Crossing the highest mountain range in Czechia

08/09/2018 - 08/12/2018
by kuba10


DAY 1 - travel by bus from Prague to Harrachov

DAY 2 - Harrachov - Mumlava Waterfall - Vosecka bouda - Elbe spring - Labska bouda - Snezne jamy - Muzske kameny - Divci kameny - Petrova bouda - Moravska bouda

DAY 3 - Moravska bouda - Spindlerova bouda - Lucni bouda - Snezka - Jelenka - Trautenberk brewery

DAY 4 - Trautenberk brewery - Lysecinska hora - Horska chata Poutnik - Horni Alberice - Horni Marsov - travel by bus from Horni Marsov to Prague

DAY 1-2 - travel by bus from Prague to Harrachov, Harrachov - Mumlava Waterfall - Vosecka bouda - Elbe spring - Labska bouda - Snezne jamy - Muzske kameny - Divci kameny - Petrova bouda - Moravska bouda

It took me a while until I started to take our home Czech mountains as real mountains. With Alps close to Czechia, we usually headed to Austria or Germany for some challenging hikes. Krkonose mountain range with the highest mountain of Czechia Snezka (1 602 metres) was not that tempting.

However we decided that we should explore our homeland more and created the plan of crossing this mountain range from west to east via Polish-Czech Friendship Trail. Our trail was about 50 kilometres long and we separated it into 3 days.

We jumped on a bus to Harrachov on Thursday right after work and it took us around 2.5 hours until we arrived to Harrachov. We spent our first night at the Sport Hotel Mumlava.

Heavy rain in the morning boded ill, but after the breakfast rain became weaker. Nevertheless first part of our trail to Mumlava Waterfall was a little wet. On the other hand it was pleasant change considering unusual hot and dry summer. Another advantage was that we were almost alone on the trail.

We made our first stop at Vosecka bouda for first beer and soup on the way. From there we continued to Elbe Spring. The hot weather left its marks here as well and the spring was almost non-existing. It was around lunchtime when we stopped at gigantic Labska bouda where some of us got goulash and their famous sweet blueberry dumplings.

We still had to ascend a little to the main ridge. On the way to Snezne jamy we refilled our water supplies from natural spring. The taste of its water was a way different from tap water we are used to.

The wind was blowing on the main ridge and we admired the steep rocky slopes of Snezne jamy, where we could take a glimpse of Poland for the first time. We have finally appeared on Polish-Czech Friendship Trail that was supposed to guide us through Krkonose and at some parts follows the Czech-Polish border. The trail leads at the top of the ridge, so the views are magnificent.

Above the timber line at about 1,250 to 1,350 m is the subalpine vegetation zone marked by knee timber, matt-grass meadows and subarctic high moors. It is a relic of Arctic tundra, which was typical in Central Europe during the ice age. That is what makes nature of Krkonose National Park unique.

We ended the first 19 kilometres-long part of the trail at Moravska bouda. Their cuisine was a huge surprise for us, because the meals were delicious. When you take into consideration that it is just mountain hut, you have to appreciate it more.

DAY 3 - Moravska bouda - Spindlerova bouda - Lucni bouda - Snezka - Jelenka - Trautenberk brewery

Next day took us to the busiest part of Krkonose. Especially when we reached Spindlerova bouda, many tourists were jumping out of the buses. This part is the perfect example of inappropriate and insensitive interventions to the character of landscape. This huge building with tennis courts doesn't belong to the mountains and ruins its atmosphere.

We were still walking on the Polish-Czech Friendship Trail until we reached the outlooks of Wielki Stav and Maly Stav - two small lakes. From this point it is very close to the crossroad where we turned right to reach Lucni bouda. In this part of Krkonose you find yourself on the vast plateau with moors.

Lucni bouda is another huge building on the way. It is complex of hotel, wellness or its famous mini-brewery Parohac. Its location at the crossroad of 4 different trails makes it very popular target for tourists, so you should be prepared for crowds of people especially during weekends in the main season. I have to say I am not fan of these type of tourist attractions in the mountains. In my opinion it is just small huts made of wood or stone that does not ruin the spirit of mountains. Mountains are supposed to be the oasis of peace and these types of mass tourism attractions belong somewhere else.


We continued from Lucni bouda towards the highest mountain in Czechia Snezka (1 603 metres). First we had to cross one of the moors on the way via wooden pathway. When we reached Dom Slaski it was like in the centre of Prague. Saturday during main season attracts many people and after climbing to the top of Snezka, we didn't stay for a long time. Crowds of people were coming from all directions including the cable car. This part of the trip was perhaps the most annoying.

We were descending from Snezka to the east part of the mountains, which is not that popular, so further from the peak we were walking, less people we were encountering. We had to get to the village Horni Mala Upa, where we were about to sleep in Trautenberk brewery. We stopped on the way at Jelenka - small wooden hut, where we hid from quick shower that suddenly came. When we finally reached Trautenberk brewery, our legs were a little tired after 40 kilometres in two days. As a reward we enjoyed the evening full of great food and drinks and were happy, that we made the crossing with no harm. Last stage in next day was supposed to be just relaxing walk at the foothills of Krkonose.

DAY 4 - Trautenberk brewery - Lysecinska hora - Horska chata Poutnik - Horni Alberice - Horni Marsov - travel by bus from Horni Marsov to Prague

The last part of our trip was the shortest and easiest one. We ascended a little bit to the "green" path leading to Lysecinska hora (1 188 metres) - the highest point of this day. When we reached the top, we had great view of Snezka that seemed to be far away. We were wondering that it is not possible we were standing at the top of it yesterday. This is what I really like about mountains. When you look back the distance seems insurmountable and it looks like herculean task.

We stopped at one of the huts while descending from the ridge and had amazing coffee and cakes. We were slowly walking towards Horni Marsov. It was the town, where we had to catch our bus back to Prague. The path led us among abandoned green meadows. I can say that this part through the foothills of Krkonose was perfect ending of our trip and a nice surprise, we didn't expect it to be such a feast for the eyes.

Our trip from Harrachov to Horni Marsov ended after 54 kilometres of walking. We ascended around 2 000 metres and descended the same. We can't wait to explore other mountain ranges in Czechia! They are not as high as Alps for example, but it doesn't mean they are not beautiful.

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