Sniezka mountain (Karkonosze, Poland)

Sniezka mountain
Lower Silesian VoivodeshipPoland

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Śnieżka is called the queen of the Karkonosze mountains. It rises majestically 1,603 meters above sea level (which makes it the highest peak of both the Karkonosze and the Sudetes). On average, 4,000 tourists climb to the top every day. This makes Sniezka one of the most popular tourist destinations in Poland. Therefore, the Travel-Mates team couldn’t miss it.

Silesia is beautiful! See the best attractions of Wroclaw and the surrounding area.

Sniezka from Karpacz

We started our adventure with Snieżka on an August Monday. It was a long weekend, so we expected crowds on the trail. And our intuition didn’t disappoint us. Apart from a large number of tourists, we also had beautiful weather. However, Śnieżka can be capricious when it comes to the weather, as we had the opportunity to see. But more on that later…

Yellow trail to Sniezka

There are several trails leading to Sniezka, but the yellow one is considered the most picturesque. You can probably guess that the Travel-Mates team chose this route. Don’t be discouraged by the fact that it takes 3.5-4 hours to reach the top. The wonderful views will reward you for this time. We start our adventure in Karpacz town. The first attraction was the medieval Evangelical Wang Temple. It is the oldest wooden church in Poland. Its name sounds a bit oriental, but in fact the building was ‘exported’ in 1842 from the Norwegian town of Vang to Karpacz by the Prussian king Frederick William IV.

Wang church

The first stage of the trip is a quiet hike along a shaded trail with a slight slope. It’s wonderful, green and makes you want to walk. In such conditions, the heat does not bother us (yet). You just have to be careful with slippery stones – it’s easy to trip and this may result in a sprained ankle.

Karpacz Sniezka trail

After about an hour, the landscape begins to change. The trail not only has a sunny color in its name. We are an open space with a beautiful wooden footbridge and trees scattered here and there almost at noon. The sun burns our skin and we are very proud of ourselves for using SPF 50 sunscreen.

Sniezka how to get

Everything good ends quickly. A smooth wooden footbridge soon gives way to slightly steeper climbs. Finally, at an altitude of 1,206 m above sea level, we come to Pilgrims (Polish: Pielgrzymy). These high granite rocks reach up to 25 meters high. The braver ones climb them and pose for photos. Legend has it that the Pilgrims are actually wandering mountain dwellers (petrified, of course).

Sniezka yellow trail

Just a dozen or so minutes later we come across another interesting rock formation – Helianthus (Polish: Slonecznik). The place is located 1,423 m above sea level, and the rocks themselves reach 12 meters. Are you also trying to find the shape of a beautiful flower here? We tried. Unsuccessfully. The sunflower takes its name from… the sun, not from the flower. When it was above the rock, it showed solar noon to the inhabitants of nearby towns. We make a longer stop near the rock, because the views from the top are really beautiful. Of course, there is also a legend associated with the Helianthus. Supposedly, it is a petrified devil who was strolling carelessly through the Karkonosze Mountains when suddenly the church bells rang the Angelus and he froze motionless, turning into a rock formation.

Sudetes rock formations

Pilgrims and Helianthus (Polish: Pielgrzymy & Słonecznik) are mentioned as the two biggest attractions of the yellow trail to Sniezka. However, the Travel-Mates team has another favorite, and that is Kocioł Wielkiego Stawu. Wielki Staw is a wonderful glacial lake. Combined with the rocky and grassy walls that surround it, it creates a beautiful alpine landscape. We admire these views only for a moment and continue along the beaten, rocky trail.

lake in Sudetes

Several minutes later, Snieżka appears in all her glory. Well, almost full, because the peak is obscured by thick fog. Karkonosze experts are right – Sniezka has a good mood and can surprise tourists. However, the trail itself is very pleasant – beaten, paved with thick stones and not very steep. We reach the Silesian House (Polish: Dom Slaski) – a shelter located at the junction of several trails. It’s the yellow building with the gray roof in the photo below.

Sniezka

However, the last stage of the journey to the top of Śnieżka is not so simple and pleasant. On colder days it probably won’t cause any problems for walkers, but at high temperatures it gave Wiolczi a hard time. Patryk, on the other hand, handled it easily. Of course, at the very top all fatigue disappears. The Travel-Mates team smiles and poses for a photo against the background of the most recognizable and probably most frequently photographed meteorological observatory in Poland. It’s Tadeusz Holdys High-Mountain Meteorological Observatory on Sniezka. In addition, on the top you will also find the historic wooden chapel of St. Lawrence.

Sniezka meteorological observatory

Blue trail from Sniezka

After a short rest, it’s time to return from Sniezka to Karpacz. This time we choose the blue trail. Oh, we almost forgot! Here is also a great thing for those who are unable to get to the top on their own or want to save some time getting down. That’s a cable car. Gondolas start in the Czech town of Pec pod Snezkou.

Sniezka cable car

The way back doesn’t disappoint us with views. From the top you can see how mountain trails run and connect with each other. The Karkonosze Mountains seem to be very flat in places, and a moment later they surprise with cliffs and steep slopes. August is the perfect time to see this part of the Sudetes covered with greenery. To be honest with you, the blue trail seems much more interesting to us than the yellow one.

Sniezka how to enter

Is it because we saw here the most beautiful place during the entire expedition? Maybe. Of course, we are talking about Samotnia, the most wonderfully located mountain shelter in Poland. You will find it right next to Maly Staw. You must go there yourself, because none of the photos we took reflect the fabulousness of this breathtaking view.

Sniezka Samotnia shelter

Unfortunately, dark clouds literally gathered over our heads. And that meant only one thing: we had to stop admiring Samotnia surroundings and speed up. We still had over an hour of intense walking to reach the Wang church (or rather the Tarasy Wang hotel, where Patryk left the car). However, time flies very quickly because most of the route looks like in the picture. Marvellous!

Sniezka blue trail

Did we mention that the blue trail is beautiful? We probably forgot to add that it is also very easy, so the return is quick and easy. Only at the end of the trip we experienced the curse of ‘capricious Sniezka’: despite the afternoon heat, it starts to rain just before 5 p.m. In places – especially on the rocks – it gets quite slippery and you have to be very careful. We reach Wang Church literally five minutes before the downpour begins. We managed to cheat fate this time, but we feel sorry for all those caught in the rain on an open trail, far from the shelter.

How much does it cost to climb Śnieżka? – Tickets to the Karkonosze National Park

Remember that in accordance with the applicable regulations of the Karkonosze National Park, you must pay to enter its area. You can buy tickets at the ticket office at the entrance to the tourist trail to Śnieżka or online. The amount is truly symbolic. During our trip, probably no one coming from Karpacz managed to bypass the ticket control waiting at the intersection of the blue and yellow trails. The girls didn’t issue fines for not having a ticket, but they also didn’t let tourists pass without paying a fee.

Tickets to the Karkonosze National Park cost:

  • 1-day individual – PLN 9 normal, PLN 4.50 reduced.
  • 2-day individual – PLN 18 regular, PLN 9 reduced.
  • 3-day individual – PLN 24 regular, PLN 12 reduced.
  • 1-day trip for participants of groups with a Sudetes guide – PLN 8 normal, PLN 4 reduced.

Sniezka summer time

Sniezka – how long does it take to reach the top?

  • The time to climb Sniezka is, of course, an individual matter – it depends primarily on the chosen trail, fitness, weather and stops.
  • It took us about 3.5 hours to reach the top along the yellow trail, and about 2.5 hours to descend along the blue trail (but we had a long stop for a meal, otherwise we would have easily gone down in 2 hours, because this route is really easy to follow).
  • According to the signposts, entry via the yellow trail takes less than 4 hours, and the return via the blue trail – 2 hours 50 minutes.

Karpacz Poland

Sniezka from Karpacz – directions

  • Public transport. The nearest large and well-connected city near Karpacz is Wroclaw. You can get there by both trains and buses from other large cities. From Wroclaw, you can get to Karpacz by bus in less than 2.5 hours.
  • Car. There are several car parks near Wang Church, including one free of charge. You won’t be able to park any closer to the trail to Sniezka.

Sniezka climbing

Sniezka – tips

  • We did it for the first time and we will do it more often. Before reaching the peak, we stayed overnight at the Tarasy Wang hotel, right on the trail to Sniezka (specifically at Na Sniezkę Street). Thanks to this, we saved some time in the morning. Usually from the hotel to the beginning of the trail takes us several dozen precious minutes of the day.
  • On the Polish side of the Karkonosze Mountains, you won’t find a ski lift to the very top of Śnieżka, but you can shorten your walk to the top a bit. All you need to do is take the cable car to Kopa. It is over 2,200 meters long and the ride takes about 15-20 minutes. Thanks to this low speed, you will be able to easily enjoy the panorama of the Karkonosze Mountains.
  • At the top of Śnieżka there is… the Czech post office. You can send a traditional postcard with greetings to your loved ones from here.
  • We do not encourage anyone to drink alcohol. However, if in a mountain shelter we find ‘house beer’ (the equivalent of restaurant ‘house wine’), we must stop for a small tasting. During the trip to Sniezka, we tried bottled Dom Slaski. Try it too!

Sniezka shelter

Sniezka mountain – reviews

  • Patrix – 10/10. It was a great adventure! Climbing to the top is always satisfying. What I liked most was not the ascent, but the descent from the mountain. Walking down the blue trail, we had amazing views. Nature is wonderful.
  • Wiolczix – 10/10. When it comes to mountains, I’m not a very objective reviewer. The mountains have everything I love! I went to Śnieżka for the first time and to be honest… it was so hot that it almost beat me. If it weren’t for the high (August) temperature, the way to the top would be pure pleasure. You can easily go here for a long family walk. I don’t remember any steep climbs, so the route is not tiring, even though it is quite long. Much of the trail is exposed and on a sunny day you can get a lot of tan. Generally, the yellow one is considered the most beautiful trail to Sniezka. Indeed, we confirm, it is impressive. But you won’t find there one of the most charming places in all Polish mountains, i.e. Samotnia shelter. I just fell in love with this place. To see it, you must take the blue trail.

Sniezka photos

Climbing Sniezka mountain – FAQ

Where is the best place to go to the top of Sniezka?

The best starting point for Sniezka is Karpacz. When starting your hike in this town, you can choose from four trails: yellow, blue, red or black.

What’s the easiest way to climb Sniezka?

The easiest way to get to Sniezka is by taking the ‘Zbyszek’ cable car to Kopa. From here, it is only an hour’s walk to the top. You can choose between the red (safer option) or black (more difficult option) trail.

How to climb Sniezka with children?

Traveling with children is much more demanding. You can try to complete the entire trail on foot at a slow pace, carrying young tourists in your arms or pushing a stroller in front of you (we encountered all three of these solutions along the route). The easiest and fastest way will be to use the cable car to Kopa and then march to the top of Sniezka.

When is the best time to climb Sniezka?

The best time of year to go to Snieżka is autumn. There is no heat in the open space like in summer. There is no snow cover as in winter and early spring. So it is relatively safe. In autumn, the weather here is the most stable.

Can you go to Sniezka at night?

You cannot go to Sniezka at night. The regulations of the Karkonosze National Park prohibit staying in its area after dusk. Both for the safety of tourists and the rhythm of animal life.

Is climbing Sniezka difficult?

Climbing Sniezka is not difficult – there are no dangerous or steep climbs. The hike to the top may seem a bit long, because the trip from Karpacz along the longest trail takes almost 4 hours. And you still have to go back!. However, Śnieżka is certainly a great choice for not very advanced mountain tourists or families with children.

What is the most difficult trail to Sniezka?

The most difficult hiking trail to Sniezka is the black one. Tourists complain that the approaches are long, monotonous and demanding. Additionally, it is deprived of the spectacular views provided by the other trails – yellow, blue and red. However, it has one unquestionable advantage: it is the shortest trail that will allow you to get to Śnieżka as quickly as possible.

What is at the top of Sniezka?

At the top of Sniezka, on the Polish side, there is the Tadeusz Holdys High-Mountain Meteorological Observatory and the wooden chapel of St. Lawrence. On the Czech side you will find restaurants (rather bistros or eateries), a post office and a cable car that takes you from the peak to the town of Pec pod Sněžkou.

Can I eat something at the top of Sniezka?

Yes, at the top of Sniezka you will find restaurants where you can buy not only drinks and snacks, but also hot dishes. Don’t expect a gourmet meal, rather a very bar-like offer. You can also take advantage of the gastronomic offer at Dom Slaski, a shelter located about 40 minutes on foot from the peak of Śnieżka.

Is there a toilet on Sniezka?

Yes, there is a toilet on Sniezka. You can use it in the bistro located on the Czech side of the peak.

blue trail Sniezka

Sniezka mountain – map

Sniezka is located on the Polish-Czech border. The nearest tourist town is Karpacz, and the nearest large city – Wroclaw.

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