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Bovški Gamsovec (2392 m) – Among the ibexes

Mountain Hike · Julian Alps
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Turizem Dolina Soce Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Start of the ascent - view from the gable of Zadnjica towards Luknja
    Start of the ascent - view from the gable of Zadnjica towards Luknja
    Photo: Janko Humar, Turizem Dolina Soce
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A long and challenging tour in a magnificent setting. You are almost certain to see ibexes. The top part is an exposed and difficult via ferrata. The descent takes you past the beautiful lakes on Kriški podi. 
Distance 23.9 km
12:40 h
2,288 m
2,288 m
2,299 m
670 m
Bovški Gamsovec is not a mountain that really stands out. It is almost hard to find, surrounded by all other 2,000-metre-tall mountains. Its nearest neighbour Pihavec is bolder and more imposing, even Stenar and Razor are more noticeable. But don’t let the first impression fool you. The described route over Bovški Gamsovec is certainly one of the most diverse and magnificent tours in the Slovenian mountains.

Even the path past isolated homesteads through the wild Zadnjica valley has many interesting views that it could be a standalone full-day trip. The valley ends below Kanjavec, in a kilometre-long amphitheatre with several high precipices all around.

The mule track that takes you onwards towards Luknja is a true monument to Italian military builders. If we are being honest, the mule tracks remaining in the former border area in the Julian Alps and used today as mountain trails are the only meaningful and useful consequence of the former bloody political and military conflicts.

Further towards the top of Bovški Gamsovac, the climb leads you for the most part over sunny and blooming meadows. No wonder they are a popular habitat for ibexes, which you are almost certain to encounter. On the opposite side, the entire ascent looks completely different – dizzying stone columns of the mighty Triglav north wall. This wall is the only one that Slovenian climbers write with a capital letter. Every last one will know which one is called the Wall.

The last hundred metres of ascent requires some climbing skills, but at the top you will be rewarded with magnificent views.

The descent back towards the Trenta side is also something special. The descent leads you to Kriški podi, which hide three beautiful mountain lakes in their karstic basins. You should visit at least one. There is also a friendly mountain hut on Kriški podi, where you can get refreshments; if you decide to spend the night, your challenging tour will be more comfortable, and the experience even more pleasant.

The tour across Bovški Gamsovec is one of those that confirm the old Asian wisdom that the journey is more important than the destination

Author’s recommendation

The tour can be done in either direction; however, in the author's opinion, the described direction is better.  The exposed final section of the climb to Bovški Gamsovec is safer when ascending than descending. If you have enough time, once the main peak and most of the tour is behind you, you can (and we recommend it) spend the night in Pogačnikov dom na Kriških podih. The next day you can visit at least one of the three beautiful lakes in Kriški podi and then slowly descend into the valley. If you were to return in the opposite direction via Luknja, you would have to walk a good three extra kilometres along the road to the parking lot at the end of a tiring day.
Profile picture of Janko Humar
Janko Humar 
Update: January 16, 2023
Highest point
2,299 m
Lowest point
670 m
Best time of year
Cardinal direction

Track types

Asphalt 3.22%Dirt road 52.27%Forested/wild trail 0.89%Path 26.01%Traces of trail 17.58%
0.8 km
Dirt road
12.5 km
Forested/wild trail
0.2 km
6.2 km
Traces of trail
4.2 km
Show elevation profile

Safety information

The tour is long and challenging, suitable only for physically fit hikers. The top section is exposed, and a slip could be fatal. The most exposed places are equipped with a steel cable, so we recommend a helmet and a via ferrata kit. Climbs to the top of Bovški Gamsovac should only be undertaken in stable weather conditions.

Tips and hints

You will almost certainly meet ibexes on the tour. Do not frighten these mighty animals and do not approach them unnecessarily.

Because the tour is long and challenging, we recommend an overnight stay in Pogačnikov dom na Kriških podih.  

There are three beautiful mountain lakes on Kriški podi. They are worth visiting, especially if you spend a night in the mountain hut and have enough time for a visit.


Parking lot at the entrance to the Zadnjica valley (630 m). (670 m)
46.382865, 13.763803
46°22'58.3"N 13°45'49.7"E
33T 404941 5137330


Luknja (1758 m) – Bovški Gamsovec (2392 m) – Pogačnikov dom na Kriških podih (2050 m).

Turn-by-turn directions

Leave the car at the parking lot at the entrance to Zadnjica (630 m) and continue along the increasingly less maintained road to the far end of the valley.

In the ravine, at the very end of the valley, far to the upper left, you will see Luknja (1758 m), the passage to the Vrata valley on the Gorenjska side, which is your first destination. It can be reached by a mule track that follows a fairly gentle incline and is easily traversable.

From Luknja, you continue uphill towards the left, over the mostly grassy southern slopes. On the other side of the valley, the mighty northern wall of Triglav is slowly coming into your view, and you will most likely be greeted by ibexes along the way.

The last hundred metres of the ascent to the summit ridge are an exposed via feratta. From the ridge, there is just a short and easier climb to the highest point of Bovški Gamsovac (2392 m).

From the top, you can return to the point where your approached the ridge, and then go down to Dovška vrata (2176 m), the saddle between Bovški Gamsovac and Stenar along the via ferrata over a short and broken wall. Then continue your descent to Pogačnikov dom na Kriških podih (2050 m) over the diverse karstic terrain.

From Pogačnikov dom, you still have a long descent into the valley. Just a few minutes below the hut, you can visit the lower, most beautiful and largest lake of Kriški podi, which can be found right next to the path. Then continue your descent along the mule tracks, through the dwarf pines into the forest and onwards to Zadnjica. Continue along the road for the last kilometre back to the parking lot (630 m).


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

In summer – from June to September – a bus connects Bovec and Kranjska Gora across the Vršič Pass. The bus schedule is available at This bus can take you to the village of Trenta. From the bus station to the parking lot, where your tour starts, is only a good five minutes' walk.

Getting there

From the main Bovec–Vršič road near the village Trenta, at the last marked turn of the Vršič road (no. 50), turn into the Zadnjica valley. There is a parking lot (for a fee from May to the end of October) at the beginning of the valley, where you can leave your car and continue the tour on foot. 


Parking lot at the entrance to the Zadnjica valley (fee). 


46.382865, 13.763803
46°22'58.3"N 13°45'49.7"E
33T 404941 5137330
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

PZS (1998): Tine Mihelič, Julijske Alpe;  ISBN 961-6156-47-0

Author’s map recommendations

Planinska zveza Slovenije: Triglav, 1:25.000

Sidarta: Bovec-Trenta, 1 : 25.000

Geodetski inštitut Slovenije: Turistična karta občine Bovec, 1 : 40.000

Book recommendations for this region:

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The normal mountaineering equipment: quality hiking boots, long pants, three layers of clothing, one of which is a wind-breaker, a backpack, at least two litres of drink per person, sun protection, first aid kit. Required technical equipment: helmet. For the top section, we recommend a via ferrata kit.

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23.9 km
12:40 h
2,288 m
2,288 m
Highest point
2,299 m
Lowest point
670 m
Circular route Scenic Fauna Insider tip Summit route Exposed sections Secured passages Scrambling required Ridge traverse


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