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Szlak pieszy: Tatry dla każdego

Hiking trail: Tatras for everyone

Na pierwszym planie zdjęcia w Dolinie Strążyskiej widoczne są drewniane chatki, natomiast na drugim planie w oddali znajduje się szczyt Giewont.
Zakopane Tourist region: Tatry i Podhale
Is it possible to find places in the Tatras that aren’t overrun by tourists? We’ll be honest with you: it’s almost impossible. But that doesn’t at all mean that it’s very crowded everywhere. There’s considerably less traffic in the montane valleys, and it’s also charming. The route described below will take you through the beautiful Biały Valley, the Strążyska Valley, from which Giewont looks most impressive, and the Mała Łąka Valley, from where Czerwone Wierchy look like a fairy-tale peak. A trail for virtually anyone who enjoys long walks with small hills and wonderful views.


Practical information

 The starting point of the Tatra Mountains trail for everyone. Head of the Biały Valley.

 Access to the starting point of the Tatra Trail for everyone. Access to Zakopane at your own convenience. We can start the hike at the indicated point or at any point along the Droga pod Reglami route, depending on the place of your accommodation in the Tatras. The last section will then be the start of the hike.

If you stay in Kościelisko, you can walk to the head of the Kościelisko Valley, from where, after about 10 minutes, you’ll reach a place where the red trail connects with the Droga pod Reglami route, or you can reach Nędzówka and follow the red trail to Droga pod Reglami (about 5 minutes from the main road, the trail leaves at a place where a signpost indicates that it’s 2 kilometres to Kościelisko; there’s no indication of the beginning of the trail).

Time to complete the Tatra Trail for everyone. Nearly 7 hours

Difficulty level of the Tatra Mountains trail for everyone. Medium, mainly due to hiking time

Important information about the Tatra trail for everyone. In the area of the Tatra National Park, entrance tickets are obligatory. They can be purchased at cash points at the head of most valleys. Queues form during high season, so it’s a better option to buy your ticket on-line and download it to your phone.

The slogan of the proposed tour isn’t a marketing ploy, but a statement of fact. Although the trekking time is quite long, the route isn’t overly strenuous, can be walked by most people and will give you an idea of the variety of landscapes in the Tatras. In the event of severe fatigue or deteriorating weather conditions, there are several options for shortening it.

The return to Droga pod Reglami via the Strążyska Valley (red trail) shortens the trek to 3 hours 30 minutes, the passage through the Mała Łąka Valley (yellow trail) gives a loop, which takes about 5 hours 45 minutes, while the return from Przysłop Miętuski (blue trail) means a 6-hour trek.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that in the mountains, and especially in the Tatras, the weather changes rapidly, so when setting off, it’s important to check the weather forecast, take care of appropriate clothing and equipment (provisions, drinks) and plan your trip in such a way as to be able to return to the valleys before nightfall. A lot of valuable information on safety in the mountains can be found in materials prepared by the Tatra Volunteer Search and Rescue and the Małopolska Tourist Organisation as part of the #FirstandForemostReturn campaign.

Through the Biały Valley to Sarnia Skała

We start hiking on the yellow trail, which, after about an hour and 15 minutes, takes us to the Ścieżka nad Reglami path. The Biały Valley is narrow and rocky. In several places, the rocks here are literally at our fingertips, and in many sections, we walk on stone steps that make the hike easier. Shortly after entering the valley, Giewont will flash between the trees for the first time, and after about 40 minutes, we’ll reach the waterfall at the end of this short valley. Here the trail changes direction, and we begin the ascent towards Sarnia Skała. The first quarter of an hour is a rather strenuous hike up a steep hill. The ascent then mellows, at one point it’s almost flat, and soon we reach a place where the stumps of felled trees invite us to sit on them and look at Giewont, visible for the first time in its entire splendour.

Interesting facts about the Tatra Mountains trail for everyoneThe legend of the knights sleeping in a cave in Giewont is related to the shape of the massif as seen from the north: the knight’s head is Wielki Giewont, and his torso is Długi Giewont.

The tale tells of a shepherd boy, Jasiek, who, having heard from an old shepherd about a treasure hidden in a cave under Giewont, set out to find it. As he tiredly stopped his search, he heard horses neighing, which was unusual given the altitude he was at. Even stranger was the fact that the sounds were coming from underground. The boy slipped down a small crevice into a spacious cave where a fire was burning, beautiful horses stood, and a knight slept. The noise caused by the shepherd boy woke the man, who asked: is it time? When he heard that the time had not yet come, he asked the boy not to wake his companions sleeping in a neighbouring cave. He assured him that when the need arose, the knights themselves would wake up and move to defend the Polish lands and mountains.

When Jasiek returned home, he told the adults about his adventure. They wanted to see the knights, too, but the boy was unable to find the crevice leading to the cave nor could he hear the steeds neighing.

The old shepherd, from whom Jasiek heard the tale of the knights, told the shepherd boy that the treasure he told him about was the freedom that would be guarded by the knights sleeping in Giewont.

A few more minutes of walking and we reach the Ścieżka nad Reglami path marked with black signs, which we’ll continue on.

Directional signs indicate that we have about 25 minutes of walking remaining to Sarnia Skała. And it’ll indeed take us that amount of time. The first 15 minutes is for the ascent to the Czerwona Pass, where we can catch our breath before moving on to the summit. Rest can be postponed until we reach the clearing at the foot of Sarnia Skała; it takes about 5 minutes to reach it. The remaining section is a steep stone ascent to the top. The way up isn’t too problematic, though the way down is worse, especially after rain. Despite the queues forming here, it’s important to remain calm and cautious; haste is a bad adviser. From the top of Sarnia Skała, there’s an extensive view of Beskid Sądecki (in the east), through the Gorce Mountains to the characteristic peak of Babia Góra (in the west). At our feet is Zakopane, with the Gubałówka Range above and Giewont behind us.

At the foot of Giewont

Now we’re faced with a descent from the Czerwona Pass to the Strążyska Glade, which takes 30–35 minutes. The duration of the hike largely depends on the experience of descending on flat stones and the volume of traffic on this popular trail.

The tea house in the Strążyska Valley is a small refreshment point frequented by crowds of tourists, a place of rest for those who have only arrived here after a walk through the valley, as well as for those wandering along the Ścieżka nad Reglami path.

A different variant of the Tatra Mountains trip for everyone. When in the Strążyska Valley, it’s a must to reach the beautiful Siklawica waterfall. It’s only 15 minutes over fairly easy terrain (crowded in season). Having reached Siklawica, we’ll stand literally at the foot of Giewont, and we have to crane our head up sharply to look at its higher parts.

We now return to the Strążyska Glade along the same route.

Let’s move on. From the tea house, we go down a few dozen metres and then turn left, together with the red signs, which will accompany us to the Przełęcz w Grzybowcu pass, from which we’re separated by almost an hour of strenuous ascent (further on, the red signs lead to Giewont).

After about half an hour of hiking, the trail turns right at a right angle, and here it’s worth turning around to look at Giewont once again, this time more from the western side. After another 10 minutes or so, the summit will be visible between the trees on the left.

The ascent gradually eases a little, and when the steep section is once again seen ahead, it turns out that we don’t need to ascend it. The red signs lead there, and we turn right and continue along the black trail.

Ahead of us is the descent to the next valley, the Mała Łąka Valley, which is about half an hour’s pleasant walk away. As we emerge into the open space, the Czerwone Wierchy massif will appear on our left, with Giewont still visible behind and Babia Góra in the distance in front of us. A few more moments of walking and we’re already on the Wielka Glade in the Mała Łąka Valley, through which the yellow trail leads to the Kondracka Pass and one of the peaks of Czerwone Wierchy: Kopa Kondracka.

In addition to the most popular routes

The next point we need to reach is Przysłop Miętusi. It’s a 15-minute walk away. Yes, a walk, as the elevation difference to overcome is only 26 metres. At the destination point, a view of the whole massif of Czerwone Wierchy (on the left) awaits us; the blue trail will lead us from here to the peak of Małolajnik, which is part of the massif. Opposite, in turn, we can see the peaks rising above the Kościeliska Valley.

From Przysłop Miętusi, we take the red trail towards Nędzówka, and the descent to Droga pod Reglami route takes about an hour (using the blue trail to Gronik at the head of the Mała Łąka Valley shortens the trek by about 45 minutes).

There’s another ascent to start with, the last one, which will take about 25 minutes. From time to time, views in different directions open up between the trees. One time you can see Giewont, in another place the Czerwone Wierchy massif or, in the distance, the Gorce Mountains, and sometimes even Babia Góra appears.

At one point, it’s clear that we’re in the upper part of another valley. This is Stanikowy Żleb, squeezed between the montanes of the Kościeliska Valley and the Mała Łąka Valley. Statistics of the Tatra National Park show that it’s entered by the fewest tourists, only a few thousand throughout the year.

We cross the bridge, and after a few minutes, we’re already on the Droga pod Reglami route. Heading left after 10 minutes, we would reach the head of the Kościeliska Valley. We, however, turn right to reach the starting point (or the place where we entered the trail in the morning). The remainder of the hike (approximately one hour and 40 minutes) is marked by the heads of the subsequent valleys: Mała Łąka Valley (30 minutes), Za Bramką Valley (+15 minutes), Strążyska Valley (+ 30 minutes, realistically a little less), Ku Dziurze Valley (+ 5 minutes) and the goal of our hike: Biały Valley (+20 minutes). Along the way, we’ll encounter some shepherd’s huts, and maybe there will be an opportunity to try fresh cheese or other products.

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