Tatra Mountains Poland

Mt Kasprowy Wierch - Tatra MountainsThe Tatra Mountains cover a total area of 785 sq km only 175 sq km of the alpine Tatras lie in the country of Poland, in the Tatra National Park, with the remainder in Slovakia including Gerlach (2,655 m) which is the highest peak. Within the Polish Tatras the highest peak is Rysy at 2,499 metres. The range is roughly 900 sq km with about 60 km making the Polish Slovakian border.

They are part of the Carpathians being the highest range and lie in the Malopolskie Province in southern Poland. With their towering peaks and steep rocky sides sometimes droping hundreds of metres to end in icy lakes but there are no glaciers left in these very beauitful mountains of Eastern Europe. However snow can been seen at most times of the year.

The Tatras have had a great influence on Polish culture in music and literature and tourism, much of it about walking and skiing and now includes cycling in the Carpathians and Tatras, was started at the town of Zakopane which lies at the foot of the entrance to the park. Over 3 million people visit the Polish Tatra National Park every year which was established in 1954.

On the Polish side of the border they are divided into the High and Western Tatras with the High being built of granite and other crystalline rock including a number Post glacial lakes such as Morskie Oko which is over 50 metres deep. The Western Tatras are built from limestone and there are very few lakes but a number of caves that have been created by the rock being eroded away. The Wielka Sniezna (Great Snowy) and the Wielka Jaworowa has created a 17,300 metre long underground tunnel system that rises 814 metres from its lowest to the highest point. There are some 650 caves altogether.

Mixed forest is found in the lower levels below 1,200 metres with stone pine and spruce woods from there up to about 1,500 metres. Dwarf mountain shrubs grow from about 1,500 to 1,800 metres then highland pastures can be found from this level until about 2,300 metres making excellent walking territory.

The wildlife consist of deer, roe deer and wildcats populating the lower level forests and marmots and chamots in the upper levels. There is also a small local population of bears.

Google Map of Tatra Mountains:

 

Tatra Mountains – Poland Travel Guide

Tatra Mountains in southern Poland