I have travelled to many beautiful places in the UK with my dog and Snowdon remains my all-time favourite. Here are my best tips and everything I have learned on my multiple expeditions with my gorgeous Cavapoo Monti.
Firstly, it is really important that you and your dog are fit, healthy and used to walking long distances as safety is always a priority, especially when climbing a mountain. If you or your dog are not able to travel the full distance there are loads of shorter walks that you can do, so please don’t let that put you off visiting this amazing national park. Please note that the Snowdon Mountain Train is not dog friendly, so if you are walking up the mountain you will also be walking down too. Obviously some dog breeds are far better equipped physically to climb and you know your dog better than anyone, my dog Monti is a Toy Cavapoo so I am able to carry him in my amazing K9 Sport Sack when he gets tired, we also take our time and take lots of brakes too.
One more thing is to make sure you have plenty of water. Sometimes if dogs are not used to their surroundings you cannot guarantee they will drink from the running streams so I would always recommend having a bowl that they know and use. Monti decided that he would not drink from any of the running streams when we were visiting The Lake District because he did not like the water, luckily we had a bowl with us and bottled water (yes he is very spoilt).
Now the safety bit is out of the way, let’s get into the juicy bits.
The easiest route to take is the Llanberis Path, this was originally built as, and remains to this day, a Pony Path. For this reason, if you are really nervous and this is your fist time with your dog this would be the recommended route to take. On the flip side, this generally makes it the busiest route so you will encounter more people and more dogs. The best swimming experience I have had at Snowdon was on the Miners Track, again this is one of the ‘easier’ routes and you go past a few big swimming lakes. We actually stopped at the lake and did not summit when we took this route, mainly because we had already climbed the mountain the day before on the Watkins Path. It was still beautiful and you can look directly up at the summit. We absolutely loved swimming here and it was a sunny warm day so we just laid around sunbathing and swimming with the dog.
here are some pictures of us at Llyn Glaslyn:
Although this was our best swimming experience, the most beautiful swimming spots we saw were on the Watkins Path, we saw the most unbelievable waterfalls and it looks like The Shire from Lord of the Rings. but they are more difficult to access so we did not get a chance to swim in those. The access to the swimming spots on the Miners Path are way more accessible.
Here are some photos from the Watkins Path:
The route that I have taken most frequently and my favourite is the Watkins Path, this is not for the faint-hearted and it gets very difficult near the top. I actually put Monti in my backpack for the ‘treacherous skree’ near the top. I would only recommend this route if you are an experienced climber. If you want to see the amazing waterfalls you can always take this route as it is very easy until you get to the steep bit near the top. If summiting is not your goal I would highly recommend taking this route and stopping as soon as it gets challenging, this will still be a beautiful and long walk. There are so many places to sit and have a picnic on this route and the scenery changes quite quickly from green Shire to a more rugged grey landscape, that’s when it starts to get more challenging.
I have only experienced these 3 routes personally but there is lots of official information available on the Snowdon Travel website.
What to Take
Firstly you should have a lead with you, there are loads of very cute sheep hopping about and we all know that dogs love to chase sheep. It can also get very steep and there are cliff edges as you get to the higher parts, there are often reports of accidents with people and dogs, although they are rare when you consider how many people climb each year, it is important to respect the dangers of the mountain. WATER so obvious but like I said sometimes dogs do not like the smell of water they are not used to, so don’t get caught out thinking that the streams will be ok if you happen to run out, you will need a bag with supplies. We always take a blanket and sugary foods for energy, Monti will have something dry for the walk, although he generally eats a fresh food diet, I do take dried food with me on walks. Always best to have a waterproof with you and a hat in case it gets sunny. We all know the dangers of exhausting your dog on hot days, so never climb if it is too hot, always look out for signs of exhaustion like panting, drooling or laying down.
We always choose to camp because the dogs love it and it’s become a family tradition but there are lots of dog friendly hotels and self catering apartments. We have stayed at a number of campsites but our favourite is Llyn Gwynant, it is nestled next to a big lake and the facilities were great. Always check that your campsite is dog friendly, there are some strange places that do not allow dogs. Usually there is a small charge for bringing a dog and I would highly recommend taking a spiral dog stake, it fits into the ground and spins around and stops your dog lead tangling up. Most campsites require you to keep your dog on a lead which can be a bit frustrating for them, I find that regular walks so that they can run around helps with this.
Finally I would recommend that you just go for it! You do not have to climb all the way to the summit to enjoy what Snowdon has to offer and there is so much to do and see outside of this. Monti loves climbing mountains and swimming and we have some of the best memories visiting Snowdonia. I hope this guide has helped and I hope you fall in love with Snowdon and much as we have.