The Krkonoše Mountains are the ideal place for an active holiday, with one highlight of such a vacation sure to be a trip to Mount Sněžka, the highest mountain in the Krkonoše and indeed the entire Czech Republic. Its peak affords a panoramic view of the landscape for many miles around. The route leading there via Obří Důl, meaning Giant Valley, is popular thanks to its numerous stops at interesting places.
Upwards via Obří Důl
You can begin the roughly 6km route via Obří Důl from the car park at the Chapel of the Madonna and Child, who is the patron saint of pilgrims, in Pec pod Sněžkou. From the chapel, the path rises sharply. On your way you will come to the historical Kovárna mine; if you take a tour, you are sure to forget about the outside world for a while in its underground tunnels. The route also takes you past a waterworks that was responsible for supplying Mount Sněžka with water. Here you will spot a cross dedicated to Štefan Dix, the administrator of the former Giant Chalet. After less than 1km, you will catch sight of the Polish chalet Dom Slasky and the crossroads at the former Giant Chalet.
Enjoy the view from the Czech Republic’s highest mountain
From here it is not at all far to the peak of Mount Sněžka, where a stunning view of both Obří Důl and the Polish side of the border opens up before you. If you are tired, you can follow the route of the cable car through Růžová hora. The descent to Pec pod Sněžkou is around 14km and takes you through Úpská, the most extensive bog in the Krkonoše, on the way to the Luční bouda mountain chalet. The path follows a comfortable wooden walkway. From Luční bouda the route ascends the side of Liščí Mountain to its peak, from where the view of Černá Mountain and its transmitter is spectacular. You can then continue by cable car or stroll through Liščí meadow to Pec pod Sněžkou.
Krkonoše National Park – a mosaic of mountain ecosystems
The slopes of the mountains of Krkonoše National Park are laid out in four degrees of vegetation. A climb from the foothills to the ridges will take you through rich beech wood, dense mountain spruce forests, maze-like thickets of scrub, and the undulating surface of northern bog land. Flower-filled mountain meadows carefully tended for decades by highlanders and regularly grazed by cattle have become a sanctuary for rare types of flora and fauna. After negotiating tough ice corries, you will be welcomed by the lichenous tundra of the Krkonoše’s highest ridges.
Where to next?
Near Harrachov in the western part of the Mumlava Valley there is a riverbed drop of around 10 m, where the ferocious Mumlava River creates the breathtaking Mumlava Waterfall, an original work of nature at all times of year that is characterised by huge potholes and troughs.