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Karkonosze National Park protects and provides access to the Giant Mountains. It covers over 55 square metres. The park is two times smaller than Jelenia Góra but it welcomes almost 2 million visitors a year! The nature, amazing scenery, and almost 120 kilometers of tourist trails are the reasons why tourists are attracted to this place.
Śnieżka (1603 masl.), the highest peak of the Sudetes and at the same time the highest peak of the Czech Republic draws the largest number of hikers. There are several ways to reach the top - through breathtaking Łomniczka Cirque (Kocioł Łomniczki), Owl Valley (Sowią Dolinę) and Black Ridge (Czarny Grzbiet) or the Plain under the Śnieżka. You may shorten your hike and travel by chair lift from Karpacz to Kopa.
Post-glacial landscape of the Giant Mountains is their most valuable environmental feature. It is a reminder of the local glacier that formed here during the Pleistocene Epoch and sculpted post-glacial cirques and moraines giving the Giant Mountains today's character. Many plants of post-ice age can be found in the area as souvenirs of the glacier. Flora includes many relicts of flora species normally growing in Scandinavia, hence 'the Scandinavian nature in the heart of Europe'.
Granite blocks with fanciful shapes are another characteristic feature of the Giant Mountains landscape. The most famous and most visited rock formations are: Pilgrims (Pielgrzymy), Sunflower (Słonecznik), Curd Cheese (Twarożnik) and Three Pigs (Trzy Świnki). Bizzare shapes have been an inspiration for original names.
Nature enthusiasts will certainly enjoy the subarctic peat bog Upy, protected by the Ramsar Convention as the habitat for rare plants and animals. Those who desire to learn about herbs may walk to the Wolf's Creek Valley (Wilczy Potok). And if others wish to discover traces of past mining activity, they should head for Owl Valley (Sowia Dolina) where blood-red garnets enjoyed around the world were found.
Snowy Ciques (Śnieżne Kotły) a place frequented by tourists is situated in the western part of the Park. There are many vantage points along their ridges where rock walls run down into a 120-metre precipice. In the western part, two most famous waterfalls of the Giant Mountains are located: Szklarki and Kamieńczyk.
If you are looking for peace, we encourage you to visit other parts of the Giant Mountains. The Path Under the Forested Hills (Ścieżka nad Reglami) is rarely used but equally picturesque as it leads through the bottom of the Black Jagniątkowski Cirque (Czarny Kocioł Jagniątkowski). When passing Jagniątkowo it is worthwhile to visit the Living Gene Bank (Żywy Bank Genów). The objective of the place is to protect and cultivate plants which are extremely rare and only few of them survived in natural environment of the Giant Mountains (and even in the world!). Garden of Herbs and Shrubs of the Giant Mountains (Ogród Ziół i Krzewów Karkonoskich) in Karpacz, next to the Information Centre on the Wolf Clearing (Wilcza Poręba) also exhibits interesting plants. Nearby the Laborant's House is located where we may learn about the history of people collecting herbs in the Giant Mountains.
KARKONOSZE NATIONAL PARK
Admission prices to Karkonosze National Park
A one-day ticket - regular PLN 9 / discounted PLN 4,50
A three-day ticket - regular PLN 24 discounted PLN 12