HIKING UKRAINE CARPATHIANS: TOP 5 HIKING TRAILS
Borzhava mountains are probably the warmest and, weatherwise, most predictable place in Carpathians. Located mere 3 hours drive to the south of Lviv, the range features mountain tops up to 1600 m and is sunny for most parts of the summer. Borzhava mountains are mostly bare, and without forests. So if you are up for some great views and visits to polonyna or highland shepherds, that’s your place to go for hiking in Ukraine!
Peaks: Mt. Stig (1681 m), Mt. Velykyj Verkh (1598 m), and Mt. Magura (1088 m)
How: Hiking trails start from Volovets. Mountain range can be easily covered in two days, with overnight camping. If you don’t have the luxury of time, one day trips are possible as well.
Chornogora Mountain range
Chornogora range is by-far most well-known and visited area in Carpathians. It’s home to Ukraine’s highest peaks, and beautiful crystal lakes. The range is easily accessible from Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk. Traditionally, hikers choose two starting points as options: either from Mt. Goverla (Ukraine’s highest mountain at 2061 m), or from Mt. Pip Ivan, also known as the Black Mountain (2021 m). Trails to Mt. Goverla start at Zaroslyak tourist camp, close to the village of Vorokhta. Mt. Pip Ivan is reached easiest from the village of Dzembronia (formerly known as Berestechko – beware that Google Maps, as well as some older Soviet maps keep this version).
Chornogora is often unpredictable with weather, is extremely windy and likes to shower the unlucky hikers with blasting rain. Keep in mind also, that if you are looking for a really secluded place, Chornogora might not be for you, as it’s usually full of hikers in late spring and all summer. Mt. Goverla can get particularly crowded around the Ukraine’s Independence Day (August 24th).
Peaks: Mt. Goverla (2061 m), Mt. Munchel (1998 m), Mt. Gutyn Tomnatyk (2016 m), and Mt. Pip Ivan (2021 m). Highland lakes are Brebeneskul and Nesamovyte.
How: Chornogora needs careful approach and rigorous planning. You can do day hikes to Pip Ivan (up to 10 hours), or Goverla (6 hours), but for a full hike across the range, you’ll need comfortable three days (two days, if you are exceptionally fit and know the route well). Make sure to add it to your list for hiking in Ukraine!
Marmarosy Alps are by far the least accessible and most remote part of Carpathian Mountains. Biggest chunk of the range lies within the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve, and due to its proximity to the Romanian border, has been off the hiking in Ukraine maps until recently.
The mountain range has plenty of sunshine, sharp rocky peaks and views, completely unlike the other parts of Ukrainian Carpathians. Getting to hike in the range still requires permission from Ukrainian border guards, and has to be obtained at least a week in advance. Since this process is not really clear for foreigners, Marmasy Apls remain the real wild and unexplored area for true off-the-beaten track lovers!
Peaks: Mt. Petros (1780 m) and Mt. Pip Ivan Marmarosky (1936 m)
How: Most hiking trails start from the villages of Bohdan or Dilove, close to the town of Rakhiv, in Transcarpathia region. It’s possible to make extensive day trips to the mountain range, but with all the border-paper hassle, it is much more rewarding to take a comfortable two-day hike, possibly combining it into a longer walk to Chornogora mountain range.
Svydovets Mountain range
Svydovets mountain range is often called Ukrainian Alps. Similar to Chornogora, it hosts some beautiful highland lakes: crystal clear and freezing cold! Apshynets, Dogyaska, Vorozheske – even their names sound intriguing and a hike up to one of those lakes will definitely leave you with some cold feet, incredible views and amazing photographs!
Peaks: Mt. Blyznytsia (1883 m), Mt. Dogyaska (1761 m), Mt. Stig (1704 m).
How: Mountain range can be approached from the town Yasinya (in the east), or the village Ust-Chorna (in the West). Day hikes are possible, but again – to get truly immersed into the wild nature of Carpathians, we strongly encourage two day hikes with an overnight camping. And surely – what can be better than sleeping under the canopy of Carpathian stars?!