The Siklawa Waterfall has been captivating visitors for centuries and is still one of the top tourist attractions in the Tatra Mountains. The waterfall is located in the High Tatras on the Roztoka stream. With a height of 65-70 meters, it is the largest waterfall in the entire Tatra Mountains. Despite its size, the trail leading to Siklawa is relatively easy. This makes it a great option for those who are new to mountain hiking.
If you’re planning to visit the Tatra Mountains, the Siklawa Waterfall is a must-see destination. As you make your way along the scenic trails, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Along the way, keep an eye out for the threshold walls that separate the valleys of the Five Polish Ponds and Roztoki. Depending on the water level, two, three, or sometimes even four streams flow through these valleys.
To fully appreciate the beauty of Siklawa, I recommend visiting after a rainfall when the sun is shining. The water drops create stunning and colorful rainbows, adding to the natural wonder of the waterfall. As one of the main attractions in the Tatra Mountains, Siklawa can get quite busy during the peak tourist season. For a more peaceful experience, try visiting during quieter times when there aren’t as many people on the trail. Take a seat nearby and enjoy the breathtaking views at your own pace.
How to Get to the Siklawa Waterfall: A Guide From Palenica Białczańska
Siklawa is the largest waterfall in the Tatras. The best place to start your trip is the parking lot in Palenica Białczańska, about 25 km from Zakopane. You can get there by leaving Zakopane on the Oswald Balzer road and turning right at the roundabout towards Łysa Polana. This parking lot is also the starting point of the 9 km trail to Morskie Oko. All-day parking in Palenica Białczańska costs PLN 30 per car and it’s open 24 hours a day.
↳ Make sure to check out my guide to ALL attractions in Zakopane, so you don't overlook anything interesting: 66 Best Attractions in Zakopane 2023 – What to Do – Interesting Places
- The coordinates of the parking lot are: 49.255169, 20.103082
- Google Maps Location: Click Here
Entering Tatra National Park and the Red Trail to Wodogrzmoty Mickiewicza
I think it’s a good idea to start your trip to Wielka Siklawa early in the morning to avoid the crowds on the trail. The route next to the waterfall leads to the Valley of the Five Polish Ponds. The tickets for the entry into the Tatra National Park can be bought at the ticket office at the entrance of the trail or on the Internet in advance. A standard ticket costs PLN 9, and a concession ticket costs PLN 4.5.
- You may also want to read this article on how to buy these tickets: Planning a Visit to Tatra National Park: Ticket Prices and Buying Guide
First, there is a 3-kilometer section on the red trail along the paved road as a warm-up. With only a few inclines, it’s a good time to prepare for the actual climb. The road leads through the forest and offers views of the peaks of the High Tatras. The Mickiewicz Waterfalls, the first waterfalls on the trail, are a notable point on the way to the Siklawa Waterfall. The roar is especially impressive after rain.
At Wodogrzmoty Mickiewicza the trails separate. The red one continues for another 6 km to Morskie Oko. The green one turns to PTTK Roztoka hostel and another green one leads to Wielka Siklawa. We choose the third option. This is a good time to take a break as there are benches and toilets.
Following the Green Trail Through Roztoka Valley to Siklawa Waterfall
We change to the green route and continue uphill to the Great Waterfall. The distance to the largest waterfall in Poland is about 4.5 km, which should take us about 2 hours. The green trail first climbs and then descends to the Roztoka stream, which flows from the Wielki Staw Polski in the Valley of Five Ponds.
The trail is mostly surrounded by trees, but occasionally offers breathtaking views. Halfway the trail begins to climb, mostly in the forest. We continue through the Roztoki Valley. A wooden tourist shelter provides a resting place along the way. The trail in the Tatra National Park is well-marked and the well-trodden path makes it difficult to get lost.
After almost four kilometers there is another fork in the trail. This time it’s the black one, which leads to the Valley of Five Ponds by a faster route. We stick to the green signs. The more pleasant part of the trip is ahead of us, as Siklawa is only 700 meters away. The closer we get, the louder the sound of falling water.
Siklawa Waterfall – Taking a Break at Poland’s Largest Waterfall
Once you’ve reached the Siklawa Waterfall, all you can do is sit on a rock and admire the beauty of the Tatra Mountains. As mentioned above, the highest waterfall in the Tatras is Ciężka Siklawa, located in the Slovak Tatras. Unfortunately, there is no marked tourist trail leading to it. The best view of Ciężka Siklawa can be found on the blue trail from Łysa Polana to Rohatka.
According to my experience, going to the Siklawa Waterfall is a rewarding adventure filled with picturesque landscapes, enchanting waterfalls and the captivating beauty of the Tatra Mountains. The well-marked trails and variety of landscapes make this an unforgettable experience. As you prepare for your trip, remember to start early, choose the right trail, and take time to enjoy the natural wonders that await you.
Beyond Siklawa Waterfall
After reaching the Siklawa Waterfall, you can either return to Palenica Białczańska along the same route or continue your adventure to the shelter in the Valley of Five Ponds. It’s only about 1 km further along the green trail. From the valley you can choose from several directions:
- To Szpiglasowy Wierch on the yellow trail,
- To Zawrat on the blue trail,
- To Krzyżne on the yellow trail,
- To Kozi Wierch on the black trail,
- To Kozia Przełęcz on the yellow trail,
- To Morskie Oko via Świstówka Roztocka on the blue trail.
If you choose the last option, you can make a loop. From Morskie Oko you can return to the parking lot on the asphalt road. Below is a map of the route, which will help you plan your exciting trip past the stunning Siklawa Waterfall.
- Take a look at this article too: A Guide to Visiting Morskie Oko, The Emerald Lake Near Zakopane
As you venture through these trails, I am sure you’ll value the tranquility that accompanies having a guide alongside. Their presence ensures you remain on track and unlocks the chance to uncover parts of Zakopane you may not have stumbled upon independently.
Consider the guide as your personal storyteller, instilling vibrancy into the panoramic landscape through their informative narratives. It undeniably enriches the exploration, wouldn’t you agree?
Moreover, if immersing in local customs and history while navigating these routes appeals to you, rest assured we’ve got it handled. The adept guide will share captivating and insightful details about the region during your trek. It’s a perfect blend of education and adventure.
Sometimes if it’s worth hiring a local tatra guide because he will also take care of yout safety in Tatra Mountains.
↳ Book more adventurous guided tours in Tatra Mountains by clicking here!
Essential Gear for Your Trail to Siklawa Waterfall
Appropriate tourist clothing is essential for a successful mountain adventure. When preparing for your trip to Siklawa Waterfall, remember to pack the following essentials:
- Good trekking shoes: Choose shoes that provide comfortable and safe movement on slippery and uneven terrain. Ensure the model you select is suitable for the current season and weather conditions.
- A warm softshell jacket or thermoactive clothing: These will help maintain optimal body temperature. It’s common knowledge that the temperature in the Tatras can be unpredictable, even during summer months. Having an extra layer of clothing in your backpack can come in handy if the temperature drops.
- A waterproof jacket: This will be useful not only when walking near the waterfall but also during sudden weather changes. Frequent weather shifts are characteristic of mountain climates, so a sunny morning doesn’t guarantee an afternoon free of precipitation and thunderstorms.
- Trekking trousers: Opt for durable, waterproof material that also ensures proper air circulation. These pants will serve you well during colder months and summer. For higher temperatures, choose a model with vents or detachable legs.
Packing the right gear will help make your trip to Siklawa Waterfall a more enjoyable and safe experience. Prepare well and you’ll be ready for whatever the trail throws at you.
Intriguing Facts About Poland’s Largest Waterfall
- A rare event: One year, three ponds in the Valley of Five Ponds merged into a single lake. During this time, Siklawa Waterfall flowed in four streams, a phenomenon that doesn’t happen very often.
- Green tourist trail: Near the Siklawa Waterfall, a green tourist trail leads through the Roztoki Valley to the Valley of the Five Polish Ponds. It takes about two hours to walk from Mickiewicz Wodogrzmoty on the road to Morskie Oko.
- Drought effects: In the hot summer of 2015, a drop in water levels caused the waterfall to almost disappear, with only a small trickle of water flowing from the top. The drought even caused smaller streams to disappear.
- Impressive height: The largest waterfall in Poland is comparable in height to a 20-story building.
- Compared to Salto Angel: Siklawa is almost fourteen times smaller than the world’s largest waterfall, Salto Angel.
- Compared to Niagara Falls: Siklawa Falls is less than 20 meters higher than the world famous Niagara Falls.