The Carpathian Mountains are the landmark of Ukraine. Locals love them and take pride in the scenic highlands. A variety of hiking trails provide enough possibilities to combine light and complex routes and arrange your hike to last from one to ten (or more) days.
The easiest is Borzhava Mountain Range, also called Polonyna Borzhava. Its summits don't exceed 5,250 feet (1,600 m) above the sea. The weather is usually favorable and predictable. Besides, this range is closest to the cities of Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk. Hikers start this trail from the village of Volovets. Two days are enough to cover the route.
Chornohora is the highest range in the Carpathians. It's home to the highest peak of Mt. Hoverla at 6,761 feet (2,061 m), and five more summits, hitting 6,560 feet (2,000 m)—Brebeneskul, Pip Ivan Chornohirskyi, Petros, Hutyn Tomnatyk, and Rebra. Mount Menchul lacks only two meters to join the rest. Along with the mountains, Chornohora cradles the highest lakes found in Ukrainian Carpathians—the charming Nesamovyte and Brebeneskul, named like the mountain.
Despite being the highest range, Chornohora is also well-marked and extremely popular with tourists. You'll meet dozens of hikers there in late spring and summer. The most common time to ascend Hoverla is the Day of Independence that is August 24. So either blend in the crowds, or avoid this day if you are more into privacy. Three days are necessary to complete the entire Chornohora.
Three other mountain ranges are more secluded and wilder, so they better fit experienced hikers. Marmarosy (Hutsul Alps) is the wildest mountain range, so very few trekkers manage to get there. The area is located close to the border with Romania. To access this hiking area, you need official permission from Ukrainian frontier guards.
Ukrainians' favorite Gorgany got this name from grey stones, scattered all over the summits. In the rain, these rocks are particularly slippery and challenging. This range is unmarked and genuinely wild.
Another remote range is Svydovets. This is famous for its gorgeous panoramas. Just like Chornohora, Svydovets boasts a number of beautiful highland lakes, crystal clear and freezingly cold.
Best time for hiking in Ukraine
The peak hiking season is mid-April through to mid-October. Winters are dangerous for the threat of avalanches. Nevertheless, some thrill-seekers prefer to conquer the Carpathians in that particular season.
Carpathian hiking tours
You can explore the Carpathian Mountains on your own and night in tents. But if you aren't ready to compromise on comfort and don't have anyone experienced among your fellow hikers, consider applying to a local tour operator, and they will provide you with a reliable guide and accommodations. Also, take a look at the map below if you'd like to book a stay near some of the locations listed in the article.