Cycling the epic and scenic Machynlleth Mountain, Wales
Ride 6.6 miles gaining 1,626’ at 4.5% average grade.
Simon Warren says of this beauty “From now on - whatever you are doing, werever you are - keep an eye on the weather in west Wales. As soon as there are clear blue skies, call in sick, pack the family off to the grandparents, throw the bike in the car and head for this climb.” Simon Warren, Cycling Climbs of Wales, A Road Cyclist’s Guide, p. 97.
Simon Warren (of 100 Climbs UK) gave us a list of the most epic bike climbs in England, Wales, Scotland, and the UK overall. Simon lists Machynlleth Mountain as Wales #9 Most Epic and we completely agree with his assessment of this wonderful bike climb.
Climb begins on Forge Road as we cross the bridge over Afon Dulas.
Just outside the town of Machynlleth begins the climb of Machynlleth Mountain. This road is large and frequently traveled - by Welsh standards that is. The starting point is at an old stone bridge near a number of old houses.
The town of Machynlleth (colloquially referred to as “Mach”), is a small market town (population 2,235 as of 2011) in Powys, Wales. The town claims to be the “ancient capital of Wales,” due to it being the seat of the Welsh Parliament in the year 1404, but it has never been officially recognized as a capital. The primary income and employment stream in Machynlleth is tourism, largely due to the mountain biking trails in the area.
There are some very steep segments on this climb - 13.5% for a quarter-mile and 9.2% for a mile - both during the final third of the climb.
Sweeping views of pastureland the entire climb.
For the opening miles grades are quite comfortable. Nearing the top the winds pick up and so do the gradients.
Stay left at the fork at mile 2.8.
This climb is entirely within the Glaslyn Nature Reserve, home to ospreys that migrate to and from West Africa each year.
The road stair-steps up the summit point which is marked by signs for the nature preserve. On the day I rode in early June 2022, imposing clouds rolled in and out and threatened rain but it never came. For brief moments the sun would shine through and light up the canyon and valley below, creating an absolutely stunning landscape.
This climb rolls its way up to amazing views, not the least of which is from Cadair Viewpoint at mile 6.2. From here, on a very clear day, you can see Yr Wyddfa - Snowdon, Wales’ highest peak at 3,560. This is a perfect place to read about the history of the town and take in the view.
That’s a wrap!!