1 month ago

One of the most beautiful hike I've been on!! Features a very nice loop that takes you around a lake, over a mountain, view of a amazing basin, and finishes with a nice trail in a canyon bottom. It's so awesome!

I came to Poland to Zakopane in the High Tatras of the Carpathians specifically to hike the trail to Morskie Oko, despite the amount of snow I knew there would be, and depending on the conditions at the time try and reach the lake that overlooks Morskie Oko, Czarny Staw Pod. Generally throughout, the trail follows a road which is used to take tourists up via horse pushed carriages although there are various points where you can follow a side trail which is very much worth it. Beautiful views of the High Tatra mountains throughout but the real gem is at Morskie Oko, a surreal view of the lake and mountains which looks like something out of Game of Thrones. Once here I decided to push to reach Czarny Staw and crossed the frozen lake down the middle and soon found how ardeous reaching the top would be: Snow up to my knees, sometimes to my waist, and a considerable steepness that forced me to scramble most of the way up. Despite almost giving up about 8 times on the way up, I managed to reach the top and was greeted with a whiteout where I couldn't even see the lake directly in front of me, not to mention the mountain peaks behind it. The view of Morskie Oko was incredibly nice but I couldn't relax too long as night was fast approaching and I had to make my way back to the start again. I ended up walking the great majority of the way back alone in utter silence and darkness, a reward in itself.

I must note that I did this trail in December, with considerable snow. This meant the trail didn't have much people and had whole kilometers to myself, day and at night. That said, this trail is heavily occupied in summer, just google some pictures and you will see. Despite this, with the immense beauty of the area I am already looking forward to coming back one summer and tackling one of the multi day treks that wind through the mountains and peak some of them. I can at least highly recommend coming here in winter if you are a fan of snow hiking.

2 months ago

The 4.8 miles indicated by this trail map does NOT include the road portion to return to your car. Sorry but this is my first try adding a trail and I couldn't figure out how to get it to map that section.

We parked in the large parking area and took the gondola up. There were very few hikers on the trail when we were there but we have heard it is quite busy in the summer. The visibility was poor but when the clouds did clear there were good views. The first section is built on flat rocks but eventually turns to an easy trail. The trail is well marked. We looped back to where it hooks up to a paved road and followed that back down to the lodge and parking area but you could continue on a trail that is under the gondola.

8 months ago

Route begins in Koscieliska valley. The valley was very crowded since it is an easy walk and the location of many excursions. Once the red trail splits off and the first major climb starts this thins out to only a handful of hikers. The climb to Chuda Przelacka is quite steep and rocky, and affords beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. From there, you can continue the climb to the Czerwony Wierchy (Red Peaks). From Chuda Przelacka we descended via the green route to the Ornak hut. The first hour of the descent is steep through numerous rock formations and then enters a pine forest. At the Ornak hut the green route regions the Koscieliska valley and is a leisurely last descent back to the trailhead. The hut has a kitchen and food and drinks are available.