- County: Gwynedd
- Nearest Town(s): Porthmadog
- Difficulty: Easy
- Time: 1 hour
- Height: 262m
- Map: OS Explorer Map OL18 Harlech, Porthmadog & Bala/Y Bala*
Moel-y-Gest is a recognisable hill in the popular seaside town of Porthmadog, near Snowdonia. For us, it was a rest day trigbagging adventure, sandwiched by more significant hikes up the north face of Tryfan and round the Snowdon Horseshoe.
It’s fair to say we were a little complacent about our ability to climb to steep 262m from sea level after our long day at Tryfan, and we were punished somewhat by the muggy weather (compounded by dense forest and vegetation) and our delayed onset muscle soreness (as confirmed by our doctor companion).
Regardless, our mission to the top was accomplished, but with a lack of views that seems to plague our trigbagging excursions (see our Golden Cap and Snowdon posts for more of the same!).
Where to Park
Moel-y-Gest is fairly accessible, with parking available at the nearby Lidl or a little further down the road at an out-of-town shopping centre.
The Walk In
We took the route into Moel-y-Gest recommended by Phoebe Smith in her fabulous book, Britain’s Best Small Hills.
Cross the road from the Lidl car park and walk right until you reach the noticeable path into forest at the foot of Moel-y-Gest.
Follow the path upwards through the forest. Keep heading straight on until you reach a wall. Cross the wall (there are sections knocked out) and follow the path alongside the wall before turning right to follow it further up and out of the forest section.
From here, follow the path round and up the hill, with some fun scrambly type sections to keep you entertained on the way.
Once you reach the top, follow it along. You’re heading for the higher peak along, and if you’re caught in fog then you might end up with a few false peaks. There’s a small dip in between the two main summits, but nothing major compared to the steep ascent taken previously.
The trig point is situated at the top of the main summit to the west.
The View From The Pillar
As mentioned, the view we got was marred by the hazy, overcast day, so we couldn’t see much.
On a sunny day, I’m reliably informed that the view is spectacular, with far ranging views into Snowdonia.
The Walk Out
We took a slightly different route off the hill to the route we took up, but it was almost as challenging. Between overgrown vegetation to slippery downhill manoeuvres, at least one of us ended up on our arse during the exit!
We headed back to the middle of the hills and followed a small path through the dip leading off the hill. After hacking our way through the undergrowth, we eventually linked back up with the wall, and followed along for a steep descent.
This eventually led us back to our original path, which we picked back up to follow out of the woods at the base of the hill and back to the car.
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