Dolina Pięciu Stawów Polskich (the Five Polish Lakes Valley) is one of the most valuable areas of the Tatra National Park. It is a side valley to the Tatras’ biggest valley Dolina Białki (Bialka River Valley.) Its spectacular landscape is dominated by post-glacial features, most importantly, the eponymous lakes. Of those, the biggest – Wielki Staw (the Great Lake) is both the longest and the deepest tarn in the Tatra mountains. Out of it flows a stream – Roztoka, which leaves the valley by falling off 70m high cliffs, creating the waterfall called Siklawa. The valley is semicircular in shape and covers 7,3 km2 , surrounded by vast granite peaks. The spacious mountain meadows, the thickets of dwarf pine, vast scree slopes and shimmering lakes complete the landscape.
The location of the hut makes it a perfect tourist hub of the High Tatras, and a starting point for the most demanding trails, like the Orla Perć (Eagles’ Path) – the most difficult walking trail in the Polish Tatra Mountains.
How to get there
There are numerous paths towards the hut. The easiest option is the green trail from the falls called Wodogrzmoty Mickiewicza. To begin with one has to reach a carpark at the entrance to the Park at Polana Palenica, and then follow a tarmac road for 30-40 minutes. At a big resting area by the falls (spectacular views from the bridge) the green path begins to climb along the bottom of the Roztoka Valley.
A list of paths from the hut
- To the hut in Dolina Roztoki (Roztoka Valley) through Wodogrzmoty Mickiewicza falls. In the upper part of Roztoka Valley it passes by the waterfall Siklawa
- To Morskie Oko through Świstówka – this path is closed in winter season Dec through May
- To Morskie Oko through Szpiglasowa Przełęcz pass.
- To Hala Gąsienicowa through Zawrat pass
- To Hala Gąsienicowa through Kozia Przełęcz pass
- To Hala Gąsienicowa through Krzyżne pass
- To Kozi Wierch peak
- Through Zawrat pass onto Świnica peak, and further to Kasprowy Wierch peak
- You can also use the last five trails as options of reaching Orla Perć – the most difficult trail.
In winter time we advise an optional access route, that is the least threatened by avalanches. It travels around the small hill situated behind the hut – Niżnia Kopa, as opposed to the summer version – a short but steep black path straight from the bottom of the valley towards the hut – in which you traverse right under the steep walls of Niżnia Kopa. The winter path is usually marked by poles.