This hiking trip will take us into one of the most stunning and wildest areas in Ukrainian Carpathians – Gorgany Mountains in Western Ukraine. Hiking in this region awards us with spectacular views, picturesque trails, old wild forests and rapid mountain rivers. These mountains are formed mostly of hard and resistant sandstones. We’ll ascend the stony summits, higher than 1500 meters, and learn the history, culture and traditions of the locals.
In the morning you will meet your guides and the rest of the group at the railway station (main entrance) in Ivano-Frankivsk. There we will get a bus shuttle to the starting point of the hiking tour – mountain village Stara Huta. The trail follows the Kuzmynets creek to our campsite, which is located on Serednia alpine meadow. That evening we'll enjoy a big dinner and campfire.
Walking time – 4 hrs.
This morning we start to explore the Gorgans area. The hiking trail leads through old pine forest on the Matahiv pass and ascending Vysoka and Ihrovets mountains, which are more than 1800m height. The Ihrovets summit has interesting geological form. It looks like a big field, covered with stones. That’s a good place for panoramic photography. From here, our path continues down to the next campsite – Borevka valley, where we will stop for the night.
Walking time – 6 hrs.
The third day is the most spectacular day of the trek. As we hike over the Syvula mountain range, we're watching breathtaking views and enjoying our Carpathian adventure. Our trail ascends the highest summits in this region – Syvula Velyka 1836m and Syvula Mala 1818m. These mountains are beautiful, they remind huge pyramids, covered with big stones. In addition, this area is a place full of memories, on our way we’ll pass by the old soldier’s trenches which were made during the First World War. Our next stop is polonyna (alpine meadow) Rushchyna, where we will spend the night.
Walking time – 7 hrs.
After breakfast, we leave campsite and going to the very interesting place – Peklo rock, which has mysterious meaning for locals. Today we will travel south to Vododilnyi mountain range, where the trail follows an old border. Before II World War, this territory was owned by Poland and Czechoslovakia. Our team follows the trail up to the top of Tavpishyrka mountain range. During the hike, we'll be able to enjoy the expansive views of the surrounding summits and ranges. From Tavpishyrka, our path leads down to the Legions’ mountain pass. Here, in 1914 going over the Carpathians, polish legions made the Cross about 8 meters high, as a symbol of independence. On the memorial desk, you can see patriotic poem that was written by young legionnaire. We spend the night nearby the pass.
Walking time – 8 hrs.
Today we’ll explore Vododilnyi mountain range along the border. Our path goes through the old pine forest. These places are full of memories. You can still find here soldier trenches which were made during the First World War. It's hard to imagine how difficult was to maintain a line of defense in such severe mountain conditions, especially in winter time. On the border we take our lunch enjoying really picturesque Carpathian scenery. After that, we will continue our hike to Mt. Gropa 1763m and Mt. Bratkivska 1788m. Leaving the summits we head down to the next campsite.
Walking time – 8 hrs.
On the last day of our journey, the group will hike 10km to Bystrytsya village, which is situated in the lovely mountain valley. For many travelers this village became the favorite hiking spot. From here the transfer takes us back to Ivano-Frankivsk and we will say bye to each other, you will continue your trip home or to the next destination.
Walking time – 3 hrs.
Arriving time to Ivano-Frankivsk – 6 pm.
Alternative trail (easier level of difficulty): village Stara Huta – Mt.Ihrovets – Mt.Vysoka – Mt.Syvula – Tavpishyrka range – Legion’s pass – village Bystrytsya.
* If you like this itinerary, but can’t find it in the tour schedule or you would like to join this trip on another date, please contact us and we will be more than happy to arrange this tour at your most convenient time.
The tour price includes:
The tour price does not include:
Please, make your reservation not later, than 3 days before the trip starts.
To guarantee your booking, we kindly ask to send us prepayment by bank transfer or Western Union service. Required deposit amount is 30% from the tour price. The rest of the amount you will pay in cash at the meeting point before we start our trip. We accept Ukrainian currency (hryvnia), US dollars and Euros. Before our trip starts, we will send you all payment details. After making a prepayment, please send us a scan/photo copy of the deposit slip.
Your prepayment is non-refundable. If you cancel your reservation no later, than 10 days before the tour starts, you can switch it for another tour or date.
If a prepaid reservation is cancelled by us (due to the small number of tourists or bad weather conditions), the deposit will be refunded in full.
* Only one discount can be used per booking. Discount does not apply to equipment rental. Please, make sure to have your ID (passport), student card, or any other document, that can confirm your age or status.
In case of any kind of emergency (bad weather, serious health problems etc.) for group safety our guide has a right to slightly change the itinerary or decide to stay in a campsite for the day.
Minimum age for tourist is 18 years. People under 18 can also go hiking but they must be accompanied and supervised by a legal guardian.
Minimum number of tourists in a group should be 5 (or 7 for one day tour). The trip can be arranged for a smaller group as well. In this case, the group will pay total price like for 5 people (or 7 for one day tour).
If for any reason you’ll have to get off the trail before the trip finishes, you will be charged for the days you were travelling with the group plus 1 day to compensate all the expanses for organization: food, guide service etc. Also, unplanned return transfer is not included in the price of the tour.
We count each new day in the morning (from 7am).
If you want to get off the trail on one-day trip, in that case the payment for the tour is non-refundable.
Deciding what type of outdoor gear you need can be a hard task to take up. The most important rule is to take on your trip only essential items, which are truly necessary. You can travel more quickly and cover greater distances with a lightweight backpack. Of course, the equipment you need to carry will vary according to the type of outdoor trip, you planned (hiking, rafting, combitour). Here is a sample-packing list to help you remember what things you might bring with you on your 1-day adventure.
The backpack is the most important item of equipment. For long hiking trips there are two main designs: internal frame backpack, which depends on support from metal or plastic stays incorporated into the pack and the external frame backpack, which consists of metal bars to which the bag attaches. The recommended size of your backpack for 3-7 days hiking trip is: for men – min. 75 liters (4600 cubic inches); for women – min. 50 liters (3100 cubic inches).
The best option will be three-season tent. What to look for in a tent: quality: good waterproof flysheet coverage and tent floor, two or more poles for stability in wind; size and weight: look for the lightest tent available, that meets your size requirements such as number of people and equipment. It’s a plus, when the tent has vestibule areas for gear storage. Winter camping tents have thicker walls, they are more durable and designed to shed snow and to protect hikers from the strong wind.
Sleeping bag essential
The proper sleeping bag can help you to sleep comfortable. The best option is three-season sleeping bag with the temperature of comfort +5 – -5°C (45 – 22°F). It will keep you warm in different weather conditions. For winter hiking you will need warmer sleeping bag with down or feather filling. Temperature rating must be -10 to -20*C.
Sleeping mat essential
An air or foam mat will not only help you to sleep more comfortable on hard or uneven ground, but will also provide insulation, preventing body heat from being lost through contact with the ground. It also acts as a barrier between your body and moisture that may have seeped inside your tent.
Will help to keep you warm, dry and comfortable when sitting out during your hiking trip. You can use either air or foam sitting mat.
Kitchen set essential
Your kitchen set should contain: a spoon, a bowl and a cup, preferably heatproof, lightweight and robust. Choose heatproof plastic or metal. More expensive, but extremely durable and light is titanium material. Insulated cup will keep your drink hot in cold weather.
Water bottle essential
Carrying water during hiking trip is usually not a problem – you need only a lightweight water bottle (1-2L or 30-50oz will be enough). You can use plastic or aluminum bottles. More expensive but comfortable is hydration pack, that has a tube, which allows you to take a sip of water while the move. For cold weather travelling, it’s good to take thermos.
A good knife is only useful if it is sharp. Which one is better, normal (hunting or army) knife or multifunction tool? Many hikers prefer the second one. Usually, multipurpose pocket knife includes: blade, can opener, corkscrew, scissors etc. Around camp your knife handles many chores, from slicing cheese to cutting small pieces of wood for fire.
Flashlight is helpful on a hike and at a campsite when it’s dark. The best design for hiker is a headlamp that frees up your hands and allows you to direct your light where you need it. Always remember to take spare batteries for your flashlight.
Personal gear essential
Personal kit contents will vary and depend on your personal needs, the basic are: toothpaste and toothbrush, toilet paper, soap, small comb, face/hand cream, hygienic wipes, sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellent, contacts/glasses, women: feminine hygienic products.
First aid kit essential
During hiking trip your safety is number one, that’s why proper completed First aid kit is essential to have with. Kit contents:
Matches or lighter essential
Spending time outdoor you will need a fire to cook, to warm up in cold weather or just to sit around, relaxing and talking with your friends. Take with you small pack of matches or lighter. Do not forget to put them in a waterproof bag (ziplock). More expensive, but very helpful is special fire starter that can help you to make fire without any problems.
Dry sacks essential
To keep your extra clothes dry or to protect your electronic equipment, money, documents and food from moisture, you will need a waterproof sack. The best option – nylon dry sack with buckle. If you do not have one, you can use ziplock bags or just ordinary trash bags.
Being out of home it is very important to keep in touch with your family and friends. So take your mobile phone with you. As addition you will get clock, alarm clock, music, camera, some phones have GPS. Before you leave home, make sure your phone battery is full charged, always keep your mobile phone in dry place. And do not forget Powerbank charger.
Always be in time! A watch will help you to organize your time during travelling. Better if it is waterproof. Some watches have timer, alarm clock, compass, time zones, which is very useful when you are travelling.
Taking photos is an excellent way to record the places you have visited during your hiking trip. To protect your camera you should carry it in a waterproof and durable camera bag. Always have spare batteries for your camera and extra film (for film cameras).
Passport (personal documents) essential
Travelling outside your country, you must have an ID (passport). You will need to present your photo ID at the airport, railway/bus stations, crossing national parks etc. Check with your embassy if you need a visa or special permission to visit Ukraine.
You should have enough money for your travelling needs. Calculate all expenses that you might have during your trip: transportation, extra food, hiking tour, souvenirs etc.
Notepad and pen
Very useful to have a small notepad in your trip just in case you’ll have to note some information or even to write down phone numbers and addresses of your new friends.
Hiking poles reduce the pressure on the back, legs and especially knees by transferring weight onto the arms, help to keep a balance when crossing the river or descending steep slopes. For winter hiking this is essential item.
Sunglasses will protect your eyes from the bright sun. Make sure to have your glasses with you not only in summer, but in winter as well.
A baseball hat is great for keeping the sun off. Better if it’s synthetic than cotton. Get with you wool or fleece hat also to wear at cold night by the campsite. For winter hiking you’ll need warmer hats or balaclava, which protect your head and face from cold weather.
More hikers prefer lightweight waterproof and wind resistance jacket. Very good if it has adjustable hood. Breathable fabric like Gore-Tex will be the best choice for hiker. This fabric keeps rain out and allows water to vapor from sweat to escape. For winter travelling take with you additional warm jacket that will keep you warm during the cold evening.
Rain cover (poncho) essential
For extremely wet weather you’ll need a rain cover with a hood. The best option is poncho that covers both hiker and his backpack.
You will need pullover for cold weather or when resting in a camp. Choose insulating fabrics such as fleece or wool. Always make sure to have one, as even in summer it might be chilly at night. It’s a plus to have spare light pullover too to hike in during cold weather. For winter hiking you must have couple of pullovers.
For your hiking trip you’ll need at least 2 T-shirts. Better synthetic, that wick away moisture and dry more quickly than cotton.
The best for hiking are lightweight nylon or polypropylene pants. They are comfortable and dry faster. Very useful are convertible pants with legs that zip off and convert into shorts, saves you from carrying a pair of both. Avoid jeans or any cotton pants – they dry longer and are very heavy and uncomfortable when get wet. You can take also an additional pair of fleece pants for camp site or to sleep in. In winter you’ll need warmer pants (something like pants for snowboarding) or just use two layers: polypropylene long underwear and nylon hiking pants on top.
For extra protection gaiters cover your boots and keep moisture and snow away from your feet. Better when they are made of waterproof and breathable material. A bag zip makes gaiters easy to get on and off. In winter this is essential item.
When travelling in summer season make sure to have your shorts with you.
If you have an option between synthetic and cotton fabric of your underwear, chose first one – it dries faster and keeps you warmer.
Hiking footwear ranges from lightweight trekking sandals to fully fledged mountaineering boots. The best option for Carpathians are lightweight or middleweight boots. Choose waterproof leather or Gore-Tex. Hiking boots will support your ankles; they are very flexible and comfortable. Some people prefer to hike light, choosing lightweight trekking shoes or sneakers. It always good to take with you additional pair of sandals or sneakers for use on the camp site. Be sure that your boots are well broken in before your hiking trip will start.
Socks are an important part of your footwear system. Socks made from wool and polypropylene are smooth against the skin and are comfortable to wear if you have blisters. Thick wool socks will keep you warm in cold weather. Take with you at least 2 pairs of lightweight synthetic socks and 2 pairs of wool socks.
For hiking you usually don’t need gloves but in a camp during cold and windy weather it’s good to have a pair of fleece or wool gloves. In winter it’s good to use two layers: fleece gloves and waterproof gloves on the top. And do not forget extra pair for camping.
The group equipment below is provided:
If you do not have some of those items, there is no reason to cancel your trip! Please contact us if you have any questions about items on this list or you need to rent some equipment. We are always ready to help you with that and make your trip comfortable and safe!
Hiking on uneven ground or climbing and descending long inclines is more physically demanding, than walking on pavement, especially while wearing hiking clothing and boots, and carrying a backpack. To prepare adequately, you need to try out your gear and get your body in shape.
Conditioning your body for hiking. Your pre-hike training should include both aerobic exercise and weight training (look for exercises, that work the quads, thighs and hamstrings), as well as stretches for your leg, arm and back muscles.
Test your gear and clothing. Prevent equipment problems by ensuring that it is in good condition. Check your equipment before you go and be sure, that old gear is still functional and new gear, especially boots, fits properly and is broken in.
Try your clothing on. Note the weather expected on your hike, whether the clothes, you are wearing, will be comfortable at specific temperatures and conditions.
Break in your hiking boots. Wear your boots around the house to double check they fit before breaking them in. Go on short hikes to soften your boots and toughen your feet. Walk on uneven ground, that forces your feet to bend in different directions. But be sure to take blister treatment along just in case your boots still rub. To prevent blisters you can also apply a tape on commonly potential blister spots (the back of the heel, side of foot, toes) before you start your hike.
Pack your backpack. There are few important principles you should keep in mind when packing your backpack. It should be well organized, comfortable, and water protected. Here are some recommendations about how to pack your backpack:
Keep items you might need during the day handy. Water, lunch food, raingear, maps, flashlight, pocketknife, first-aid kit, extra shoes, pack cover, and other emergency supplies all go in external pockets or try to put them on upper side of your backpack. Clothes go deep inside. Sleeping bag inside lowest compartment. Depending on the configuration of your pack and the weather, the tent can go inside or outside. Same with sleeping pad, you can strapp it on outside or just roll it and stuff into the pack body.
Heavier supplies as food and cooking gear try to keep as close to your back as possible. It’s more comfortable to carry a backpack when the weight is in line with your body. Remember! The heavier your backpack is – more difficult to hike with it. Your pack weight basically shouldn’t be heavier than 1/4 of your body weight.
Try to keep all gear well protected from water and moisture. In addition to pack cover use waterproof stuff sacks or just trash bags especially for your clothes, sleeping bag and food.
If hikers have anything in common, it is the appreciation of a good meal. Right selection of food, taken in a journey, is very important in preparing for a few-days hike. And it’s no wonder, as regular and healthy food here is a good source of energy, needed on the trail, positive spirit and, the most important – guaranty of a great time, spent outdoor. Our menu can range depending on how long is the hike. On day hikes we offer lunch and snacks. Examples of good foods on short trips include sandwiches, cheese, meat, dried fruits, nuts, chocolate and energy bars. For overnight hikes in addition to the lunch and snacks we provide breakfast and dinner. During the trip we cook our food on the fire or using the tourist stove.
Breakfast (at 8:00). Our breakfast must provide a good source of energy. We eat cereals, oatmeal, wheat porridge or rice with dried milk, sugar and dried fruits. After the main course we have also tea and crackers.
Lunch (at 1 pm). Our midday meal should require no preparation or cooking. Usually we have tasty sandwiches with salami, cheese, eggs, canned fish, beans and meat, paste and different sauses.
Dinner (at 7 pm). Dinner is the biggest meal, the most filling, and usually the tastiest. There are few main choices of food for an evening meal: meat and vegetable soups, pasta with canned fish or meat, buckwheat porridge or rice with meat. If you like, you can also add some other products to your dinner menu: bread, ketchup, garlic, onion and others. After dinner we usually enjoy a cup of hot tea and crackers.
Snacks. We need to eat also small amounts of food throughout the day to keep our energy and blood sugar up. Chocolate, dried fruits, nuts and different energy bars are the most delicious treats for hikers.
Local food. During our hike you can enjoy local products such as berries and mushrooms. Also it might be interesting for you to buy milk and traditional cheeses from locals.
Alcohol. It’s not allowed to drink alcohol on the trail! However it is not strictly prohibited, in the evening. After long day hiking you can relax and enjoy our dinner with a glass of wine or any other drink you’ll get with you on your trip.