July 21, 2018

THE VALLEY OF THE TRIGLAV LAKES

With its little lakes and ponds, this karstified valley is a photographer's paradise.

About 8-kilometres long valley beneath Mount Triglav has been praised as one of the most beautiful parts of the Julian Alps since the beginning of mountaineering.

The Valley of the Triglav Lakes or the Seven Lakes Valley is an Alpine glacial valley. The valley itself is the result of the mighty overthrust of the Slatna plate, whereas the formation of the lakes on the karstified ground was enabled by the impermeable sediments. The Valley of the Triglav Lakes, which has been protected as a national park since 1924, boasts a varied terrain, interesting flora and fauna, fossils and Alpine animals. The Valley is also known for its well-developed karst phenomena and the story of Zlatorog.

ACCESS TO THE VALLEY OF THE TRIGLAV LAKES

Coming from Bohinj, the Valley of the Triglav Lakes is accessible from Stara Fužina, from where you continue via Vogar, Mounts Viševnik and Ovčarija to the Hut by the Triglav Lakes (Koča pri Triglavskih jezerih) (1685m), which is about a five-hour walk. If you drive to the Mount Blato to access the Valley via Bohinj mountain range, you save about 1.5 hours of walking.

Accessing the Valley via Komna takes nearly 5 hours as well. The third possible way leads by the Savica Waterfall. After a demanding steep and winding path through Komarča, it takes about 2 hours to get to the Black Lake (Črno jezero) (1294m), and about 3 hours to the Hut by the Triglav Lakes. From the Hut by the Triglav Lakes to the Zasavska koča na Prehodavcih hut (2071m) it takes another good two hours of walking.

TRIGLAV LAKES

Although the lakes and ponds are more numerous, one usually speaks of the seven Triglav lakes listed below. This is due to the fact that the others dry up several times throughout the year.

  • The Lake under Vršac (also called the Lake at Podstenje; 1,993m above sea level, often frozen most of the year)
  • The Pool in Laštah (under the Zasavska koča na Prehodavcih hut – often dries up during the summertime)
  • The Brown Lake (150 m long, 100m wide, 10m deep)
  • The Green Lake (up to 2m deep, green colour due to the algae)
  • The Great Lake (also called the Lake at Ledvica – the largest of the lakes, 1,930m above sea level, 300m long, 120m wide, up to 15m deep)
  • The Double Lake (next to the Hut by the Triglav Lakes, 1,685m above sea level; when the water level is high, the two lakes turn into one)
  • The Black Lake (the warmest of the Seven Lakes; 1,319m above sea level, 150m long, 80m wide, 6m deep)

The waters from the highest lying Lake under Vršac flow to the Soča Valley and to the Adriatic Sea. All other lakes are hydrologically connected, and their waters flow to the Sava Bohinjka river and further to the Black Sea.

THE SEVEN LAKES VALLEY FLORA

The Valley of the Triglav Lakes is interesting also because of its flora. The higher part of the Valley is mainly covered in lichen, but the more one descends, the more flowers one encounters, also endemic ones. These include:

  • Round-leaved Pennycress (Thlaspi rotundifolium) which survives by moving around on limestone screes,
  • Mountain Avens (Dryas octopetala) which spreads its sprawling sprouts around rocks in a net-like manner,
  • delicate white-flowered Julian Poppy (Papaver julicum),
  • Alpine Toadflax (Linaria alpina),
  • and Pyrenean Whitlow Grass (Petrocallis pyrenaica).

In the lower lying lakes there can be found also Martagon Lily (Lilium martagon) and Carniolan Lily (Lilium carniolicum), Great Yellow Gentian (Gentiana lutea), Alpine Clematis (Clematis alpina) and many other plants, and in the lower part of the valley also communities of trees.

OTHER ATTRACTIONS OF THE VALLEY OF THE TRIGLAV LAKES

Reddish Jurassic limestones contain fossilized shells of ammonites (marine molluscs from the Jurassic which started becoming extinct 100 million years ago for unknown reason) measuring up to 20cm. The easiest way to see a fossilized ammonite is in the rock that is built in the east wall of the Hut by the Triglav Lakes.

The Valley of the Triglav Lakes is also significantly marked by all the mountainous karst forms which are clearly visible due to plenty of rain and lack of soil and vegetation. The most common ones include bare graduated plates called lašti. Other interesting forms include grooves and several metres long limestone pavements, sinkholes, kotlics (“snow kettle”, a kind of karrens), perched blocks, chasms and other phenomena.

WARNING

It is prohibited to bathe or carry out any other recreational activities in the lakes. If not for the law, respect the ban because you know it is the right thing to do. Leave no permanent traces behind, i.e. bring all the trash from the mountains to properly dispose of them in the valley.

Location

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