Did you know the surroundings of Špindlerův Mlýn is chock full of interesting places unlike anywhere else in the world?
The mountain summers are cooler than at lower elevations: the forests will provide you with shade, the streams and waterfalls refresh the air and the peaks provide vantage points to enjoy the stunning views.
Elevation: 1 603 m
View Over Faraway Lands
The bare rocky peak, which covers an area of 30 acres, affords panoramic views far into the Czech Republic and Poland. The average annual temperature hovers at about 0.2 ºC. There are also several buildings of interest: the terminus of the chairlift from Pec pod Sněžkou, the 14-m-high St Laurence rotunda chapel, a trigonometric stone obelisk and the mountain hut Polská bouda with its meteorological station.
How to Get to the Top of Sněžka
There are several hiking trails leading up to the top of Sněžka. There is also a cable car that begins in Pec pod Sněžkou and has a way station on the mountain Růžová hora. The cable car runs every day on the hour from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The old Kovárna Mine in Sněžka has been open to the public since 2004. Tourists can tour the mine with its 250 metres of tunnels and even try their hand at mining the Medieval way. They can also see functional replicas of historical mining equipment. The Kovárna mine is open in July and August from Thursday through Sunday. Tours take place at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2.30 p.m. and 4 p.m..
Stroll along the Dam
Hikers will enjoy the Labská Dam – Špindlerův Mlýn route. It is an approx. two-hour round trip. Parents with young children or mothers with strollers can take the hike as the route is not demanding in any way. It is also possible to take a refreshing, but very cool, swim.
Elbe Meadows (Labské Louky) and the highest waterfall in the Czech Republic
Most people know Špindlerův Mlýn as a mountain and ski resort. What makes it special, however, is that just 8-km from the town centre is the spot where the Elbe (Labe), one of Europe’s major rivers, begins its journey.
The Elbe springs to life in the peatbog of the Elbe Meadows (elevation: 1386.3 m). A stone wall near the spring bears 26 colour emblems of the cities and town that the Elbe passes through.
If there is still no snow on the ridges, the Elbe Headwaters are a very popular tourist destination. Not only does the Elbe begin here, but the location also affords stunning views and is the home of the highest waterfall in the Czech Republic: the 148-m Pančava Falls (Pančavský vodopad).
Here you will also see the remnants of the ice age and of the original primaeval forest of the Giant Mountains.
The deep valley is 8 km long and is part of the Giant Mountains National Park (Krkonošský národní park). At the end of the 19th century, Count Harrach built a road through the valley to connect Špindlerův Mlýn and the mountain hut Labská bouda. The route is called Harrach Road (Harrachovska cesta). In 1904, Count Harrach also established the first nature reserve in the Giant Mountains on the north slope of the range by a cave. Elbe Falls (vodopád Labe), Pančava Falls (the highest in the country), Elbe Gorge (Labská rokle) and the Elbe Corries (Labské jámy) are the highlights. The flora here is highly diverse. There are even alpine meadows and spruce forests. Near the valley you can find the scree cave known as Rübezahl‘s Jewellery Box (Krakonošova klenotnice).
If you are planning to hike the valley, first take Harrach Road to the mountain hut Labská bouda and stop at the Elbe Headwaters. You can then return along the red trail which leads to Pančava Falls and the Hanč and Vrbata Cairn (Mohyla Hanče a Vrbaty) across Golden Ridge (Zlaté návrší) and back down to Špindlerův Mlýn. The route is 18 kilometres long. And if you are not tied to one point of departure, you can hike all the way to Harrachov and Mumlava Falls from the mountain hut Luční bouda along the blue trail. This very popular route is 19 kilometres long.
One of the most beautiful valleys of the Giant Mountains is White Elbe (Bílé Labe) Valley.
This river flows through rocky terrain. There are many waterfall and rapids. The wild appearance is augmented by the bare scree slopes. The valley is known for its winter avalanches as well as the rock-mud landslides that occur in summer after heavy rains.
White Elbe Valley is divided into two parts. The lower section, which leads from Špindlerův Mlýn to the mountain hut Bouda u Bílého Labe, is covered in asphalt and is suitable for strollers and wheelchair users. The upper part leads all the way to the mountain hut Luční bouda and is quite a demanding hike. The asphalt road becomes a small path that is quite steep at times and requires climbing over rocks. It is worth it, however, for its stunning views over this unique valley.
Rübezahl‘s Road (Krakonošova cesta) along Kotel Mountain
Rübezahl‘s Road (Krakonošova cesta) continues along the south-western slopes of Kotel Mountain to the village of Dvoračky, which in the past had been the economic centre of the Western Giant Mountains.
The cirques here fall under Category 1 protection, the highest level protection, in the Giant Mountains, and tourists must not step off the marked trails.
Stop in the Meadow
Luční bouda is a mountain hut and hotel in the Giant Mountains. It is located on the left bank of the White Elbe (Bílé Labe) just west of the Úpa Peatbog (Úpský rašeliniště), the headwaters of the Bílé Labe and Úpa Rivers, at an elevation of 1410 m, 1.2 km northeast from the top of Luční Mountain and 1 km northwest from the top of Studniční Mountain.
Covering 72.8 ha, the Úpa Peatbog is largest high-elevation peatbog in the Giant Mountains. It is 5 – 6 thousand years old. Dwarf pine, Sudeten lousewort, cloudberries, and bog-rosemary are some of the unique plants that grow here. The bluethroat and the azure hawker are examples of some of the unique fauna. The blue trail – which leads from the mountain hut Luční bouda to the former mountain hut Obří bouda pod Sněžkou – passes through the bog. The interpretive train called Heritage from the Ice Age (Dědictví doby ledové) has also been built here.
Golden Ridge (Zlaté návrší) is a bare, rocky ridge located between Kotel Mountain and Medvědín Mountain. Golden Ridge is no longer accessible to hikers, and so the beautiful views from it are just a beautiful memory. The trail from Medvědín Mountain turns at Šmídova Viewpoint (Šmídova vyhlídka) to Masaryk Road (Masarykově silnici), which leads us all the way to the mountain hut Vrbatova bouda.
Monument to a Snow Storm
On the Vrbata peak stands the Hanč and Vrbata Cairn. This is a monument to a tragic event that happened on 24 March 1913. During an international cross-country ski race, the Czech skier Bohumil Hanč and his friend Václav Vrbata, who tried to help Hanč during a snow storm, froze to death.
Pančava Headwaters (Pramen Pančavy)
Pančava Meadow is a vast subalpine meadow in the Giant Mountains. It stretches between Labská Meadow (Labská louka), Mumlava Meadow (Mumlavská louka), Harrachov Meadow (Harrachova louka), Hanč Meadow (Hančova louka) and Pančava Corry (Pančavská jáma). It contains the largest high-elevation peat bog in the Giant Mountains. It is part of the Elbe Headwaters (Prameny Labe) Nature Reserve.
Our Receptionist Will Reveal the Secret Spots of the Giant Mountains.
No one is better suited to be a receptionist at our Špindlerův Mlýn resort than Lukáš. Not only does he have experience in all hotel industry professions and can help guests with all their problems, but he is also a local who loves the mountains. He has biked, skied and climbed them. He has explored them in the winter and summer. He would be delighted to provide tips on the most interesting trips.