Canoe Wales is the national governing body for paddle sport in Wales. We:

  • Represent the interests of our club and individual members
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Afon Gamlan

Nearby Rivers: Barmouth Area

Map: 124 Dolgellau & Surrounding Area
Grade: V to VI
Length: A short kilometre
Access: A470(T)
Notes: Sustained difficulty, but no portages
Quality: 4 stars

Afon Gamlan Afon Wen Afon Gain Upper Mawddach Mawddach: Eden Confluence to Precipice Afon Eden Sketch Map - Gain, Mawddach, Eden, Wen and Gamlan

The Gamlan is a ferocious little river draining from the southern end of the Rhinogs (Y Llethr). Much of the section above the one described has also been paddled, but not by me. Having mountain-biked around this upper piece, it looks exceptionally hard but I have it on good authority that all but, perhaps, two of the drops have been done. Phil Blain laughed at my description of the Gamlan being a short kilometre and says, "I always find it a very long kilometre".

Rhaeadr Ddu to Mawddach confluence

One short km V to VI; no portages 4 stars

The grade of the Gamlan is very water-dependent. In big flood, it is an extremely serious run and is graded VI. It is most well-known from Shaun Baker’s excellent video, which actually gives an almost-perfect water level where the grade is a hard, relentless V. The land around the river is National Trust-owned and there is little objection to sensible and considerate paddlers. The Gamlan joins the Mawddach in the village of Ganllwyd just downstream of the public toilets (of PTF fame). Access can be had via the little road up the left hand bank and the National Trust footpath leading to the Black Waterfalls (Rhaeadr Ddu). Good access can be made onto the plunge pool below the main horrendous drop but above the following perfect 25 footer GR722244. From here on down you are under the cosh all the way until just before the Mawddach where egress can be made on the left GR729243.

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