The Polish Tatra Mountains: Trail Descriptions for Intermediate-Level Hikers

Updated on February 6, 2018
Virginia Matteo profile image

Viriginia is an experienced hiker. She goes to the Tatra Mountains in Poland every summer.

This is a comprehensive guide to the Polish routes in the Tatra Mountains for people with some hiking experience. The names are left in the original, as the signs on the trails read only in Polish.

Czerwone Wierchy

Trail
red
Time
1h 30 min
Distance
2.8 km
Highest point
Krzesanica, 2122 m
Altitude
117 m
Start and finish
Kopa Kondracka – Ciemniak

A spectacular and safe trail that leads over the ridge. The range is called Czerwone Wierchy (Red Peaks) because of a species of rush that in September and October gives it a characteristic red hue. Views of both the High and Western Tatras.

From Kopa Kondracka follow the red trail. You are going to tick off several peaks on this trip: Małołączniak, Krzesanica and Ciemniak. From Ciemniak you can go down to Kiry and take a bus to Zakopane from there.

Dolina Pięciu Stawów Through Świstówka Roztocka

Trail
blue
Time
1h 45 min
Distance
4 km
Highest point
near Kępa, 1840-1860 m
Altitude
273 m
Start and finish
Morskie Oko – Dolina Pięciu Stawów

A relatively easy trail, although sometimes it gets quite narrow. There is one little gully you need to traverse, so be extra careful there and take proper trekking shoes. In winter the trail is closed due to high avalanche hazard. It may be a bit challenging for people with a strong fear of heights, but for the most part you walk on a comfortable rocky path on the mountain side and you would need to jump to get yourself killed.

From Morskie Oko you need to go back a bit in the direction of Palenica Białczańska. The blue trail will be on your left, continue your journey until you reach Dolina Pięciu Stawów.

Starobociański Wierch From Hala Ornak

Trail
yellow, green, red
Time
3h 45 min
Distance
9 km
Highest point
Starobociański Wierch, 2176 m
Altitude
1076 m
Start and finish
Hala Ornak – Starobociański Wierch

Starobociański Wierch is the highest peak of the Western Tatras, so no wonder that this trip is very strenuous, I would recommend it only to people with good stamina. Just before reaching Starobociański Wierch the trail is covered in gravel, which may be a nuisance for people with inappropriate shoes. Absolutely breathtaking views.

From Hala Ornak follow the yellow trail to Przełęcz Iwanicka. Then choose the green trail until you reach Gaborowa Przełęcz (you will walk past Ornak and Siwa Przełęcz). Lastly, the red trail from Gaborowa Przełęcz leads to Starobociański Wierch.

Starobociański Wierch From Siwa Polana

Trail
green, black, green, red
Time
4h 15 min
Distance
12.5 km
Highest point
Starobociański Wierch, 2176 m
Altitude
1251 m
Start and finish
Siwa Polana – Starobociański Wierch

This trail is arguably a bit less attractive and longer than the previous one.

From Siwa Polana follow the green trail up to Wyżnia Brama Chochołowska (you’ll walk past Polana Huciska). Choose the black trail to Siwa Przełęcz, then the green one again to Gaborowa Przełęcz and from there the red trail to Starobociański Wierch.

Kasprowy Wierch From Kopa Kondracka

Trail
red
Time
1h 55 min
Distance
4.2 km
Highest point
Kopa Kondracka, 2005 m
Altitude
142 m
Start and finish
Kopa Kondracka – Kasprowy Wierch

A beautiful trail leading partly over the ridge and partly on the mountain side. There are a couple of rock formations to scale, but nothing too difficult. A lot of space all around which may be a bit unsettling for people with a bad fear of heights. Overall, the trail is safe, although it may be narrow at some spots.

From Kopa Kondracka follow the red trail until you reach Kasprowy Wierch (Przełęcz pod Kopą Kondracką on the way).

Szpiglasowy Wierch From Morskie Oko

Trail
yellow
Time
2h 30 min
Distance
4.2 km
Highest point
Szpiglasowy Wierch 2172 m
Altitude
235 m
Start and finish
Morskie Oko – Szpiglasowy Wierch

The views from Szpiglasowy Wierch are beautiful due to the many smaller and larger lakes that lie all around it in the valleys. You can admire the slender and pointed massif of Mnich (accessible only to mountaineers), the majestic Rysy (the highest peak on the Polish side of the Tatras) and cast your eyes beyond the Polish-Slovakia border. The trail up to the mountain pass is rather easy, although it gets quite narrow at times. You may find that you need to help yourself with your hands when walking from the mountain pass to the top.

From Morskie Oko follow the yellow trail all the way up to Szpiglasowy Wierch (Szpiglasowa Przełęcz on the way).

Czarny Staw pod Rysami
Czarny Staw pod Rysami | Source

Wołowiec

Trail
yellow, blue
Time
2h 45 min
Distance
7.2 km
Highest point
Wołowiec, 2062 m
Altitude
914 m
Start and finish
Polana Chochołowska – Wołowiec

Perfectly safe with a wide ridge path. On this trip you’ll tick off three peaks: Grześ, Rakoń and Wołowiec. Quite a strenuous walk until you reach Grześ, but it gets easy-peasy later on – you can devote all your attention to absorbing the views. You can choose to go back via Dolina Wyżnia Chochołowska which start at Przełęcz Zawracie – a very pleasant and comfortable walk through the forest.

From Polana Chochołowska follow the yellow path until you reach Grześ. Then choose the blue one.

Dolina Chocholowska in winter
Dolina Chocholowska in winter | Source

Krzyżne From Hala Gąsienicowa

Trail
yellow
Time
2h 40 min
Distance
6.2 km
Highest point
Krzyżne 2112 m
Altitude
612 m
Start and finish
Hala Gąsienicowa – Krzyżne

Krzyżne is one of the best viewpoints on the Polish side of the Tatras. The trail is intermediate with some rock formations to scale.

From Hala Gąsienicowa follow the yellow path up to Krzyżne (you’ll walk past Czerwony Staw Pańszczycki).

Kozi Wierch From Dolina Pięciu Stawów

Trail
black
Time
1h 30 min
Distance
3 km
Highest point
Kozi Wierch, 2291 m
Altitude
623 m
Start and finish
Dolina Pięciu Stawów – Kozi Wierch

Kozi Wierch is part of Orla Perć – the most dangerous trail on the Polish side of the Tatra mountains. However, the path from Dolina Pięciu Stawów shouldn’t be problematic to anyone. When walking through the rock heaps be careful not to stray from the trail, though.

From Dolina Pięciu Stawów follow the black trail right up to Kozi Wierch.

Krzyżne From Dolina Pięciu Stawów

Trail
yellow
Time
1h 50 min
Distance
3.6 km
Highest point
Krzyżne 2112 m
Altitude
444 m
Start and finish
Dolina Pięciu Stawów – Krzyżne

A couple of rock formations on the way to tackle and sometimes the trail gets quite narrow. However, the trail isn’t difficult and should be accessible to anyone with a bit of mountain savvy.

From Dolina Pięciu Stawów follow the yellow trail all the way up to Krzyżne.

Małołączniak

Trail
blue
Time
3h 15 min
Distance
7.5 km
Highest point
Małołączniak, 2096 m
Altitude
1166 m
Start and finish
Gronik – Małołączniak

There is one little gully on the way that may cause you some problems. However, there are chains there that will help you. Other than that, the trail is easy.

You can get to Gronik from Zakopane by bus. Then follow the blue trail all the way up to Małołączniak (Przysłop Miętusi on the way).

Zadni Granat From Hala Gąsienicowa

Trail
blue, yellow, green
Time
2h 25 min
Distance
4.8 km
Highest point
Zadni Granat, 2240 m
Altitude
740 m
Start and finish
Hala Gąsienicowa – Zadni Granat

Zadni Granat is part of Orla Perć – the most difficult Polish trail. This hike involves more climbing elements than the others on the list. However, it shouldn’t prove too difficult and may be a good transition point for those who wish to attempt more challenging trails.

From Hala Gąsienicowa follow the blue trail up to Zmarzły Staw. Then choose the yellow trail up to Kozia Dolinka, and then the green one to Zadni Granat.

Source

Not what you were looking for?

Click here if you are looking for easier trails.

Click here if you want something more difficult.

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    © 2016 Virginia Matteo

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