Stap – Veliko Rujno: 4 – 4.30h (VPP section)
This route is section of VPP or Velebit long distance trail which will take you to Rujno, biggest field on Velebit, which is 7km long and up to 2km wide. It is easy but quite long hike through very beautiful and diverse scenery. First along the way is fantastic Stapina tower. After that romantic Cankove Njivice meadows view most beautiful view of Stapina. Behind that ‘not to miss’ Kamena Galerija, beautiful beech and maple forests. When you get out of forest there is a string of picturesque meadows and grassy basins. Finally you descent on huge Rujno and cross most of it with beautiful views around. This is probably most beautiful part of entire seaboard terrace of Velebit.
Behind the refuge path enters beech forest and begins to ascend, quite steeply, in many bands through a passage between rock towers. After 10mins there is a double junction. First towards left is path which leads to Siroka Vrata (wide door). Immediately behind in another where it is straight towards Visocica peak (3h), while you turn right towards Stapina & Rujno.
Soon you are out of forest on open slopes with very nice views towards Stap bellow, cliffs of Babica and Debeli Kuk peak behind. In 5mins you reach a plateau where Stapina tower comes into view. Another short forest section and you are at its foothills (30mins from Stap). This is great place to put backpack down and rest while enjoying view of Stapina, sea & islands and rest of Panorama. From the very foothill of Stapina view expands all the way to Rujno.
From Stapina it is 5mins of descent till junction where path leads to cave in Vodeni Dolac and another minute to Canjkove Nivice, which are complex of few meadows in beautiful beech forest with Stapina rising proudly behind (title photo on main page). This is yet another amazing place to lie down in grass and admire a panorama fro a while.
Path now leads back into the forest, descending a little bit all the time. After some 20mins you reach junction towards Kamena Galerija.
After another 30mins there is another junction towards Vrtlina cave. For a short time path descents more steeply then levels again till you reach beautiful meadow bellow Carabusa (20mins from previous junction). Path leaves the forest. From a small pass a minute in front there is a nice view on Medeni Dol meadow which lies in its basin and is surrounded with forest. From here path ascends 10mins to Carabusa meadows where are few houses.
Behind Carabusa it is all the way down to Rujno which comes into view from a small pass, few mins above houses. Behind Rujno, on the left is Golic peak, while on the right is Bojinac. Path traverses grassy slopes, gradually descending, high above Duboki Dol field which lies in its own basin on the right. Behind it is Jovin Kuk peak.
In some 40mins from Carabusa you are down on Malo Rujno field (small Rujno, 3km long). which is little bit smaller than Veliko Rujno (large Rujno, 4km long). They are separated with Rujanska Kosa grassy hill which was moraine of glacier that was descending through Ribnicka Vrata pass towards Rujno.
Path over Malo Rujno is little bit hard to follow because in the grass there is not enough spots to put marks. Orientation is easy. If you loose marks cross towards right on the south part of the field. Path sticks close to the slope of Zvirjak group, which is on the right, and heads towards the lowest point where Rujanska Kosa hill touches slopes of Zvirjak group. You will find marks there certainly. Crossing of Malo Rujno lasts around 40mins. On the left are high peaks of main ridge of Velebit.
Behind a pass path descents to the pastures of Veliko Rujno. On the left is now beautiful and mighty ridge of Viserujna (1632m) while on the right is Bojinac group. In front is Golic peak. Few times path passes through grooves of Black Pine forest which is left in the foothills of Viserujna. After some 30mins you reach the small church of Virgin Mary which is a center of Veliko Rujno.