Polhograjska Grmada is one of the most beautiful and popular hiking destinations in the Polhov Gradec Dolomites, a rugged pre-Alpine landscape practically on the edge of the capital. The climb to the summit already shows some characteristics of high mountain areas – steep rocky slopes, exposed ridges and so on.
The evergreen vegetation along the route is also a surprise, although the area is part of a protected nature park that is famous for its remarkable flora, particularly in late spring and summer, when it is filled with colourful flowers. The peak of Grmada offers a wonderful view over the Alps, the Krim range, the hills of the Notranjska region and the wetland plain of the Ljubljansko Barje. A circular summit indicator helps visitors interpret the view. One further curiosity: Rudolf Badjura, the legendary author of mountain guides, writes that the French used to refer to Polhograjska Grmada as “Louis Quatorze”, since the unusual shape of its jagged ridge, with its vertically sheared head, recalled the jaw and nose of King Louis XIV of France.
There are several routes up Polhograjska Grmada from various starting points. We recommend the trail from Polhov Gradec, which can also be reached by bus, through the hamlet of Ravnek.
The route is a varied one that includes a macadam road, cart tracks, forest paths, and little paths climbing up through rocks and along an exposed ridge. It is a trek with a hint of the high mountains.
Follow the path from Polhov Gradec to the edge of the forest. From the path you can see the old part of the settlement and the little “Calvary” hill, and, above them, Polhograjska Gora. The narrow and occasionally rocky path climbs up gently to the point where it emerges from the forest, continues to an enclosed pasture and then joins a macadam road. This leads to a mountain hut (Planinski dom na Ravneku) and then on to Ravnek itself, a hamlet consisting of just a few houses and farm buildings.
The road now becomes a pleasant forest path that climbs higher to a comfortable cart track and from there to a hunting lodge, where an increasingly rocky and steep section begins. Higher up, the path levels out and a view opens over the vertical crags on the right-hand side of the slope. Continue along the attractive little path to a fork that is just a few steps away from Mala Grmada (853 m), a summit from which on fine days you can even see the Julian Alps and Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain.
After descending the steps down to some jagged rocks, follow the path steeply up again along the narrow rocky ridge. Here you will occasionally need to use both hands. After a while, the path begins to descend gently, with the last part of the ascent to Grmada the only remaining steeper section.
The first part of the descent completes a circle; from Grmada descend to the plateau below the last climb to the peak and instead of turning right (in the direction of the summit), continue straight downhill to the signposted junction and turn right following the sign “Polhov Gradec”. After an easy descent over the rocks, follow the long, almost flat path across the slope as far as the hunting lodge. From here continue by the same route as the ascent.