Skuta Trail – Hiking the Alps

Skuta Trail

Skuta Trail

About Skuta Trail

For the fifth hike of my “Hiking the Alps” tour I decided to climb the 2539 meters high Skuta which is a part of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps in northern Slovenia, close to the Austrian border. Skuta is the third highest peak of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps (after Grintovec and Jezerska Kocna) and thus offers a great view on the surrounding peaks as well as on the valley beneath. I wanted to ascend Skuta because the trail to the top is physically and technically challenging and therefore not crowded. This means a lot on such a narrow and exposed trail (as most trails in the Alps are) because you can set your own tempo without the need to scramble your way past other hikers. It is indeed possible to do this trail in only one day but it requires that you start very early in the morning (7 am at latest) so that you can return back to the starting point before the night falls. I decided to do this trail in two days in order to have enough time to explore this beautiful mountain range – which is possible due to a small newly built mountain shelter, placed on a ledge 320 meters below the peak. The simple yet functional shelter has won several design awards and has a capacity of 6-8 people.

The Skuta trail is suitable only for physically well-prepared hikers who already have experience with scrambling or via ferrata routes as it crosses a few very exposed and steep areas. Reaching the peak requires ascend of more than 2000 meters over the distance of 8.8 kilometers. In winter (snow) the ascent involves ice climbing and thus requires additional equipment, such as crampons, ice axes and gaiters.

Skuta Trail Details

Physical Difficulty


Technical Difficulty



2 days


17.6 km

(10.94 mi.)


2100 m

(6890 ft.)


2100 m

(6890 ft.)

Highest Point

2539 m

(8330 ft.)

Lowest Point

616 m

(2021 ft.)

Date of the Hike Date when we did this hike ?

August 2016 (2 days)

Weather On the day when we did this hike ?

Mostly Sunny

Temperature On the day when we did this hike ?

15° C

(59° F)

Wind On the day when we did this hike ?

25 km/h



This trail is technically very difficult and requires alpine equipment and proven experience with alpine mountaineering.

These details are gathered from a GPS device which we used on the hike. Please note that you might need more or less time than us to finish this hike. About Trail Details

Skuta GPS Route and Trail Description

*Click on the chart to see the location on the map

GPX route helps you with the navigation on a hike. It can be used with a smartphone, handheld GPS device or a GPS watch.About GPX Route

Learn how to use GPX tracks

Note: This GPS route shows the directions from the starting point to the top and back to the mountain shelter. From the mountain shelter back to the starting point there is 6.60 kilometers of hiking left. To return back to the starting point I used the same trail as for the ascent.

Reaching the starting point

The trail starts at a parking place near Kamniska Bistrica, a small village approximately 35 kilometers away from Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Kamniska Bistrica is relatively easy to reach by car as it lies in the proximity to the Slovenian E61 and E57 highways.

If you are coming from north-west (Villach, Austria) you should drive along the E61 highway until your reach the Vodice exit. Then take the Vodice exist and continue on the local road towards Kamnik (north-east). After driving for 12 kilometers you will reach Kamnik where you should follow the directions for Kamniska Bistrica. You will be directed on to a local road towards north and after 11 kilometers you will reach Kamniska Bistrica. Continue through the village and after 2 kilometers you will reach the mountain hut called Dom v Kamniski Bistrici. Just beneath the mountain hut you will find a parking place where you can park your car free of charge. Here the asphalt road turns into a wide dirt track. If you have a GPS device you can use the 46.3272, 14.5894 coordinates in order to reach the parking place at Dom v Kamniski Bistrici. The above attached GPS route starts on this parking place.

If you are coming from any other direction you should drive along the Slovenian H3 expressway (northern part of Ljubljana) until you reach the Tomacevo exit. Here get off the expressway and continue on the 104 road towards Kamnik (north). After driving for approximately 18 kilometers you will reach Kamnik. In Kamnik follow the directions for Kamniska Bistrica and continue as described above.

If you don’t have a car, you can also reach the starting point by bus. Buses run daily from Ljubljana Bus Station to Kamniska Bistrica where they stop less than hundred meters from the trail’s starting point. The bus drive will cost you approximately 5 € ($ 5.6) and take you around one hour and twenty minutes. For more information about public transport routes check the Ljubljana Bus Station website.


From the parking place start walking on the wide dirt track that runs past the Dom v Kamniski Bistrici mountain hut towards north-west. After walking for approximately 400 meters you will reach a crossroad where you should continue straight ahead towards Kokrsko Sedlo (the path that goes right leads to Kamnisko Sedlo). The path will become narrower and soon you will reach another crossroad that is poorly marked. Here you should take the right path that starts ascending gently (the left path leads to Spominski Park). Then continue on this path for 600 meters till you reach a wide dirt track. From here on continue ascending on the wide dirt track for 700 meters until you arrive to a small building (the aerial tramway station). The aerial tramway runs to Kokrsko Sedlo but is only built to carry cargo such as food and beverages for the mountain hut there.

From here on the trail is very well-marked with direction signs and painted red and white circles on rocks, trees etc. Therefore, I believe that you won’t have any problems with the navigation. From the aerial tramway station, you should continue on a narrow path that starts ascending rapidly towards west. This is the steepest part of the trail as it over the distance of 2.2 kilometers ascends no less than 900 meters. The stretch is not technically challenging but does require good physical preparedness. The path is first ascending through dense woods until you reach the tree line 1500 meters above the sea level. Then the trail keeps ascending over a large scree (loose stones covering a slope) all the way up to Kokrsko Sedlo (1800 meters above the sea level) where you will find a relatively large mountain hut.

The mountain hut at Kokrsko Sedlo provides food, drinks and accommodation in case that you want to extend this hiking trip. I do recommend that you resupply with water here as you will otherwise be slowed down significantly by carrying all the water you need from the starting point to the top and back. Altogether I needed 5.5 liters of water for this hike (2 days). However, the water is fairly pricey in the mountain hut; a one-liter water bottle will cost you no less than 2.5 € ($ 2.8).

From Kokrsko Sedlo continue right (towards north) in the direction of Skuta and Grintovec. After approximately 200 meters you will reach a crossroad where you should go right towards Skuta (the path that goes left leads to Grintovec). The trail will then take you over the steep eastern slope of Grintovec towards north. Soon the path becomes technically challenging as you need to cross a very steep and exposed spot. Here surefootedness is required as there is no steel cable for attaching a via ferrata set to. After you cross the exposed area the path becomes easier and is gently ascending to the mountain shelter “Bivak pod Grintovcem” 2100 meters above the sea level.

The mountain shelter “Bivak pod Grintovcem” can be used free of charge, but is primarily meant for emergency situations (thunder storms, injured hikers etc.). Therefore, don’t use it for more than one night’s stay. I’m mentioning this because I heard that the local mountain rescue service often has problems with tourists who use this shelter as a free camping destination for several days. The shelter is otherwise very modern and has three floors – a ground floor with a table and seats and two upper floors where hikers can sleep over.

From the mountain shelter, continue ascending on a narrow path towards north-west until you reach a crossroad. Here take the right path towards Skuta which will lead you over an area full of abysses. Some caution is required here as falling in one of the abysses could result in serious injuries. I recommend that you stick to the path and do not wander about too much. After crossing this area you will arrive to a steep ridge that runs from east towards west. Here the most technically challenging part of the trail begins as you need to climb to the top of the ridge. Again there is no steel cable for added security. The path will lead you almost vertically to the top of the ridge (ascent of 70 meters). When you climb to the ridge continue towards east and soon you will get a great view on the peak. Then the trail will descend slightly and after that it will start ascending to the peak. In 20 minutes or so, you should reach the top of the mountain.

Getting back to the starting point

For the way back I used the same path as for the climb. I spent the night in the mountain shelter “Bivak pod Grintovcem” 2100 meter above the sea level as it was already getting late by the time I reached it.

Skuta Trail - Free parking place

Skuta Trail – Free parking place

Skuta Trail - Wide dirt track at the beginning

Skuta Trail – Wide dirt track at the beginning

Skuta Trail - Aerial Tramway Station

Skuta Trail – Aerial Tramway Station

Skuta Trail - The path keeps ascending over a scree

Skuta Trail – The path keeps ascending over a scree

Skuta Trail – Mountain hut at Korsko Sedlo

Skuta Trail – Mountain hut at Korsko Sedlo

Skuta Trail - Mountain hut at Kokrsko Sedlo

Skuta Trail – Mountain hut at Kokrsko Sedlo

Skuta Trail – Path from the hut onwards

Skuta Trail – Path from the hut onwards

Skuta Trail - Mountain shelter Pod Grintovcem

Skuta Trail – Mountain shelter Pod Grintovcem

Skuta Trail – At the shelter

Skuta Trail – At the shelter

Skuta Trail - Here go right towards Skuta

Skuta Trail – Here go right towards Skuta

Skuta Trail - The technically difficult stretch of the trail

Skuta Trail – The technically difficult stretch of the trail

Skuta Trail - View from the top

Skuta Trail – View from the top


As I knew that the hike is physically very demanding, I wanted to go as lightweight as possible – although spending the night in the mountain shelter naturally entailed that I had to carry more items than I do on day hikes. In my Osprey Talon 44 backpack I was carrying a rain jacket, fleece jacket, socks, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, headlamp, hat, gloves, climbing helmet, food, 3 liters of water and some accessories. On both the way up and down I stopped in the mountain hut at Kokrsko Sedlo and bought additional water (2.5 liters altogether).

During the hike I was wearing the Icebreaker Tech T Lite Merino wool t-shirt, Montane Terra Pack pants, Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid hiking boots, Woolx Merino Boxers along with a baseball cap and socks made of Coolmax fibers. I was really satisfied with all the apparel utilized as it kept me comfortable throughout the hike.

I highly recommend that you bring a climbing helmet on this hike as there is a great danger of falling stones on some stretches. There is, however, no need to bring a via ferrata set since there is no steel cable along the path for increased security.

If you are doing this hike in any other season than summer you will definitely also need crampons, ice axes and gaiters as the trail will require ice climbing.

Equipment under scrutiny

Icebreaker Tech T Lite T-Shirt
Icebreaker Tech T-Lite T-Shirt

Icebreaker Tech T-Lite T-Shirt

Both days I was wearing the Icebreaker Tech T Lite base layer which really impressed me with its anti-odor performance. It is made mainly of Merino wool which is naturally antimicrobial, so even after two days of extensive use I couldn’t detect any signs of odor. Furthermore, the t-shirt is made of very thin and porous fabric which offers outstanding breathability. I recommend this t-shirt to every hiker and mountaineer who wants a well-performing base layer for various outdoor adventures. You can read the full review of the Icebreaker Tech T Lite t-shirt here.

Conclusion and photo gallery

The Skuta trail is best for experienced and physically well-prepared hikers and mountaineers who want to test their skills and performance by climbing this incredible 2539 meters high peak. The trail runs through dense woods as well as exposed and rocky terrain. On the top of the mountain you will be rewarded with a great view on the surrounding peaks as well as on the valley beneath. Before going you should check the weather conditions thoroughly as doing this hike in bad weather (storms, snow) could be hazardous (also avalanche danger).

If you have any questions about this hike, please drop me a line in the comments below.

Skuta Trail Terrain Video

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Author Information


Outdoor enthusiast with experience in all types of hiking and mountaineering. Hiked in the Alps, Iceland and other countries. In love with via ferrata trails and snow-covered slopes. Check out my hikes.

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12 comments on “Skuta Trail – Hiking the Alps

Hi !
My girlfriend and I are very happy about going to slovenia in next month of may. Although, what can i say to her to convice her about climbing that trail ?? That trail looks incredible and we are two people in a really good shape with usualy a strong motivation to acheive what we want to do.
Also, is it the right season to climb in the month of may ?

We are from Québec, Canada !


Hi Rémi,

in May the trail will be probably still covered with snow and ice. Unless you two have extensive experience with ice climbing and winter mountaineering, I would recommend against doing this trail at this time of the year. However, you could hike to the Mountain Hut at Kokrsko Sedlo – it’s a popular destination for hikers and mountaineers. If you decide to do a different hike, I recommend the Stol trail which is less technically demanding:

I wish you a pleasant stay in Slovenia.


Hello, that looks wonderful! I was hoping to do this at the beginning of October, do you reckon it would be already icy then? I can rock climb, but never done ice climbing.


Uf, that’s really hard to say 🙂 At these altitudes it is indeed possible to encounter snow already in late September. So, I recommend doing this hike a month or two earlier if you can. In any case check the conditions before going. You can see snow conditions here: The website is unfortunately available only in Slovenian but Google Translate should help 🙂 Look for Kredarica as it is at the same altitude as Skuta. I wish you a pleasant hike!


How to prepare for this hike if I am not an expert or fully experienced climber?


Hi Molly,

if you don’t have experience with via ferrata trails I recommend that you go on this hike with somebody who does. The trail is technically difficult – there is no steel cable on the last stretch and the wall is very steep. There are also other mountains nearby which are much less technically difficult – for example Grintovec.



I have come to the site because I have been looking endlessly for a way to reach the Mount Skuta Alpine Shelter. Do you know if you are able to stay the night there instead of staying at the Grintovec pod?
I would be doing this hike next month. Is the trail busy during the week? I can’t stop thinking the pod(s) are full and I won’t have a place to stay the night.


Hi Stef,

if you want to stay the night at the Bivak pod Skuto mountain shelter, you need to take a different trail than I did. The trail to Bivak pod Skuto is unfortunately not marked and thus I recommend bringing a GPS device, map and a compass. Also check out the map here:

As you can see I first went to Kokrsko sedlo and then towards Skuta while you should take the non-marked path that goes more towards east and eventually brings you to Bivak pod Skuto. From there you should approach the mountain from the eastern side. These shelters are often full in the summer but I think that it’s possible to get a place to sleep if you arrive early – before 16:00 or so. Note that this is not a free camping destination. It’s okay to stay for a night but not more than that 🙂

I wish you a pleasant stay in Slovenia!


Hey I want to climb this hike without any special gear, will this be ok?(of course I’ll bring a sleeping bag etc) I’ve never used ferrats.


Sarah, that will not be okay – this is a relatively complicated mountaineering ascent which requires a climbing helmet, good footwear, other mountaineering gear and, above all, experience with such trails. I’ve been following the news and this year the mountain rescue service had to intervene (too) many times in this area because hikers/mountaineers didn’t have appropriate gear and skills. So, please don’t be one of those who get stuck up there 🙂


Thanks a lot for this well written post! It’s an old post but I will still shoot my shot and hopefully get an answer from you.

My friends and I are willing to climb toward the Alpine Shelter in Skuta. We are physically okay for most hiking paths eventhough I personally don’t have a strong sure-footed ness (I do need to avoid narrow and dangerous paths), and we are not well equipped for hiking.
Is the path toward the Alpine Shelter suitable for amateurs like us (on a technical level, the physical level don’t really matter) ?

Thanks a lot for your answer!


Hi Benjamin,

Note that this trail does not go past the popular Skuta shelter (“Bivak pod Skuto”). It goes past another shelter which is called “Bivak pod Grintovcem” (see images above) and then climbs the 2532-meters high Skuta peak. If you want to hike to the Skuta shelter you have to take another trail. See map here (Slovenian website). Both trails are demanding and require experience with mountaineering. Mountain rescue service hates this area because it’s a place where they have to intervene regularly 🙂 Unless you have experience with mountaineering I recommend against doing this trail.


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