Above the extensive Snežnik forests, Snežnik proudly rises far above the other rocky peaks in the area. It is famous as the highest Slovenian peak outside the Alpine world. The Draga Karolina hut, which is sometimes open during the winter on weekends on nice days, is located just below the peak on which there is a viewing platform. The view is excellent: to the south to Gorski Kotar with Risnjak and Snježnik and to Istria with Učka, and to the north the view opens across Notranjska all the way to the Julian Alps, Kamnik-Savinja Alps and Karawanks.
Experienced guides pick you up in front of your accommodation or desired location and drive you to Sviščaki. Snežnik must not be underestimated in any way. From autumn to spring, hikers are hindered by an abundance of snow, often strong winds, and during our autumn trip, we faced dark forests, where it gets dark extremely quickly, and covered with extremely thick fog.
The most famous routes from the north lead to Snežnik from Leskova valley and from Gašperjev hrib, and the busiest route is the one from southwest, which starts at the village of Sviščaki above Ilirska Bistrica.
From the parking area at the mountain hut in Sviščaki, we turn to the forest road – perpendicular to the main road Ilirska Bistrica – Stari trg, by which we came along. We follow this road through the village of Sviščaki for 15 to 20 minutes (1.5km) to the crossroads at the small chapel of St. Gabriel. There, the markings direct us half left to a narrower path that climbs steeper to the right of the road.
After 10 to 15 minutes, the path descends slightly to the forest road, which we cross and head past the bench, as indicated by the sign for Snežnik. We continue with a moderate ascent along the footpath. After a few minutes, we reach a small cross, where the marking points us to the left.
Following the narrower footpath, after 10 to 15 minutes we reach the forest road again, which we cross and cut a bend along the footpath, and a little higher we reach the carriageway again.
We follow it for about a kilometer to the end of the road. If we’re strong enough, we can put some logs on our shoulders, because it’s not far to the top, half an hour at most. From the parking area, we turn onto a clearly visible path that climbs up to Draga Karolina hut on Veliki Snežnik. The summit is just above the hut.