Moderate hikes in the Tatras of Slovakia
EUROPE,  SLOVAKIA

8 MODERATE HIKES IN THE TATRAS OF SLOVAKIA

Someone asked me the other day on Instagram, how to get better at rock scrambling and overcome the fear of falling? Honestly speaking, that’s a very good question! I have no fear of height whatsoever, but the best piece of advice I can give someone who does, is to start slow and progress with time. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you 8 moderate hikes in the Tatras of Slovakia, perfect for people who want to practise rock scrambling and gain more confidence before hitting the toughest trails in the Tatra Mountains.

KRIVAŇ

Kriváň at 2495 m ranks as the second tallest mountain in the Tatras that can be reached without a professional guide. It’s also a great choice to practice rock scrambling, so let’s get into it. Leave your car at Tri Studničky carpark, and take the green trail. After two hours of walking, you will reach Krivánsky Žľab (49.157554, 19.997751). From there, take the blue trail to the summit. This is the hardest section that gets steeper and steeper with almost every step, so don’t hesitate to use your hands where needed. You’ll know you’ve made it when you see the wooden cross. There is also a log book on the top hidden between the rocks. Return the same way or take the blue trail to Jamské Pleso, and then the red trail back to the carpark.

Tri Studničky Carpark – Krivánsky Žľab – Kriváň (2495 m) – Krivánsky Žľab – Jamské Pleso – Tri Studničky Carpark

Start & finish: 49.139943, 19.966308
Walking track: 15,4 km, 7 hours 30 mintes (loop)
Elevation gain: 1419 m
Elevation loss: 1414 m

Kriváň is a moderate hike in the Tatras of Slovakia
Kriváň is a moderate hike in the Tatras of Slovakia
Kriváň (2495 m)

BYSTRÁ LAVKÁ

Bystrá Lavká (2315 m) is a saddle in the Tatras of Slovakia connecting two beautiful valleys, Mlynická Dolina and Furkotská Dolina. The saddle can be crossed in both directions by taking a marked trail from Štrbské Pleso. If I were you, I would definitely walk from Mlynická Dolina towards Furkotská Dolina. Only in this direction you can visit the mountain hut at the end, and if you happen to have some time, you can even climb Predné Solisko as a bonus. Bystrá Lavká has two chains hanging on both sides, so feel free to use them, and remember to stay focused. Traversing the saddle is the hardest part. No questions asked. There are also chains just above Vodopád Skok as the rocks tend to be wet and slippery from the waterfall’s water.

Štrbské Pleso – Vodopád Skok – Bystrá Lavká (2315 m)  Pod Furkotskou Doliou  Štrbské Pleso

Start & finish: 49.123483, 20.063989
Walking track: 15 km, 7 hours 30 minutes (loop)
Elevation gain: 1011 m
Elevation loss: 1008 m

Moderate hikes in the Tatras of Slovakia
Moderate hikes in the Tatras of Slovakia
Bystrá Lavká (2315 m)

KÔPROVSKÝ ŠTÍT

Kôprovský Štít (2363 m) lies in the High Tatras of Slovakia. It’s a hike of moderate difficulty that starts in this exact location: 49.126148, 20.074668. Leave your car next to the Tatra Electric Railway station, and take the blue trail to Popradské Pleso. You are more than welcome to have a break by the lake, and order some food at a mountain hut or hotel nearby. After that, continue on the blue trail through Hincova Kotlina, all the way up to another lake called Veľké Hincovo Pleso. The next hour is all about going uphill. The track gets steep. Once you get to Vyšné Kôprovské Sedlo, take the red trail to Kôprovský Štít. The hardest bits are those just before the summit. You will surely have to use your hands a couple of times. Return by retracing your steps.

Tatra Electric Railway station “Popradské Pleso” – Popradské Pleso – Veľké Hincovo Pleso – Vyšné Kôprovské Sedlo – Kôprovský Štít (2363 m) – Vyšné Kôprovské Sedlo – Veľké Hincovo Pleso Popradské Pleso Tatra Electric Railway station “Popradské Pleso”

Start & finish: 49.126148, 20.074668
Walking track: 18,3 km, 8 hours (return)
Elevation gain: 1207 m
Elevation loss: 1211 m

Moderate hikes in the Tatras of Slovakia
Moderate hikes in the Tatras of Slovakia
Kôprovský Štít (2363 m)

RYSY

Rysy (2501 m) is Poland’s highest peak, but getting up there from the Polish side, unlike from the Slovak side, is a serious undertaking. Having said that, if you are not yet super confident with exposed tracks, don’t take the trail to Rysy from Poland, instead, approach the mountain from Slovakia. Start, as in the previous case, by taking the blue trail to Popradské Pleso from the carpark next to the Tatra Electric Railway station. Then, continue on the blue trail to Nad Žabím Potokom (49.163224, 20.070970). From there, take the red trail and keep going until you reach Chata pod Rysmi, the highest located mountain hut in the Tatras. This section has a couple of chains and metal ladders. Once you’re past the hut, it’ll be getting rather steep, and you’ll most likely use your hands just before the summit. Views from the top are one of a kind, so take your time to enjoy them. Return the same way.

Tatra Electric Railway station “Popradské Pleso” – Popradské Pleso – Nad Žabím Potokom – Chata pod Rysmi – Rysy (2501 m) – Chata pod Rysmi – Nad Žabím Potokom – Popradské Pleso – Tatra Electric Railway station “Popradské Pleso”

Start & finish: 49.126148, 20.074668
Walking track: 19,4 km, 8 hours 40 minutes (return)
Elevation gain: 1371 m
Elevation loss: 1371 m

Ladders on the hiking trail to Rysy in Slovakia
View from Rysy
Rysy (2501 m)

SEDIELKO

Here’s another moderate hike in the Tatras of Slovakia. Sedielko at 2372 m offers a little bit of rock scrambling and absolutely gorgous views. Start in Starý Smokovec, and take the green trail to Hrebienok. A funicular goes up there too, so feel free to use it. After that, take the red trail to Chata Zamkovského, and then, the green trail to Chata Téryho. Up to this point, the track is nice and easy, so its slightly altered version got included on my list of hikes in the Tatras of Slovakia for beginners. Past the mountain hut, it gets harder. Stay on the green trail, and get ready for steep ascent, loose rocks, as well as slippery surfaces just before the saddle. Fortunately enough, the last bit has some chains to hold on to. Return the same way.

Starý Smokovec – Hrebienok – Chata Zamkovského – Chata Téryho – Rázcestie pod Sedielkom – Sedielko (2372 m) – Rázcestie pod Sedielkom – Chata Téryho – Chata Zamkovského – Hrebienok – Starý Smokovec

Start & finish: 49.141157, 20.220402
Walking track: 21,4 km, 8 hours 30 minutes (return)
Elevation gain: 1883 m
Elevation loss: 1880 m

Walking track to Sedielko in the High Tatras
Walking track to Sedielko in the High Tatras
Sedielko (2372 m)

VEL’KÁ SVIŠTOVKA

Veľká Svišťovka (2037 m) is a peak in the Tatras of Slovakia suitable for intermediate hikers, offering an amazing view of an emerald lake called Zelené Pleso. Start from the carpark located here: 49.187643, 20.292563, by taking the yellow trail through Bielej Vody Kežmarskej Dolina. After around three hours of walking, you will reach a mountain hut by the lake, where you can definitely take a break. The next stage is going pretty much all the way up to the summit by taking the red trail. There’s going to be one section supported with chains, so make sure to pay special attention there. Return the same way. Veľká Svišťovka can also be reached from Skalnaté Pleso, however, that variant is easier, so I recommend it for beginners.

Carpark at Bielej Vody Kežmarskej Dolina – Zelené Pleso – Sedlo pod Svišťovkou – Veľká Svišťovka (2037 m) – Sedlo pod Svišťovkou – Zelené Pleso – Carpark at Bielej Vody Kežmarskej Dolina

Start & finish: 49.187643, 20.292563
Walking track: 20,9 km, 8 hours 20 minutes (return)
Elevation gain: 1268 m
Elevation loss: 1269 m

Moderate hikes in the Tatras of Slovakia
Moderate hikes in the Tatras of Slovakia
Veľká Svišťovka (2037 m)

JAHŇACÍ ŠTÍT

On the other side of Zelené Pleso, there is another interesting mountain, great for intermediate hikers, who want to advance their rock scrambling skills. Jahňací Štít has 2229 m, and you can get there, as in the previous case, from Bielej Vody Kežmarskej Dolina. Just follow the yellow trail from the beginning until the end. The track gets steep past the mountain hut, and just before Kolové Sedlo, it also gets exposed. This exposed section is long, quite tricky, but also supported with chains. Past the saddle, turn right, and continue to the summit. It’s easy to lose the trail here, especially on the way back, so pay attention to the signs. If needed, navigate with a map, and use your hands to scramble up to the top. Return the same way.

Carpark at Bielej Vody Kežmarskej Dolina – Zelené Pleso – Jahňací Štít (2229 m) – Zelené Pleso – Carpark at Bielej Vody Kežmarskej Dolina

Start & finish: 49.187643, 20.292563
Walking track: 20,6 km, 10 hours 30 minutes (return)
Elevation gain: 1416 m
Elevation loss: 1413 m

Jahňací Štít is a moderate hike in the Tatras of Slovakia
Jahňací Štít is a moderate hike in the Tatras of Slovakia
Jahňací Štít (2229 m)

SIVÝ VRCH

Sivý Vrch (1805 m) is located in the Western Tatras, the second highest mountain range both in Poland and Slovakia. The quickest way to reach the summit is from Horáreň Biela Skala located at 49.223035, 19.599041. The red trail winds its way up to the top through a couple of sections supported with metal chains and footholds. The average walking time to Sivý Vrch is three hours one way. Return the same way or do a loop by taking the red trail to Sedlo Pálenica, followed by the yellow trail to Prte, and the red trail again to Zuberec. The second option is longer, and more diverse, but it requires you to hitch-hike back to the carpark, or walk some extra kilometres along the road. Obviously, the choice is yours. Good luck you guys!

Horáreň Biela Skala – Sivý Vrch (1805 m) – Horáreň Biela Skala

Start & finish: 49.223035, 19.599041
Walking track: 8,8 km, 6 hours (return)
Elevation gain: 891 m
Elevation loss: 896 m

Moderate hikes in the Tatras of Slovakia
Moderate hikes in the Tatras of Slovakia
Sivý Vrch (1805 m)

These are the moderate hikes in the Tatras of Slovakia. Which mountain would you like to climb first? Let me know by leaving a comment below!