Pokljuka gorge – At the beginning of the valley of the river Radovna, an interesting Pokljuka gorge flows into the slope of Pokljuka. It is only 1 km away from the village of Krnica. The gorge is also accessible from Zatrnik. The gorge was carved into the rock by a former water stream from Pokljuka. What remains is a 2 km long gorge with narrow meandering parts and extensions called kindergartens.
The gorge is located in the Triglav National Park and is protected as a natural monument of extraordinary importance. The Pokljuka gorge is the largest dry fossil gorge in Slovenia. It was formed at the end of the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago. A stream of water came from the melting glaciers into the soft limestone cliffs. The gorge is 2 km long. The rock walls, which are a few meters close in the narrowest parts, are up to 40 m high.
The gorge is full of natural sights that line one after the other along the way. Rock walls are lined up, holes, caves, overhangs, natural bridges open in them…
The Pokljuka gorge is impassable in winter
During heavy rains, a stream still flows in the lower part of the gorge, which flows from the side gorge into which it falls in a 20 m high waterfall. Today, the rain is just for a sample. A drop falls here and there. That is why the streambed is empty. The waterfall does not flow either.
The path through the Pokljuka gorge is regularly maintained and equipped with signposts and information boards. It is made in the shape of number 8. It runs along the bottom of a narrow valley along a dry riverbed and rounds twice along the banks.
The usual route to see the entire gorge is from the parking lot up the bottom of the gorge. At the end of the gorge, the path turns left into a steep hill towards Zatrnik. He comes back to the gorge at the galleries.
The path ascends to the right bank through the Pokljuka hole and joins the macadam road on the Figovek mountain, which leads to the parking lot.
A walk in the lower part of the Pokljuka gorge
We are only walking along the bottom of the gorge today. From the parking lot to the end of the gorge. Next time we’ll come in the fall. That’s when this lush greenery, which hides all the size of the rocks from the eyes and the camera, will turn yellow and fall off the trees and bushes. We’ll come then when there will be a lot of rain and the riverbed will be full of water.
There are many interesting caves and other karst phenomena in the Pokljuka gorge. The most famous cave is the Pokljuka hole. This is a transitional tunnel… it would be more appropriate to call this tunnel a hall. Due to its dimensions, it definitely deserves such a name!
The cave hall has two entrances and three windows. The path from the gorge to the nearby Figovek mountain passes through it.
There are caves and natural rock bridges in the high overhanging walls. The biggest is this one. It rises 24m above the bottom of the gorge. There is a cave in the rock wall below it. It was just starting to rain. This cave will be just right for us to wait for this rain to pass.
100 years of tourism and attractions in the area
The galleries of Prince Andrej were built high in the rock wall by members of the Gorje tourist association back in 1930. Thus, they made the otherwise impassable narrowest part of the gorge passable.
The people of Gorje were already aware of the importance of tourism at that time. They made their way through the famous Bled Vintgar, through the Pokljuka gorge and higher in the Radovna valley into a real underground cave, which has several names: Gorjanska jama, Simnovo brezno, Kocevnk and probably some more. There, in a 40 m deep entrance abyss, fixed ladders were built along which visitors, mostly more demanding Bled guests, were led into a more than 2 km long cave.
From then until today, the paths, galleries and signposts are regularly renewed. Many times we have already come to this mysterious and little visited world, but it has always been the same. Paths open and cleared, signposts restored. In wooden galleries, however, we have never come across a single weathered board. Everything is always in the best order.
Nevertheless, they warn that it is not safe in major rains and storms in the gorge. Here, nature can just show all its raw power.