At 893 m, Cader (or Cadair) Idris is the highest mountain in southern Snowdonia National Park.

During the last Ice Age, the head of the glaciers scalloped out huge combes from Cader Idris’ dome, leaving cliffs dropping away on all sides to clear lakes.

The largest of these is Cwm Cadair, the Chair of Idris.

Cader Idris is set within the historic county of Merionethshire (Gwynedd) which includes the stunning Cambrian Coast.

If you climb it on a good day, the views from the top are truly phenomenal.

The Dyfi Biosphere

The northern flank of Cader slopes down to the market town of Dolgellau, while the southern flank slopes to Machynlleth in the Dyfi Valley.

This lush and green valley opens wide as it approaches the Cardigan Bay Coast and ends in sandy beaches and dunes.

With several nature reserves, ancient woodlands, lakes, national trails, coastal paths, and mountains to explore, the Dyfi Biosphere is a unique area in this part of Mid Wales.

Images by | Cool Places Britain

There are three recommended routes to the summit of Cader.

The Pony Path starts from the Dolgellau side of Cader.

It is probably the most popular route, heading up the mountainside to the curve of the cliff edge above Llyn y Gader.

The shortest route but the steepest is the Minffordd Path.

It starts near the Visitor Centre and you will need to climb up lots of steps, before walking along the ridge above Llyn Cau toward Penygadair.

The longer Llanfihangel-y-Pennant Path is reached by a narrow single-track road, passing the romantic ruins of Castell y Bere on the way.

The path is well marked and it is fairly gentle until you join the Pony Path.

Cool Places to Explore: Talyllyn Railway | Portmeirion Village | Coed y Brenin Forest Park.