Hiking to Samograd Rock of Dinara

This blog post is long overdue but since I started adding videos to my posts, everything slowed down. This climb took place in April. Then work picked up and it is already September… Hiking to Samograd Rock of Dinara has also been in our plans for a while. This mystic tower-like rock is so unusual and so dominant on the southern slopes of Dinara that we simply had to climb it.

Samograd rock of Dinara
Samograd rock in the distance

From Knin to Dinara

Best way to reach Samograd from Zadar/Šibenik direction is though Knin. While there is a lot to see in Knin, if you want to climb Dinara, you don’t have time to stop. Quick stop at Krčić waterfall at best. This is also the entrance to wonderful Krčić stream canyon and one of my favorite drives.

Krčić waterfall near Knin and Dinara in the background

The drive through Krčić is really special and, with little traffic, a lot of fun!

Dinara Mountain

Dinara is a special mountain and does not look inhospitable like the rest of the mountains along the coast like Velebit and Biokovo. It was a region of pastures and a border between Turkish empire and Venice was going along its peaks since 1720. The highest peak of Croatia is located on Dinara and we climbed it back in 2016.

The region was always known as a summer pasture and, before WWII, there were over 135 000 sheep coming from the Dalmatian side and about 15 000 from Bosnian side. Those times are long gone but there is still some activity from both sides.

Dinara has been listed as a nature reserve only this year, 2021.

The nature park will encompass Croatia’s section of Mount Dinara as well as Mt Troglav and Mt Kamešnica overlooking Sinj, the Cetina River’s upper course and the Hrvatačko, Paško and Vrličko polje (fields). It will extend over two counties – Split-Dalmatia and Šibenik-Knin — with an area almost 63,000 hectares large!

These mountains are part of the Dinaric Alps, also commonly known as Dinarides, a mountain range in Southern and Southeastern Europe.

Mount Dinara is home to many endemic and endangered species and to more than a thousand plant varieties.

Dinara mountain from the main road
Southern cliffs of Dinara with the characteristic layers

Samograd is easy to see from the main road Knin to Kijevo. Once you come to a large gravel/dirt excavation site, just follow the road till you find the dirt road going to your left.

Hiking to Samograd

Follow the road to a clear spot where everyone parks their car. If you are in an off road car, then you can drive a mile or so longer. But, in any case, your first goal should be the Bili Cvitak shelter. This is where the trail to Samograd starts.

Family hike to Samograd on Dinara
Off to Samograd

Hiking to Samograd rock of Dinara is not difficult but it is not for kids. The shelter is at 800 meters above the sea level (2625 ft) and Samograd is at 1250 meters (4100 ft).

Samograd rock of Dinara

The rock was used as a sundial back in the day when the nearby fields were still worked. The locals would look at the shadow rock was casting and know what time of the day it was. Very simple and very efficient!

Samograd rock of Dinara close up

To reach the very top, one has to go behind the rock. But there is only one way: to the left of the rock. Since it was quite windy and sun started setting, we decided to leave it for another occasion. And simply admired the views.

Knin seen from Samograd
Knin in the distance
Peruča lake
Peruča lake
Kijevo and Svilaja in the distance
Kijevo and Svilaja in the distance

Samograd got its name as it looks like a fortress from a distance. Grad – in the past – was a city and most of the cities had towers. It does remind travelers of an abandoned tower with cursed treasure still guarded only by a dragon.

Mor on the climb one can find on this link (in Croatian): http://www.sv-mihovil.hr/clanci/samogradski-kuk-16-11-2012/64.html

And, of course, here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyW4YL99UDI&t=6s&ab_channel=SecretDalmatia