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Stwlan Dam, Moelwyn Mawr & Rhosydd Quarry

The winding road that leads down from Stwlan Dam to Blaenau Ffestiniog and Tanygrissau.

A unique days hike from just outside Blaenau Ffestiniog with stunning views across Snowdonia, the winding road from Stwlan Dam and quarry ruins at Rhosydd.

The Stwlan Dam Route

We start at the small town of Tanygrissau at the cafe car park just along from the station. The route then climbs up the old quarry tracks in three stages to reach Stwlan Dam.

We’ll stop here for a photo break taking in the winding road and hoping for a view of cyclists you often get up here. The route then climbs up the left-hand side of Llyn Stwlan to the shoulder of the two hills where we get views down to the coast.

From here we can either take the high route taking in the peaks of Craigysgafn (689m) and Moelwyn Mawr (770m) or for those preferring the easier route we cross the slag heaps behind Llyn Stwlan.

Key Info

Route length: 6.4miles
Elevation Gain: 447/670m, 1446/2200ft
Height at the Peak: 770m, 2,526ft

Route Difficulty: Moderate / Challenging – If you choose the lower route then apart from the slow climb the route is pretty easy, though you’re still ascending a fair way. For those more minded for adventure, the top route to Moelwyn Mawr is a definite challenge but well worth it!

Both routes options eventually meet at the ruins of Rhosydd Quarry which contains many old slate quarry buildings. Finally we descend the valley to Llyn Cwmorthin and then follow the roads back into Tanygrissau.

I find this route is best started in the morning arriving at Stwlan Dam just before lunch. If you’re looking for a Dawn or Sunset walk it’s best to walk the route in reverse to get the best use of the light unless you want to get up high for the sunrise in which case we walk a large proportion of the route in the dark.

I will be running a paid walk along this route on Saturday 6th November for £65pp, details are below.

Upcoming photo walks to the Stwlan Dam

This autumn I am running photo walks that include this route climbing to Stwlan Dam in Snowdonia. The details of the next available walk are shown below.


Saturday 6th November 2021

£65

per person, up to a maximum group size of 8.

Price Includes

  • 4/5 hour photo walk
  • Pre walk planning session

Not Included

  • Travel to and from the chosen location
  • Food and drink
  • Camera equipment or personal injury insurance
  • Accommodation

Essential Equipment

  • Camera (camera phones are fine)
  • Warm waterproof clothing
  • Sturdy footwear
  • Food and fluid

Recommended but Not Essential

  • Tripod
  • Filters
  • Change of lenses
  • Torch
  • Other camera accessories (eg trigger remote)

Looking for an exclusive Walk?

If you’d like to book this route for your own group or for a one on one workshop then please click below for details.

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