Mountain Biking in Wales is so varied and has so many areas across the country to choose from. There are the Brecon Beacons in south Wales, with vast rolling hillsides and huge MTB loops starting from the mountain bike-friendly town of Talybont on Usk; the steep, techy trails of the Welsh valleys such as Afan and Risca, both with huge mtb communities attached to them; and the big mountains of north Wales and Snowdonia, home to Coed y Brenin, Dyfi Forest, Dyfi Bike Park and, of course, Snowdon itself. 

Climbing Snowdon ranks highly on many mountain biker’s wishlists (along with dry weather and dusty trails, which may sometimes be missing in North Wales…), but the whole of the Snowdonia National Park has so many other great mountain bike trails to explore. Here’s a short guide on where to visit when you’re in the area.

Snowdon

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning climbing Snowdon on a mountain bike. It’s an epic adventure and one that so many want to tick off. With views that stretch for miles, long flowing descents and a mostly rideable route to the top, Snowdon is more achievable than many might think.

During the summer months, there is a voluntary restriction in place which states that between 1st May and 30th September, mountain bikes aren’t allowed on Snowdon between 10 am and 5 pm. At first, you may be put off by this, but in truth, with Snowdon being so popular with walkers it makes it all the more enjoyable to get up in the pre-dawn hours, get climbing and enjoy Snowdon’s magic while the slopes are quieter. Not to mention, you can let the brakes off a bit more on the way back down too!

The most popular way to climb Snowdon with a Mountain bike is via the Llanberis Path, which is mostly rideable, however, there will be spots where you will need to climb. For information on other routes, check out THIS blog which details a recent MTB Beds trip to Snowdon which took a different path to the top.

If you want a twisting, rocky, alpine-style single track for the descent, Rangers Path is your best bet. It has all the above in abundance and provides a flatter, flat-out blast through Telegraph Valley to round it all out. 
 

Sunrise on Snowdon

Mountain biking on Snowdon at sunrise

Cadair Idris

Located about an hour from Snowdon, is Cadair Idris, the highest mountain in the Southern Snowdonia region at 893m. An out and back route, with a burning climb from the get-go this trail offers plenty of photo opportunities. The climb is nearly all rideable, and the descent more than makes up for it. Fast and furious, over boulder fields and pony tracks, the 800m of exhilarating descent luckily ends up at the Railway Inn for a well-earned drink at the end of it all. 

Pont Scethin

A 25km Enduro and Cross Country style Mountain Bike loop which is located in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. This loop can be ridden in either direction (we recommend Anti-clockwise to make the most of two fun descents), but with views over Afon Mawddach and out to the sea, this ride is as much about the vast scenery as it is about the flowing, rocky single track descents. 

This enduro loop can either be started at Tal y Bont or Bontddu.
 

Trail blazing in Pont Scethin

Mountain biking in Pont Scethin

Llyn Cowlyd

This route may not be for everyone, but as long as expectations are managed it’s a gem. It’s no trail centre and there’s a fair bit of carrying and pushing, but the remote mountain environment with stunning views over Llyn Cowlyd, the deepest lake in northern Wales, make it worth it

At 25km in length and 1000m of climbing it requires good fitness levels to take it on, and as always, the weather changes quickly in these parts of the country, so come prepared with winter riding gear. Fair warning is needed that there is a section of road descending, however, it’s followed by a rough section of singletrack to even it all out again. 

After the ride is done, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a great cafe at the start and endpoint. 
 

Conwy Mountain

Away from the high peaks of the area and a little closer to the sea for this next one. Conwy Mountain sits on the northern edge of the Carneddau massif, which makes it's way right down to sea level, providing incredible scenery to enjoy. There are some sections of tech, especially the Llangelynnin Church to Rowen, which is made up of rocky, steep steps and switchbacks, although on the whole, this trail is flowy and more straightforward, making the most of the undulations and incredible coastal scenery.
 

Why Mountain Bike in Wales

Of course, Snowdonia is just one area of Wales, which is famed for mountain biking across the whole country. From the valleys in the south to the Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia and into North Wales, Wales has everything for mountain biking, from Downhill, Enduro or Cross Country, trails that are steep, rooty, loamy, slatey, fast and flowy, tree-lined or on vast mountain-sides, you’ll find your perfect trail in Wales

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