Hidden Valley Walk
From Dolwyddelan this
mountain cwm or hanging valley gives no clues to its full existence. A dramatic and beautiful, enclosed walk into secret scenery.
Leave the station car park turning left past the school and left via the railbridge, taking the left fork, pass the small track to a group of houses and swing right over a concrete bridge onto the forest road.
The route starts here with a forest gate 1 which if locked can be passed by a small stile on the left. This long track rises fairly steeply all the way up this left side of the cwm but as height is gained, stunning views open up behind. The walker is surrounded by the sound of rushing water, with views across the cwm to crags, above which buzzards fly and high over the village, beyond Siabod mountain, the distant shapes of the southern flanks of the Carneddi Mountains tower above the Ogwen Valley.
The forest road continues, swinging slightly left towards a huge clearing and ahead, the first view of Carreg Alltrem appears. Ignore the right-hand fork and continue on up the hill past a main left junction to walk on under the shadow of the majestic cliffs of Carreg Alltrem. This rock face is a popular crag for climbers, particularly at weekends and the proximity of the track affords good views of their progress.
Extensive views now appear to the right over the cwm towards the waterfall as the route rises onward to gain more height before branching to the right to begin the gentle descent to the valley floor. High above are the signs of extensive forestry operations and the sound of the chainsaw might give away the presence of a distant logger in his private world. The trail now leaves the shade of the forest and at a T-junction near a number of waymarks turn sharp right to descend to the floor of the cwm. Ahead are signs of habitation with one then two cottages and, hidden in trees to the right, the old Gwyndy Farm. Cross straight ahead onto the grass track at the T-junction to walk directly towards the cottage and over three small bridges, one of which has been badly damaged by flood water but is easily passable.
Join the track in front of the house and pass through the wooden gate 2 and to the metal gate 3 to continue onto the main cwm road: Sarn Helen. This ancient Roman Road joins onto the route from Pont y Pant over to Betws y Coed and is part of the much longer trackway used by the Romans to march from camp to camp across Wales, this particular section linking the camps of Tomen y Mur near Ffestiniog with Caer Llugwy near Capel Curig and Caerhun near Conwy.
© Conwy Valley Rail Initiative 2001