GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Llyn Cowlyd

9 miles (14 km)

Visit the deepest lake in north Wales on this walk in the Carneddau range.
The walk starts from the car park at Capel Curig and follows a footpath north to the reservoir. This section passes along the Afon Llugwy before climbing to the lake which is positioned 1,164 feet (355m) above sea level. There are great views over the Ogwen Valley.
The trail then runs along the lake with splendid views over the water towards the surrounding mountains of Tryfan, Y Garn, Foel Goch and Pen-Yr-Ole-Wen. It's a good footpath which runs for about 2 miles along the north-western shore of the lake. Other walk highlights include views of the pretty Afon Ddu stream which flows from the lake, and views of the 45ft (14m) high dam at the north-eastern end of the water.
The walk can be extended by continuing to the nearby Llyn Eigiau or the stunning Llyn Crafnant. There's a great circular trail around the lake and a delightful lakeside cafe to visit here.
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then the climb to Moel Siabod starts just a mile south east from the start point of this walk. You could also visit Llynnau Mymbyr for more waterside walking.


LL24 0EN - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

Llyn Cowlyd OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Llyn Cowlyd Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


Head south toward Capel Curig and you can visit Plas Y Brenin, a National Outdoor Centre for Rock Climbing, Mountaineering, Hiking & Hillwalking, Canoeing, Kayaking and Mountain Biking. Within the centre there's the Yr Wyddfa Bar and Restaurant which is a great place for some post walk refreshments. The bar boasts the best view in Britain as it looks down to the lake and the Snowdon Horseshoe. There's a good menu with locally sourced food and drink. It's located at the eastern end of Llynnau Mymbyr in another beautiful Snowdonia location.


Llyn Cowlyd Reservoir - - 223670

The Southwestern extremity of the lake is in square SH7161 but the whole reservoir covers five separate squares. This photo was taken from SH 71850 61362 looking Northeast towards the Dam wall in the distance.

Llyn Cowlyd - - 241952

With an area in excess of 100ha, Llyn Cowlyd is the deepest lake in Snowdonia. The Cwm and its lake were purchased by Colwyn Bay Council in 1891 and the lake enlarged by the building of a dam. Water is piped from the dam end to Colwyn Bay a distance of 18 miles. The reservoir, now owned by Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water, also supplies Conwy and Deganwy as well as the aluminium works at Dolgarrog.

Llyn Cowlyd Reservoir Dam - - 209477

Reservoir Dam

Llyn Cowlyd Reservoir - - 223656

This is the Northeastern outflow end of the lake

The Col Above Llyn Cowlyd - - 241542

The Col Above Llyn Cowlyd

Moorland Heather above Llyn Cowlyd Reservoir - - 210810

Moorland Heather above Llyn Cowlyd Reservoir. This photo of moorland heather which was knee deep in places was taken at grid reference SH 74766 63037 looking North to Moel eilio beyond.

Rocky summit northeast of Llyn Cowlyd Reservoir - - 199400

Rocky summit northeast of Llyn Cowlyd Reservoir. Small rocky summit lying northeast of Llyn Cowlyd Reservoir at SH 75037 64127 providing a good panoramic viewpoint.

Footbridge near the Head of Llyn Cowlyd - - 199352

Footbridge near the Head of Llyn Cowlyd


GPS Files

GPX File

Llyn Cowlyd.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Llyn Cowlyd.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)