Hiking Triglav – complete guide


Certainly, Triglav is a mountain that every Slovene knows. Triglav is not only a mountain, it is a symbol of Slovenia and of course, it is also our highest peak. With its 2864 meters above sea level, Triglav is one of the highest peaks in the Balkan. The highest peak in the Balkan, Musala, is only 61 meters above it.

As one of the few countries in the world, we have our highest mountain also marked on our national coat of arms. Due to its reputation, Triglav is the wish of practically every Slovene who is at least a little involved in recreation and loves to walk uphill. The saying that you are not a true Slovene if you do not conquer our highest peak probably also contributes to this.

For most people, the easiest trail to Triglav is the one starting in Krma, via Planika and Mali Triglav, but since people are very different, one of the many other routes to the top of Slovenia may suit you better.

Subtitles:

  1. What are the most common starting points for hiking Triglav
  2. How long does it take to climb Triglav
  3. What equipment do I need to climb Triglav
  4. Different starting points for the ascent to Triglav
  5. How much drink and what food to take to Triglav
  6. When is the best time to climb Triglav
  7. How many paths lead to Triglav
  8. The easiest way to Triglav
  9. View from Triglav
  10. Huts near Triglav

Triglav is a very popular excursion point in all seasons. Of course, summer predominates, but even in winter, the number of ascents to our highest peak is rising sharply. Due to weather conditions, it is probably the least visited in autumn.

If you are looking for good ascents for fitness preparation before the ascent to Triglav, I suggest Stol, Storžič, and Tosc.

1. What are the most common starting points for hiking Triglav?

Considering the location of Triglav and its popularity, there are many starting points where we can start hiking to this beauty. It is difficult to say which starting point is the most popular, but the valleys of Vrata and Krma, the Pokljuka plateau, and Bohinj with different starting points are definitely in the lead.

Vrata (46.4129, 13.8465) is the largest and most visited glacial valley on the northern side of Triglav. The valley ends with the impressive, more than 1000 meters high vertical northern Triglav wall, which is the highest vertical wall in Slovenia. Vrata are valley which are easy for hiking and you will find quite a few sights in it that are worth seeing. You have probably heard of the Peričnik waterfall, a 57-meter high beauty, but above it, there is one smaller, but still beautiful “brother”. Both waterfalls are worth a visit. In addition to them, I recommend that you take a walk along the Triglavska Bistrica Trail. This is a relatively easy route also suitable for family trips.

Aljaž Lodge in the Vrata Valley (approx. 1000 m above sea level) is located on the end of the road in Vrata, from where 3 very popular marked trails lead to the top of Triglav (via Tominškova, via Plemenice and via Prag) (Vrata is an excellent starting point for some other very popular points and peaks Škrlatica, Stenar, Kriški podi, Bovški Gamsovec, Luknja, Begunjski vrh…)).

Another very popular starting point is Pokljuka (approx. 1400 m above sea level). Pokljuka, with its approximately 20 kilometers in length and almost as much width, is the largest rounded forest in the Triglav National Park. Pokljuka is also a paradise for recreational athletes, all year round.

Many say that the route from Pokljuka (from Rudno polje (46.3463, 13.9239), or from the end of the road in Pokljuka (46.3384, 13.9048)) is the easiest trail to Triglav, but I have a different opinion (more about this later). At Pokljuka, we can start our ascent to the top of Slovenia from three different starting points, but after about two hours of walking, the paths merge into one.

The third very besieged starting point, which in my opinion is also the easiest and most suitable starting point for those who “attack” Triglav for the first time, is the Krma valley (46.3853, 13.9074) (approx. 950 m above sea level). This is a beautiful glacial valley, which then continues into the Radovna valley. The Krma is also the winter full of cars, as this is the most suitable starting point for ascent to Triglav, even in winter, and the trail is relatively easy (winter equipment and knowledge of handling are still needed), if not to the top, then at least to Kredarica hut.

2. How long does it take to climb Triglav

Climbing Triglav is very desirable among many tourists who visit Slovenia, not only because the mountain is the highest in this part of the Alps, but also because of the exceptional views, beautiful trails and remarkable nature, both beautiful mountain flowers and animals that can be seen on the ascent to this peak.

Usually, it takes from 6 to 9 hours to climb Triglav, depending on your starting point. The fastest route to Triglav is from Krma valley (5h 45min), and the longest from Savica hut (8h 45min). Slower hikers opt for two-day tours, while faster hikers can easily ascend and descend from Triglav in one day.

If you are in pretty good shape and you don’t have problems with height, precipices, wedges and steel cables, you can be on Triglav in 3 hours, or even faster. However, if this will be your first ascent to Triglav, I advise you to add another hour, two, maybe even 3 reserves (just in case) to the time frame. Especially if you are not in the best physical condition and you do not know how your head will react to the precipice walls and the beautiful views over them.

3. What equipment do I need to climb Triglav

Despite the fact that Triglav is the highest Slovenska peak, it is far from being the most demanding. And if we look at it from a physical point of view or from a technical point of view. Despite the fact that Triglav is visited annually by a huge number of people, even those who I wonder how they managed to get up and down in one piece (especially in terms of equipment, most often footwear), Triglav is a respectable mountain. And the ascent to it is always necessary to approach respectfully and with your head. According to your abilities.

To climb Triglav most people need quality hiking boots and poles, a helmet, a harness, and a via-Ferrata kit. Given the fact that you walk for at least 12 hours (ascent and descent), you also need quality and comfortable backpack.

4. Different starting points for the ascent to Triglav

Starting pointHiking timeHuts on the wayHeight difference along the way
Krma (via Planika and Mali Triglav)6hPlanika1940m
Krma (via Planika and Škrbina)5h 45minPlanika1940m
Krma (via Kredarico)6h 10minKredarica1955m
Pokljuka (and of the road, via Planika and Mali Triglav)6hVodnik hut, Planika1650m
Pokljuka (and of the road, via Planika and Škrbina)5h 45minVodnik hut, Planika1650m
Pokljuka (and of the road, via Kredarico)6h 10minVodnik hut, Kredarica1650m
Pokljuka (Rudno polje, via Planika and Mali Triglav)6h 20minVodnik hut, Planika1700m
Pokljuka (Rudno polje, via Planika and Škrbina)6hVodnik hut, Planika1700m
Pokljuka (Rudno polje, via Kredarica)6h 30minVodnik hut, Kredarica1700m
Vrata (via Tominšek trail)6hKredarica1860m
Vrata (via Prag)6h 10minKredarica1860m
Vrata (via Plemenice)6h 30min/1849m
Kot6h 10minStanič hut, Kredarica2050m
Planina Blato (via Kopica valley, over Plemenice, Dolič hut)7h 45minHut on Planina by the lake, Dolič hut2000m
Savica (via Komarča nad 7. lakes valley, Dolič hut)8h 45minHut on the Triglav lakes, Dolič hut2530m
Zadnjica (via Dolič hut)7h 15minDolič hut2215m
Zadnjica (via Plemenice)7h 15min/2215m

If I start with footwear and then we gradually go up towards the head. For all those who will visit Triglav for the first time, you are probably not a “serious” mountaineer (if you are, excuse me) and your step on different surfaces in the mountain world is not 100% safe, especially after a few hours of walking when your legs are a little tired… Therefore, it is wise to wear well-worn, high-quality hiking boots with a strong sole and a good grip around the ankle. Of course, the shoe should not be too old and in poor condition.

Above all, the sole must still have a good grip on the rock (it must not be so old that it is already losing grip and becoming plastic). It is very uncomfortable to put on old hiking boots that have been lying in your closet for a few years, go to the mountains with them, and then after a few hours of walking, your soles come off. This can also happen with quality hikers. I support Slovenian mountaineering footwear manufacturers and that is why I also use Alpina’s shoes, in the past, I also had Planika’s. Probably the next high-altitude shoes, which I will also buy from the Slovenian manufacturer ProAlp.

Another very important piece of equipment is hidden in the shoes and that is socks. To many, socks seem like a self-evident piece of equipment, in style, as it doesn’t matter what kind of socks I have. However, if you are not experienced, I warmly recommend that you go to a sports shop, preferably with mountaineering equipment, and take at least 2 pairs of good socks for walking in the hills. Very uncomfortable and also practically without the need to suffer from inappropriate socks in the mountains… Blisters, burning soles, and more are very, very uncomfortable things. Therefore, it is very important that you have quality socks that grip your foot well, dry quickly, and are suitably warm (depending on the time of year).

Next in line are the pants. In the summer months, somewhere between the end of June and the end of August, the beginning of September, I practically always wear comfortable running shorts. I do not like that it is too hot in the mountains and even if it is a bit colder (in the morning), the cold is not a problem for my legs. That’s why I practically never wear long pants in the summer. Of course, this is my decision and my experience in the hills.

Maybe you are different and you prefer long pants. Sure, long pants also have some advantages, especially if you accidentally rub against a rock, slip, maybe the wind blows and it’s cold… In any case, I advise you to have spare pants in your backpack or. an alternative to the pants you wear. Long pants, if you choose them, should be suitable for the time of year. It can also be very, very hot on Triglav in the summer, especially when the sun rises on the rocks and you are on the southern slope…

Also for underwear, I advise you to wear sporty underwear that dries quickly.

In the upper part of the body, I practice to be a little more dressed at the start, I usually wear 3, maybe even 4 layers, depending on where I start, what the temperature is, and how it is with the wind. However, I’m not dressed for a long time, after about 20, maybe 30 minutes of walking, when my body warms up, just before I start sweating, I usually (if the weather is nice and not windy) take off my clothes and wear only sports T-shirt.

This is because I am not a supporter of being dressed in two or three layers and running in sweat all over my body (this usually runs anyway despite all and I don’t know why I would be dressed in 2 or 3 layers and sweat even more and make it harder for my body to cool down). I’m not saying this is optimal for you and your body either, so observe and act on your feelings.

The other layers of clothing on the upper part of the body are practically always sports, synthetic, quick-drying materials. I usually wear an undershirt, T-shirt, relatively thin fleece, and a light wind stopper at the start.

If you use hiking poles for walking in the mountains, they are practically mandatory equipment. The poles will help you maintain balance, pass over stones, as well as make it easier to climb and help and relieve your legs. Sticks are also highly recommended for descents into the valley.

Also, don’t forget the headgear. Given that you will be in the sun all day, your head will be very grateful that you can afford a hat because the usual all-day sun exposure in people who are not used to it leaves consequences… And at the end of the climb do not forget a comfortable helmet. If you do not have a special mountaineering helmet, you can also use a cycling helmet to protect your head from possible falling rocks.

For all of you who are not used to high mountains and do not know how your head will react to overhanging walls, wedges, steel cables… A harness belt and via Ferrata kit are also mandatory equipment. I warmly recommend that you try out the harness and safety ropes with carabiners on an easier tour. It’s also great if you have someone who will explain to you and show you how to use these things correctly and safely. If you do not have such a person, watch at least one of the videos on this topic.

Many people also do not respond well to windy conditions in the mountains and quickly feel pain in the ears… Therefore, it is wise to take earmuffs with you.

For longer one-day or multi-day tours of our peaks, I use a 40-liter backpack. Only this one allows me to have quite a few things with me that I practically never use, but they are there just in case.

This category of essentials that must be in my backpack, regardless of the length and complexity of the tour, include headlamp with a full battery, knife, cutlery, toothbrush, € 40, 5 meters 8 mm auxiliary rope, 2 carbines, lighter, pencil, earplugs, double-sided foil, 2 or 3 power bars, patches for blisters and another thin string.

Depending on the weather, the backpack also includes a light down jacket, earmuffs, warm hat, buff, spare socks, and gloves. If the weather is warm, the down jacket stays at home.

5. How much drink and what food to take to Triglav?

The amount of fluid is a pretty individual thing. However, you still need at least 2 to 3 liters of fluid, I practically always consume only water. You can also help yourself with isotonic drinks, which, if they are of good quality, will add some energy, vitamins, and minerals. It is also very good to know where there is a well or spring along the way, so we can optimize the amount of water and thus the weight on our backs even more. It makes sense to keep the liquid in plastic bottles or in a water bag, as they are light and take up as little space as possible. I do not recommend carrying cans, as they can be punctured very quickly from putting down your backpack… But you don’t want that.

When it comes to food, I advocate dry and high-energy food. I always take dates, dried figs, nuts, and fruit bars to the mountains, most often Frutabeles (90% fruit). This form of food is very easy to digest and delivers the necessary energy to your muscles and brain relatively quickly. On longer tours, which Triglav certainly is, I also like to eat a good juicy sandwich.

You can read more about how, what, and how much to eat in the mountains in the article entitled What to eat and drink in the mountains.

Otherwise, in the cottage, I always eat something to spoon. Mostly “ričet”

6. When is the best time to climb Triglav?

A very simple answer to this question is, in nice weather. However, in addition to the weather, it is necessary to take into account the conditions in the highlands and snow. If the winter is good and there is a lot of snow, ascents to Triglav are recommended (for inexperienced mountaineers) from the 2nd half of June onwards. After this date, it is extremely unlikely that you will encounter any more snow patches that would make it difficult to climb to the top.

The ideal time to climb Triglav is in the second half of August and the first half of September, if the weather is as it should be for this time of year. During this time, the weather is usually more stable than in mid-summer and the temperatures are still slightly lower and more pleasant to walk.

7. How many paths lead to Triglav?

We can start Triglav from 3 different starting points, along 4 different routes. The most popular starting point is Kredarica, but in my opinion, this ascent is the biggest challenge for beginners. We are most exposed to precipices (of course you can be protected, but often vertical walls and beautiful views take a lot of courage away from people), and also meeting opposite pedestrians will be the most common. However, if you do not have problems with height, Kredarica can be a very nice starting point.

Another starting point that is also very popular is Planika. From Planika you can “attack” Triglav in two ways, the most popular route is via Mali Triglav (where the route merges with the one from Kredarica). This route is probably the most recommended for all beginners, as it is slightly less exposed than the route from Kredarica, but it is still very well equipped with steel cables and wedges.

The second path that leads from Planika to Triglav is the path via Škrbina. This path is my favorite and, in my opinion, the easiest. The problem can only be with those who do not trust themself and have to be fastened to the cable all the time. There are slightly fewer steel cables here than on the way through Mali Triglav, but there are a few more wedges. Along the way, you will also meet far fewer people.

The last and probably the least visited route is via Škrbina from the west – Dolič hut or the path from Vrata to Triglav via Plemenice. This path is, in my opinion, the most demanding for the first few meters, after entering the wall from the scree. There are some overhangs, but then we move into the gutter, where there should be no problems with fear of heights… On Škrbina, when the path merges with the path from Planika, there are some more exposed sections, but nothing very exposed. However, caution and a safe step are still very important.

8. The easiest way to Triglav

The easiest way to climb Triglav is the one with the start in Krma, and then to Konjsko sedlo – ridge, via Planika, Mali Triglav to the top of Slovenia. However, I still have some concerns here or IFs…

If you do not have problems with altitude, in my opinion, the most suitable route is from Planika, via Triglavska Škrbina, to the top. This route, as described above, is much less steep, but has slightly less protection with the help of harness belt and steel cables.

The route from Zadnjica, via Dolič, Triglavska Škrbina (although it is about 300 meters more than from Krma), is technically much easier than, for example, the route via Kredarica, at least that is my experience and opinion. However, due to the very entrance to the wall, where a few meters can be quite adrenaline-fueled, I do not recommend this route. At least for the first time.

9. View from Triglav

Only when we are at the top of our highest mountain do we see how much higher it is than all the surrounding peaks. The view is really very beautiful and in nice weather, you can easily see the sea, deep into Austria, towards Štajerska, Dolenjska, of course, the entire Ljubljana basin is in the palm of your hand. The view of the Vrata valley, especially Kredarica, Planika, Vodnik hut, towards Bohinj is especially beautiful… In fact, the view on all sides is beautiful! Above all, the feeling when you are on Triglav for the first time (even as you are 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 10…) is very special. There is something special at this summit, a kind of special energy, pride, patriotism…

From Triglav, you can see practically all the highest Slovenian peaks, in the Julian Alps, Karavanke, Kamnik Alps, Snežnik, Golake, and more and more. It is a special privilege that when you are on top you have beautiful sunny weather, no wind, and a clean atmosphere with beautiful views. In such weather, you can easily take plenty of time to enjoy the views of the search, and to identify distant peaks, valleys, and plains.

10. Mountain huts near Triglav

Triglav is also special in how many huts surround it. In practically the immediate vicinity (two and a half hours), there are at least 4 huts (Kredarica, Planika, Stanič hut, and Dolič), but if your step is a little faster, you can easily reach Vodnik’s hut above Velo polje in that time too.

The most famous and also the largest of all huts is our highest hut on Kredarica. This is a hut that is officially open only from the end of spring until the beginning of autumn but is “forcibly” open all year round. You will always be able to retreat to dry, maybe get some tea… Otherwise, it is a hut where more than 140 people can sleep in rooms, 200 people in shared beds, and if necessary, quite a few more also leaning in dining rooms that otherwise have 300 seats.

The second highest hut in Slovenia, as well as the second largest in the vicinity of Triglav, is Planika. It is located on a plateau on the south side of Triglav, at an altitude of just over 2400 meters above sea level. Planika or the hut on this site was built in part in 1871, and received its current form in 1911. Its current name was only after World War II. In the dormitory and annex next to the dormitory, 49 people can sleep in rooms, and an additional 94 can be shared on shared beds. The hut is open during the summer season.

Valentin Stanič hut under Triglav is the third-highest hut under our highest pick. It lies on a natural plateau between Vrban’s peaks and Rž, 2332m high. The hut was first opened in 1887 when it was still part of the German-Austrian Mountaineering Association. The cottage has been renovated and enlarged several times in all these years, and the current shape and capacity of the cottage were given in 1989. Today, 35 people can stay in rooms and 62 people in dormitories in Stanič hut.

Dolič hut lies west of Triglav, between Kanjavec and Šmarjetna glava, on the Dolič saddle. Here, in 1930, Italian mountaineers erected a wooden hut. After the Second World War, the hut was taken over by PD Gorje and together with the Trieste mountaineers, the hut was completely renovated. However, winter landslides in this area demolished the hut, so they built a new hut a little higher, in a safer area. A new hut was opened in 1953. Given that the hut stands at a very important crossroads, the little one became too small, so it was renovated and enlarged. The grand opening was in 1973. Today, the cottage can accommodate 59 people in rooms and 15 in dormitories. The hut is located at an altitude of 2151m and is very easily (technically easy) accessible from the Trentar side, or Zadnjica valley.

The last of the huts, which lies near Triglav and is a very popular starting point for jumping to the top of Slovenia, is Vodnik’s hut above Velo polje, managed by ŠD Srednja vas. Vodnik’s hut is probably the most mountaineer-friendly and best-equipped hut of all the listed huts near Triglav. The great advantage of this hut is that it has a source of drinking water nearby. Which also made it possible for the cottage to have a hot shower in its offer. While taking a shower, it is even more important that you can quench your thirst for free, refill your bottles… The cottage has 46 beds in the rooms and 24 in dormitories. The cottage has been renovated several times, initially even relocated, but in its present place and in this form since 1986. The cottage lies at an altitude of 1817 meters.

For ending

Triglav is a beautiful mountain and definitely the destination of every hiker. Regardless of everything, the path to Triglav is very demanding and you have to be well prepared for it both physically and mentally. Of course, personal equipment, security, and, above all, weather and weather conditions must also be taken into account.

Therefore, my advice to you, go to the mountains and especially to Triglav in nice weather, along land routes (if you do not have the equipment and knowledge for winter conditions) and good company.

You know what they say, the mountain will wait and good weather will come, so don’t force it and at any cost… GOOD LUCK!

Peter

Živijo, moje ime je Peter. Že vse življenje sem velik športni entuziast. Navdušen sem predvsem nad športi v naravi, vendar se pogosto znajdem tudi v dvoranah, saj sem tudi trener. Uživam v gibanju, v čudovitih razgledih, lepotah narave, njeni energiji. Skozi leta sem se naučil marsičesa, tako kar se tiče obnašanja v gorah, opreme, telesne priprave, soočanja s takšnimi in drugačnimi nevarnostmi in izzivi... Vse to in še kaj lahko najdete na tej strani.

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