If you’re looking for the most unique experience in Montenegro, look no further than Bobotov Kuk. Bobotov Kuk is officially the tallest mountain in Montenegro, reaching 2523m in height.
For adventurers and hikers seeking a bit of thrill, summiting this peak will be a memory you’ll never forget. This guide includes everything you need to know about hiking Bobotov Kuk, a trail that will take you to the top of Montenegro and back again.
How To Get To Bobotov Kuk
There are many ways to approach the tallest mountain in Montenegro but the easiest way is via Sedlo Pass.
From Zabljak, take the main road, P5, out to P14. P14 will take you into Durmitor National Park and eventually up Sedlo Pass. Soon, you’ll pass a wooden cabin on the left side of the road. After this, look for the parking lot on the right side at the very top of the pass.
There aren’t any signs that say “Bobotov Kuk” within view from the road, which is what confused us. But once you park, you’ll be able to see a green sign leading the way. Check out the picture below for a reference.
Entrance Fee For Durmitor National Park
An entrance fee of €3 per person must be paid on arrival.
During our drive out to the trailhead, we were confused about where to pay since we didn’t see any ranger stations. Luckily, there was a ranger in the parking lot waiting for hikers.
Bobotov Kuk Hike
We’ve conquered many mountains in our lives; some almost twice the height of Bobotov Kuk. But we were pleasantly surprised by the intensity of this hike.
Starting the trek via Sedlo Pass, you’ll make your way up to the first mountain. Oh no, don’t be silly, this is not the mountain you’ll be tackling (we definitely thought it was). The first incline will test your endurance and fear of heights as you scale the edge of the mountain around to the first saddle.
Enjoy the next part of the hike as you cross the flatlands down to the valley. The new mountain range that will be visible during this part of the trek is incredibly beautiful. But again, don’t be fooled. None of these are the one you want.
After approximately an hour, you’ll start to see Bobotov Kuk’s peak peek through. Follow the trail to the base of the mountain before you start the final climb up to the summit. The final stretch is about 1km in length but it will take upwards of 1 – 1.5 hours to complete.
From the trailhead to the summit of Bobotov Kuk, it took us 2.5 hours. Keep in mind that we’re avid and quick hikers. Although this hike can be accomplished by anyone who is in decent physical condition, give yourself enough time to reach the top and get back down before sunset.
Allow 6-7 hours to complete the entire trek.
Tips To Know Before You Go
Each hike you go on in your life will have different characteristics. Here are a few tips you should know before you go to the summit of Bobotov Kuk:
1. Wear proper shoes
Like I’ve mentioned before, this hike can be epic. There are places where you’ll need to pull yourself up and over boulders. You’ll need to scale several mountain sides. Having proper shoes will be your lifesaver.
2. Do not attempt this hike in poor weather or in the dark
Many sections of this hike require ascending and descending steep inclines. They have even installed ropes in many areas to help climbers overtake boulders. With that said, I don’t recommend attempting this hike in poor weather.
We summited Bobotov Kuk in late October when the sun was only visible until 4:30pm. If you choose to hike this mountain in fall, be sure to give yourself ample amount of time. It could be deadly trying to hike out in the dark.
3. Do not attempt this hike if you are afraid of heights
I can’t stress this point enough. If you’re afraid of heights, I highly recommend choosing a different hike in Durmitor National Park. Before we began this hike, I read a few posts about the trail and what we could expect.
Other blog posts mentioned that there are some parts of the Bobotov Kuk trail that have steep ledges, but very few posts mentioned just how scary it is. This is especially true for people who are already afraid of hikes.
There are some sections of the trail with a two-foot wide path and a 1,500 foot drop on one side. Although I can tolerate heights while hiking, this scared me.
4. Follow the red and white circles
While hiking Bobotov Kuk, always keep an eye out for the trail markers. These markers are a distinct red circle with a white dot in the middle. For us, there were many times when we had to stop and search for the next trail marker because the path wasn’t obvious.
You’ll find these red and white dots on both large and small rocks so be sure to look up and down while scanning the area around you.
Keep in mind, there are also a few spray-painted red lines that help to guide the way. When in doubt, follow the markers.
5. Don’t miss the turn-off that ascends to the summit!!
Womp, womp, womp. Unfortunately, this happened to us.
We stopped for lunch at the bottom of Bobotov Kuk near a cluster of yellow signs. One of them read, “Bobotov Kuk 2523m. 1km”. How exciting! We were just one kilometer from summiting the tallest mountain in Montenegro.
As we started our final climb, we completely missed the turn off, which happened to be right in front of our faces. Instead, the other trail took us up and over the saddle to the left of Bobotov Kuk. We ended up in an area called “Skaka”. NOT the summit.
To make sure you make it to the summit and not 2 hours out of the way, follow these directions:
Once you reach the base of Bobotov Kuk, you’ll see a cluster of yellow signs. Once you reach these yellow signs, you’ll want to turn a sharp right, and start ascending up the mountain face.
Take a look at the picture and illustration below for reference. The yellow signs are on the left and the trail is on the right, straight up the mountain.
We made the mistake of continuing straight past these yellow signs instead of turning. Unfortunately, several other hikers took the same way we did and they were just as disappointed. This is an easy mistake to make, so keep this in mind during your trek.
6. Bring enough water and snacks
This is a demanding hike. Pack enough food and water to fuel your body up this mountain.
What you don’t realize when you arrive in the Sedlo Pass parking lot is that you won’t be able to see the mountain for an hour. You’ll need to go up and over several saddles to reach the valley where Bobotov Kuk rests. Add heat and humidity to the mix and your body will be begging for more hydration.
Therefore, I strongly suggest taking more water than you think you’ll need on this hike.
What To Pack
As with any hike, you’ll want to be fully prepared. Whether you encounter poor weather, a lack of water stations, or a cramp, packing the necessary equipment is vital when it comes to hiking.
These are the things we found to be necessary for a hike up Bobotov Kuk:
Who knew that Camelbak was just a brand, not the backpack you carry with a water bladder?! Mind BLOWN! Apparently, those backpacks are just called hydration backpacks.. boring.
Either way, you’ll need a hydration backpack for this hike. Having a water bladder is always a good idea on a hike, especially when you’re attempting to summit the highest mountain in Montenegro.
Since brand name Camelbaks are so expensive, I recommend getting a Vibrelli Hydration Backpack. Not only are they half the price of Camelbaks, but they are quality products. I’ve had mine for years and years.
During our hike, Mike and I finished 5 liters of water between the two of us. Believe me when I say that you should bring MORE water than you think you need. We only wish we had more on the way down. The rock climbing spurts took a lot of energy out of us and we needed more water than we thought.
Keep in mind, there aren’t any places on the trail to fill up your Camelbak or water bottle.
The best place to stock up on food and snacks before you climb Bobotov Kuk is a market called Voli. You can find Voli right downtown Zabljak. They have everything you could possibly need for this hike: Snickers bars, sandwich materials, fruit, etc.
I typically switch between hiking shoes and running shoes depending on the type of trail. After completing Bobotov Kuk, I can confidently say that you’ll need a good pair of hiking shoes. The grip that hiking shoes provide is completely necessary for the rock climbing and boulders you will encounter on this trek.
I’ve always used Merrell for my hiking shoes. I’m currently wearing Merrell Women’s Hiking Yokota 2, which have been amazing and provide excellent support (especially for my arches).
Where To Stay
The easiest location to stay during your visit to Durmitor National Park is the small town of Zabljak. There are plenty of grocery stores in town and a few restaurants as well. What’s more is that the views from the town of Zabljak are breathtaking.
We chose to stay in an Airbnb during our trip, which turned out to be a great option for us. Not to mention, it was only $32 per night! Our chalet was called Vila Vjerra and I highly recommend it for anyone hiking Bobotov Kuk.
If you haven’t used Airbnb yet, use this link to sign up and get $40 off your first stay.
Other Adventures Near Bobotov Kuk
If you plan on exploring Zabljak and Durmitor National Park for a few days, here are a few more adventures you can add to your itinerary.
Black Lake is located about 1.5 miles from the center of Zabljak. Come to Black Lake to experience the beautiful green lake with mind-blowing views of Durmitor National Park in the backdrop.
I recommend taking the hike that goes around this lake. Many tourists visit Black Lake, but few actually hike the path. Getting away from the crowds makes it so much more special.
If you come to Black Lake in the fall, you’ll notice that there is an exposed causeway that splits the lake in two. Be sure to venture to the lake in the back, too. The colors are even more beautiful there.
Note: It costs €3 per person to enter Durmitor National Park when visiting Black Lake. They also charge €2 for parking.
Tara River Canyon
We were surprised to find out that the deepest canyon in Europe was located 20 minutes from Zabljak. The Tara River Canyon is a must-see when in this area.
So, whether you choose to come for white-water rafting, fishing, extreme zip-lining, or just to see the iconic Tara River Bridge, I suggest adding this to your itinerary.
The Wrap-Up: Bobotov Kuk
Completing a climb to the top of the tallest mountain in Montenegro will be the best experience you have in the Balkans. Now that you know the ins and outs of hiking to the summit of Bobotov Kuk, we hope you have the most successful and exciting trek.
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