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Hello! I wanted to ask is it legal to hike in Tatras at night time. I really would like to get pictures with the milky way with the mountains in the background and I don't know if it's legal? If no what are the official times that I can start hiking and when should I be off the tracks?by Guest
It is against the National Park Official Rules and it is an act that will be fined with a financial penalty. But it is not like breaking the federal law or not an offence. For Poland: The rules say we can't night-hike from 1 of March to end of November. Source: https://podroze.onet.pl/polska/malopolskie/tatry-zakaz-chodzenia-po-szlakach-tpn-noca-od-marca-do-konca-listopada/4ln48jp I know some people do hike Tatra at night and they are not caught. We do not recommend it due to a higher chance of an encounter with wild animals as bears or wolfs. It is dangerous. Polish rangers can fine you up to $50-$200 if caught. $200 is when you additionally camp or go off official tracks. If you only take pictures, you will not behave laud, you will not camp and you will stay on official track you should wish for lower fine but can't promise :) For us, I most early hike I had was starting around 4:00 AM in September. And it was really dark at this time. But again we don't recommend hiking at night. The daytime is defined by Slovak Park as follows: "daytime, between an hour after sunrise and hour before sunset." (https://www.tanap.org/english/) For your night photo session, I think the best idea would be to spend the night in the mountain hut and maybe do it nearby the shelter hut? For Poland shelter in Five Lakes Valley: https://overhere.eu/blog/where-its-worth-to-hike-in-polish-tatras-near-zakopane/#3.%20Five%20Lakes%20Valley%20&%20Zawrat%20Pass For Slovakia shelter in Zbojnicka or Slezki dom: https://overhere.eu/blog/unpredictable-high-tatra-mountains/#2.%C2%A0V%C3%BDchodn%C3%A1%20Vysok%C3%A1%20from%C2%A0Vysok%C3%A9%20Tatry%20-%20multi-day%20hike We never hiked at night but I read people advice to be careful because it is easy to get lost. So the shelter seems a much safer option and when you go for the pictures near it you will minimise your exposure and risks. To get the bed in the mountain shelter you have to book it ahead in time. If you will arrive there without booking they have to take you in but most likely will offer sleep on the floor. Hope that helps a little. Let me know. Wish you good luck. Also, let me know later how good your pictures came out :)by Bartosz Dabrowski
Joanna is a wife, mother and an avid hiker at day, and a blogger at night. Whenever she wants to feel happy, soothed, inspired or reminded of her true nature, she heads into the mountains. She loves Poland and eating chocolate after 8 PM.