Białego Valley it is a beautiful and interesting place for a not very long walk with the whole family. You can go there whenever you want, every season is good for that. However, the most perfect it’s probably in the autumn, when the leaves have those fantastic colours and in winter, when everything it is covered with snow.
- Route: Białego Valley-waterfall-return the same way
- Time: 2,5 hours
- Level of difficulty: easy
- For whom: families with children, elderly people and everybody, who wants to take a nice walk
- Trail’s colour: yellow
Białego Valley is a perfect place for a winter (but not only) walk: the entrance is located not far away from the center of Zakopane, it shows us the very beautiful Tatra’s world, and the trail doesn’t have any difficulties. The valley’s bottom, between fantastic crags, flows of Biały (White) Stream, which makes picturesque ravines and cascades, among limestone rocks and birch, and spruce forests. It’s a stream with the biggest average fall in Polish Tatras, that some places does reach 187m in one kilometre.
Białego Valley is located between steep slopes of Krokwia, Sarnia Skała, Wrótka Pass and the easthern part of Giewnot’s ridge. It’s length is about 2,5km and the area is 300ha. It’s built from limestones, dolomites and in some places from slates. It’s thanks to these rocks formation and the flowing stream, the valley has it’s unique character: it’s a narrow and deep karst gorge. This place is really interesting from the geological point of view.
Białego Valley it is a strict reserve, because of the occurance of rare plant species (woolly thistle, Pinus × rhaetica Brūgger, Pedicularis hacquetii, Cotoneaster nebrodensis), capercaillies and black grouses.
Getting to Białego Valley
Białego Valley is really easy to reach from Zakopane’s center: you should walk through the city park (located next to Krupówki Street), and then go trough Grunwaldzka Street to the Białego Forest. After walking the path through the forest, you’ll come to the wide road (the first part of Ścieżka pod Reglami – popular walking path), and then through the small bridge, where you will find the entrance to the valley.
The other way to get to the valley is to take a walk to the ski jump Wielka Krokiew, where you should turn right to the path, which leads to the beginning of Ścieżka pod Reglami, popular walking trail. This road leads along the forest to the small bridge and valley’s entrance.
If you’ll come by car, you can leave it on the car park next to the ski jump (Bronisława Czecha Street).
Walking through Białego Valley
The entrance to the valley is located on the 920 m.a.s.l. It is the yellow trail that leads through this valley.
In it’s first part, the path leads through the narrow ravine along the stream. On the left you’ll pass by beautiful dolomites crags and a little bit further a narrow stone gate beneath Kazalnica Peak. The pass leads through the many small bridges above the stream, that look really picturesque between high crags.
Slopes of the valley are covered with beautiful spruce and birch forest. The Biały Stream flows down with many cascades. This first part of the path along the stream was created in XXth century and even earlier, when highlanders wanted to go with their sheeps to mountain meadows, they were forced to go the upper way through the hill Kopa nad Białym.
When you walk through the valley, you’ll pass the entrance to the closed mine. In triassic slates, that in some parts the valley is formed were volcanic tuffites that contained uranium ore. In 1950’s in Białego Valley Soviet Union scientists and miners were looking for uranium and in the right slope of the valley they made two adits: one was 270m long and the other 400m long. During the mining works, Białego Valley was closed for tourists and guarded, because the whole operation of uranium mining had a secret character.
After some time, narrow gorges end and the path leads up through the forest. From time to time you’ll see some sharp rocks that appear between trees.
After about an hour, you’ll come to the beautiful waterfall. In this place the path turns to the right and goes up.
A little bit further, you’ll see another trail on the left – it’s Ścieżka nad Reglami trail. If you’ll turn right, along the black trail, you’ll go to the Red Pass, and then, if you want, you can go to Sarnia Skała 10-15 minutes further. There’s a wonderful view from there on Zakopane and Giewont.
The way back is the same path through Białego Valley, but if you wish you can go through Ścieżka nad Reglami (black trail) to Strążyska Glade (Strążyska Valley).
Have you ever been to Białego Valley? Did you enjoy it? What’s your favourite places in Tatras? Share your opinion in comments!