit. The best views are from the edge of the summit plateau (a great excuse to stop before the final push) and take in Snowdon, the Snowdonia coast, and the western end of the Nantlle Ridge.
If you walk the full distance, you’ll pass Moel yr Ogof (mountain of the cave) where the great rebel prince Owain Glyndwr once lay in hiding from the English.
Moel Hebog is one of the great walks of North Wales. Always plan your route using a map and guidebook before you set off, and we recommend that you take a map and compass with you when you walk.
Moel Hebog and Owain Glyndwr, the last Welsh Prince of Wales
Look out for a slice of Welsh history on your way down Moel Hebog: you’ll pass the outlying summit of Moel yr Ogof where Owain Glyndwr – the last Welsh Prince of Wales – is said to have hidden from the English in the 14th century.
Owain led the Welsh Revolt against the rule of Henry IV of England. A group of Owain’s supporters proclaimed him Prince of Wales at Glyndyfrdwy. Although initially successful, Owain’s uprising was eventually put down.
You can start this walk anywhere in Beddgelert, so it’s ideal if you are staying at a Dioni holiday cottage in or near the village.
From the bridge in the centre of Beddgelert, follow the A4085 towards Caernarfon. After you pass the outdoors shop you should see a left turning with a sign on the gate marked ‘private road’. Turn left onto this track (it is a public bridleway, so you are fine to walk along it).
The track will take you along the riverbank, and you will cross it and the Welsh Highland Railway before joining the road section of the Lon Las Gwyrfrai trail. Follow the road until you arrive at a cottage. You’ll see that the trail continues clearly to the right. After a short distance, it will branch to the left with a footpath sign. This is the main track up Moel Hebog.
Your ascent begins here. It is a fairly challenging gradient from the start and gets ever steeper towards the top. Pack something delicious to enjoy at the summit; you will have earned it! The path is not always obvious, so you’ll need to keep track of your bearings. Stone cairns mark the way up.
We’re going to warn you now: there are a couple of false summits on your way up. They are stunning viewpoints though (arguably better than those from the summit), and a great opportunity for a quick rest and some nice snaps.
You’ll know you’ve reached the summit because you will see the trig point. This might be a good time to break open the flask and biscuits. Though be warned, there is no shelter at the top of Moel Hebog.
To descend, you can either go back the way you came, or follow the wall to the right-hand side of the trig point. If you keep to the near side of the wall, a path will soon become obvious.
Follow the path all the way down to the impressive rock formation at the foot of Moel yr Ogof. Turn right at the rock formation and follow the path into the forest, down towards the campsite. Be careful and consult your map and compass as some of the forest tracks lead to dead ends.
Once at the campsite, walk through to the road and then it’s just a short distance (1.5km / 20 minutes) back to Beddgelert.
- Distance: 9km
- Height: 782m
- Time required for walk: approx. 5-6 hours
- Start point: Beddgelert
All the usual safety advice applies: never go into the mountains without the right gear. Our bare minimum recommendations would be waterproofs, spare layers, food, water, gloves, hat / sun hat (and sun cream if you are climbing in summer), map, compass, mobile phone and whistle. Make sure you check the weather before you depart, and if possible, tell someone at home which route you intend to take and what time you expect to finish. You should always thoroughly research your route so you have the best possible idea of what to expect.
Stay in Beddgelert
Looking for somewhere to stay nearby? Check out our selection of beautiful Beddgelert holiday cottages here.