Dolina Kościeliska (Koscieliska Valley)
The most popular among the valleys in the Polish part of the Western Tatras, Koscieliska is visited by masses of tourists each season. It is often hard to find peace around the wide road leading from the mouth of the valley to the shelter on Mała Polana Ornaczańska (Little Ornaczanska Glade), and even most of the nearby, easy trails are often crowded. Countless hills dominate the forested area. Koscieliska Valley, which has undeniable charm, is not rich in panoramic views and alpine trails in the area are also limited. If someone wants to explore the higher parts of the mountains, they have a choice of routes leading onto Czerwone Wierchy (Red Summits) or Ornak. Numerous caves, of which 4 are available for tourists, are scattered throughout the valley. The most popular and also the easiest to explore is Jaskinia Mrozna (Mrozna Cave), fitted with electric lighting. Visiting others: Smocza Jama, Raptawicka and Mylna requires your own light source and a familiarity with the difficult terrain. The only reservoir located in the Polish Western Tatras, called Smreczynski Staw, is located in the middle of the forest and offers a magnificent view of the surrounding valley peaks Smreczynski, Kamienista, Blyszcz, Bystra as well as the Ornak ridge.
Hiking trails in Koscieliska Valley
Leading up to the shelter Polana Stoły (Stoly Glade) Polana Zahradziska (Zahradziska Glade) – Ciemniak KOSCIELISKA VALLEY – CAVES Koscieliska Valley – Tomanowa Valley – Ciemniak Koscieliska Valley – Iwaniacka Pass