Połonina Wetlińska (next to Połonina Caryńska) it is the most visited place by beginners from Bieszczady. It is here that most of the Bieszczady lovers become infected with love for them. Połonina Wetlińska is easily accessible and can be reached in several ways. I will try to describe them all, but I would especially recommend one that should appeal to those who are just starting to get to know the Bieszczady Mountains.
I will also add a lot of specific information, from which I had a problem finding myself and answers to many questions that I asked myself as a beginner amateur of the Bieszczady Mountains.
Połonina Wetlińska - weather
Before we go to the mountains, however, the most important thing is the weather. Below you can find information about the weather for the next 7 days. The data is updated in real time, so whenever you enter here you will get the current weather. However, to be precise, I must add that these are weather data for Wetlina. Połonina Wetlińska is located about 600 m higher, so the temperature difference, taking into account the change in altitude, is about 3-4 degrees Celsius. At the summit of Połonina Wetlińska, expect the temperature to be about 3-4 degrees lower than that indicated in the forecast below.
How to get to Połonina Wetlińska?
The answer to these questions is difficult because the routes leading to the meadows are not closed. This means that it is not possible to climb the mountain pastures by one trail and return to the starting point by another. You have to go back the same road you took, or if you still want to go back a different road, the only choice will be a few kilometers walk along the edge of a busy road with no shoulder (no pleasure - I do not recommend it).
Fortunately, the need is often the driving force behind cool solutions and this is the case in the Bieszczady Mountains. The solution is small private buses that run around the area without any schedule, according to more or less known but nowhere described rules. Thanks to these buses, you can quite neatly organize a pleasant visit to the entire meadow, without having to go back the same way and unnecessary driving kilometers in the mountains or, even worse, on the asphalt.
How do buses run in the Bieszczady Mountains?
To understand the functioning of buses, you need to look at the map. On the map I have marked the route of the buses (blue arrows), the location of the route leading through Połonina Wetlińska and the routes that allow you to get to this mountain pasture.
As you can see, there are several starting points for the mountain pasture.
The most popular of them are:
- Kalnica - the red trail leads from here, it is the main trail leading through the entire meadow from its western end towards Brzegi Górne
- Wetlina - the yellow trail leads from here, and after reaching the mountain pasture itself, we go to the red trail
- Upper Wetlinka - the black trail leads from here, which first turns yellow and then red
- Wyżnia Pass - the yellow trail leads from here, which then turns into the red trail
- Brzegi Górne - the red trail leads from here, it is the main trail leading through the entire meadow from its eastern end towards Kalnica.
The main bus stop is in Wetlina iw Brzegach Górne (in Kalnica, unfortunately, I did not notice any increased bus traffic, rather single courses). Stops where buses are waiting for tourists are marked on the map with large blue letters "BUS". Buses therefore run mainly between these two points, stopping if necessary at intermediate points, i.e. in Górna Wetlina and Wyżnia Pass.
By organizing a trip to Połonina Wetlińska, you can go by car, for example, to Brzegi Górne, where you leave the car in the parking lot. Then, in Brzegi Górne, you immediately jump on a bus that will take you, for example, to Wetlina, then from Wetlina take the yellow trail to Połonina Wetlińska and return along the mountain pasture to the starting point, to the parking lot in Brzegi Górne, where your car will be waiting in the parking lot. .
I do not recommend the reverse order, i.e. first walking the assumed route, and then searching for a bus to return to the starting point next to the car. Buses run only when there is tourist traffic. If nothing happens, they just go home. In the second part of the day, or with little traffic, you may find that you have nothing to get back to where you started.
Therefore, it is better to first take the bus to the starting point of the hike and go back on the planned trail to the starting point.
I also marked the location of large parking lots on the map (with the letter P on a blue background), where you can leave your car for the duration of your trip. GPS coordinates of all parking lots visible on the map are placed at the end of the entry.
Itinerary through Połonina Wetlińska
Out of all the possibilities of passing Połonina Wetlińska, I would like to highlight and propose one route. There are several reasons for her choice.
First the direction of the march is such that we still have views to the more attractive side of the mountain pasture. Going in the opposite direction, we would still have the most beautiful views behind our backs. Of course, you can always turn around, but why keep turning when, going in the right direction, we can have the best views in front of us all the time.
Secondly The layout of the route I propose makes it much easier than the other versions. There is the least amount of going up and a lot of going down. We cover 511 m up the hill, and a total of 761 m to go down. This is the easiest and least demanding version of the climb of Połonina Wetlińska.
Thirdly All buses on this route run between the points I have chosen, so there should be no problem with moving to the right starting point.
Fourthly a cheap, large and convenient car park where you can leave your car is just a few steps from the place where the return route from the mountain pasture comes out, and the bus stop to our starting point is literally across the street. It couldn't be more convenient.
The plan of the trip to Połonina Wetlińska is presented in the drawing below. There you will also find information about the planned time of the trail crossing, the length of the trail and the total height difference to be covered.
Step by step plan of Połonina Wetlińska crossing
As shown in the picture above, you need to start with arriving at the parking lot in Wetlina. The coordinates of the car park are given below. The cost of all-day parking, without time limits is PLN 20 (price from August 2023).
Parking in Wetlina, GPS coordinates:
49.158444, 22.464583 - click and route
After leaving the car and paying for the parking, we go to the other side of the street, where there should be buses waiting for tourists in a small parking lot. Facing this car park, buses should be waiting at the right end of the car park (near the toilet building), as in the photo below.
To be sure, ask if they are going to Wyższa Pass. If so, we get in (fee PLN 10-12 per person in August 2023) and go. We get off at the parking lot at Wyższa Pass.
From here, we set off on the trail that begins after crossing the street. The trail is yellow.
After 1,4 km, the yellow trail joins the red trail. We turn left into the red trail and from that moment we continue our walk along the red trail.
The red trail runs along its entire length Połoniny Wetlińska (next Pooh's huts, by The Silvery Pass i Gray Berdo).
We follow the red trail to The M. Orłowicza Passwhere the yellow trail goes down to the left. We turn into the yellow trail and march down to the main road in Wetlina.
The parking lot where we left our car is about 100m to the left of the place where the yellow trail opens onto the main road. This is the end of the journey.
Other versions of the journey through Połonina Wetlińska
If the route suggested by me is too easy or too short for you, you can always modify it. Crossing can be included in the route Smerek do Kalnica or reverse the direction of the transition, then the heights to be overcome up will be much more than those to be climbed down.
If you are going to include crossing through Smerekthen it is best to leave the car in Brzegach Górne, where it will be easiest for you to find transport to Kalnica, to the starting point of the red trail.
It also makes the start a bit more difficult and lengthens the route Brzegów Górne.
Below I present two variants of the route with an increased scale of difficulty. With the attached maps you will find information about the approximate time of the trip, the length of the route, the total sum of altitudes and the altitude profile graph.
Polonina Wetlinska: route from Brzegi Górne to Wetlina
Polonina Wetlinska: the route from Kalnica to Brzegi Górne
Połonina Wetlińska - the best accommodation
Połonina Wetlińska area is a perfect place to stay and a starting point for other routes of the Bieszczady Mountains. From here it is close to everywhere.
You should start looking for accommodation for your vacation in February. March is the peak of booking accommodation on holiday dates and interesting offers disappear very quickly. In April, only the less attractive, less situated or the most expensive ones are available.
Below are some accommodation suggestions that I found interesting.
GPS coordinates of car parks at the routes to Połonina Wetlińska
Parking in Kalnica, GPS coordinates:
49.184871, 22.431664 - click and route
Parking in Wetlina, GPS coordinates:
49.158444, 22.464583 - click and route
Parking at the Wyżnia Pass, GPS coordinates:
49.141154, 22.548148 - click and route
Parking in Brzegi Górne, GPS coordinates:
49.141650, 22.568478 - click and route
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