The length of the walk along the Gubałówka ridge: 2.5 km, walking time: about 30 minutes. The entire tour, including a downhill chairlift ride from the summit of Butorowy Wierch, takes approx. 1 hour. 30 minutes.
We start our tour trip at the junction of Kościeliska street and the bottom part of the Krupówki promenade, heading north towards the bottom station of the Gubałówka funicular railway (using a subway passage).
Our route leads through a regional open air market sprawling at the bottom of theGubałówka hillside. This makes a perfect opportunity for sampling oscypek, bundz, redykołka and other regional specialties, as well as to have a look at great abundance of folk handicrafts. Eventually we end up at the entrance to the bottom station of a funicular railway. We can make it all the way to the Gubałówka ridge in just 3.5 min., or alternatively hike our way uphill along the railway track within approx. 1 hour.
The funicular railway to the Gubałówka ridge was built in 1938, presently managed byPolish Cable Car company, just like the cableway to the summit of Mt Kasprowy Wierch. The length of the route is 1301 meters, elevation: 300 meters. Right next to the top station there is a gravity slide some 700 m long.
The Gubałówka ridge (1123 m. a.s.l.) is located within the Gubałowski Range, demarcatingfrom the north the Zakopiański Trench (part of the Sub-Tatra Trench), in which Zakopane nestles. Its northern slope falls gently towards the Podhale region villages of Ząb, Suche, Nowe Bystre, and Dzianisz. Its southern slope commands a stunning view of Zakopane and the towering Tatra Mountains range in the background, with prominent peaks of Czerwone Wierchy, Mt Giewont, Mt Kasprowy Wierch, Mt Świnica and Koszysta, including part of the Bielanske Tatras range in the neighbouring Slovakia. Previously, the southern slopes of the Gubałówka hillside used to be pretty popular with skiers, while nowadays only a few short stretches of the original downhill run are available.
We suggest a walk along the Gubałówka ridge to the west, towards Butorowy Wierch, i.e. approx. 40 min. In fair weather we can enjoy along the wide vistas opening not only at the Tatra range, but also to the north and north-west. We could then easily make the summit of Mt Babia Góra in the distance, the Polica range, and even part of the Gorce Mountains range. A significant part of the walk will take us through a maze of regional stands and eateries. Some 900 m. away from the upper station of the funicular car, to our left, there is an upper station of the all-year-round chairlift to the Polana Szymoszkowa leisure complex. In winter, the skiers have it all to themselves, as it makes one of the most popular skiing destinations within Zakopane. Length of the route is 1291 meters, elevation: 261 m. At the bottom station at the Polana Szymoszkowa glade, there is a geothermal bathing facility. The water at approx. 30° C comes from the "Szymoszkowa GT1" geothermal well. The facility is open to the public in the summer season only.
Walking further along the Gubałówka ridge we eventually reach the top station of the Butorowy Wiech chairlift (the last stretch of the ridge lane takes us through a forest).
Butorowy Wierch (1160 m a.s.l.) is a hillside within the Gubałówka Range between Gubałówka and Palenica Kościeliska. Here we can take a downhill ride in a two-seat chair lift, while enjoying panoramic views. The length of the route is 1619 meters, elevation appox. 320 m, time of the ride: approx. 18 min.
As the lower station of the chairlift is located just outside Zakopane - in Kościelisko, a slightly longer walk back is required (back to the starting place - approx.30 minutes).