This Iron Age pack trail begins east of the castle town of Harlech and climbs across the crest of the Rhinog Range. The west to east crossing is less than 3 miles one-way, so energetic hikers can lengthen the adventure by diverging southward from the pass at mile 1.3, and summiting dramatic Rhinog Fawr 1.1 miles from the saddle.
Begin from Cwm Bychan, south of Harlech on the west coast. The drive from Pentre Gwynfryn village, up Cwm Bychan to the trailhead is one of the most scenic road stretches in Wales. Cwm Bychan is also the center for a webwork of pastoral hiking trails that wind through abandoned stone farmsteads and across arched stone bridges. End your day at the classic Victoria Inn & Pub in Pentre Gwynfryn.
-Mapped by Steve Howe
- Distance: 3.6
Location: 52.86385, -4.013523
Walk east from signed parking and camping area at farmstead.
Location: 52.863681, -4.012295
From the trailhead, hike due south along a well-trod path.
Location: 52.855665, -4.007218
At the trail fork, stay left, heading southeast.
Location: 52.853976, -4.004702
Pass a stone fence. Ahead, the trail enters a rocky gorge and climbs along ancient flagstones.
Location: 52.852121, -4.00001
Location: 52.851153, -3.996588
The trail crests the pass. The Roman Steps pack trail continues straight/east-southeast. Optional: To add mileage, turn left/northeast to summit Rhinog Fawr and visit lake of Llyn Du.
Location: 52.850556, -3.992876
Stop and take in the views across the Coed y Brenin Forest.
Location: 52.84965, -3.976221
The route ends at a parking turn-out at the edge of Coed y Brenin Forest.