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Along with the Snowdon Massif and the Glyderau, the Carneddau make up the big three ares of Northern Snowdonia. Sitting in the north-east sector of Snowdonia, the Carneddau contains some of the highest peaks in North Wales. They do not possess the rugged charm of their Snowdon and Glyderau cousins but this is deceptive. The Carneddau offer some of the finest scenery, while not attracting as many weekend visitors are their more famous neighbours.

The western limit of the Carneddau is marked by the dominent presence of Pen-yr-Ole-Wen (978m) which dominates the views opposite Llyn Ogwen in the Nant Ffrancon pass. Most visitors will access the high Carneddau from the A5 near Llyn Ogwen and following the route up into Cwm Lloer, and then up to the Pen yr Ole Wen summit.

From here, a range of ridged summits are very accessible, starting with Carnedd Dafydd. The northern flanks here are marked by the sheer cliffs of Cefn Ysgolion Duon. The ridge progresses across towards Carnedd Llewellyn, with its near neighbour Yr Elen. Again more rugged scenery is to be found.

The eastern Carneddau are typically accessed through one of three route, along the ridge from Pen-yr-Ole-Wen, from the north-east at Abergwyngregyn, or from above Dolgarrog via Cwm Eigau. The eastern Carneddau offer relatively quiet and remote areas. For those seeking solitude, this is an ideal place.