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Białego Valley – Sarnia Skała – Strążyska Valley

Białego Valley – Sarnia Skała – Strążyska Valley, time to walk appr. 4,5 h

This is a half day trip, a relatively easy one, with appr. 500 metres of altitude difference. A trip for nature lovers which offers excellent opportunities to watch plants of lower parts of the mountains.

Access with Piłsudskiego and Droga Pod Reglami streets or Grunwaldzka and Droga do Białego streets. Białego Valley (yellow trail) is situated closest to Zakopane, nestled between slopes of Mount Krokiew and Sarnia Skała, in its upper parts it climbs over to slopes of very Mount Giewont. The stream running along the valley has washed out deep ponds in soft lime rock, and where rock is solid dolomite picturesque waterfalls have been formed. The river bed is mainly white in colour, hence the name of the stream, which translates directly into English as the White. The stream has got the biggest vertical drop of all mountains streams in the Tatras of 187 metres for every length kilometre. The valley itself is situated within a nature reserve, named after a well known forester Stanisław Sokołowski. The valley's amenity next to interesting rock formations are its plants – next to spruce there are also beech and fir trees here, together with shrubs like Alpenrose, otherwise known as rose with no thorns, and dwarf pine growing here on exceptionally low altitude. There are also Edelweiss growing on lime rocks, Martagon Lilly and yew trees growing in places out of the tourists' reach. As for fauna of the valley, there are deer, brown bear comes down occasionally as well as lynx and wolf. In the upper parts of the valley the path goes up and becomes steeper. We turn right following black trail towards Sarnia Skała and Strążyska Valley.

Sarnia Skała (1377 m asl) gives out beautiful views over to Mount Giewont on one side and Zakopane on the other one.

Coming down and turning right we come up to Strążyska Clearing. There are still a few old shepards' shelters left, one of which is a popular buffet bar. In the northern corner of the clearing is a big boulder reminding of an Egyptian Sphinx and called accordingly. On the walls of the buffet bar is an information board on accidents that happened within the area of Mount Giewont and its vicinity. One can also go a little bit further up towards Mount Giewonty itself, following the yellow trail up to Siklawica waterfall which comes down the inaccessible part of the valley in two ledges of 13 and 10 metres. Coming back to Strążyska Clearing we follow red trail along the valley back to Zakopane itself. The valley was once a popular pasture area for local shepards, which is reflected in the very name itself, strąga is a local word for a grazing sheep pen. Well kept, wide path continues along Strążyski Stream between Sarnia Skała and Łysanki, Grześkówki and Samkowa Czuba then. Somewhere half way through the way we go past dolomite crags called Strążyskie Kominy, which used to be practice ground for rock climbers.

Turning right into Droga Pod Reglami we come up to Wielka Krokiew ski jumping hill.

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