Students arriving at a home after a day of hiking in the Julian Alps
Camera Travis Welch

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Backpacking Slovenia's Julian Alps - Alumni


Sep 6 - 14, 2024


9 days


18+ yrs



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Join a group of fellow trekkers on a foray into the little-known Julian Alps of Slovenia! An intrepid team of NOLS Alumni, guests, and family will travel the remote trails together in this alpine adventure through Triglav National Park. The hiking is robust, but the views are well worth the effort.

Photo Credit: Larissa Jacobi 

Our route utilizes Slovenia’s alpine hut system, allowing us to have lighter packs, hot meals, and roofs over our heads. We will hike from one hut to another each day sleeping indoors and sampling mountain cuisine traditional to the Balkans. The huts are rustic accommodations that vary greatly in creature comforts but are always cozy and full of other world-travelers. We will mix with an eclectic group of largely Europeans who are out exploring the same areas and undoubtedly spending time building plans for the future. Utilizing a system of huts like this is outside of the norm in the United States, but very common for backcountry trips in Europe. Your NOLS Instructors will help orient you to this different type of lifestyle.

Photo credit: Larissa Jacobi 

Our route starts with orientation in Slovenia’s charming and vibrant capital of Ljubljana. We will spend some structured time understanding one of the world’s youngest countries before heading out to the mountains. Slovenia’s history is unique in this area that has been surrounded by war and political upheaval for hundreds of years. A guided walking tour will take us through the oldest part of the capital city. Traveling back in time to learn about Slovenian architecture, culture and history.

Photo Credit: Alexandra Kolod

The morning of day 3 we will load into a shuttle and head to our trailhead. The drive to the trail is spectacular in its own right! In the mountains, we will spend six nights in Alpine Huts as we hike a loop around Lake Bohinj. The high point of our trip is the base of Mt. Triglav (9393’), the highest peak in Slovenia. If weather permits, some folks will choose the optional out and back climb on an established via ferrata to the summit of Triglav while others may opt to stay at the base. If climbing, you will use a helmet, harness and clips to ensure your safety.

Photo Credit: Larissa Jacobi

Photo Credit: Larissa Jacobi

Triglav National Park is older than the country of Slovenia and fully encompasses our route. The park overlays most of the Julian Alps which are a sub-range of the Southern Limestone Alps named after Julius Caesar. They offer incredible vistas into neighboring countries as we walk along their jagged ridgelines. Limestone is a lightweight and porous rock which leads to more jagged mountain tops and fertile valleys as the rock erodes. The mountains have been the historic home for dairy farms because of these fertile valleys and patches of alpine meadows.

Photo Credit: Alexandra Kolod

We will move through vibrant evergreen forests, low lying scrub, and into boulder fields that appear almost lifeless in the high alpine environment. Ibex, marmots, chamois, and many bird varieties call this area home and, with luck, we will see them all.

If plant identification piques your interest, Triglav National park contains some local varieties of common plants including a couple endemic species like the Triglav Hawkbeard and the Triglav Rose. Our Spring trip in particular will hike amongst an incredible array of wildflowers that only exist in mountains like these.

Photo Credit: Alexandra Kolod

Fall and Spring temperatures in the Julian Alps likely will range from 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day with nighttime lows dropping into the 40s and 50s with occasional cooler evenings possible. We schedule our hiking seasons to avoid the mid-summer crowds but still capitalize on time in the mountains when the trails are clear of snow.

Our trek will end back in Ljubljana for a final dinner out together as a group before onward travel.

Overall Difficulty*:

*Hut to Hut travel means lighter packs!



If you have questions about enrollment or including families/guests on a particular alumni trip, then contact:

NOLS Alumni Department

Other Alumni Courses