Moel Siabod is a mountain peak in Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park, North Wales. It is part of the Moelwynion range but stands isolated from other peaks in the area. Moel Siabod is 872 metres high with the village of Capel Curig to the north and Betws-y-Coed to the east.
There are several hiking routes to the summit of this Lonely Mountain. The shortest route to the top of Moel Siabod is 4km and will take 2-3 hours one way. This route starts at Plas y Brenin Outdoor Centre. However, there is a better option to the summit which includes a fine grade 1 scramble.
This is a guide to hiking Moel Siabod via Daear Ddu and the NE Ridge from Pont Cyfyng. This is the toughest and best walking loop of Moel Siabod.
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Moel Siabod Quick Stats
- Height: 872m
- Mountain Range: Moelwynions
- Maps: OS Landranger 115 (This hike is split across two 1:25k maps, so the Landranger map is more suitable
- How to Pronounce: Moil Sha-bod
- Meaning: Bald or scabby Peak
- Classification: Hewitt
- Weather Forecast: Met Office forecast
Moel Siabod Circular Walk Map
Moel Siabod Hiking Route Description
- Distance: 10km
- Elevation Gain: 757m
- Time: 3-4 hours
- Starting Location and Parking: Pont Cyfyng (Layby on A5 or Bryn Glo car park)
- Difficulty: Moderate fitness, although experience of scrambling recommended
This Snowdonia walk begins at Pont Cyfyng, not far from the Siabod Cafe which, by the way, is a great place to get your morning coffee or breakfast. There are options to park in the large layby on the A5 or just opposite is the Bryn Glo car park which is free to use. Parking spaces here can fill up fast during the summer months.
From Bryn Glo car park, cross the road and turn right to walk up the road alongside the Afon Llugwy (river). Take a moment to appreciate the rapids that thunder underneath the beautiful stone bridge. Continue up to the bridge and turn left to cross over the river.
After crossing the bridge, ignore the footpath on the immediate right and continue along the road as it bares left. Just a couple hundred meters further on at the houses, take the right turn up a private road which is marked with a footpath sign.
Walk up the tarmac road until it begins to turn right. Branch off the road onto a footpath on the left, following the diversion signs that bypass the farm. Continue along this footpath as it continues to climb gently before rejoining the tarmac road.
At Siabod Cottage, cross through the fence and onto the hillside where the footpath now officially begins. The footpath is a large, stony track that is easy to follow. In clear weather you will now see Moel Siabod towering straight ahead.
Walk up through the fields, cross over the style and follow the path as it bares left, leading down to a reservoir. Continue around the right side of the reservoir and then climb up to the ruins of an old slate mining site. Branch off the path to explore the ruins before continuing on to the flooded Rhos Quarry.
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Further up from the ruined buildings, the old quarry site has filled with water to become a beautiful lake. In the wetter months multiple waterfalls tumble down the mountainside and into the lake.
Walk around the left side of the lake and follow the footpath as it leads uphill, alongside a stream which is absent in the summer months. The path is rocky but easy to navigate. This footpath is not marked on older OS maps.
Continue up the path until it flattens (around 500m from the quarry) and then slightly descends towards Llyn y Foel. Skirt around the right side of the lake, dodging the boggy sections if you can, until you reach the southern end of the lake. Llyn y Foel makes a great spot to enjoy lunch and is fairly sheltered compared to the summit.
At this point you can decide whether to take on the the grade 1 scramble of Ddaer Du or skirt around the ridge and take the walkers route to the summit. To avoid the scramble, continue along the grassy path to left. To take on the scramble, turn right at the junction to start onto the ridge.
Ddaer Du is a really fun route and a great introduction to scrambling for beginners. Although classed as a grade 1 scramble, there are multiple routes up the ridge and easier ways can be picked out.
About three quarters of the way up Ddaer Du, keep left to avoid an exposed crack scramble on the right side. Generally speaking, staying to the left of the ridge provides easier options.
The scramble lasts for around 900m, after which you are spat out onto the top of Moel Siabod and the climb is complete. The walkers route climbs to the southwest of the summit, before turning right to walk the final 100m to the trig cairn.
Away from the rocky trig point, Moel Siabod has a grassy plateau and navigating off the summit can be tricky in poor weather. A compass bearing may be required to get on the right track.
To continue the scrambling theme for this route, the best descent is via the NE ridge. For this route, from the summit head north past the stone shelter to begin the decent, keeping on the path to the right. In clear weather you will see the the spiny ridge dropping off ahead of you.
The NE ridge isn’t a scramble as such but there are several boulder sections that require traversing along the way. There are steeper drop offs on the right hand side. The ridge descends gently at first, undulating over the peaks and troughs of the ridge, before becoming steeper.
Leaving the rocks and boulders of the ridge behind, the path becomes a more muddy track with open views over Capel Curig and the valley below. The track then steeply descends down a gulley of loose rocks and scree which can be very slippery in wet conditions.
Continue along the path as it then descends along the shoulder and the steepness eases off. Before too long you will cross over a wooden stile and rejoin the footpath you hiked on the outbound leg.
From this point you can retrace your footsteps back to Pont Cyfyng.
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What to Take on a Moel Siabod Walk
- Waterproofs – of course, it’s Wales and we get lots of rain!
- Food & water – filtering water bottles are very handy for safely refilling in streams and rivers. You can read more about filtering water bottles in this guide.
- Hat, gloves and warm layers for the summits
- Quality hiking boots are a must
- The relevant map and compass, and the ability to use them!
- A first aid kit for hiking
- These paths are also marked on various mapping apps. A great free option is maps.me, alternatively consider an annual subscription to OS to have access to all UK OS maps on your mobile.
These are just some of the essentials, but for a complete list of things to take on a day hike, take a look at this guide!
Prefer not to walk alone? If you’re looking for a Mountain Leader to guide you on a mountain adventure, please contact me here to discuss rates and availability.
Places to Stay After Hiking Moel Siabod
For campers you can’t get much closer or convenient than Dolgam Campsite or for the Glampers out there, try the beautiful 5 Star Shepherds Huts a little further along the A5.
For those looking for a hostel, The Rocks at Plas Curig is exceptional or for groups wanting something extra special try the Mountain Church which is a fabulous old church converted into a 6 bedroom villa!
Finally, if you want a quality hotel with a pub on hand, you can’t go wrong with Tyn-y-Coed Inn.
Final Thoughts On This Moel Siabod Walk
Moel Siabod is a stand alone mountain in the heart of Snowdonia National Park. Although this peak isn’t as high as many of the mountains in Eryri, a hike of this peak shouldn’t be underestimated and neither should the views.
A hike of Moel Siabod via Ddaer Du and the NE ridge offers a fabulous day of mountain walking and easy grade scrambling. With no nearby mountains to block the views, Moel Siabod offers 360 degree panoramas over the entire national park, whilst its lake and quarry offer areas of interest to history and nature lovers alike.
If you want to escape the crowds of the more famous Eryri peaks, try out this fabulous Moel Siabod loop!
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