Baptism in Bieszczady
Entering Tarnica is like baptism in Bieszczady. In common opinion, if you haven't been to Tarnica, it's as if you haven't been to the Bieszczady Mountains. Everything is fine, you are sitting with your friends, talking about the mountains, sharing your impressions from the Bieszczady Mountains, when suddenly the question is asked: and were you at Tarnica?
… Er… well,…. I was not.
Buuu ... and suddenly the atmosphere collapses. From a Bieszczady guru you turn into an ignoramus in a fraction of a second ... in fact, there is nothing to talk about. Deep disgrace and embarrassment. It is even worse than if you were not on Giewont!
Everyone who has been to the Bieszczady Mountains must be in Tarnica. Dot. The society will not forgive you for not visiting the highest peak of the Polish part of the Bieszczady Mountains. And explaining that there are even better views from other places, that other routes are more interesting, that the meadows are more picturesque… Forget it!
You haven't been to Tarnica, what's there to talk about? You fall out!
Why is it like that? I don't know, but on the first occasion, as soon as there was a chance to go to Bieszczady, I immediately flew to Tarnica. Just like everyone else! And not that deliberately and on purpose. Normally. Instinctively. This is how it works.
The statistics provided by the Bieszczady National Park show that after counting all entries, all trails in the Bieszczady National Park, 28% (!!!) are only entries to Tarnica. Shock!
Almost 30% of all tourists in the Bieszczady Mountains are engaged in climbing Tarnica every day, and the rest tread the rest of the great Bieszczady Mountains.
The quoted statistics clearly illustrate the scale of the phenomenon known as the piston on the trail to Tarnica. There are almost always a lot of people here. Even when the weather is moderately favorable for walks, they are always eager to go out to Tarnica.
Tarnica (1346 m above sea level)
It is the highest peak of the Polish part of the Bieszczady Mountains, but not the highest in the entire Bieszczady. The first place is Pikuj (1408 meters above sea level), located on the Ukrainian side of the mountains.
The name of the peak comes from the Romanian language and is directly related to its characteristic, saddle shape, at the bottom of which is the Tarnica Pass (1275 m above sea level). In Romanian, the word "tarniţa" translates as "saddle", "mountain pass".
There are several interesting facts connected with Tarnica.
The characteristic cross at the top is not the first one that was installed there (it is the third version of the cross). The first cross (from 1978) to stand there, which is now located on Halych. The second, larger cross, erected in 1987, was broken by the wind. Its new, enhanced version (launched in 2000) can be seen at the top until today.
According to several sources, on the slopes of Tarnica you can find traces of trenches from the First World War. I admit that when I was on Tarnica, I did not have this knowledge yet, so I had no chance to observe these traces. On the other hand, near the entrance to the trail in Wołosate, there is an old, dilapidated cemetery (I managed to visit it). The plaque next to it informs that there are, among others, graves of soldiers from the First World War.
In March 2003, a dozen or so meters from the Tarnica summit, right next to the yellow trail leading to the summit, a hole of 2,5 meters deep was spontaneously revealed. It turned out to be the entrance to a 16-meter cave, the existence of which no one knew before. The cave was examined and described by speleologists, and then, due to the danger it could pose for curious tourists, in 2008 the entrance to it was filled up.
In good weather, you can see the Tatra Mountains from Tarnica, and even - as one of the sites says (I will not give you the address) - you can see Tarnica from Tarnica in favorable conditions
Always check the weather before going to the mountains!
Below you will find a live weather forecast for the next 7 days. The given temperature values apply to Wołosate, located closest to Tarnica. Wołosate is 616 m lower than the top of Tarnica. Taking into account the difference in height, on Tarnica expect the temperature to be about 3,5-4 degrees Celsius lower than shown in the graphic below.
We go to Tarnica
Most of the contenders for the prestigious title of Tarnica conquerors are trying to achieve the summit (and yes), but to make it possible with a small energy expenditure. Google is red-hot with inquiries: a short trail to Tarnica, an easy trail to Tarnica, the easiest way to ascend Tarnica, how to get to Tarnica quickly and easily… and what?
There is only one answer: the easiest, shortest and fastest route to Tarnica is blue, it starts at the parking lot in Wołosat. The rest of the trails are longer, more time-consuming, more difficult, and not suitable for a quick mountain ending session. You have to walk a lot on the other trails, and the best way is to walk, look around, admire nature, say "oh, see how beautiful", and from the opposite direction you will not hear every second, reassuring and uplifting: good morning.
When walking for 2 hours on the most popular trail to the most popular peak, do not plan more than 10 minutes for drinking and eating sandwiches, because for at least 1 hour and 50 minutes you will have to say "good morning" continuously and there will be no time for anything else .... you can't talk with full lips!
Okay… that's enough sarcasm. After all, this entry is not for me to pour out an endless stream of "brilliant" and "playful" malice.
Time for a section of specific data and useful hints.
The easiest trail to Tarnica - let's get it over with
I'm kidding around here, I'm kind of court, and my first trip to the Bieszczady Mountains (as I mentioned earlier) it was Tarnica, and it was exactly that trail. It is chosen by the overwhelming majority of people entering it, so the path we follow will be heavily burdened with people. The greatest crowd is from 10.00 to the afternoon.
Even on this trail, however, the crowds can be avoided. It is enough to go out on the trail early enough. The last moment to do it is around 8.00. However, it is best if you can enter the trail around 7.30 am. I know that it can be difficult during the holidays, but it is really worth the effort. The pleasure of walking will be incomparably greater.
You need to start with finding a parking space. In Wołosat, a large and convenient parking lot with free toilets is prepared for this occasion. Below are the coordinates of this parking lot.
Wołosate, tourist parking by the trail to Tarnica, GPS coordinates:
49.066327, 22.680162 - click and route
After parking, we set off on the trail. Take the asphalt road from the parking lot. After about 600 m, along the asphalt road, you will reach the ticket kiosk for BNP, and then continue along the blue trail.
In the initial phase, the trail runs through meadows and the terrain is almost flat. The situation changes after reaching the forest border. There is a place to rest with several benches. From this chili, the trail will start ascending and the first steps will appear (then there will be many more).
With the passage of time and distance, the slope of the path will only slowly increase, increasing the difficulties of the approach.
About halfway to the top there is a wooden shelter with benches and a table. A good place to rest and eat before the second, more difficult half of the trail.
The next resting place, equipped with benches, is located where the forest ends, and the open area of the meadow begins, covering the upper range of the Tarnica slopes. From here, up to the top (first to the pass under Tarnica, and then to the top of Tarnica), you only go up the stairs known in the Bieszczady Mountains.
The pass at Tarnica is another place where you can sit down and rest. There are only 15 minutes to go from the pass to the top. The destination is really close. The yellow trail leads there.
The entire road from Wołosate to the top of Tarnica takes an average of 2 hours 15 minutes.
From the top of Tarnica the views are really nice (although in the Bieszczady Mountains, wherever it is difficult to complain about the lack of nice views).
The return from the summit to the pass at Tarnica should not take more than 15 minutes, and the return from the pass to Wołosaty takes about 1 hour.
The whole trip will take about 3,5 - 4 hours (10 km in total).
If you go out on the trail before 8.00 am, you will be on your way down during peak times, when people are the most crowded. I sincerely recommend this solution.
Below is a map of the trail with a set of basic information (duration, length, number of elevations, and a cross-section of altitude changes under the map).
Other routes to Tarnica
If I were going to Tarnica today, I would choose a different route. It is true that Tarnica itself (the last 15 minutes from the pass to the summit) can only be reached by one road - along the yellow trail - but there are more roads to the pass.
Below I will briefly describe the most interesting - in my opinion - alternative to the previously described way to the summit.
Tarnica from Ustrzyki Górne through Szeroki Wierch to Wołosate
We start the trail from the car park in Ustrzyki Górne, where you can leave your car.
This is a great alternative to the most popular trail described above. The trail is only slightly longer, but much more interesting and less crowded (although also popular).
It is much nicer to walk. Earlier, you go above the tree line and for a large part of the time you walk along a slightly ascending mountain pasture through Szeroki Wierch, where you can enjoy beautiful views. A much more pleasant option to climb Tarnica.
He goes down to Wołosate.
After descending, in Wołosat you have to take a bus (buses wait when leaving the trail to the asphalt road), which will take you to the starting point in Ustrzyki Górne.
transit time: 4: 35 h
route length: 13.1 km
sum of approaches: 784 m
sum of descents: 716 m
Tarnica from Muczne through Bukowe Berdo to Ustrzyki Górne
If you have the possibility for someone to give you a lift to Muczne and then pick you up from Ustrzyki Górne, e.g. a family member who doesn't want to go for a long walk in the mountains that day, I recommend this beautiful trail. Passing the exceptionally charming Bukowe Berdo, Krzewien, then Tarnica and returning through Szeroki Wierch is a horse's dose of insane views that can make you dizzy.
A beautiful option for a looong, easy walk.
transit time: 5: 35 h
route length: 16.3 km
sum of approaches: 945 m
sum of descents: 1008 m
Tarnica from Wołosate through Rozsypaniec and Halicz
Classic from Bieszczady. One of the few trails in the Bieszczady Mountains, where we make a loop and finally return to the starting point. I described it in detail in the entry: Rozsypaniec - Halicz - Tarnica: a trail from Wołosate for those who like long walks
transit time: 6: 30 h
trail length: 20.1 km
sum of approaches: 908 m
sum of descents: 908 m
Tarnica from Ustrzyki Górne to Wołosate via Halicz
This is a version for true lovers of all-day walking. An interesting combination of several previous proposals.
transit time: 7: 20 h
trail length: 22.7 km
sum of approaches: 1049 m
sum of descents: 968 m
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