Śnieżnik is the highest peak in the Polish part of the Eastern Sudetes. It rises 1,425 meters above sea level. On its summit there is an observation tower, built a few years ago on the ruins of a previous German-era building.
At its foot is a popular mountain shelter. The symbol of Śnieżnik is also the 1932 elephant statue, located about 500 meters from the summit. On the Czech side of the mountain there is also the source of the Morawa River, which flows into the Danube River near Vienna a few hundred kilometers away.
There are many options for hiking to Śnieżnik. The shortest route runs from the village of Kletno. At the beginning of the trail you will pass the Bear Cave, known for its beautiful flowstone cover (you can read more about it here).
Trekking to Śnieżnik
Length: 12 km / 6h.
Elevation gain: 700 m
We set off from the parking lot in the village of Kletno. The yellow trail at the beginning leads us along a newly repaired and paved road until it reaches a fork where there are two wooden signs. The one on the left up the stairs leads to the Bear Cave, and the one on the right continues uphill to the Śnieżnik Pass.
After a strenuous climb, we enter a mountain meadow. After about 10 minutes you will reach the shelter “Na Śnieżniku”. The shelter was created as an experimental cow farm, run by a breeder specially brought to the area from Switzerland. The farmer was invited here by Marianne of Orange, a Dutch aristocrat and an important figure for the region’s culture. Today you can inexpensively eat and relax on the site.
At the shelter, turn left onto the green trail, which will take you to the top of Śnieżnik. There used to be a stone tower named after Emperor Wilhelm I, built in the late 19th century. Driven to ruin in the post-war period, when tourist traffic in the area completely died down, the tower was blown up in the 1970s in a fit of bizarre fantasy by one local official.
In 2022, a new tower with an unusual design was built in its place. From a distance, it somewhat resembles… a blender. However, 500 meters from the summit, on the Czech side, you can find a distinctive stone elephant statue. It commemorates meetings of German artists from the Prague Secessionists group, who used to meet in a non-existent chalet on the Czech slope of Śnieżnik.
About 10 minutes further you will reach the source of the Morawa River.
Return to Kletno by the same route.