Durmitor Loop

Bobotov Kuk,Dinaric Alps,Durmitor National Park,Montenegro,wildflowers
Wildflowers and Bobotov Kuk : Prints Available

The setting sun illuminates a field of wildflowers on a high mountain pass, with Bobotov Kuk towering behind.

Durmitor National Park is certainly the most famous and beloved mountain range in Montenegro. The mountains here aren’t the biggest or baddest ever, but they have an undeniably wonderful and unique character, like a combination of the rugged might of the Alps with the wild solitude of the Colorado Rockies. They seem to have a dash of everything I love most in mountains — jagged spires, sculpted peaks, vast green meadows, fields of wildflowers, misty forests, emerald lakes, and the freedom to explore it all in relative solitude. We spent four amazing days last week trekking through the heart of these fantastic mountains.

Bobotov Kuk,Dinaric Alps,Durmitor National Park,Montenegro, Bandijerna, panorama
Bobotov Kuk Panorama : Prints Available

Panoramic view of Bobotov Kuk (2522 m / 8274 ft) and the Durmitor range, as seen from the summit of Bandijerna.

This was actually my second time visiting Durmitor; I was here by myself back in June of 2004. At that time it was the off season, the mountains were still covered in snowpack, and I was the only tourist in Zabljak, the little town situated at the base of the Durmitor mountains. There was only one restaurant open then, where I ate every evening with some Serbian army guys I met. It rained six days straight and when it finally stopped I used all my pent up energy to walk from town to the summit of Bobotov Kuk (the highest peak) and back in one day, with snowpack and all. Those army guys said it was impossible and didn’t believe me until I showed them the summit photos on my camera!

Eleven years later, in the height of summer season, the town of Zabljak is hopping. There’s people everywhere, lots of restaurants and bars, probably twice as many houses around here, and a general vibrant vibe that was completely absent during my previous visit. But despite the bustle in town, once we hiked past the popular Crno Jezero lake near the park entrance, the crowds quickly thinned. By the time we reached our first campsite we hadn’t seen anybody for hours. This range is small but there’s still plenty of opportunity to get away.

Lots more photos below!

Bobotov Kuk, tent, Durmitor, Montenegro

A morning view of Bobotov Kuk from our tent.

Bobotov Kuk,Dinaric Alps,Durmitor,Durmitor National Park,Europe,Montenegro,hiking,wildflowers

Hiking through wildflowers below Bobotov Kuk.

We spent our second night camped near Zeleni Vir, a small little spring-fed lake which provides a nice base camp for climbing up Bobotov Kuk, which of course we did!

Bobotov Kuk, climbing, Durmitor, Montenegro

Climbing to the summit of Bobotov Kuk via the scrambly cabled route.

Bobotov Kuk, summit, Durmitor, Montenegro

Jack and Claudia on the summit of Bobotov Kuk (2522 m / 8274 ft), the highest mountain in the Durmitor range of Montenegro.

Bobotov Kuk,Dinaric Alps,Durmitor National Park,Montenegro,Škrčka Jezera,Škr?ka Jezera
Durmitor Sunset : Prints Available

Sunset over Skrcko Jezero as seen from a shoulder of Bobotov Kuk.

We sat up top on Bobotov Kuk until sunset, then on the way down we surprised some gämse, who sprinted up and away through rock fields with astounding speed and agility. Kind of made me jealous, only having two legs and not four.

Bobotov Kuk, Skrcka Jezera, Durmitor, Montenegro

The beautiful Skrcka Jezera below Bobotov Kuk.

A super-scenic hike over Samar pass brought us to the emerald green Skrcka Jezera where we camped for our third night.

Dinaric Alps,Durmitor National Park,Montenegro,Škrčka Jezera,Škr?ka Jezera
Skrcko Jezero Greens : Prints Available

Deep green colors of Skrcko Jezero.

Bobotov Kuk,Dinaric Alps,Durmitor National Park,Montenegro,Škrčka Jezera,Škr?ka Jezera
Skrcko Jezero Dusk Reflection : Prints Available

Dusk light illuminates Bobotov Kuk at Skrcko Jezero.

Dinaric Alps,Durmitor National Park,Ledina Pecina,Montenegro,cave,ice

Ice stalagmites inside the Ledina Pecina ice cave.

Our last day of hiking turned into somewhat of an epic; we hiked over three passes, visited the Ledina Pecina ice cave, then slogged all they way back to the trailhead at Crno Jezero, where we celebrated by devouring a big cup of wild raspberries and strawberries sold by roadside vendors.

Dinaric Alps,Durmitor,Durmitor National Park,Europe,Montenegro, Medjed, katun

An old katun with Medjed rising behind.

This was one of those magical treks where each day was just as memorable and surprising as the last, if not more so.

7 thoughts on “Durmitor Loop

  1. Wow – as usual.

    What a treat to travel the world with you two, even if only to some of those places on my computer screen.

    Great pix!

  2. National Geographic called…they want to visit with you. Something about a remote assignment and photography. Keep these coming! Really good stuff.

  3. if you are still in Montenegro, you should try the Prokletije mountain range on the border with Albania and if you have more time, write me – i know the mountains in Montenero quite well.
    If you are returning to Bosnia, climb the Prenj mountain.

    1. Hi Milos, funny thing — I am reading your comment from a lodge in the Grebaje valley! We just got back from a 5-day trek through the Prokletije mountains, from Vusanje to Valbone to Thethi and back. Such awesome mountains here! We also plan on visiting Prenj at the end of our trip. That looks like a beautiful peak. So much to see, so little time!

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