Situated at 1046 m asl, Okraj Mountain Pass is a picturesque valley of land separating the Kowarski Ridge (which belongs to Karkonosze Mountains) from Lasocki Ridge.
In the 17th century herding started to flourish in the area, which lead to the building of chalets and shepherd’s huts. The first half of the 19th century saw the spread of popularity of downhill rides from Okraj Mountain Pass to Kowary on huge sleighs with horn-like runners. This nearly forgotten tradition was brought to life again several years ago and the “International Horn Sleigh Downhill Ride” is now organised every winter.
Due to the fact that the Prussian and Austrian border ran along the Karkonosze Mountains, Okraj Mountain Pass gained a huge significance and a border crossing with a customs chamber was established there. At present, this is where a Border Guard Office and a mountain hostel are located. The local border crossing with the Czech Republic is open to pedestrians, cyclists and passenger cars. It is worth mentioning that this is the highest road border crossing in Poland.
Right across the border there is a Czech village with herding traditions called Mala Upa featuring numerous walking and cycling routes as well as downhill skiing routes. The village is as popular Czech holiday resort, especially in winter.
Photo: Mirosław Górecki