Let´s spend the last warm days of the year in amazing unique scene of Slovak highest mountains High Tatras. I love hikes in this time of the year, mostly maybe because of temperature inversion so it´s sunny and warm all day long high in the mountains. Last September I came to you with 6 quite easy trails, now I´m back here with 3, much more difficult trails. But don´t worry about that, everyone can handle it, maybe the only problem is that it´s very long and for those slower ones it will be super long, like a whole-day tour. But I hope that it won´t discourage you because the views on these tracks…ah, it´s certainly worth of that spent time.
1. From Tatranská Kotlina to Zelené pleso (Green Tarn)
To the village of Tatranská Kotlina you can get by bus from Tatranská Lomnica, Stará Ľubovňa etc. so you won´t have any problems getting there. So, you start in the village of Tatranská Kotlina at an altitude of 760m and by a green sign continue to the Šumivý prameň, what is basically only crossroads next to the effervescent water. From Šumivý prameň you always by a green sign get after apx. an hour to the Plesnivec Lodge, on signs written as Chata Plesnivec. There you should take a stop, relax, lunch etc. After hour and half (still green sign) you´ll be on Veľké Biele pleso (Giant White tarn) at an altitude of 1616m. There you can either stop and go back because you have already seen an amazing tarn, or continue by a red sign to the Chata pri Zelenom plese (Lodge next to the Green Tarn) and Zelené pleso itself. It takes around 30 minutes and I like this part of the road the most because there are great views and when it´s sunny it´s just amazing. Zelené pleso is surrounded by high mountains at an altitude of 1551m in a small valley. There is a lodge on the shore which is…pretty expensive but whatever, when you´re hungry you don´t usually solve the prices, or? From Zelené pleso you should either get back by the same road (the expected time to come down is 7:10 hours since the total beginning of the trip) or by a yellow sign to the Šalviový prameň (1:40h), pod Šalviovým prameňom (0:25h) and Biela Voda (bus station, another 0:25h). The second option takes in total 6:15h and it´s the better one I think because you see new things, not the same as how you would see in the first option where you would get back by the same road. Or there´s another, final option, that on Šalviový prameň you turn to the sign showing Rázcestie v Doline Kežmarskej Bielej Vody (crossroads) where you will be after 25 minutes and from that crossroads is village of Tatranské Matliare where is also bus and train station only 40 more minutes. This one takes in total 6:30h. It´s only up on you which trail will you choose.
This is a half-day long, moderately difficult tour.
2. From Štrbské pleso to the Kôprovský štít (peak)
You start in front of Hotel Patria near the most famous Tatra tarn called Štrbské pleso at an altitude of 1355m. You follow a red sign and after apx. hour you´re on another tarn called Popradské pleso which is very pretty, I have already written about it last autumn. There is a lodge on this tarn where you can rest etc. and the road to this tarn…oh my god, when you choose the right one (there are three, same lenght), you can see the long valley and all the surrounding mountains. The remaining two roads lead through the forest. From Popradské pleso you continue by a purple sign to the crossroads Rázcestie nad Žabím potokom. Following the purple sign, you´ll be on the biggest Slovak tarn called Veľké Hincovo pleso in one hour. Veľké Hincovo pleso is the biggest and deepest mountain lake in glacial origin in the Slovak High Tatras. It´s 53m deep and is located at an altitude of 1945m. You can relax there, of course, because now is a difficult part of the trail in the front of you – climbing up to the peak (not literally, don´t worry). In 45 minutes by the same sign is there Vyšné Kôprovské sedlo at altitude of 2180m and after final 30 minutes long rising you´re up there, on the Kôprovský peak, 2363m. From this peak you can see so far away, to the three valleys, to the Low Tatras, to the Western High Tatras, and also to the Poland. It´s really an unforgettable experience, you will certainly love it, mostly in the pretty sunny weather these days. Down you go by the totally same route, on Štrbské pleso you can be in 3:30h. There aren´t any other options how to get down, so it all takes apx. 7:30h.
This is all-day long, moderately difficult tour.
3. From Štrbské pleso to the Rysy peak
You start again near the Hotel Patria on Štrbské pleso (altitude of 1355m) and by a red sign continue to the tarn of Popradské pleso where it will take apx. 1 hour in easy terrain. There you can rest, have a walk around the tarn but I personaly wouldn´t do it because there are long hours of rising in front of you. From Popradské pleso are only 35 minutes by a purple sign to the crossroads Rázcestie nad Žabím potokom from which you will follow the red sign. After two hours of quite strong rising (certain parts of the road 500m before the Rysy Lodge are beaded with chains) you will get up to the Váha saddle. This was the worst, the steepest part of the trail, many people give it up there and rather return down to the Popradské pleso. From this saddle it´s 45 minutes by steep descending (but way less steep than before) to the Rysy peak. Overview is on its north-west side and it´s just…magical. Rysy is the border point between Slovakia and Poland, and with its 2499m also the highest peak in Poland. It has three peaks, the north-western, the middle and the eastern. You should try all three, it´s an easy thing after all what have you experienced today. But how I have mentioned before, the overview and the best views are on the north-west side so certainly don´t miss that one. Back to the Štrbské pleso you will get by the same road, it takes around 3:40h of sharp descending. The total time of this trail is around 8 hours.
This is all-day long, difficult tour.
I hope you liked this article and got some ideas which trails you should try in these magnificient mountains. I also hope you understood all what I have written and if no…well, then find some other articles about it when these trips have engaged your attention hah.
//not my photos//