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Bukhtivetsky and Krapelkovy waterfalls

One of the most memorable places in Ivano-Frankivsk region for me were Buchtivetsky and Krapelkovy waterfalls. I visited them when I first came to the Carpathian region and since then I have not only traveled there many times myself, but also took all my friends there, who asked me to show them something interesting.

Today I want to show you how I saw them and give you some basic tourist information for those who want to visit them.

I really love waterfalls. It’s my passion. Perhaps the reason for this is that I was born in a flat area and had never seen them before I started actively traveling by car. I even managed to find a small waterfall near the town of Volnyansk in Zaporozhye region, but it is man-made and very small.

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First visit (March 2023)

At the beginning of 2023 my friends dragged me out to Ivano-Frankivsk to help me unwind from bad thoughts and events. I immediately asked: I wanted to see more waterfalls. And a few days after my arrival, we set off here.

Early spring and dampness on the street could not prevent us from traveling, luckily we had a car. Leaving Ivano-Frankivsk, where we lived in the Pasichna neighborhood, we set off towards Nadvornaya. Traditionally on the way we stopped at the ATB supermarket and bought fruit and coffee for the road.

Further along a good road we reached the village of Pasichna (Yes, such a coincidence) and suddenly the navigator asked us to turn off the road. For Ukraine, however, this is the norm. There is no good road to many places of interest here.

We continued on our way through completely broken terrain. Poor VW Golf did not understand why it was being punished and why instead of a family trip on the German autobahn it was forced to drive three idiots on a dirt road strewn with sharp stones with a huge incline.

Passing the village of Sokolovitsa we decided to take a break and visit the nearest bushes. On the way we found some vices of the same river Buhtivets, not far from the place where it flows into Bystrytsya Nadvirnianska.

We had a short photo session and moved on. From time to time, the music in the speakers was echoed by my mate, when once again stones hit the bottom of the car. After all, Ukraine is absolutely prepared for civilized tourism.

The final station is Bukovoye village. Here we left the car and approached the descent.

Pasechnoye village, near the Bukhtivetsky waterfall. Here we left the car
Pasechnoye village, near the Bukhtivetsky waterfall. Here we left the car

Yes, the access is on the upper level. Accordingly, in order to get to the foot of the waterfall it was necessary to go down a very steep slope. Somewhere down there was a ladder with railings, but by the time of our arrival some of the handrails were broken, and the ladder dropped to the floor of the road. We descended slowly, as there was a person in the company who was afraid of heights.

And lo and behold, after a few minutes, a waterfall came into view. Then it was the biggest one I had ever seen.

Unfortunately, my camera with pictures of the waterfall is missing. So I have to use selfies from my phone 🤷‍♂️
Unfortunately, my camera with pictures of the waterfall is missing. So I have to use selfies from my phone 🤷‍♂️

My attempt to reach the second waterfall ended in failure – my foot slipped into the icy water and my shoes were instantly soaked through. Forgetting everything, I took a few steps through the freezing cold water, looked at the Krapelkovy waterfall from afar (I wasn’t as impressed with it then as I was the second time) and headed back up the slope to the car. Thankfully, I had a spare pair of shoes and socks, which saved my health.

When I returned downstairs to the girls, it took me a long time to savor the emotions of being here. There was still snow underfoot somewhere. I was standing at the foot of a waterfall. And this water, flowing past me, as if to wash away all the pain that had accumulated in me….

After about 15 minutes we decided to go back up to the top. I couldn’t resist and ran to look at the waterfall from above. From there you can see how powerful and high it is, but the impression is not as cool as when you look at it from below.

View of Bukhtyvetsky waterfall from above
View of Bukhtyvetsky waterfall from above

I walked upstream, but then I gave up on the idea of walking to Buhtivets Verkhny, even though there were only 15 meters left. I was genuinely tired, it was getting darker and colder outside. It was time to move back to town.

Second visit (July 2023)

An acquaintance of mine and her children, fleeing the war, left the war zone. They settled in Ivano-Frankivsk region, and when they and I found ourselves in the city at the same time, I couldn’t help but give them a tour of some cool places. Including the Bukhtivetsky waterfall.

It was considerably warmer outside this time. This added a pleasant feeling to the visit. After all, from the heat you could go down to the waterfall, to the blissful coolness. And even stand under it or bathe, if you had brought towels and bathing clothes with you.

This time, driven by her inquisitive and fidgety daughter, I made it to the Krapelkovy waterfall and discovered it fully. A great place for photos and meditation.

Local children who met us on the ascent, in turn, told us that in the village there are ill-wishers who cut the wheels on the cars of tourists if they do not give them money. I haven’t encountered this myself, but I can’t rule out such behavior.

Third visit (August 2023)

The last visit in this busy year was with my girlfriend. I picked her up from Zaporozhye after two shells exploded 50 meters away from her, destroying the hotel.

After her work, we often went somewhere while it was still light in the summer. That’s how we visited these waterfalls.

Suddenly – the stairs and railings had definitely been attempted by someone. They have become less dangerous and you can now descend with less effort. As I understand it – this is done by someone from the local community, for which he is very grateful.

Tourist information

The height of the Bukhtivetsky waterfall is about 8 meters. It is by no means the tallest or the most powerful in the area, but it is quite impressive, especially in spring and fall. In addition, the Krapelkovy waterfall can freeze in winter, which also looks fabulous.

Once you have seen it, don’t hurry to leave. Not far away, 50 meters behind a thicket of trees there is another waterfall, no less delightful – Krapelkovy waterfall. It is called so because, unlike its counterpart, it is formed by a thin stream and falls from a height not by a stream, but by drops. Its height is about 12 meters.

To get to the Krapelkovy waterfall you should cross to the opposite bank of the Buchtivets River. Its width in this place is about 4 meters, but its depth is at most ankle deep.

On the approach to the cascade of Bukhtivetsky waterfall
On the approach to the cascade of Bukhtivetsky waterfall

Visitors occasionally lay out a passage of stones. But they are slippery and very uncomfortable to balance on them. In dry weather it is much easier to do this, but in spring or after rain it is more difficult.

If you have good quality waterproof hiking shoes, you can safely cross just by water. In the summer I did so in flip-flops, but the water in the mountain river even at +35 remained icy, and the next day I regretted it.

How to get to Bukhtivetsky waterfall

By car

From the village of Pasichna there is no road ahead. Moreover, the route is dotted with sharp stones and is extremely unpleasant. You have to drive along it at a speed of about 10 km/h.

If you are very careful about your car, you can leave it at the exit of the village and walk the rest of the way.

If you treat it like me – as a means of transportation and do not faint from an extra scratch – you can try to drive directly to the descent. Golf Variant easily coped, I will be fully loaded with passengers, but the underbody scratched the rocks a couple of times.

By public transport

First you need to get to the town of Nadvornoye in Ivano-Frankivsk region. You can do it by bus from Ivano-Frankivsk or by train.

Then you can take a shuttle bus from Nadvornaya to Pasechnaya or hitch a ride. Then you can walk from the village.

Other options

For day hikers and cyclists, I recommend considering a one-way or circular hike from Buhtivetsky Falls to Manyavsky.

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