Gorge and Canyoning

Gorge scrambling is enjoyed by all ages and is often a favourite. The activity of descending a gorge is also known as canyoning, and is great for exploring a hidden world of waterfalls, pools and boulders.

Gorge Scrambling

There are many rock steps and waterfalls to scramble over and climb on, in the various gorges of Snowdonia. These smaller steps and boulders are safeguarded through spotting, which can involve the group looking after each other. Various challenges can be attempted, with a varying degree of difficulty suitable for primary ages, secondary and adults. Some gorges offer squeezes and holes to climb through as an ascent is made.

Swimming and Water Jumps

We issue warm wetsuits so you can enjoy the water in the gorges. There are deep pools that you can jump in from various heights. Over the smooth water worn rocks slides are created into the water below. Swimming and splashing is a must with waterfalls to go under and behind, some up to 30m high. There are various water challenges for all groups as you ascend up to the top.


Abseiling and Zip Lines

For added adventure we can set up roped activities within the gorge as part of your journey. Abseiling or roped lowers are possible down the various cliffs that form the sides of the gorges. Across the steep sides we tension ropes to slide across for that extra thrill. There are also many higher cliffs to rock climb with roped protection to keep the experience safe and fun.

Gorge scrambling is a great activity all year round, with the high rocky sides offering shelter in all weathers. To cover all aspects this activity works best as a full day, although shorter half day gorges are also available.



Descending a gorge involves repeated slides into pools of crystal clear water. In the Cwm Llan gorge repeated descents can be made without the need for ropes and harnesses as a series of fun slides and jumps link the pools of water.  Alternatively a descent of our 'secret' gorge requires ropes and harnesses to negotiate the clip lines and zip lines that complement the slides and jumps, making this a more challenging activity.

Canyoning is a very wet activity! Even with our full wetsuits it is an activity best enjoyed in the warmer months of the year. When the sun is out and the air is warm there is nothing more enjoyable than plunging into the cold water in our favourite gorges.



We have a good range of gorge scrambling venues available allowing us to tailor the activity to the group and also choose a suitable venue with the current weather conditions in mind. 

About a 40minute drive into the green Conwy valley takes us to the Afon Ddu gorge (Welsh for 'Black River' gorge). This can be done in ascent or descent and offers plenty of opportunities for sliding, squeezing through boulders and using ropes along the way. A spectacular waterfall part way up is a perfect group photo opportunity and a plunge pool at the top is a great personal challenge.

A similar distance away is Gerionydd gorge with a beautiful lake at the top. Using ropes a 'Postman's walk' can be set up across the river and there are many opportunities for the group to work together to achieve the challenges which present themselves as an ascent of the gorge is made.

As a perfect half day option along with a half day walk, beach scrambling adventure, bushcraft or canoe is Afon Goch ('Red River'). This is a shorter gorge but no less impressive with fantastic open views over a beautiful lake known as Llyn Dinas and plenty of opportunites for teamwork and a good amount of splashing and getting wet too!

Educational Opportunities

All the gorges offer brilliant opportunities for groups to work together, learn about how to keep themselves safe and learn about the river environment. This holistic approach teaches the groups about the balance between activities and looking after the environment and how best to look after the venues we use. The activity can also be tailored to include a more in depth look at the processes working in the river environment and the unique flora and fauna present.


As with our other activities, gorge walking and canyoning can be booked by private Adult or Family Groups. Prices start at £195 for two people with each additional person (up to a maximum group size of 10) adding £15 to the cost. Contact us for available dates.

Gorge walks are an integral part of most of our Schools and Youth courses at Arete. Example 5 day catered residetial from £235 per pupil.

Gorge walking and canyoning could well be integrated into the multi-activity, water-based or rock-based Gold DofE Residentials or young persons' Summer Camps.