The Jones Trail
Taking in the source of the Wye
'The Jones Trail' approaches Plynlimon and the source of the Wye from the Western slopes of the mountain giving you a wider view of the mountain. It's an easy route up until you get to Llyn Llygad the glacial Corrie now made into a Reservoir. It's an impressive feature, which marks the steep climb up. Well worth it!
Eventually after skirting around Cerrig Yr Wyn you reach the viewing platform for the Wye source. In front of you on the fairly flat grassy protrusion is Plynlimon lay bare with the Wye source almost advertising its presence with its 3 impressive gully's. This is a different show to the Severn source just across the way. It's worth sitting for a while if the weather is good and admiring the light if it chooses to dance over the tops of the mountain. For navigation see Grid Ref, link or PDF file below.
Starting at Nant Y Moch, which can be accessed via Ponterwyd you need to make your way up the right side of the reservoir until you reach a grass verge on the Left before a cattle grid and gate just beyond Nant Y Moch stream (Grid Ref SN 76793 87396) click for link. You can park your car here. As always you can use the X47 bus and hike in from Ponterwyd. Once at the grass verge step onto the track and stick to it around a bend until you pass some ponds to your left 1 KM in. Carry on for a further 1.5 KM around another bend veering right whereupon you'll see the imposing Corrie that is Llyn Lygad.
Admire Llyn Lygad for a while then turn your attention South or right as you look at Llyn Lygad. You need to make your way up the slope to the saddle at Grid Ref SN 78764 87517 click for link or try this link for map view. As you make your way up look back and take in the views of the Hengwm valley and Cadair Idris and Snowdonia beyond. Awe is good! Once through the saddle a trail emerges at the tip of the Maesnant/keep checking the map. This will lead you to the summit of Plynlimon where the trig point and shelter awaits to the South at Grid Ref: SN 78974 86956.
Summit & Wye Source Option
It's great to be at the summit of Plynlimon at 752 meters (2,467 feet) and have a brew. Once relaxed you can make your way to the source of the Wye, which is along the Whale back ridge or Plateau to the North East of the summit along a long straight fence. (see Chris Bonington Trail also). Walk the fence line and trail here for approximately 1KM from the Plynlimon summit until you reach the corner of the fence. There you'll find a slate marker leaning as if blown by the wind. Turn East off the trail and walk 250 meters at 10-11 o clock. After 200 meters the terrain starts to slope. You have reached the source of the Wye where you should hit the gullies. You are looking for the furthest gully to your left or front. Enjoy the Wye source.
The Way Back
The way back is easy. You can either follow your way back the same way you came or drop down to Llyn Lygard from just above the Wye source. If heading back up to the summit you have the option of picking up part of the Pig Trail along the Maesnant, which will bring you right back to the track you walked in on. A turn left on the track and a short walk back around the first bend and your back to your car.
Spec N Stats
Start: Nant Y Moch Climbing: 402 Meters Distance: 6.5 Mile Time: 2.5 Hours Walking Grade: 4
Up until Llyn Lygard getting to the summit of Plynlimon and the Wye source from here is relatively easy. However, it's character changes at the Corrie as it becomes, for a brief time, a mountain challenge or a steep walk up. With the mighty views its invigorating and thrills you to the core. Like navigating to the Wye source via the gully route on the other side of the mountain it has a wild feel to it, which Plynlimon tends to invoke. In conclusion the Jones trail up to Plynlimon and the Wye source is for those who are fitter and more prepared to go off piste again but is full of great vistas and vibes.
River Wye. Click. Britains 5th longest river and most uninterrupted.
Plynlimon Project. Click. A project to restore Plynlimon.
Cambrian Mountains Society. Click. All things Cambrian Mountains.
Hydrological Study. Click. Plynlimon water catchment.
Plynlimon Lead Mine. Click. Industrial history.
Cool short hiking video in the upper Wye. Click to enter video.
Map 1: Location/Start
Map 2: Maesnant Return
To operate use your mouse as you would on google maps. Press and hold right and move the map around in any direction. For the elevation profiler click mountain icon below left and follow the trail profile with your mouse, which will correlate with the map as you go. To zoom in or out see plus/minus on the right. To return back to just satellite view click mountain icon again.
Things to Look Out For
There are a number of things to look out for as you head on up to the Viewing platform. We mentioned Nant Lago lead Mine. This is worth studying as part of the areas industrial history. One small detail also is the official sign post for the Wye View on the left hand bend of the upper Nant Lago. Old and weather worn look out for it on the right side of the path. At the view point try and identify the other peaks to. It's always a good vibe orientating yourself.
Pumlumon Fawr 752 Meters
Pen Lluest Y Carn 699 Meters
Cripiau Eisteddfa Fach 540 Meters
Y Drum 462 Meters
Y Foel 546 Meters
Bryn Daith 498 Meters
Llechwedd Hergoed 535 Meters
Other Points Of Interest
Cae Gaer Roman Fort
There are some good walks close by using the . Pont Rhydgaled car parking area with an X47 bus stop (just ask). Something missed by many is the roman fort called Cae Gaer. You can't see much but once you become aware (check out google for an aerial view) it fascinates to stand in its midst. The river that flows adjacent to it is the river tarennig a river Wye tributary (see diary). We recommend the walk - the back end there feels remote and wild and if you fancy it you can trek on through to the Nant Syddion Bothy from there or Nant Rhys - check the Mountains Bothy Association out for details.
Members of the Mountain Bothies Association
As we're viewing the Wye source here we'd like to mention the excellent book 'Coming Down the Wye' by Robert Gibbings. We recommend the read. It's a 1940's classic that chronicles the time Robert Gibbings spent in the upper Wye during the 40's. This is old school.
The Bidno Valley
The Bidno Valley, which plays host to the river Bidno another Wye tributary is a beautiful hidden gem a short distance East from the Wye View platform. From the Sweet Lamb estate it's rough going but there is public access to the valley and river from near Llangurig. We recommend the rough route in from East to West as a boggy wild traverse. However, not everyone is up for that so here is the much easier going Llangurig Route. We assume that if you're considering the Wild way you can find your way.
In Llangurig the highest village in Wales look out for some refreshments at the Blue Bell Inn & the Black Lion. There's also the village tea room and post office where you can pick up some supplies if you're backpacking. We've used it for that purpose and it's super handy in the remote upper Wye. For more information see the Llangurig Village website.