Sightseeing Trail in the Giant Mountains (6 hours)
|Trail length:||21 km|
|Approximate duration:||6 hours (including lunchtime)|
One of the most beautiful hiking trails in the Giant Mountains includes many natural beauties of the western Giant Mountains. The trail begins in Harrachov – the well-known hiking and winter sports centre. The dominant feature of the town is the “mammoth” ski jump tower in the background on Čertova hora (1022 metres above sea level). You reach this mountain peak by chairlift, and then you go down through the woods along an undemanding trail to the Na Ručičkách crossroads. Then you continue climbing to Dvoračky chalet, where there is the option of a meal. This is therefore the ideal spot for a lunch break and to try some traditional Czech cuisine.
After lunch, you climb steeply to the viewpoint of Harrachovy kameny (1 421 m above sea level). This is the highest point on our hike, from where there is a beautiful view of the surroundings. From this viewpoint, you continue uphill to Vrbatovo návrší. There the memorial is situated to B. Hanč and V. Vrbata, who tragically died here during 1913 ski races
Besides the memorial, there is another viewpoint and also the possibility of refreshments at Vrbatova bouda chalet. After a rest, continue to the U Čtyř pánů crossroads. From there you descend gently through the forest along the Great Mumlava River. When you reach Krakonošova snídaně crossroads, there is another possibility of rest and refreshments. The last section of the trail is the descent to the Mumlava Waterfall and then back to our starting point in Harrachov.
The little town of Harrachov lies only 3 km south of the road crossing into Poland – in the charming Mumlava Valley, below the beautifully wooded western slopes of the Krkonoše (the Giant Mountains). This is a popular resort both for summer and winter sports (chairlift, five ski jumps). It has a long tradition of glassmaking (first glassworks established in 1713), which is illustrated in a small museum (with sales point for glass products). Harrachov is also a good base for walks and climbs in the eastern part of the Jizera Hills.
Map of the trail:
|Start||Chairlift to the top of Čertova hora Mountain|
|2||Čertova hora Mountain (1020 m above sea level)|
|3||Na Ručičkách crossroads|
|5||Harrachovy kameny viewpoint (1421 m above sea level)|
|6||Vrbatovo návrší hill|
|7||U Čtyř pánů crossroads|
Krkonoše (the Giant Mountains)
Krkonoše (the Giant Mountains) is the finest range of hills in Bohemia and in the whole of the Sudeten mountain system. Ranging in height between 800 and 1600 metres (2625–5250 ft.), it extends over an area of some 40 by 20 kilometres (25 by 12½ miles). Once covered by forest, it is now largely bare and treeless. Its two main ridges follow the Czech-Polish frontier; the one actually on the frontier is the higher and less broken-up of the two. The highest peak is Sněžka (1602 m/5256 ft.).
Now strictly protected as a National Park, the Krkonoše is the most visited mountain region in Bohemia. It is relatively well-equipped with accommodation and catering facilities and has good access roads and several chairlifts, so that less experienced walkers and climbers can reach the highest points and the finest views without difficulty. All the footpaths and trails are well marked.
Massive granite crags like the “Maiden Stones” (Dívčí kameny) and “Men’s Stones” (Mužské kameny) on the frontier ridge are characteristic of the Krkonoše. In some parts of the range, there are expanses of peat bog, and rare mountain plants are found in the quarries gouged out by glaciers.