The 50 Highest Mountains In Wales

Most people know the highest mountain in Wales is Mount Snowdon, but I’d bet most people don’t know what the second highest mountain in Wales is or even the third for that matter! In this guide I hope to rectify that situation.

Wales is a small, mountainous country on the British mainland which has the Cambrian Mountains running north to south along its length. Branching off this backbone are two mountainous areas, Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, which also serve as National Parks. The highest peaks in Wales are mostly found in these two national parks, with only a few notable exceptions.

Snowdonia is characterised by rugged rock formations, many of which are volcanic in origin whereas the Brecon Beacons are characterised by softer, flat-topped peaks and valleys carved by glaciers.

The highest mountain in North Wales is Mount Snowdon or Yr Wyddfa to use its now official Welsh name and is found in Snowdonia National Park. The Highest mountain in South Wales is Pen y Fan which is found in Brecon Beacons National Park.

The three highest mountains in Wales are Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon), Garnedd Ugain (Crib y Ddigyl) and Carnedd Llewelyn. They are all located in Snowdonia National Park in North Wales.

Sunrise over Llyn y fan Fawr
The Brecon Beacons at sunrise – Purchase this print

Below is a list of the 50 tallest mountains in Wales. This list reflects the Wales Nuttalls classification, where a mountain is defined as being over 2000ft (610m) in height, with a rise of 50ft (15m) from all its surroundings. There are a total of 190 Nuttalls in Wales.

The first 15 of these Welsh mountains are collectively known as the Welsh 3000s. These are mountains in Wales with a height of 3000ft or more. There is a challenge where brave competitors aim to summit all 15 peaks in under 24 hours. The total journey is 50km with nearly 4000m of ascent!

Note: You may notice there are 16 mountains in this list with a height of 3000ft or more however, Castell Y Gwynt is classed only as a Nuttall rather than a mountain, so is not included in the Welsh 3000s.

As somebody who grew up surrounded by these Welsh mountains and who has hiked many of them (20 from the list!) I wanted to share this little tid-bit of knowledge with you all. The largest mountains in Wales are certainly not that large when compared to peaks in the Himalayas or the Alps, but they are beautiful none the less and offer their own unique challenges and rewards.

I hope you enjoy discovering all about the highest mountains in Wales and manage to get out there to hike a fair few too 🙂

The Tallest Mountains In Wales 

Rank

Mountain

Height (metres)

Height (feet)

Mountain Range

Region

1 Snowdon 1085 3560 Snowdon Massif Snowdonia
2 Garnedd Ugain (Crib y Ddysgl) 1065 3560 Snowdon Massif Snowdonia
3 Carnedd Llewelyn 1064 3491 Carneddau Snowdonia
4 Carnedd Dafydd 1044 3425 Carneddau Snowdonia
5 Glyder Fawr 1001 3283 Glyderau Snowdonia
6 Glyder Fach 994 3262 Glyderau Snowdonia
7 Pen yr Ole Wen 978 3209 Carneddau Snowdonia
8 Foel Grach 976 3203 Carneddau Snowdonia
9 Castell y Gwynt 972 3189 Glyderau Snowdonia
10 Yr Elen 962 3156 Carneddau Snowdonia
11 Y Garn 947 3107 Glyderau Snowdonia
12 Foel-ffras 942 3091 Carneddau Snowdonia
13 Carnedd Gwenllian 936 3038 Carneddau Snowdonia
14 Elidir Fawr 924 3031 Glyderau Snowdonia
15 Crib Goch 923 3028 Snowdon Massif Snowdonia
16 Tryfan 918 3010 Glyderau Snowdonia
17 Aran Fawddwy 905 2969 Arans Snowdonia
18 Y Lliwedd 898 2946 Snowdon Massif Snowdonia
19 Y Lliwedd east top 893 2930 Snowdon Massif Snowdonia
20 Cadair Idris 893 2930 Cadair Idris Snowdonia
21 Pen y Fan 886 2907 Brecon Beacons Brecon Beacons
22 Aran Benllyn 885 2907 Arans Snowdonia
23 Corn Du 873 2864 Brecon Beacons Brecon Beacons
24 Erw y Ddafa-ddu 872 2861 Arans Snowdonia
25 Moel Siabod 872 2861 Moelwynions Snowdonia
26 Mynydd Moel 863 2831 Cadair Idris Snowdonia
27 Arenig Fawr 854 2802 Arenigs  
28 Llwytmor 849 2785 Carneddau Snowdonia
29 Pen yr Helgi Du 833 2733 Carneddau Snowdonia
30 Cadair Berwyn 832 2730 Berwyns Powys
31 Foel Goch 831 2726 Glyderau Snowdonia
32 Arenig Fawr South Top 830 2723 Arenigs Snowdonia
33 Cadair Berwyn North Top 827 2713 Berwyns Powys
34 Moel Sych 827 2713 Berwyns Powys
35 Craig Gwaun Taf (Duwynt) 826 2710 Brecon Beacons Brecon Beacons
36 Carnedd y Filliast 821 2694 Glyderau Snowdonia
37 Lliwedd Bach 818 2684 Snowdon Massif Snowdonia
38 Mynydd Perfedd 812 2664 Glyderau Snowdonia
39 Cyfrwy 811 2661 Cadair Idris Snowdonia
40 Waun Fach 811 2661 Black Mountains Brecon Beacons
41 Bera Bach 807 2648 Carneddau Snowdonia
42 Y Foel Goch 805 2641 Glyderau Snowdonia
43 Fan Brycheiniog 802 2631 The Black Mountain Brecon Beacons
44 Foel Meirch 800 2625 Carneddau Snowdonia
45 Pen Llithrig y Wrach 799 2621 Carneddau Snowdonia
46 Cribyn 795 2608   Brecon Beacons
47 Bera Mawr 794 2605 Carneddau Snowdonia
48 Craig Cwm Amarch 791 2595 Cadair Idris Snowdonia
49 Cadair Bronwen 783 2570 Berwyns Powys
50 Moel Hebog 783 2570 Hebog and Nantile Ridge Snowdonia

A Closer Look At The Top 10 Highest Mountains In Wales

1. Snowdon/ Yr Wyddfa, 1085m

Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales

Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and England and sits within Snowdonia National Park. There are multiple hiking routes to the summit which I describe in this guide. Alternatively, in the Summer months visitors can take a train to the summit from the nearby town of Llanberis. 

2. Garnedd Ugain/Crib y Ddysgl, 1065m

2 of the highest peaks in Wales are found in the Snowdon Massif
Crib y Ddysgl on the right with Crib Gich in the centre and Snowdon on the left

The 2nd highest mountain in Wales is Garnedd Ugain. Garnedd Ugain is a neighbouring peak to Snowdon and is often climbed in combination with Crib Goch, Snowdon and Y Lliwedd to form the Snowdon Horseshoe. An incredible mountain day involving grade 1 scrambles and knife edge ridge walks.

3. Carnedd Llywelyn, 1064m

Carnedd Llywelyn is the thrid highest mountain in Wales

Carnedd Llywelyn is the third highest mountain in Wales and the highest mountain in the Carneddau range. This range has the largest area of land over 3000ft in England and Wales and many of the highest peaks. Carnedd Llywelyn itself is a rather sprawly peak but offers fine 360 degree views. 

4. Carnedd Dafydd, 1044m

A view from Carnedd Llewelyn looking across to Dafydd and beyond

Carnedd Dafydd is the neighbour to bigger brother Llywelyn. As the two largest peaks in the range, Dafydd and Llywelyn are often combined in walks around the Carneddau. The ridge from Dafydd to Llywelyn is a fine section of high mountain walking, with great views on offer the whole way.

5. Glyder Fawr, 1000.8m

Glyder Fawr, meaning big pile of rocks, is the highest peak in the Glyderau range. Glyder Fawr was remeasured with GPS in 2010 and was nearly 2 meters higher than previously thought, meaning it joined the list of Wales’ “Super Mountains” (mountains over 1000m high). It is an intriguing mountain with other-worldly rock formations strewed across the summit.

There are many routes to the top of Glyder Fawr which is often climbed in combination with other peaks in the range, namely Glyder Fach. A common route to the summit of Glyder Fawr is via the ominously named Devil’s Kitchen. You can read more about hiking routes through the Devil’s Kitchen to Glyder Fawr in this guide.

6. Glyder Fach, 994m

The Cantilever Stone on Glyder Fach is an iconic landmark in Snowdonia

Glyder Fach, meaning small pile of rocks, is a slightly smaller version of it’s adjoining peak Glyder Fawr. Although smaller, I would suggest this peak is even more interesting than Glyder Fawr, as it has the Cantilever Stone to play around on. For hiking routes to the top of Glyder Fach including some top grade scrambles, take a look at this guide.

7. Pen yr Ole Wen, 978m

Pen yr Ole Wen, meaning Head of the White Slope, provides access to the rest of the Carneddau range from Ogwen Valley. A direct scree-climb to the summit of Pen yr Ole Wen is possible from Ogwen Boathouse, however there is a far more interesting route available from the eastern side. To learn more about this route take a look at this guide.

8. Foel Grach, 976m

Foel Grach is another from the Carneddau range and the northerly neighbour to Carnedd Llywelyn. Translating to (the rather unglamorous) Scabby Hill, this broad, grassy peak tends to collect snow in the Winter months. There is now a shelter just off the summit if refuge is required.

9. Castell y Gwynt, 972m

Located between the two peaks of Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach, Castell y Gwynt or Castle of Winds is an intriguing rock formation. Castell y Gwynt was remeasured in 2007 and upgraded to a Nuttall. Despite this new classification it has not been added to the Welsh 3000 list. None the less, Castell y Gwynt offers a fun scramble for anyone wanting to bag the summit but can also be easily by-passed when passing between the two main Glyder peaks.

10. Yr Elen, 962m

Coming in at number 10 on this list of Welsh mountains is Yr Elen, which is another from the Carneddau range. Yr Elen is found just to the west of Carnedd Llywelyn to which it is connected by a ridge. Yr Elen tends to attract little attention from walkers since it stands as a spur away from the main ridge. Hikes to Yr Elen are often combined in loops with Llywelyn and Dafydd.

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Louise

Louise is a tour leader from South Wales who runs adventure tours in Africa, Asia and the Americas. She lives in her converted campervan & is currently based in the UK. Louise is trained in mountain leadership and is a published photographer.

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