Kamniška Bistrica (The Kamnik Bistrica) is an Alpine river, a 33 km long left tributary of the Sava River. It springs beneath the Kamnik Alps. In fact Kamniška Bistrica is also a small settlement in the Valley of Kamniška Bistrica but generally most people in Slovenia would understand the location as the source of the river. The rivers has three sources but the one near the Lodge of Kamniška Bistrica is THE source.
It is a typical beginning of a glacier valley, pretty narrow with the mountain peaks in the background. Since it is densely forested the views and photo opportunities are limited but beautiful.
Behind the lodge the hiking paths lead to the Kokrško Saddle and Kamnik Saddle. Following the white road a few hundred meters, there is a fairy tale scenery, just after the parking place.
There are generally three kinds of visitors here, the mountaineers, the cyclist who stop at the lodge before heading back to the starting points and people who just enjoy the beauty of this secluded spot. In summer time it is also a nice spot to chill down a bit.
A kind of lake behind the damm is really small and difficult to photograph – a kind of dull in the winter with no snow and a lot of green during the spring and summer. Autumn colours and a lot of snow are probably the best combinations. But the main motif here is always photogenic, in the summer…
… or during the winter.
First sun rays with some mist over the water are the best combination.
But don’t stop there. Above the lake the water comes into daylight from underneath many rocks, which are overgrown with moss. Spruce trees grow on larger boulders and the water creates tiny waterfalls and rapids. It is very refreshing in hot days, but it could also be pretty wild after heavy rain. Beautiful views on the mountains wait for you along the road from the lodge.
The valley of Kamniška Bistrica plunges from the south into the heart of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. Since we mentioned the town of Kamnik so many times already – from most directions, with the exception of the access from Upper Savinja Valley, the small and charming medieval town of Kamnik is on the way to the valley. It was first mentioned as a town in 1229, when it was an important trading post on the road between Ljubljana and Celje. It is one of the oldest towns in Slovenia.
The valley is a very popular starting point for various hiking trips to the mountains of Kamnik-Savinja Alps and nearby waterfall Orglice. Cable car to Velika Planina, huge mountain plateau and ski resort with big and lively herdsmen’s settlement of unique architecture, is also located nearby the entrance to the most narrow part of the valley.
In summer days, especially at weekends, it is probably the best decision to park the car at first opportunity from this point on and enter the pathways along one of the gorges, Veliki and Mali (Big and Small) Predaselj. Beautiful crystal clear water is at the deepest part of the Veliki Predaselj hidden 30 m bellow. Watch your step if you decide to take a closer look at it.
Forests and mountains around used to be popular hunting area over centuries. Close to the mountain lodge is another building, which used to be a Royal Hunting Lodge of the King Alexander I of Yugoslavia. Famous Slovenian architect Josef Plečnik designed it in 1932. Later it was used by Tito, as well as the smaller lodge on the boulder above.
Zoran Leban Trojar, @zokus_gf