Szczeliniec Wielki is the highest peak of the Stołowe Mountains (919m above the sea level), which belongs to the Crown of Polish Mountains. It represents the remains of their highest level. Over time, erosion has contributed to the creation of unique rock formations, which are now visited by lovers of mountain scenery every year. These formations take on a variety of shapes identified with various characters. Thus, we can admire the Mammoth, the Mother hen, the Camel, the Elephant, the Great-grandfather Armchair or the Head of Princess Emilka. Another interesting part of Szczeliniec is Piekiełko, which is a rock gap about 100m long and 20m deep. The low temperature prevailing inside, as well as high humidity mean that the bottom of Piekiełko is covered with a layer of snow for a very long time – usually until mid-June.
A stone staircase of about 665 steps leads to the top of Szczeliniec Wielki. They were built at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. All work related to making the mountain paths accessible to visitors involved Franciszek Pabel, who was also the first person in Europe to be officially appointed as a mountain guide. The mysterious and at the same time enchanting landscapes of the Stołowe Mountains were also admired by famous personalities, such as John Quincy Adams, who later became President of the USA. J.W. Goethe also sought inspiration here, and Chopin himself regretted not being able to climb the peak due to health problems.
There are many hiking trails leading to the highest peak of the Stołowe Mountains, so we can decide for ourselves how much time we wish to devote to a mountain hike. What is more, there is a mountain hostel on Szczeliniec, where it is possible to stay overnight, as well as take advantage of the food and drink on offer. Right next to the chalet, there is an observation deck with a magnificent panorama of the Karkonosze, the Owl Mountains, as well as the Kamienne and Broumowskie Walls. It is here that we can enjoy unforgettable sunrises and sunsets, which will certainly remain in our memories for a long time.