If the A497 runs through flat coastal scenery, the A498 is very different, running into the heart of the Snowdonia National Park.
Porthmadog - Pen-y-Gwryd
The road starts a mile west of Porthmadog on the A497, and heads north-east, crossing firstly under a railway then half a mile later, joining a short multiplex with the A487 into Tremadog. After passing through Tremadog, the road stays close to the base of the hills to the north west. Like many other roads in this group, there is a large expanse of low lying ground on one side and a barrier of hills on the other and the road stays as close to the hills as possible.
After passing Prenteg, we find ourselves sandwiched between the tree lined hillside and the River Glaslyn, as we head north. At Pont Aberglaslyn, we reach the A4085 (formerly the A487), coming from the south-east, and it is here that we lose the flat land lying to the right, and instead we enter the pass of Aberglaslyn, a picturesque gorge surrounded by high ground. We thread our way through the pass to the village of Beddgelert. The story of how Beddgelert got its name is very sad and worth reading, but I won't tell it here.
At the T junction in the village, the A4085 turns left, marking the south-western flank of the Snowdon range itself, and the A498 turns right towards Capel Curig, still following the River Glaslyn. We pas Sygum Copper Mine, then Llyn Dinas, then we enter a more wooded area as we cross the river to pass Llyn Gwynant on its southern shore. After passing the lake, we start to climb away from the river which has its source at a Lake (Llyn Glaslyn, which is cradled in a cwm (corrie) in the Shadow of Snowdon itself. The A498, on the other hand continues north to its terminus on the A4086, outside the Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel, which gives its name to the PYG track, on of the best known routes up Snowdon.
The A498, therefore, has it all - coastal scenery, wide river plains, a spectacular wooded pass, and views of Snowdon to the west of the northern end of the road.
Original Author(s): Simon Davies