Just 20 minutes outside Sarajevo, the Bjelasnica mountain range towers up. An area loved by hikers and skiers alike, Bjelasnica hosted several components of the 1984 winter Olympic games. The mountain range stretches from Sarajevo to Konjic and includes a range of traditional Bogomil and Bosnian villages, watermills, canyons, waterfalls, lakes, and mountain huts. While large tracts of lush forest hug the base of the mountain range, no forest will be found above the 1500 meter tree line. It is here that Bjelasnica opens up into numerous bald peaks inhabited by wolves, wild boar and bear. The serenity of the landscape is apparent immediately upon arrival. Soft gusts of wind blow through young grass and the occasional oak trail. Numerous trails have been marked and are maintained by the various mountain clubs in the region. It is not uncommon to find other outdoor enthusiasts roaming this area.
A large part of the mountains is covered with forests made of many different types of trees. The largest area is taken up by the beech-tree forests (Luzlo-Fagetum), within which smaller forests of beech-trees and fir-tree with spruce (Fago – Abietum silicicolum) can be found. The oak-tree forests (Quercetum petraeae montanum) are located in warmer parts. The great importance of these forests lies first and foremost in their generally valuable functions such as: protective, hydrological, climatic, hygienic-health, tourism-recreation, educational and defensive functions of the forest. Of all above-mentioned functions of the forest tourism and recreation function should be emphasized because this forest area represents an ideal ambience for vacation and recreation for every season. Also, these large forest areas are a guarantee for clean air in this region, which is characterized by high percent of basic oxygen, which is rare in these parts of Europe.
There are very few such gigantic valleys in Europe, which excite even the greatest experts for mountain-valley regions, as does the valley of Rakitnica or rather the canyon of river Rakitnica, one of the biggest tributary streams of river Neretva. This big river is one of the most interesting hydrographic phenomena in Mediterranean region.
Almost at the very beginning of the canyon, more specifically downstream from the narrow passage called “Buturov prolaz”, at the height of 400m “Studeni potok” precipitates in a form of a waterfall making a few cascades and it represents one of the biggest attractions of Rakitnica canyon
Web site of the mountaineering society "Bjelasnica"
Let's say that there are two base starting points to the mountain.
1. Sarajevo (road M-17) -> village Ljubovcici (turn left from the road M-17 just before first mosque after Hadzici (near Pazaric)). From here leads a two-hour trail to the mountain hut Stanari (base location for further exploration of the mountain). Trail is well marked.
2. Sarajevo ->Lukavica -> Krupac -> Babin Do.
From Babin Do you can hike to the highest peak (2067) of the mountain but I prefer to drive further throught the village Sabici and reach Umoljani.
Or you can fo further to the Sinanovici where you exut Bjelasnica area and enter Visocica mountain.
Unfortunately, there are no any rules to be followed but if you like nature you''ll ceirtanly take care of it ....
When To Climb
Mountain Hut (1585 m.) built in 1949 in the middle of Bjelasnica, between the forest and mountain pastures, it offers a pretty view on surrounding hills. It is possible to come to the hut from the Mountain Hut "Podgradina", from the village of Ljubovcici (2.30 hours) over Ramin Greb or Salihagina bajta or by car from Zovik to Salihagina bajta (10 km) and then on foot to the hut (1 hour). From the hut it is possible to come to the Mountain Hut "Sitnik" (45 min.), to the "Hranisava" Mountain Hut (1.30 hour) and to the"Javornik" Hut (2 hours).
Mountain Hut (1350m.) was built in 1952 in thick woods, at the bottom of a high rock (Gradina, so "Podgradina" means "under the rock" It has 20 beds, a common room, a kitchen, a water tank, a well near the house and electricity from a generator. It is possible to reach the house from Savnici, over Hober (1.30 hour), from Pazaric, through Ljubovcici and Bor (2.45 hours) or by car to Ljubovcici and then on foot (1.45 hour). It is possible to come by car from Zovik through the Lokve village to Salihagina bajta (10 km.) and on foot 15 min. to the hut. From there it is possible to come to the "Stanari" hut in 45 min.
Mountain Hut (1498 m.) was built in 1948. Torn down because ofits dilapidation, and in its place a new hut is being built with 20 beds, a common room and a kitchen. Near the hut there is a little brook. It is on the mountain path between Bjelasnica and Igman, 2 hours from Stanari, 1 hour from Veliko Polje and 2 hours from Hrasnicki stan.lt is possible to come by car 10 minutes to the hut from the Police Station on Veliko Polje.
Mountain Hut at the altitude of 1730 m., was built in 1949. It has 20 beds, a common room, a kitchen and a well in front of the hut. It is 45 minutes from Stanari and 2.30 hours from the top of Bjelasnica (Observatory 2067m.). Surrounded by pastures it offers ideal possibilities for skiing.
Mountain Hut, at the altitude of 1965 m, with 15 beds and a kitchen, is 4.30 hours of hiking from Pazaric and 1.30 hour from "Stanari". Built in 1950 at the top of one of the peaks of Bjelasnica, Velika Hranisava, it offers marvellous views on surrounding landscape. (Currently not in use)
Meteorological Observatory 2067 m, (built in 1894, as the first in B-H), offers marvellous views on surrounding mountains. During the 14* Olympic Games it was a starting point for ski competitions (downhill) with a cable car. After the war, in 1995, the building was reconstructed and hikers can find refuge there. From the top there is a path to "Sitnik (2 hours), to Babin Do or down the "Josipova Staza" to the Police Station at Veliko Polje (both 2 hours). Near the top there is a monument to 7 young mountaineers who lost their lives in December 1962.
Note: Sleeping is charged cca 6$ (six) in any hut ...
Sarajevo is the nearest city so you can take weather forecast for Sarajevo. Close enough ...