Located in the Krkonose Mountains, Spindleruv Mlyn is known to be an outdoor paradise. From skiing in the winter to some of the best hiking in the Czech Republic in the summer, you will always be able to find fun activities to do here.
When we visited Spindleruv in May, The Pancava Falls Hike (Pancansky Vodopad) was the hike we were the most excited to do – and it did not disappoint!
Waterfalls aren’t that common in the Czech Republic and Pancava Falls has to be one of the most iconic waterfalls in the country.
After spending some time in Spindler it’s safe to say this is probably the best hike we’ve done nearby. We highly recommend doing this one if you’re looking for a somewhat challenging hike to do in the area.
The best part is you can start the hike up to Pancava Falls (Pancansky Vodopad) right from the center of town. No matter which hotel in Spindleruv Mlyn you’re staying at, you’re only a few minutes away from this trail and many others.
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What to expect when hiking Pancava Falls in Spindleruv Mlyn
Pancava Falls is located in the Krkonose Mountains which is probably the most famous mountain range in the Czech Republic because of Snezka Mountain (the tallest mountain in the Czech Republic).
The hike up to Pancava Falls starts in the famous ski town of Spindleruv Mlyn. There are a few starting points and different trails that lead up to the waterfall but after a bit of research and asking around, we believe to have found the best way to do this hike!
We did the hike up to Pancava Falls as an in-and-out hike (because of the mountain conditions) but you can also do it as a loop trail and finish back up in Spindler.
What we recommend is to use this post as inspiration and you can always tweak your route however feels fit for you.
In this post about Pancava Falls (Pancansky Vodopad), we share everything you need to know about this hike from the trail directions to what to bring, and how to best prepare!
Practical information about the Pancava Falls hike
Official name: Pancansky Vodopad
Distance: 20.1 km return / 12.5 miles return
Elevation: Roughly 599 m / 1965 ft. elevation gain
Type: One-way trail / also can be done as a loop trail
Length: 6-7 hours total
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Here’s a picture of the beginning of the Pancava Falls hike:
Starting the Pancava Falls hike in Spindleruv Mlyn
Spindleruv Mlyn is a small mountain town and all the hotels are right around the center. So no matter which hotel you end up staying at you’re only a few minutes from the start of the trail.
Before you even start the hike we recommend grabbing a coffee or snack from Srub pod Medvedin. It’s a small cafe/pub located at the edge of Spindler right before the trailhead to Pancava Falls and their coffee was surprisingly good.
You’ll pass by it on your way to the trailhead so you can decide once you’re there if you want to stop before or after the hike.
The beginning of the trail takes you parallel to the Elbe River (one of the biggest rivers in central Europe). Even though you’re just walking on pavement this beginning section is really nice and relaxing.
We really enjoyed this section next to the Elbe River. It was very beautiful and the relaxing sound of fresh flowing water was so soothing. This beginning part of the hike is also a little open so when the sun is shining through the trees, it’s really pleasant.
At some point, you will come to an intersection with a bunch of different trail signs (which is what you see in the picture above where Dom’s sitting on a bench).
The trail splits in two (straight or right). Go straight on the Labsky Dul trail (towards Labska Bouda) to continue the hike to the falls.
You can always check back on the Pancava Falls trail map to make sure you’re on the right track.
Labsky Dul Trail towards Pancava Falls
Once you get on the Labsky Dul Trail you’ll walk on the last stretch of pavement. There’s a good chance you’ll see some bikers on the trail too because it is a common biking trail.
It won’t be far until you’re up a proper mountain trail though. Again, even though it’s a paved trail and doesn’t feel like a proper mountain hike the surroundings are still so nice.
There’s a bridge you have to walk across with a beautiful view. You’ll also see some fun carvings in old tree trunks along the way.
This part of the trail is by far the busiest because it’s still quite flat, has lots of bikers, and is very family-friendly. But once you get past the next ‘checkpoint’ the trail up to Pancava Falls starts to thin out with fewer people.
In general, though, this part of the Czech Republic is famous for hiking so it usually is quite busy. That’s why we recommend coming to Spindleruv Mlyn during the shoulder season to enjoy the trails with a few less people on them.
Pro tip: The 2nd and 3rd weekends in May are awesome to come because the two prior weeks there are long weekends in the Czech and most people come then. We went from May 11th-May 14th 2023 (for Jo’s birthday) and the national park was so quiet it was awesome!
Get on the mountain trail towards Pancava Falls
It’s very clear when the two trails change. On the first trail, you’ll be hiking on a concrete trail fit for a bike. Then on the second trail, you’ll be on a proper hiking trail where bikes can no longer go.
You’re still on the same Labsky Dul trail towards Labska Bouda and Pancava Falls. The only difference is that the trail changes and becomes much more adventurous and mountainous.
You actually feel like you’re in the mountains now and about to hike up to some awesome spot.
The trail gets a bit more narrow and more dense with less sunlight for a portion of it and it’s pretty cool! It’s definitely one of our favourite hikes we’ve done in Krkonose. That or the Snezka Mountain Trail!
Once you get out of the trees and into the open the views are awesome! You soon get to see the final point of Pancava Falls (Pancavski Vodopad) in the distance and it’s so cool.
You’ll probably wonder if you will be able to make it all the way up to Pancava Falls since it seems so far away.
There is a lot of elevation but it’s very gradual and the views continue to get better the further and further you get up so it’s absolutely worth it.
Honestly, this hike looked a lot hiker than it actually was. We’re not saying it’s not challenging, but it looks a lot more challenging than it actually is.
Zig Zags up to Labska Bouda Hut
This is the hardest part of the hike where you’ll be gaining some elevation via zig-zagging up the mountain.
This last stretch is actually quite fun because you know you’re so close to the Labska Bouda Hut and the Pancava Falls but you still have this little bit of elevation to go.
Thankfully the views from the zig-zags are completely open and wherever you need a break you can look back and admire the incredible view.
You can start to get an idea of how far you’ve hiked now because once you’re a little higher up, you can see Spindleruv Mlyn in the far distance.
To top it all off, there’s another beautiful waterfall right before you get to Labska Bouda!
There really are awesome views all over the place. Sometimes hikes can get a little long and boring but we really never felt like that on this trail.
As you make your way up the last zig zag you’ll finally see the hut! The hike isn’t over yet but at least the incline is!
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Labska Bouda to the famous Pancava Falls
Finally, some flat trail to give the knees and the body a bit of a break.
This last section is very short and sweet and the views are so rewarding. You’re at the top of the mountains and on a clear day you see what feels like the whole national park!
We were in for a bit of a surprise as there was still some snow at the top in May. It was a bit of a slow walk to Pancava Falls but it was so worth it.
The beautiful waterfall which we saw halfway through the hike from the bottom trail we finally got up close to. You don’t only have a crazy view of Pancava Falls (Pancavsky Vodopad) but you also have the valley behind it and it is so beautiful.
The best views on this day hike are from up here. Make sure to take your time and get some cool shots.
It’s probably not the best spot to have a lunch break as it can get quite windy up there. But enjoy the views and then you can always find another spot for lunch on your way back down.
Pancava Falls back down to Spindleruv Mlyn
The fun isn’t over yet because you still have to get back down to Spindler.
There are a few ways you can do that but we decided to go back down the way we came from. We decided to do it that way since we didn’t know how long the snow was going to continue on the trail for and we knew the trail back was good.
If it was any other time of year we probably would have tried to do it as a loop. The Pancava Falls loop trail (check out the trail map here) isn’t that much longer. So if you want to give the loop trail a shot you can!
To be honest, we actually quite enjoyed going back the same way. The zig-zags were fun to go down as the view is really good from that part of the hike.
And once you get down from the zig-zags the trail within the trees crosses a few waterfalls, streams, and cool viewpoints as you would’ve seen on the way up.
Next thing you know you’re back on the main concrete trail where the bikers can go. You’ll hear the Elbe River soon enough you’ll be walking parallel to it again.
From there it’s not far until you get to Srub pod Medvedin where you can grab a delicious soup, coffee, or whatever else yummy they got there!
During our trip to Sindler, it became our daily coffee spot! Their soup is also really really good!
Srub pod Medvedin is a great place to stop at after finishing the hike. We wouldn’t put it past anyone to maybe have a beer or two to celebrate conquering the Pancava Falls hike!
What to bring on the Pancava Falls hike
From Spindleruv Mlyn to Pancava Falls and back can easily take 6-7 hours so it’s good to come prepared.
Bring some snacks, extra clothes, and of course a whole lot of water to not get dehydrated, especially during the warm summer days.
Packing list for Pancava Falls:
- Water! We always fill up our LifeStraw bottles before hikes and even during them when we can.
- Sunscreen is good to have especially during the summer months in the Czech Republic. Especially near the top you’re quite exposed to the sun.
- A power bank because you don’t want to run out of battery while hiking, especially not in a foreign country. It’s always good knowing your phone isn’t going to die midway through a hike.
- Bring some food to enjoy during the hike. There are plenty of awesome spots you can stop and relax at in the mountains.
- Hiking poles are good to bring for this hike! There’s a good chuck of elevation so bringing hiking poles is a good idea.
- A rain jacket in case it starts raining during the hike.
You can check out this great list of hiking gear to get some more inspiration!
The best affordable camera for beginners
If you’re looking for the best and most affordable camera for beginners, check out the Sony Alpha a6000 Camera.
This is the camera we’ve been using for years and still use to this day.
It’s perfect for travelling and super easy to use – even if you’re a beginner.
Before you hike Pancava Falls
Check the weather
It’s always good to check what the weather is like when you’re going on a hike. Especially when you’re going to the peak.
The weather can change up in the mountains quite quickly but by checking the weather forecast you will get a good idea of what to expect throughout the day.
Always plan for a bit of wind near the top by the waterfall since you’re going to be completely exposed up there.
Wear hiking shoes
We always recommend hiking shoes or trail shoes on almost every outdoor adventure we do. But especially when you’re hiking up in the mountains like you are on this trail.
The first bit of the trail is just pavement which you don’t really need them for, but once you actually get on the proper trail up the mountains you’ll be happy you wore your hiking shoes.
Leave no trace
When you go hiking (and do other outdoor adventure activities), always remember to follow the 7 principles of leaving no trace.
- Plan ahead and prepare.
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
- Dispose of waste properly.
- Leave what you find.
- Minimize campfire impacts.
- Respect wildlife.
- Be considerate of others.
Best time to hike Pancava Falls
Summer is probably the busiest time in Spindleruv Mlyn apart from the ski season. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that people are outdoors and exploring the beautiful nature but it can get really really busy during peak season.
We definitely love to visit and hike when it’s a bit quieter in Spindleruv Mlyn such as in May or late September. Plus the hotels in Spindleruv Mlyn also tend to be cheaper during the shoulder season.
If you get a chance try to come one of the last weeks of May or early June. You can also visit from mid-September to October and get the awesome fall colours.
With how busy Spindleruv Mlyn can get it’s best to come during shoulder season to avoid all the crowds.
You may also like…
- How to Hike Snezka – The Tallest Mountain in the Czech Republic
- 5 Stunning Hotels to Stay at in Spindleruv Mlyn
- How to Hike the Famous Pravčicka Brana Trail in Bohemian Switzerland
- 11 Must Do Weekend Trips From Prague
- Hiking to the Harrachova Skala Viewpoint Overlooking Spindleruv Mlyn
Recap of hiking Pancava Falls
There ya have it, the famous Pancava Falls (Pancavsky Vodopad) in Spindleruv Mlyn. It really is an awesome day hike and the fact it can be done in multiple ways makes it extra fun.
Maybe next time we’re back in Spindler we’ll try the hike from the other side. For now, though this is all we have on the hike and we hope you enjoy this awesome outdoor paradise in the Czech Republic.
If you have any questions about the hike or other activities to do in Spindler then feel free to DM us on Instagram or leave a comment below!
We love sharing awesome things to do in the Czech Republic, especially outdoor activities in different parts of the country.
There’s so much more to see than just Prague in the Czech Republic and there are so many great day trips and multi-day trips to do.
Enjoy this awesome waterfall hike in the Czech Republic.