Poland · Travel

Hiking Towards Hala Gasienicowa and Orla Perc, Tatra Mountains, Poland, Part 2.

I have promised I will write more about the trail leading  to one of the most beautiful places in Polish Tatra Mountains – Hala Gąsienicowa (Gąsienicowa Clearing) and then furthers to the Tatra’s mountain range Orla Perc.  To see part one of this article please follow this link.  In my previous article I have described this trail up to “Przełęcz Między Kopami”, also know as “Karczmisko“.

Tourist walking on "Królową Rówień", a view towards Orla Perc mountain range, Tatra, Poland.
Tourist walking on “Królowa Rówień”, a view towards Orla Perc mountain range, Tatra, Poland.

My Favorite Part of the Trail Towards Hala Gąsienicowa.

My favorite part of this trail toward Hala Gąsienicowa starts from there. From this point on the trail towards Hala Gąsienicowa goes mostly on almost flat terrain along “Królową Rówień” and right before you reach Hala Gąsienicowa, it even goes down for a few minutes. I like this “Królowa Rówień” part of the trail the most since there is finally some break from climbing and the most amazing view opens on the panorama of the surrounding high Tatra mountains, and particularly breathtaking site on mountain range called “Orla Perć (Eagle’s Mountain Range) and other high Tatra peaks.

To make sure no strange characters show to some of you in place of Polish letter ą” which has not equivalent in English, and sounds a bit like “on”, I will sometimes just write instead of “Hala Gąsienicowa”, “Hala Gasienicowa”. Also to avoid similar problems and simplify I might occasionally omit using some other Polish letters like for example “ć”.

Back to the trail, this is one of my most beloved views on Tatra mountains and it is really worth to hike there just to see it. One of the most difficult hiking trails in Europe and in Tatra mountains goes along Orla Perć and it is not recommended for beginners and people afraid of height.

Here below is a view on on Orla Perć mountain range and a few other mountains from the path across “Królowa Rówień“, when walking towards Hala Gąsienicowa. From left to right there are – Zolta Turnia with close by Krzyzne Pass, (Przelecz Krzyzne), Granaty, Czarne Sciany (Black Walls), Kozi Wierch  (Mountain Goat’s Peak) (the highest peak of Orla Perc – 2291m), Kozie Czuby, Maly Kozi Wierch with Zawrat pass (Przelecz Zawrat) just beside it. Then not belonging to Orala Perc, further to the right, there is Koscielec, a couple of other peaks and finally looking a bit like a pyramid,  Swinica, the highest mountain visible in this picture – 2301m.

Walking towards Hala Gasienicowa and high Polish Tatra mountains along "Królową Rówień". The amazing panorama on Tatra mountains could be admired from there.
Walking towards Hala Gasienicowa and high Polish Tatra mountains along “Królowa Rówień”. The amazing panorama on Tatra mountains could be admired from there.

I have walked along this hiking path across the top of this mountain range many years ago, on some of them more than once. This was my favorite trail with the most amazing views on Polish and Slovakian mountains.  I don’t think I will attempt to pass some parts of this trails again, since it is quite difficult and dangerous and I don’t think I am as fit as I used to be when very young.

Part of this path called Orla Perć goes between Krzyżne pass (2112 m) and Zawrat Pass (2159m), but the trail continues further towards Swinica and not visible here Kasprowy Wierch, Czerwone Wierchy and other Tatra mountain’s peaks.

You have to be rather fit and it very good physical condition to climb some of the upper parts of this trail and close-by mountains and it is very hard, if not impossible, to do the whole trail on the top of visible here mountains in one day.  I will tell you more about this trail in a moment.

A view on the mountains on the left when walking on Krolowa Rowien towards Hala Gasienicowa.
A view on the mountains on the left when walking on Krolowa Rowien towards Hala Gasienicowa.

Here is a closer view on some of the wildflowers growing in this area.

There were many wildflowers growing along the path to Hala Gasienicowa, and fireweed (“Wierzbówka kiprzyca” was particularly abundantly blooming during this time (I was there in the second part of August, but I think it starts blooming earlier in the Summer in many places in Tatra mountains and Podhale region.
There were many wildflowers growing along the path to Hala Gasienicowa, and fireweed (“Wierzbówka kiprzyca”) was particularly abundantly blooming during the time I was there ( the second part of August), but I think it starts blooming earlier in the Summer in many places in Tatra mountains and Podhale region.

I have also seen this beautiful blue flowers growing in some places along the trail. It is probably “Goryczka trojesciowa” (Gentiana asclepiadea). I am growing somehow similar looking, but a different species of Gentian flower in our garden. You can see it here on my other blog Vibrant Garden.  They seem to like a pretty cool climate. Mine blooms only in the late Fall avoiding hot weather.

Other wildflowers growing beside the path towards Hala Gasienicowa, Tatra mountains. If I have recognized it correctly this is "Goryczka trojesciowa" (Gentiana asclepiadea). This flowers is protected in some areas and of course you can not collect it here because it is National Park. I think it is somehow similar to one of my favorite flowers I grow in my garden.
Other wildflowers growing beside the path towards Hala Gasienicowa, Tatra mountains. If I have recognized it correctly this is “Goryczka trojesciowa” (Gentiana asclepiadea). This flowers is protected in some areas and of course you can not collect it here because it is a national park. I am sorry the quality of this picture is not the best since it was taken against the light. This wildflower is somehow similar to one of my favorite flowers I grow in our garden – please see a link above this photo.

The trail is now going down from Krolowa Rowien and very soon reaches Hala Gasienicowa. It is a very popular trail with many people walking both ways, as you can see here.

Going down from Krolowa Rowien to Hala Gasienicowa. Almost there. You have to walk down a bit before you rich it.
Going down from Krolowa Rowien to Hala Gasienicowa. Almost there. You have to walk down a bit before you reach it.

Hala Gąsienicowa.

Finally we have arrived to Hala Gąsienicowa. Several wooden huts are visible and the one on the right is called “Betlejemka“.  People come here to take mountain climbing courses.  As you can see, there were plenty of beautiful pink flowers of Fireweed (“Wierzbówka kiprzyca”) blooming at this time of the year (second part of August).

 

The trail has finally reached Hala Gasienicowa. A hut called "Betlejemka" on the right is a place where aspiring mountaineers are being trained. Tatra mountains, Poland.
The trail has finally reached Hala Gasienicowa. A hut called “Betlejemka” on the right is a place where aspiring mountaineers are being trained. Tatra mountains, Poland.

A view on Hala Gąsienicowa with Swinica on the right, which is one of he summits in Tatra mountain most often strucked by lighting. A dominant mountain in the middle is Koscielec. Isn’t this view amazing? I was lucky we had a very nice weather on this day.

 

A view on Tatra mountains from Hala Gasienicowa. When I have visited it last August, there was a huge number of fireweed blooming adding beauty and colours to this already wonderful place.
A view on Tatra mountains from Hala Gasienicowa. When I have visited it last August, there was a huge number of fireweed blooming adding beauty and colour to this already wonderful place.

What Are the Options Once You Reach Hala Gąsienicowa.

There are many trail going further into the high Tatra mountains from there. Once you come to Hala Gąsienicowa, you can just relax there admiring the views and visit pretty big mountain refuge called Murowaniec (Schronisko Murowaniec),  or continue walking much further.

In any case it is good to visit Murowaniec if you need to buy some food, water or to use toilet.  However Murowaniec could be very crowded. When I was there in August of last year, there was a big crowd inside, it was very noisy and there was a huge line up to buy anything and even to go to the toilet (there is certainly not enough of them).   I think this place badly needs more tourist friendly facilities. It is a national park, so that’s probably one of the reasons why they are not building more of them, but the number of people coming to Hala Gasienicowa has grown so much over the years, maybe they should reconsider it.  My advice is to take with you as much water and food as you need, not only to reach Hala Gasienicowa, but also in case you would like to go further into the high mountains and across onto the other side, since there are more trails going up there.

Walking Towards “Czarny Staw Gasienicowy – Highly Recommended”.

Once you have enjoyed amazing views from Hala Gasienicowa, you have several option. Depending on time of the year, hour and your physical condition curiosity and how prepared you are to walk further, you can either turn back and return to Kuznice from where the trail has started, or continue walking much further into the higher mountains. For example you can go towards Orla Perc, as I have mentioned above, and climb part of it, or just take a pretty easy and short walk only to a very beautiful lake, which is further down, when walking towards Orla Perc – “Czarny Staw Gąsienicowy” (Black Gąsienicowy Pond).  Be careful when walking to the lake since some stones are moving and could be a bit slippery. It is well worth the walk since this lake is very picturesque and you will be able to have a much closer look at the surrounding mountains.

I am sorry I don’t have any pictures of this lake to show you. When I was at Hala Gasienicowa last August it was already pretty late in the day and I have to turn back to Kuznice, so I don’t have any recently taken pictures of this place. Perhaps when possible I will scan some of my older slides to show it to you, but for now my slide scanner is not working anymore.

Another view on Tatra mountains panorama from Hala Gasienicowa, Poland.
Another view on Tatra mountains panorama from Hala Gąsienicowa, Poland.
Going To Orla Perc.

From “Czarny Staw Gąsienicowy” you can continue walking to Orla Perc or other mountains visible in this picture. As I have mentioned, Orla Perc trail is rather difficult and not recommended fro beginners. It is leading along the top of the mountains from Zawrat to Krzyzne and if you decide to take it, you will need to start onto it very early in the morning during warmer part of the year where there is no snow.  Make sure the weather is supposed to be good, but in Tatra mountains you can never be really sure about it since the weather can change suddenly, and often clouds, rain and thunderstorms come mostly in the afternoon.

If you would like to attempt to climb onto the Orla Perc from Hala Gasienicowa, or via other trails, you probably need to divide it into smaller parts since it is pretty long and strenuous. In fact, as I have already mentioned, it is considered as the most difficult hiking trail in Europe. At this time when I write this article, to this day, at least 140 people have died when walking this trail. Many accidents happened when people were trying to pass each other in other direction on so narrow and difficult path . Because of that, I heard now there is only one way direction of walking on this trail, but I am not sure which way. It is best to check it out before you attempt to walk it.

When taking this trail, you will not only walk, but need to climb some ladders and other difficult passages, sometimes holding into a metal chain for support.  There are many precipices on the way and very steep climbs. You certainly need very good walking or climbing shoes on this trail, as well as to be prepared for sudden change of weather since it can even snow during the Summer. You need to dress in layers and take some warm clothing with you as well as something to protect you from the rain and possible snow. If you go on the top of the mountains you also need to bring plenty of drinking water and enough food for the day. Make sure you have some first aid kit and working phone, just in case. It is good to take good quality chocolate with you in case you feel exhausted. Also keep in mind that you need to go back down and arrive to a place where you can sleep or take transportation back home before it gets dark.

I think it is a good idea to walk with at least one more person so you can help each other to climb some more difficult passages, or just to keep you company on the way. Besides, when taking more difficult or isolated trails, it is always a good idea to tell somebody where you are going and where to search for you in case you got lost or hurt.

Crossing Via Zawrat and Going Down Towards “Dolina Pieciu Statow” ( Valley of Five Lakes).
Hala Gasienicowa, Tatra mountains, Poland.
Hala Gasienicowa , Tatra mountains, Poland. A view towards Orla Perc.  Zawrat is hiding here behind Koscielec.

Just to give you a feel of Orla Perc, you can climb on the mountain pass called Zawrat and cross onto the other side of the mountains, going back down to a very beautifulDoline Pieciu Stawow”.  You will have many amazing views not only onto Polish Tatra mountains from there, but also on many mountain ranges only visible after you reach this point, with views opening on Tatras belonging to Slovakia. Part of the Polish-Slovakia border goes along Tatra mountains.

If you don’t continue climbing onto the tops of the Tatra towards Orala Perc , or other way, in the direction of Swinica (also very difficult trail), but instead walk down across the side of the mountainous along the trail going to one of the most beautiful places in Polish Tatra mountains – Dolina Pieciu Stawow , you will still have many amazing views on the surrounding mountains.   If you decide just to go to Zawrat and down to Dolina Pieciu Stawow, I recommend you go this way up to Zawrat and not in the opposite direction since going down from Zawrat towards Czarny Staw Gasienicowy and Hala Gasienicowa is much more difficult. In other words, at least for me, it was much easier to climb to Zawrat this way having the steep walls behind my back, instead of looking down on them and the precipice in case of  climbing down this way. There are ladders and chains on the way to help you climb.

Also keep in mind that the trail leading to Piec Stawow i quite long and you will have to walk much further down from there till you will reach a paved road from where you can take a bus, shuttle or where you could leave your car on the parking lot in Polanica Bialczanska or Lysa Polana. However it is well worth to take this trail if you are ready to do it and have enough time before it gets dark, or weather changes for the worst.  There is a mountain refuge in Dolina Pieciu StawowSchronisko w Pieciu Stawach“, so you can visit it on the way to Polanica Bialczanska.  Dolina Pieciu Stawow is one of the most popular places in Polish Tatra mountains and also a very good place to start walking onto some other beautiful trails, perhaps on the next day, if you can stay overnight in the refuge . It is best to book your night stay in advance. In any case, you can drop by and buy some food and drinks, but don’t can’t on it since the line up could be very long, as in Murowaniec and it is a smaller refuge.

Another view on Hala Gasienicowa, Tatra mountains, Poland.
Another view on Hala Gasienicowa, Tatra mountains, Poland.
Walking Towards, or Down from “Kasprowy Wierch”.

From Hala Gasienicowa you can also take pretty easy, but a steep trail towards Kasprowy Wierch. An easier option is to just take a cable car from Kuznice to Kasprowy Wierch and go down the trail from Kasprowy to Hala Gasienicowa. The line up to buy tickets can get quite long, but you can pay more to avoid standing in line. It is best to buy tickets a bit in advance on the Internet.  Here is a link to cable car website (Kolejka linowa w Kuznicach). From Kasprowy Wierch there are beautiful views and you can not only walk down to Hala Gasienicowa, but also back to Kuznice or take other trails leading along the top of some of Tatra’s mountains.

If you walk towards Swinica and Orla Perc leaving Hala Gasienicowa trail behind, further down the trail becomes rather difficult and similar in difficulty to the one leading via Orla Perc. There are other easier and beautiful trails going from Kasprowy Wierch as well, like for example the one to “Czerwone Wierchy“.

Winter Skiing Options.

During the Winter season if you are experiences skier you can ski down from Kasprowy Wierch towards Hala Kalatowki and Kuznice , or towards Hala Gasienicowa. Here is a great video showing you ski trail down from Kasrpowy Wierch towards Kuznice. In the other video you can see the ski trail going down from Kasprowy to Hala Gasienicowa.

To Summarize and Walking Back to Kuznice.

Anyway, there are many options once you reach Hala Gasienicowa or Kasprowy Wierch. In any case, the earlier in the day you reach this place the better since you will have more time if you decide to walk further and the weather tends to be better in the morning then in the afternoon. You might encounter some wild animals on the way, including black bears, but it is not very likely since these are some of the most popular and crowed trails.

Here I am standing in the middle of Hala Gasienicowa. I couldn’t resist to have my picture taken is this beautiful spot with one of my favorite Tatra’s panorama in the background.

 

I couldn't resist to have my picture taken in front of this amazing Tatra's panorama. In the back, on the left you can also see a green, roof of big mountain refuge Murowaniec.
I couldn’t resist to have my picture taken in front of this amazing Tatra’s panorama. In the back, on the left you can also see a green, roof of big mountain refuge Murowaniec.

If you decide to just go back from Hala Gasienicowa to Kuznice you can follow the same trail, as coming here, or once you reach the end of the trail via Krolowa Wyznia and arrive to Przelecz Karczmisko, you were passing through before,  you can go down back to Kuznice on the same trail, or turn left onto the trail going down to Dolina Jaworzynki. I don’t like going down via Dolina Jawozynka too much since the trail is pretty steep for a pretty long time, till it finally reaches the bottom of Dolina Jaworzynki. It can be also slippery, particularly after rain. Once it reaches Dolina Jaworzynka the path becomes easy just walking down along the valley to Kuznice.

There were many pink wildflowers growing along the path when I was there in August last year.
People on the path on Krolowa Rowien, Tatra mountains, Poland. I took this picture on the way back towards Kuznice. There were many pink wildflowers growing along the path when I was there in August last year.

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – “Out of This World”.

This post is part of the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge and this is my interpretation of this week’s prompt Out of this Worldsince I think the views from Hala Gasienicowa are quite extraordinary.  To see how I have presented this subject on my other blog Vibrant Garden, please follow this link.

The Copyright Info and Subscribing to this Blog.

All photographs presented on this blog are copyrighted by me, Renata Ratajczyk. If you would like to use any of them in your publications or on your website please contact me. I will be adding some of the pictures posted here to my Light Vision website, where you can license images or buy them as prints.  I will be posting more articles soon, so please subscribe to my blog to be notified about future updates. Thank you.

My Other Blog – Vibrant Garden.

I also invite you to visit my other blog – Vibrant Garden where I write about gardening, the most beautiful and interesting gardens I have visited, as well as I highlight some special plants and occasionally essential oils. You can visit my Vibrant Garden blog here.

You May Also Like to Read:

  1. Walking the Trail from Kuznice to Hala Gasienicowa – Part 1 – Tatra Mountains, Poland.
  2. Visiting Beautifully Located Sacro Monte of Varallo, Italy.
  3. Serene Moment in Time – Koscieliska Valley part 3, Tatra Mountains, Poland.
  4. Koscieliska Valley – Part 1, Tatra Mountains, Poland.
  5. Koscieliska Valley – Part 2 – Hala Pisana, Tatra Mountains, Poland. T
  6. Bird Kingdom – an Aviary in Niagara Falls, Canada.
  7. Visiting Parco Civico Villa Ciani, Lugano, Switzerland – on my Vibrant Garden blog.
  8. Lake Garda, Italy.
  9. Gardens of Versailles, France.
  10. Gadens of Spiazzi village – an article on my Vibrant Garden blog.
  11. Giardino Sigurtà” in Northern Italy – on my Vibrant Garden blog.
  12. Niagara Parks Botanical Garden – part 1 – on my Vibrant Garden blog.

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