The Rhinogydd are a not-so-well-known range of mountains that lie between Dolgellau and Porthmadog. They are not especially high but have a rocky landscape unlike anywhere else in Snowdonia.
Today's objectives were to get some dawn photos of Rhinog Fawr (the most familiar, if not the tallest, peak) and then to take in a circuit of the rest of the range. I had never visited the southernmost summit, Diffwys, so my route would be dedicated to crossing that one off my list.
This walk is 17 miles long. Most of it is on fairly obvious paths, although there are a couple of awkward ascents (and one descent) across heather-clad, pathless, ground. While the highest point on the walk is only just over 750 metres, the total ascent is around 5,300 metres. A GPX file of the route can be downloaded here.
The northern Rhinogydd (Rhinog Fawr and Fach) have a reputation for difficult, rocky, terrain. This is deserved but as long as you stick to the paths this feature is more tiresome (you never quite get into full stride) than dangerous. Although when walking alone without a phone signal, even a twisted ankle can be problem; I didn't see any other walkers at all today, so help may have been a long time coming.
I parked for free in the remote parking area at Craigddu-isaf. At the far end was a camper van. It was six o'clock in the morning, so there was little sign of life; however I assumed there was probably someone at home.
I had worked out where the sun was going to rise and wanted to be at the small lake called Llyn Cwmhosan when it did. This position ought to give me some good shots of Rhinog Fawr bathed in first light.
The first half an hour involved easy walking by torchlight, heading along gravelled forest tracks towards Bwlch Drws-Ardudwy, the pass that separates Rhinog Fawr and Rhinog Fach.