Lysá Hora (SP link) is the tallest summit of the Czech Carpathians, more precisely the region we call Moravian Beskids (check the area page, it's also new ! :). The mountain hosts many features such as a ski resort, two mountain huts, radio transmitter and weather station.
So as we imagine the top is served by an asphalted road, but paradoxally, my ride was rather an attempt of avoiding it, as I tend to prefer the wild. But my idea didn't prove to be so good, involving a lot of bike-push, even if I passed through magnificent areas. On the other hand, the descent, via a variant was one of the greatest ever.
So, I will try to describe in this page all three routes: the asphalted one which is definitely the one to choose for the ascent, and the two routes I took, both good ones for decent descents.
Lysá Hora means "bald mountain", which is verified: reaching 1323m, an uncommon height in the region, the summit pops into the subalpine level, over the trees. But, surprisingly, intead of dwarf pine, we find ferns: no wonder when we know the mountain is said to be Czech Republic's rainiest place.
On a clear day, the panorama is awesome. On the East, we can see as far as the Tatras, as well as other famous slovak mountains like Mala Fatra. Opposite, on the West, far ahead over the wide Moravian depression, we can see the tail of the Sudetes range, with the prominent shape of Praděd.
With its neighbour Radhošť, this region is closest Carpathian mountainous area from Wrocław, but significantly too far for a one-day ride. It was a long-ago dream for me, and the occasion came this year as we spent a weekend there. Placing the "biking" between 4am and 8am (days are long in July), allowed me to spare the rest of the day for more touristic and more "normal" activities ! :)
The trailhead is located in Ostravice, in which one can park the car; or out of the town on one of the many car parks (it doesn't matter since you are going to cycle this bit of road if going down by one of the singletracks).
1/ To catch the road that leads up Lysá Hora, continue straight until you reach the big dam lake. You need to stay on the left (north shore) of it, following a blue-marked trail, that follows a branch of the Y-shaped lake going east.
At one point, the road on which we are turns left and stops being the blue-marked trail that continue straight as a hiking trail. Keep on the road that elevates on the south of Lysá Hora. It catches later some red signs as we reach the SE ridge of the mountain. The road in poor state keeps on this ridge until the top, elevating steadily.
2/ One possibility to cycle down from the summit goes via the blue trail, north. The first meters must be hiked down, then, the descent becomes more affordable. As we reach a WW2 memorial, "Ivančena" (scouts were tortured to death by the nazis), turn left to cycle in the almost opposite direction on a steady unmarked trail, that goes just below the summit.
As the trail turns to the west, we finally reach a large junction and meet a green-marked trail. Riding this trail down takes us back to north of Ostravice, not far on the main road
3/ The other possibility is to use the red trail west from the top. Similarly, the first meters are to hike down. Then, the descent becomes manageable, and reaches the same large junction as mentionned previously. This is just a more direct route.
The same red trail keeps going down, visiting many sceneric places (meadows, forests, huts) and reaches the river near Ostravice, that we cross thanks to a little bridge to get to the main road.
The most usual trailhead, and the one I used, is Ostravice, SW from the mountain, directly served by a double-carriage road from the nearby towm Frydlant nad Ostravici, as well as the bigger city Frýdek-Místek (both pleasant place) and the regional capital, Ostrava, Czech's second largest (not very pleasant to visit neither to cross by car).
A couple of alternative trailheads, like Krásná and Vyšní Mohelnice are located on the NE of the mountain, also accessible from Frýdek-Místek.
All these locations are lie into what we could call an "European hub", an important axis of communications linking Poland and Czech Republic in the only place between the Sudetes and the Carpathians. From Wrocław, leave the A4 near Opole in the direction of Raciborz, this is the quickest way to reach Ostrava which we circumvent by the "new" motorway (however unfinished in 2010). From Cracow and still via the A4, Bielsko-Biała and Cieszyn is the itinerary to reach Ostrava. From Brno and Oloumouc, a brand new motorway reaches without problem as far as Nový Jičín, absolutely pretty town, near Frýdek-Místek. Finally, Žilina is the spot to aim for reaching the same places from Slovakia.
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When to Bike
Given the asphalted road, as long as weather allows, then usually from May to late October...