There’s no need to walk to the peak of the highest mountain in the Czech Republic!
Naturally, paths lead up to Sněžka from all sides. While these paths are of varying lengths and levels of difficulty, none it need matter if you choose the simplest way up: by ski lift from Pec pod Sněžkou to Růžová hora (Rose Mountain) and on to the summit.
Ski lifts: old and new
Most attempts to conquer Mount Sněžka (1,602 m) the highest peak of the Krkonoše Mountains and the Czech Republic as a whole, start in the picturesque mountain town of Pec pod Sněžkou, at an altitude of about 750 m. Conquering the near-thousand metre elevation is no joke, a fact well-known to visitors long ago. The old two-seater ski lift first made the journey to the peak in 1949. It continued operation until September 2012, when the complete renovation of the facility was begun. Lovers of numbers and statistics will be interested to know that, during its existence, the ski lift carried 20 million visitors, with more than 7.2 million of them carrying on to the summit.
The new ski lift, which began operations in spring 2014, follows almost exactly the same route as the old one, the only difference being that the obsolete two-seater cars have been replaced by more comfortable, modern, closed four-seater cabins. If you like comfort, you’ll be pleased to hear that the lower terminus in Pec pod Sněžkou has been moved closer to the town centre. The new ski lift starts at the Lesovna chalet.
Popular trails using ski lifts
Do you think it’s unsporting to go to the mountains and not exert yourself? Try what other visitors to the mountains have done and only take the ski lift to the peak of Růžová hora, where the halfway station is located. From there you can take a wide, well-maintained hiking trail up to Sněžka.
Another ski lift leading in the same direction leads from Velká Úpa, from where you can take it up to Portášky and carry on by foot via Růžohorky and Růžová hora up the summit of Sněžka.
The final ski lift option is the longest, leading from the upper terminus of the ski lift to Hnědý vrch via Liščí hora, Výrovka and Luční bouda.
There are many hiking trails up Sněžka; one of them leads through Obří důl (Giant Valley), past the historic Kovárna mine, or from Horní Malá Úpa via Svorová hora and the Jelenka chalet.
Tips for hardy hikers
Want to try something truly unique and special? Then try your hand at the work of mountain porters, who, in the 19th century, carried materials for the construction of Česká bouda (Bohemian Chalet) up Sněžka and also took supplies to mountain chalets. In the “U horských nosičů” pub in Velká Úpa you can rent loaded wooden backpacks, then start out on any of the three routes, all of which are around 7 km long, with an elevation of nearly 900 m. The trails are carefully marked, and along them you will find period resting-places, including raised supports for backpacks, not to mention a detailed history of this unusual trade, without which several places in the Krkonoše would not exist today.