One of the easy hikes we did whilst staying in the Tatra region of Poland and Slovakia was along the ridge of a mountain range in the Lower Tatra’s (located in Northern Slovakia) from Chopok to Mt Ďumbier. We decided to do this hike as Claire is fairly new to mountain hiking and I wanted to do something we could both enjoy while taking in the views and sampling the Autumn alpine fresh air. This is how we did our day hike plus a few extra things we did…..
How we got there
We were staying in Zakopane (Southern Poland) so with our hired car we drove to Jasná Nízke Tatry which is one the northern side of the mountain range. Here we got the chair-lift then cable car to the summit of Mt. Chopok (2004m above sea level).
This is a fairly easy hike to do. When exiting the cable car station follow signs for Ďumbier. It is not that hard. Before walking down the mountain, right next to the station is a small hill. Climb that (which is very rocky in places) and the summit of Chopok is reached. We did this in less than ten minutes to get to the top and the views to the north are pretty amazing.
The summit of Mt. Chopok
The ridge is nice and flat in places and not that difficult to master. There can be lots of rocks in places but I would say 80% of the hiking trail is gravel. Whilst walking along, the views to the south are simply perfect and peaceful. We hiked this trail in late September and there was not many people hiking but I think during the summer months this area will be packed with day trippers and hikers from all over Europe. (In the winter months, the mountains around here are a very popular skiing destination).
We reached Ďumbier at the other side of the ridge and we were very happy to have a rest to check out the amazing views (to which most of them we had already seen from hiking the ridge but we just couldn’t get enough of them!) before heading back the way we came to the cable car to go back down towards Jasná Nízke. The distance of this hike is 8.8km (about 5.5 miles) and we took about three hours doing this but information signs say about four hours to allow for this hike. With all the photographing and videoing we did, I was surprised we did it in around three hours. The signs to look for on the route are the RED markers with Ďumbier written on them (and of course Chopok on the way back). Also Ďumbier is the highest peak in the Lower Tatra’s at 2043m
Before going back to the car and driving back towards Poland, I found a hidden secret. Well, it’s not really a secret but we like to say it is. Behind the Hotel Grand in Jasná Nízke there is a very short hiking trail which should take around twenty minutes to complete (longer if taking photos) around Vrbické pleso (lake) which is 1113m above sea level. Vrbické pleso is a glacier mountain lake and is the largest natural lake in the Lower Tatra’s. On a good day, the reflection of trees overlooking the lake is stunning and we were lucky to see this. The lake route is highly recommended before heading away from the area.
- Allow around four hours for the hike which includes rest stops
- Have waterproof boots/shoes as it can be wet in places (especially after it has rained or if there is low cloud).
- Make sure you take food with you (and other equipment like first aid etc). There is a shop at the cable car station at the start of route to buy snacks if needed.
- A map isn’t really necessary, just follow the markers and signs. It’s a pretty straightforward route.
- Make sure you have waterproof clothing as well.
If you like this post and want to share it on Pinterest, then please do so with the photo below. Check out our Pinterest board here.