As fog creeps into the sleepy valleys, hiding its browning trees, the cold whitens the mountain tops in the surrounding Alpine ranges, and the daylight shortens, one thing is certain. The carefree mountaineering summer season is finished. The mountains now demand more planning and more weight on the backs, nonetheless, the best days are only yet to come. The changing colors of the fall have turned the mountains, rich in larch forests, completely golden, and the copious rainfall will soon replenish the Alpine streams and lakes after a long hot summer.
The crowds disappear and silence sets in. There is a certain charm of meeting people on lonely trails and exchanging friendly mountain banter, however, the sheer autumn emptiness lets you soak up the mountains deeper. To be able to sit down on soft grass, surrounded by nothing but lively bird chirping, and to let yourself sink into dreamy views. Layers of undulating hills and rock walls continuing as far as the eye can see. The slopes painted with playful autumn colors; some meadows bright green, some light brown due to their long exposure to the scorching summer sun, pines green and larches golden before shedding their needles.
Here are two beautiful autumn hikes in the North-West Slovenia from last week.
Located at 1,926 m at the north-eastern end of a long craggy ridge stretching all the way up to Triglav at the opposite end, Mt. Macesnovec or »the mountain of the larches« according to its name (macesen in Slovenian is larch in English) crowns the Julians Alps with a beautiful larch forest below its peak. It is the lowest and the most easily accessible peak on the ridge with only one trail connecting it with the valley. The trail, however, is unmarked but nicely visible once you’ve figured it out.
It’s not the easiest of trails either. Exposed and steep about a third of the way, while also slippery in parts where the sun never shines and humidity forms on muddy rocks. Nevertheless, hiking Macesnovec in company and paying your attention to the trail, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views and most likely peaceful wilderness. A tip for the wise: go on a sunny day and soak up the last warmth of the season on the grassy peak.
Vošča and Trupejevo Poldne
Just a few kilometers outside Kranjska Gora, a road sign to Srednji Vrh, a small village at almost 1,000 meters, can quickly go unnoticed, yet the short drive opens up to unexpectedly gorgeous views and even more gorgeous hikes. Overlooking the serrated outline of a rugged mass of rock, the remotest and wildest part of the Julian Alps named the Martuljek Group, you are actually hiking on the sunnier southern slopes of the Karavanke Alps.
You may even not go too far up and can stop in an idyllic meadow with jaw-dropping views of Mt. Špik and the rest of the Martuljek Group. If you decide to go on and follow an unmarked trail, you will eventually reach a long meadow with tall burnt grass that escorts you all the way to the top of Vošca, 1,737 m.
From the top of Vošca you are invited to hike another hour (and a half) along the ridge, the border between Slovenia to the south and Austria to the north, to reach the more crowded peak of Trupejevo Poldne. The wonderfully scenic trail is easily enjoyable and even a short climb across a 10-meter rock adds to the adventure. Known for its beautiful larch forest, Trupejevo Poldne, 1,931 m, is beautiful enough all year round and spectacular in autumn.
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