It is 610 m high, and lies mid-way between the Conwy valley to the east and Penmaenmawr on the coast to the north-west. It is the most northerly 2000 ft summit in Wales.
On 6 May 2013 BBC News reported that a precise GPS measurement of Tal y Fan's height had been verified by the Ordnance Survey as 609.98 metres or 2,001 feet, confirming its status as a mountain. Bwlch y Ddeufaen separates Tal y Fan from the main Carneddau ridge, the closest summit on which is Carnedd y Ddelw. Pen y Castell is directly opposite to the south.