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The Polish Tatra Mountains: Trail Descriptions for Advanced Hikers

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

Follow this guide to catch a scenic glimpse such as this!

Follow this guide to catch a scenic glimpse such as this!

8 Tatras Mountains Hiking Trails

This is a comprehensive guide to the Polish routes in the Tatra Mountains for advanced hikers. The names are left in the original, as the signs on the trails read only in Polish.

1. Szpiglasowy Wierch Through Dolina Pięciu Stawów

A very interesting route. There is one narrow shelf over the precipice on the way, but it’s very short and there’s a chain that will help you. Then, you’ll need to climb a bit right before the mountain pass (Szpiglasowa Przełęcz), again with the assistance of chains. This is the perfect trail if you want to make a transition from easy routes to the more challenging ones.

From Dolina Pięciu Stawów follow the yellow trail up to Szpiglasowy Wierch.

Trail Map

Yellow Trail

Time

2h 20 min

Distance

5.5 km

Highest point

Szpiglasowy Wierch, 2172 m

Altitude

504 m

Start and finish

Dolina Pięciu Stawów – Szpiglasowy Wierch

Dolina Pieciu Stawow

Dolina Pieciu Stawow

Rysy

Rysy

2. Rysy

Rysy is the highest peak of the Polish Tatras—for this reason it is extremely popular and crowded in the summer. It requires a lot of stamina. About a half of the way is covered in chains, but according to experienced hikers, not all of them are necessary. There is a moment that may make your heart beat faster, when you have to step over a narrow rock shelf with a 500-meter precipice right under it. It is possible to go down on the Slovakia side, which is much easier.

From Morskie Oko follow the red trail up to Rysy.

Trail Map

Red Trail

Time

3h 50 min

Distance

5 km

Highest point

Rysy, 2499 m

Altitude

1104 m

Start and finish

Morskie Oko – Rysy

3. Świnica From Kasprowy Wierch

The trail definitely isn’t for inexperienced hikers; it involves a fair deal of climbing. There is one particularly dangerous spot called Żleb Blatona, where many tourists have died (however, mainly before the chains were installed and in winter). Żleb Blatona is a 50-meter walk on a wet rock shelf over a precipice, so you need to be particularly careful there. But if you’ve got some experience in the Tatra Mountains, if you’ve reached Giewont, Szpiglasowy Wierch, or Kościelec, Świnica is the next place to go!

From Kasprowy Wierch follow the red trail to Świnica. You’ll walk past Sucha Przełęcz, Liliowe and Świnicka Przełęcz.

Trail Map

Red Trail

Time

1h 40 min

Distance

3.5 km

Highest point

Świnica, 2301 m

Altitude

316 m

Start and finish

Kasprowy Wierch – Świnica

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4. Świnica Through Zielona Dolina Gąsienicowa

This is an alternative trail leading to the mountain pass before Świnica (Świnicka Przełęcz). The trail up to Świnicka Przełęcz is a bit more exposed and strenuous than the previous one, the rest of the journey is exactly the same.

From Hala Gąsienicowa follow the black trail up to Świnicka Przełęcz and then choose the red one to Świnica.

Trail Map

Black Trail, Red Trail

Time

2h 20 min

Distance

5.3 km

Highest point

Świnica, 2301 m

Altitude

801 m

Start and finish

Hala Gąsienicowa – Świnica

5. Giewont Through Dolina Małej Łąki

Giewont is one of the most popular peaks in the Polish Tatra mountains, so be prepared for crowds, especially during the summer. Giewont is much easier than Świnica; however you still need to be careful because of the large number of people you’re likely to meet on the trail. The route through Dolina Małej Łąki is considered to be particularly attractive and pleasant.

You can take the bus to Gronik or go by car. From there follow the yellow trail up to Przełęcz Kondracka (Wielka Polana Małołącka on the way) and then choose the blue trail to Giewont (you’ll walk past Kondracka Przełęcz Wyżnia).

Trail Map

Yellow Trail, Blue Trail

Time

2h 45 min

Distance

7 km

Highest point

Giewont, 1894 m

Altitude

979 m

Start and finish

Gronik – Giewont

6. Giewont Through Dolina Strążyska

Another route leading to Giewont. Arguably the most strenuous one, but also very interesting.

From Strążyska Street follow the red trail up to Kondracka Przełęcz Wyżnia (Polana Strążyska, and Przełęcz w Grzybowcu on the way). Then choose the blue path to Giewont.

Trail Map

Red Trail, Blue Trail

Time

3h 15 min

Distance

6.7 km

Highest point

Giewont, 1894 m

Altitude

987 m

Start and finish

Strążyska Street – Giewont

Giewont

Giewont

7. Giewont From Kuźnice

The least strenuous path leading to Giewont.

From Kuźnice follow the blue route all the way to Giewnot (Polana Kalatówki, Hala Kondratowa, Przełęcz Kondracka and Kondracka Przełęcz Wyżnia on the way).

Trail Map

Blue Trail

Time

3h 15 min

Distance

6.5 km

Highest point

Giewont, 1894 m

Altitude

899 m

Start and finish

Kuźnice – Giewont

Skrajny Granat is part of Orla Perć, the most difficult hike in the Polish Tatras. But the trail is at an intermediate level, hiking aids are installed only in one place. The trail shouldn’t prove to be too difficult to people with some experience in the Tatra Mountains.

From Hala Gąsienicowa follow the blue trail up to Czarny Staw Gąsienicowy, then the blue one to Skrajny Granat.

Trail Map

Blue Trail, Yellow Trail

Time

2h 05 min

Distance

4 km

Highest point

Skrajny Granat, 2225 m

Altitude

725 m

Start and finish

Hala Gąsienicowa – Skrajny Granat

Not what you were looking for?

Too difficult? Here's a list of easier trails.

Too easy? Here's a list of challenging trails.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2016 Virginia Matteo

Comments

Jared on July 18, 2018:

Hi! Awesome info and videos you have here. How do you get to the trailheads? What sort of transportation is there?

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