Jaskinia Smocza Jama w Wąwozie Kraków


Useful Information

Location: Dolina Kościeliska Skrzyżowanie, parking at Kira Leśnicka.
At the end of the accessible part of the Kraków Gorge, Kościeliska Valley. Wyżnia Kościeliska Gate, also known as the Raptawicka Gate, the last narrowing of the Kościeliska Valley, approx. 700 m long. 150 m above the clearing, a yellow marked one-way path to the Kraków Gorge, leading through the Dragon's Cave and descending back to the Pisana Clearing. Walking time: 50 minutes.
(49.237832410907686, 19.868019859896084)
Open: no restrictions.
[2021]
Fee: free.
[2021]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=44 m, VR=19 m, A=1100 m asl.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: R. M. Kardas, J. Grodzicki (1993): Smocza Jama, Jaskinie Tatrzańskiego Parku Narodowego. Jaskinie Wąwozu Kraków, t.5, Grodzicki J. (red.), PTPNoZ, Warszawa.
Address: Jaskinia Smocza Jama w Wąwozie Kraków, Tel: +48-, Fax: +48-,
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1876 first written mention by the guidebook of Karl Kolbenheyer
1882 written mention by Ossowski
1949 wooden ladders replaced by steel structures.
1967 chain railing installed in the cave.
1990s steel chains renovated.
1994 survey by J. Grodzicki.
2013-2014 resurvey of the caves in the National Park.

Description

To reach Jaskinia Smocza Jama w Wąwozie Kraków (Dragon Cave of Cracow Gorge) you have to walk up the Kościeliska Valley until you reach the Polana Pisana meadow. On the other end of the meadow a trail starts on the left side of the road, which leads up Wąwóz Kraków (Cracow Gorge). There is actually no trail in the gorge, because the river would wash it down every snow melt. But during summer it is more or less dry and rather easy to walk, if you have good walking shoes. The yellow tourist trail from Polana Pisana runs through the Kraków Gorge back to Polana Pisana through the cave. It is a one-way route, the duration of the entire route is approximately 50 minutes.

Following the gorge upstream until the end leads to the Dragon Cave. As there are numerous Dragon Caves, this one has the Cracow Gorge as part of the name. From the gorge a signposted trail leads up to the cave entrance. Steep sections of the trail are equipped with ladders or with a chain. However, they do not require climbing skills, just surefootedness and no fear of heights. It is a through cave with a single passage, 44 m long and ascending 19 m to the other entrance, so its rather steep inside at the far end. While it is open all year, there might be ice inside during winter which makes the visit quite dangerous.

There is a small cave which is called Kapliczka (Chapel), because it contains an altar with a sculpture of Mary. It is right at the beginning of the gorge. Two more small caves can be seen along the trail from the gorge up to the Dragon Cave. The first is quite small, the Szczelina pod Smoczą Jamą (The Rift under the Dragon's Lair) at 1071 m asl, is only 5 m long. The second is the Dziura pod Smoczą Jamą (The Hole Under the Dragon's Cave) at 1080 m asl. The small cave is just an entrance and a straight passage which is 16 m long. Both are so small, they actually do not have a name of their own.