OverviewChopok is the second highest mountain in the Low Tatras, i.e. Nizke Tatry. It is located in the main ridge, in the eastern part of the so called Dumbierske Tatry, named after the highest peak of the whole range: Dumbier /2043 m/. Being easily accessible by cable car from both sides, north and south Chopok is one of the most popular peaks in the Nizke Tatry.
The prominence of Chopok is 268 m.
Ridges of Chopok:
- east: main ridge of the Nizke Tatry which culminates in Dumbier. These two peaks are divided by a pass called Demanovske sedlo /1756 m/.
- west: main ridge of the Nizke Tatry with important peaks like Derese /2004 m- third highest in the Nizke Tatry/, Pol’ana /1890 m/ or Chabenec /1955 m/.
- north-east - a short secondary ridge that culminates in Konsky Grun /1770 m/.
The south slopes of Chopok are gentle and covered by scree and grass. The north side is much wilder: the north-east and north west walls are very steep rock faces with several pillars and couloirs: a possibility of serious climbing, especially in winter. In the Nizke Tatry, only the north face of Dumbier offers better opportunities for climbing in winter.
Chopok rises above two big valleys: Demanovska Dolina in the north and Bystra Dolina in the south. Demanovska Dolina is famous for its caves, especially the two that are accessible for tourists:
- Demanovska jaskyna slobody- Demanovska Cave of Liberty: Official site
- Demanovska l’adova jaskyna- Demanovska Ice Cave: Official site
Other important caves in the valley:
- v Sokole
- v Malom Sokole
- v Kostolcach
Another place worth visiting is Vrbicke Pleso- the only mountain lake located in the Nizke Tatry. Some info and pictures you can find here.
Chopok is a famous viewpoint, with fantastic panoramas in all directions.
RoutesThere are plenty of possibilities of reaching the top of Chopok using marked trails. The main one - E8 European Walking Route is marked red and follows the main ridge of the Nizke Tatry. The shortest option from the north is to take the blue marked path from Vrbicke Pleso- 2,5 h to the summit. From the south the shortest way is by yellow marked path: you reach the summit after 2,5h of hiking from the parking lot in Srdiecko.
The most popular hike in the area is a loop /part can be done by using cable car/. The most common four are:
From the north
- Option 1
From Vrbicke Pleso by a blue marked path through Lukova to the summit of Chopok: 2,5 h. Follow the east ridge to Krupove Sedlo /red marked path, 2h/. There starts short trail that leads to the summit of Dumbier /30 minutes, you have to come back the same way/. From Krupove Sedlo by green marks down to Siroka Dolina /Wide Valley/ and then left - red marks - to Lukova: 2 h. Another one hour down to the parking lot. 8 h total, 9 h with the summit of Dumbier.
- Option 2
Reach the summit of Chopok by the same way as described in option one. Then turn right and follow the red marked path along the west ridge to the summit of Derese /2004 m/ and then continue to Sedlo Pol’ana /1837 m/- 2 h. From here down to the parking lot next to Vrbicke Pleso by a yellow marked path: 2 h. 7 h total.
From the south
- Option 1
From Srdiecko take the yellow trail up to Kosodrevina and follow it further to the summit of Chopok /2,5 h/. Then - as described in option 1 - from the north follow the ridge to Krupove Sedlo and Dumbier /optional/. 2-3 h. Then continue down to Chata Generala Stefanika /1727 m/, 40 minutes. From there by green marked path you reach the parking lot in Stredisko in 1,5 h. 7,5 h total /8,5 h with Dumbier/.
- Option 2
Take the trail as described in option 1 from the south and then turn left hiking the trail to Sedlo Pol’ana /option 2 from the north/. From there continue up to the summit of Pol’ana /1890 m/ and then down to Krizske Sedlo /1775 m/- 2,5 h. Then down by the blue trail to Kosodrevina 2h, and in 30 minutes by yellow marks to Stredisko.
The summit dome of Chopok doesn't actually look very impressive. It rises about twenty meters above a rather flat and wide ridge. That is typical of the whole range: other important peaks located in the main ridge i.e. Dumbier or Derese have similarly looking summits.
Below the top there are several buildings: the upper station of cable cars from both sides, a meteorological station, a TV mast and a chalet called Kamenna Chata pod Chopkom.
The official site of the hut contains plenty of important information: besides contact numbers for booking a place you will also find a webcam, info on current weather conditions and fine pictures and panoramas.
Kamenná chata pod Chopkom
977 01 Brezno
+421 48 617 00 39
The summit of Chopok is considered one of the coldest and windiest place in Slovakia.
SkiingSkiing is what makes Chopok such an important and famous mountain. It’s the biggest ski center in Slovakia, very popular among people from the surrounding countries like Poland, Hungary or Czech Republic.
The Chopok skiing center is divided into two parts: north /Chopok sever/ and south /Chopok juh/.
- ski slopes from 2000 m above sea level to 950 m
- one cable car
- four chair lifts
- 10 ski lifts
- over 20 km of ski trails
Some info here and here.
- ski slopes from 2000 m above sea level to 1080 m
- two chair lifts
- four ski lifts
- over 8 km of ski trails
Some info here.
Getting thereTo get to the north side of Chopok you have to reach Liptovsky Mikulas first. It’s located 50 km west of Poprad where an airport is located. From Liptovsky Mikulas by bus or by car into Demanovska Dolina.
The south side is easily accessible from Banska Bystrica. In Zvolen - 20 km to the south - is a small airport. Banska Bystrica is located about 200 km north of Budapest and 250 km north-east of Bratislava. From Banska Bystrica drive north east to Podbrezova and then north to the Bystra Valley. You can also reach Bystra Valley from Poprad /airport/.
Accommodation and camping
Besides Kamenna Chata there are two more huts in the surroundings:
Chata gen. M. R. Štefánika 1740 m. Official site.
Chata Ďurková pod Chabencom 1623 m. Some info.
In both: Demanovska and Bystra Dolina there are plenty of accommodation possibilities. From simple rooms to sophisticated and really expensive hotels.
- Bystrina - Pavčina Lehota /Demänovská dolina/
- Tale /Bystra Dolina/
In the national park camping is forbidden.
Chopok is located in the National Park of Nizke Tatry- NAPANT. Be sure that you are ok with the rules. All the restrictions you will find here. For any other questions or doubts:
National Park Nizke Tatry Administration
974 01 Banská Bystrica
tel.: +421 48 413 0888, +421 48 413 0889
tel./fax: +421 48 413 0820
e-mail: [email protected]
Mountain rescue: HZS- Horska Zachranna Sluzba.
Emergency number: 18 300
HZS Nízke Tatry - sever
Jasná, 032 51 Demänovská Dolina
tel.: 044/5591678, fax: 044/5591478, mobil: 0903624070
e-mail: [email protected]
HZS Nízke Tatry - juh
Tále, 977 01 Brezno
tel.: 048/6195326, fax: 048/6195327, mobil: 0903624078
e-mail: [email protected]
The are the station of mountain rescuers In Kamenna Chata.
When to climbThe best time to visit Chopok is summer. Marked trails are open all year round with some exceptions /see the main page of Nizke Tatry/. In winter be prepared for tons of snow and high avalanche danger.
Very good weather forecast: here. This website also offers a few live webcams like this and that.
Another weather forecast: here.
Avalanche danger: here.