The Trenta valley, with its extraordinarily diverse fauna and flora, rich cultural heritage and picturesque villages, forests, rivers, lakes, falls, valleys, mountain pastures and highlands, offers abundant opportunities for trekking.
Less demanding hikes along the Zadnjica, Zadnja Trenta, Lepena valleys, or the Lemovje, Vrsnik or Soča trail (1, 2, 3, 4) provide a chance to discover the area’s cultural heritage as well as isolated and hidden corners of unspoiled nature.
More demanding are the mid-range mountain tours through the Berebica, Zapotok, Trebiščina, and the restructured Za Skalo alpine pastures that offer the trekker the opportunity to explore the ethnology of pasture life.
A longer trail leads to Krnsko lake and Duplje alpine meadow. In addition to Krnsko lake, theKriška lakes on the karst plateau of Kriški podi are also accessible from the Trenta valley. A longer tour will bring you to the Seven Lakes region, one of the most beautiful areas in Triglav National Park, and the first to attain protected status within the park.
Numerous surrounding mountain peaks can be reached by secure mountain trails of varying degrees of difficulty.
Walks have been graded according to difficulty. They range from easy walks along the valley to more demanding short and long ascents. Easy walks only require some walking fitness, comfortable shoes and suitable clothes.
On moderate and strenuous walks, however, mountaineering clothes and high-altitude equipment is obligatory. This consists of a change of clothes, a rainproof anorak or jacket, a hat and gloves, an emergency foil blanket, a sleeping bag and a headlamp. It is also essential to carry in one's rucksack a flask and some food although mountain huts are abundant in Slovenian mountains.
For easier navigation and emergency cases bring your cell phone, a map of the area and a first-aid kit. On walks to high-altitude mountains, use of a climbing helmet and self-belaying gear (harness and self-belaying device) is recommended. As snow may stay far into the summer, crampons and an axe might also come in handy.
Mountaineering trails in Slovenia are waymarked. The usual waymark is a white circle with a red surround. In unfavourable weather conditions, fog in particular, waymarks can be of extreme help.
Weather in the mountains may change suddenly and quick, unexpected drops in temperature or snowstorms in mid-summer are nothing unusual. Before leaving for the mountains, one must always check in the valley or the nearest mountain hut the weather situation on the way. Thunderstorms with lightning can be extremely dangerous. If you are caught in the middle of a storm, retire from exposed areas (ridges, summits) and roped trails (wire ropes attract lightning) as soon as possible. It is advisable to put the rucksack down if it contains climbing or safety gear and other metal objects. Try to find some shelter in the nature. Make sure you stand with both feet close together, on the ground. Don't shelter under a tree. When the storm has ended, look for your rucksack and continue the walk with extreme caution as the rocks are now wet and slippery. Actually, a slip is the cause of a large proportion of serious mountain accidents.
When venturing on a mountain tour, start early. You will enjoy walking in the pleasant morning air, especially in the summer months. Weather is more stable in early and late mornings, as storms usually hit in the late afternoons and evenings.
Mountain huts in the high mountains surrounding the Trenta valley are abundant. The average distance between them equals approximately 3 hours of walking. The huts offer accommodation in private rooms and dormitory rooms, food and drinks. Members of UIAA-affiliated Alpine Clubs with which the Alpine Association of Slovenia has concluded reciprocity agreements, are entitled to a 50% discount on accommodation charges. These states are:
Germany: DAV-Deutscher Alpenverein
Austria: OeAV-Österreichister Alpenverein
Belgium: BAC-Belgische Alpen Club, CAB-Club Alpin Belge
Spain: FEDME-Federacion Espanola de Deportes de Montana
Great Britain: AC-Alpine Club
France: CAF-Club Alpin Français
Liechtenstein: LAV-Liechtensteiner Alpenverein
Luxembourg: GAL-Groupe Alpin Luxembourgeois
Netherlands: NKBV-Niederlandse Klim – en
Swiss: CAS–Club Alpin Suisse, AACBa-Akademischer Alpenclub Basel, AACB-Akademischer Alpenclub Bern, CAAG-Club Alpin Académique Gencve, ACZ-Akademischer Alpenclub Zürich
Mountain huts are set in the highly sensitive area of high mountains, which is a part of the Triglav National Park territory. Therefore, visitors to the area are requested to take their rubbish with them when they return to the valley. Sleeping bags are recommended for sleeping in the huts. In the mountains, water supply is scarce (some huts do not have drinking water), and waste water is a problem of major severity.
The valley of Zadnja Trenta extends westwards from the source of the Soča. The pyramid of Jalovec towers above the beginning of the valley on the right side. Laterally, Zadnja Trenta is walled in by mountain ridges which meet in the massive mountain of Bavški Grintavec dominating the valley head. The Zapotok alp (abandoned since 1970) with an old wooden hut that offers simple shelter to hikers and trekkers is located in the oval basin below Grintavec. The right, gently sloping side of the valley is overgrown with beech and larch forests. On the left side, the mountain ridge descends steeply towards the valley floor, giving the landscape an air of untamed wilderness. The valley floor is cut in two by the riverbed of the Suhi potok (Dry Stream), which certainly deserves its name. The stream gathers waters from below Grintavec but disappears from the surface soon after it flows into the valley. At the head of the valley, below the Zapotok alp, the Suhi potok forms three Zapotok Falls.
Zadnja Trenta was the first settled part of the valley. The first settlers were drawn to the valley by mining and iron industry, and there were some mines above Zadnja Trenta, in the area called Srednjice. After the mines were closed, the inhabitants took up alpine dairy farming, putting up sheds and opening alps for sheep and goats.
Source of the Soča, known as one of the most beautiful karst springs in the Julian Alps. Take the path past the Koča pri izviru Soče (Hut by the Source of the Soča).
Access: Turn off the Trenta – Vršič road at curve number 49. If you are coming by car, you can drive all the way to the hut.
Estimated time: 15 minutes of walking from the hut to the source. Comfortable hiking shoes and some caution in the upper part of the path, secured with pitons and steel ropes, are recommended. However, small children and the elderly are not advised to take this part of the path.
Zapotok Falls at the end of the valley. Walk up to the first of the three Zapotok Falls along the riverbed. The path to the other two waterfalls runs through the forest on the other side of the stream. Cross the stream at the point where it meets the path along the valley. The path winds past the troughs which the stream makes on its way from one waterfall to the other.
Access: From Koča pri Izviru Soče (Hut by the Source of the Soča) continue along the gravel road to a small car park.
Estimated time: 30 minutes of easy walking from the car park to the waterfalls. If you leave your car at the source of the Soča, the walk takes 30 minutes longer.
For the Zapotok alp, take the path which forks off at the end of the valley. The turn-off is marked with signs. The path to the alp is steep, and in part secured with pitons and steel ropes.
Access: the same as for the Zapotok Falls.
Estimated time: a good hour from the car park to the alp
Koča pri Izviru Soče is open in the summer season and offers food and drinks and accommodation in private rooms and dormitory rooms.
In the close vicinity of the source of the Soča, there is an old-time farm, now adapted as an inn, called Kekčeva domačija. The farm offers food and drinks, accommodation in tourist apartments as well as organisation of diverse workshops.