The B4418, often referred to as the Drws-y-coed Pass, is an exquisite road with amazing views. It is usually quiet and empty but occasionally you have to make way for oncoming cars - more so in the summer months. Starting from the village of Talysarn it is an amazing 6 miles through Nantlle Valley, passing the village of Nantlle and meandering up and down the mountains before reaching the village of Rhyd-Ddu at the foot of Snowdon.
The road from Talysarn to Nantlle village is wide and flat, making it easy going for walkers and cyclists. At Llyn Nantlle take a moment to take in the views. You should be able to see the Snowdon summit weather permitting.
After the village of Nantlle the road narrows and becomes much steeper. You will be greeted with stunning views of the Nantlle Ridge to your right rising above Llyn Nantlle. You will have sharp bends and oncoming vehicles to negotiate. The road can also be wet and slippery so cyclists need to take extra care.
Eventually you will pass the highest point of the road and then mercifully it is all downhill until you reach Rhyd-Ddu. Near the end of the road you will pass 'Llyn Dywarchen', a very popular fishing lake. A bit further along the road and you should be able to see 'Llyn y Gader' and 'Beddgelert Forest' to your right and Rhyd-Ddu path to the summit of Snowdon in front of you.
Nantlle Ridge is generally regarded as a less challenging climb than the Tryfan summit or the Crib Goch ridge. There is some scrambling on its eastern routes and you have to deal with exposure which can be a shock to the system if you haven't been on exposed mountains before. The weather can be very changeable and it is often blowing a gale, west to east, as you try to traverse the ridge. On the plus side the views are second to none in the whole of Snowdonia: Anglesey to the north, Snowdon summit towering to the east, Cardigan Bay to the south and Llŷn Peninsula coastline stretching to the west. Nantlle Ridge is also one of the quietest routes in Snowdonia. Even in summer months you won't see more than a handful of people as you traverse the ridge.
At the south end of the ridge is the village of Rhyd-Ddu, perhaps more famous for its path to the Snowdon summit. At the west end of the ridge is the little known village of Nebo. Your first logistical problem is how to get back to your start point? You either need 2 cars, one parked at each end, or you have to arrange a taxi. You could always traverse the Nantlle Ridge twice. When days are long this is very doable and because of the changing views, quite enjoyable. In winter months with short days doing a return traverse is not advisable.
-- 'Y Garn' 633m
-- 'Mynydd Drws-y-Coed' 695m
-- 'Trum y Ddysgl' 709m
-- 'Mynydd Tal-y-Mignedd' 653m
-- 'Craig Cwm Silyn' 734m
-- 'Garnedd Goch' 701m
-- 'Mynydd Graig Goch' 610m