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when is the 7 rila lakes trail clar of snow

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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when is the 7 rila lakes trail clar of snow

Posted a question on another forum but didn't get a response about when the 7 Rila lakes trail would be significantly clear of snow for hiking. My wife and I are planning to vacation in Bulgaria next year. We intend to rent a car in Sofia and hike the 7 Rila lake trail, go rafting and visit the Rila Monastery and hike to Stobs Pyramid. We would like to avoid the summer tourist crowds. When will the trail be significantly clear of snow to allow us to hike? Is there a way other than the chairlift to get to the hike starting point (I'm not comfortable on a chairlift)? There was reference to 4 wheel drive vehicles that could be hired on a forum post. We are able to hike up to the starting point if it's only another couple of kms. Is there anything else in the area that you would recommend that we see or do?

8 replies to this topic
Sofia, Bulgaria
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1. Re: when is the 7 rila lakes trail clar of snow

Snow usually is over in the first half of June, this year there was much snow, so lets say after 15th of June is OK. There is a hiking path under the cable lift, but it's steep climbing 2-3 hours. 4-wheel drive transport was available 2 years ago, I believe there is still such. When going to Rila monastery, 7 km up in the mountain there is a meadow with really nice view to the mountain peaks. Normal cars go there, its popular among the locals. Stobs pyramids are about 1 hour climbing. There is a kind of strange retro exhibition at the upper end of Kocherinovo - on the way to the Rila monastery.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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2. Re: when is the 7 rila lakes trail clar of snow

Thanks for all the information. We plan to be in the area for 3 or 4 days with 3 additional days in Sofia.

Sunny Beach...
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3. Re: when is the 7 rila lakes trail clar of snow

Indeed patches of snow remain in some years until mid-June and even after that. There are at least 2-3 different options to reach Rilski Ezera hut from Panichishte without using the lift. The direct path along the ski run is not the best one IMO. Depending on how you walk these can take from 45min to 1,30hrs or longer. The 4WD vehicles, offering transportation, are operating illegally. All drivers have already dozens of fines, which they are not paying and the lack of control still allows them to stay in business. For the sake of nature, and Rila National Park, please do not use them.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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4. Re: when is the 7 rila lakes trail clar of snow

Thanks. We will not use the 4 wheel drive vehicles. Were are the other trailheads located? We will hike up. I don't anticipate that this will be a problem, we've done long day hikes with elevation gains before. What do you estimate the total time for the hike, up and back will be? We will build in additional time for photos? We appreciate your responses.

Singapore
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5. Re: when is the 7 rila lakes trail clar of snow

Hi we re going with a guide to do the hike in a week's time. This is the information we got:-

Apart from Pionerska base station trailhead, there are other trails to the 7 Lakes but they are not day trips (from Malyovitsa hut for example)

If you are not taking the chairlift, there is more than one route to get from the base chairlift station to the Rilski Ezera hut . The shorter one under the chairlift can be done in 1- 1.5 hours one way. The longer one involves a detour to see a waterfall (but will take you more than 2 hours to get to the Rilski Ezera hut).

Once you reach Rilski Ezera hut, the circuit of the lakes takes around 4-5 hours return (from and back to Rilaski Ezera) if you want to see all the lakes (includes climbing of the ridges with panoramic view) for a person of reasonable fitness. This excludes time for snacks/photos etc so budget accordingly!

You haven't mentioned which dates you are considering?

Sunny Beach...
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6. Re: when is the 7 rila lakes trail clar of snow

The trail I would recommend starts from the dirt track right after the lift station. There are signs are red markings up to Rilski Ezera hut, with a short detour to Lovna hut (which you may prefer to skip). This path takes aprr. 1hr up and 45min down. There is a deviation before you reach the Rilski Lakes hut, right after Lovna hut, which leads you straight to the Lower lake. From there you can continue exploring the rest lakes. I think the markings there were yellow. Get a map and check it. The circuit among the lakes takes 3,30hrs again depending on how you walk. Photo and lunch breaks will make it longer. The other trail through the waterfall is longer. It goes via Skakavitsa hut and the trailhead for this starts before the lift station. I would do the circular hike as described and only visit the Rilski Ezera hut when descending down to the lift station on the way back. You won't have problems completing this for less than a full day.

Sofia, Bulgaria
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7. Re: when is the 7 rila lakes trail clar of snow

The map - kade.si/#map=15/2596224.74/5196188.33/0

The map is in Bulgarian, but the chair lift is clearly visible. Pionerska is at the top marked as "х. Пионерска", Skakakvitza hut with the waterfall at left marked as "х. Скакавица", Lovna hut at rightmarked as "х. Ловна". Down the map at the end of the lift is Rilski ezera hut and the lakes are a little further down the map.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8. Re: when is the 7 rila lakes trail clar of snow

Thanks for all your help. Your information and the map will make things much easier. We plan to stay in Panichishte. We will go in mid June. Looking forward to our vacation and the hike.

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