Cadair Idris has a variety of faces including the classic Cyfrwy Arete on its north side and a series of isolated steep buttresses around Cwm Cau on the south east side.
North Side Approach - From Dolgellau follow signs to Cadair Idris and park at the pay and display carpark 1 mile west of the Gwernan Lake Hotel. Take the Cadair Idris footpath (The Pony Path) to a gate that accesses open moorland. 30m further on, break left to find a good path up to Llyn y Gadair. The approaches to the routes are easily viewed from the lake shore.
South Side Approach - Head south from Dolgellau on the A470 for 5km to the junction by the Cross Foxes Inn and turn right towards Machynlleth on the A487. Follow this for 7km over the col and descend to Minffordd. Take a right fork on the B4405 and then turn off immediately right to the Dol Idris Carpark.