Kasprowy Wierch is probably one of the most famous destinations in Tatra National Park. There are many ways leading to the top – few hiking trails and a convenient cable rail, if you are not into hiking. Hiking Kasprowy Wierch is a great experience leading through most iconic mountain scenery. With a little bit of knowledge and preparation the trail is doable not only by experienced hikers.
How to get to Kasprowy Wierch (1987m)?
Getting to the bottom of Kasprowy Wierch is easy and few ways are possible. You need to get to Kuznice – this is a starting point for Kasprowy hike.
On the picture – Check point for entry ticket to Tatra National Park – located on the beginning of the GREEN trail to Kasprowy.
If you’re going by car, there are few practical things to know. The last 3 km leading to Kuznice station is considered to be private. That means you may not be permitted to reach the final parking, near the cable rail bottom station. Although with exception to a high season you should be fine. However, winter peak season, Christmas week, and whenever Zakopane is filling up with extreme crowds – you will definitely not be allowed to drive through.
The most convenient way is taking a public mini bus – from Zakopane Main Bus/Train Station to Kuznice, the bus will drop you near the parking place, 50 metres from the cable rail station. Kasprowy peak is also the longest ski slope in this area and a lot of people are taking the cable car all year round take to spend a day on the top, admiring astonishing views while having their lunch or hot tea. The journey by cable car takes approximately 20 minutes, while hiking Kasprowy Wierch is pretty tough, challenging and takes at least 3 hours one way for experienced hikers. It is possible to purchase tickets for a cable car online – highly advisable. The cable car is one of the most popular attraction in the area. Check all information around the cable car tickets, temperature, camers on the official website: https://www.pkl.pl/kasprowy-wierch/kasprowy-wierch-en.html
Hiking trails in Tatra Mountains.
Tatra Mountains are very popular among hikers from different parts of the world. That means with good weather conditions, weekends and summer season you will hardly ever get a chance to enjoy them on your own. Most popular trails can be crowded. However, there are plenty of hiking trails in Tatra National Park, leading through stunning lakes and iconic valleys. Firstly, you need to obtain a hiking map of Tatra National Park. It is available in Tourist Information Office in few locations in Zakopane and on the way to Kasprowy Wierch. Why is it important to step in there? Because you will absolutely need a map to recognize all hiking routes in the area. Moreover, the routes are marked with 5 different colours, but it does not reflect the level of difficulty. Secondly, they will tell you weather forecast, trails conditions and avalanche danger level.
Things to know before hiking or climbing Tatra Mountains.
Before approaching any hiking trail in Tatra Mountains – there are two things you must do everytime you are going climbing:
- Check weather information on the official Tatra National Park website.
- Ask in the Tourist Information Office for maps and weather conditions – they have most updated information from mountain rescue team.
Hiking trails in Tatra Mountains can be extremely challenging, you need to be fully prepared to avoid being under-equiped. Tatra Mountains are absolutely stanning and for those who love mountains it will be a mystic adventure. In winter time (including spring) Tatra Mountains are covered with deep snow, slopes are icy and rocky. Spring covers mountain valleys with violet flowers and green fields from the sunny side. Below, on the top of Kasprowy Wierch (the bottom cable car station and a hiking trail).
Hiking Kasprowy Wierch.
There are number of trails leading to the top of Kasprowy Wierch. Those two start in Kuznice – so it’s up to you which one you hike.
- The easiest one is GREEN: Kuznice – Myslenickie Turnie – Kasprowy Wierch. The trail goes along the cable car.
- YELLOW: Kuznice, Hala Gasienicowa, Kasprowy Wierch.
I chose the GREEN one: STARTING POINT: Kuznice (1010m) leading to Myslenickie Turnie (1350m) and Dolina Goryczkowa (I know Polish words can be extremely difficult to read 😉
This moderate trail leads along the cable rail and it takes around 3 hours for an experienced hiker to reach Kasprowy Wierch (certainly depending on weather conditions). If you don’t want to go down the same way, you can do a loop starting in Kuznice (blue trail) – Murowaniec (yellow trail from Murowaniec) to Dolina Gasienicowa. Dolina Gasienicowa is an amazing place with a tourist shelter and stunning mountain views. The YELLOW trail leads straight to the top of Kasprowy Wierch.
Panoramic trail to the top of Kasprowy.
The trail to Kasprowy Wierch is well marked, so no chance you’ll skip the right route. This trail wouldn’t be enough for me and the truth is that the real adventure with astonishing panoramic views starts from the summit toward Czerwone Wierchy peak. If the weather permits you can continue hiking from the top of Kasprowy.
From Kasprowy Wierch take a west direction toward Przelecz pod Kopa Kondracka along the mountain ridge, then further through Kopa Kondracka, Krzesanica and Ciemniak 2096 metres. This rocky ridge is called Czerwone Wierchy (the Red Peaks). This is one of the most magnificent areas in Tatra Mountains. The trail is quite well maintained and does not require any climbing skills. All the way it is a moderate hiking trail. From Ciemniak you should take a red trail to Kiry (the shortest route leading through a forest). This whole trail took me about 8 hours in total.
Is Kasprowy Wierch difficult?
If you’re asking yourself is this trail right for you, I would have few tips. You need to have a good fitness level to do this trail or loop. This loop does not require technical skills but it will be demanding and there will be rocky sections. Again there are two things before you go:
- Getting a free map of Tatra Mountains in the Tourist Information Office. Obtaining information on trails conditions and weather forecast.
- Obtain a PASS to Tatra National Park (it’s mandatory) – if you want to avoid queues at the entrance buy it online – I recommend 7 day pass for 7 euro.
On the left you see a trail to GIEWONT (view from the way up to Kasprowy Wierch) – very significant and popular peak in Tatra Mountains with a cross on the top.
How to get to Zakopane?
There are many ways to get to Zakopane from Cracow, it is an easy and pretty short – 2 hour trip.
- The train ride is 2.15 hours and it’s a very comfortable train, highly recommend
- Bus would be the same 2h drive, there’s plenty of companies to choose from. Buses and trains leave from Cracow Glowny/Main station
- Car – depends on a season – 1-2 hours. Just bare in mind there’s winter in Poland with snowfalls 😉 A lot of people do not realize that and it is a completely different drive than during summer
- Organized tour from Zakopane – although I would recommend staying at least 3 days in Zakopane, exploring Tatra National Park.
These are really three amazing tour options I would highly recommend (Tripadvisor):
Where to stay in Zakopane?
Best for hiking any summit.
There is nothing more important than good hiking shoes! Gosh, what a nightmare was that for me to find the right shoes! Can’t tell you how hard was it and how many times I suffered from wrong shoes. They were all good brands, but obviously not for me! So, if I may help, these are the things to consider and take with you if you are hiking Kasprowy Wierch or any other mountain. The more prepared and equiped you are the safer you will be.
I traveled to Slovakia mainly to climb Gerlach – it was my huge dream for the lst
Climbing Gerlach – Gerlachovsky Stit (2655m) – the highest peak of Tatra Mountains in Slovakia and the
Another year in Tatra Mountains and high time for hiking Koscielec Ridge (2155m) 😉. It’s quite demanding
Before you go hiking.
- You should always check a weather forecast for Tatra Mountains before leaving for a hike
- Never leave without an insurance! Rescue team is busy every day in Tatra Mountains!!
- Always check if there is an avalanche alert! Avalanches are huge danger in Tatra Mountains
- Note camping is now allowed in Tatra National Park
- Dogs are not allowed in National Park
- Check alert for bears – I’m not joking. Do not leave your food to encourage wild animals. If you see a bear do NOT panic, slowly move the oposite direction, bear will not attack you for no reason
Bucket list for hiking.
- Comfortable hiking shoes
- Be prepared for all kinds of weather – just like in all mountains the weather may change rapidly. Always carry an extra jumper and rainproof coat
- Bring crampons in winter
- Bring helmet, ropes if you plan to use trails with security chains – do not underestimate Tatra Mountains!
- Plenty of water – that depends on a season, if the shelters are opened you can always get a hot drink and food there
- Sandwiches/lunch and snacks – dark chocolate, protein bars, nuts
- Paper hiking map or download one online
- Charged phone/power bank.