Walking across Velika Planina is something special even during the winter. It is safe from avalanches and therefore especially magical after heavy snow fall (in that case snowshoes are advisable for non-skiers). The described tour is circular and goes 'up and down' the idyllic plateau at the doorstep of Kamnik-Savinja Alps. There are three huts offering food & drinks at Mala Planina.
Drive northwards from Kamnik and follow the markings for Stahovica or Gornji Grad. Ascend towards Črnivec pass and about 500 m before the pass turn left towards Kranjski Rak (signpost by the road). Park by the road at Volovljek pass (around 1000 m). If the road is negotiable, turn left behind the restaurant 'Kranjski Rak', and carry on for about 2 km to a large parking lot on a plateau below Rakov rob (around 1200 m), where roads to nearby meadows branch off.
You can also come to the starting point from eastern Slovenia: From Mozirje towards Luče (direction Logar Valley), where you turn left towards Kamnik. Ascend to Volovljek pass, where you park (around 1000 m). If the road is negotiable, turn right before the restaurant 'Kranjski Rak', and carry on for about 2 km to a large parking lot on a plateau below Rakov rob (around 1200 m), where roads to nearby meadows branch off.
If you leave your car at Volovljek pass, simply follow the road behind the restaurant. A bit higher (at the second parking option) road splits into two. A signpost on a forked tree branch (typical of Velika Planina) guides you to the left towards 'Planina Kisovec' or to the right towards 'Planina Konjščica'. Pick the left option and follow the road to a crossroad, where markings direct you to the right towards Mala Planina. When you get out of the forest, keep right (flatter terrain) and before long you reach the first houses at Mala Planina. From there head towards Gojška Planina, which is approximately 500 m slightly to the right in front of you. From Gojška Planina ascend up to the first summit of the tour – Bukovec, from where gorgeous views to Kamnik-Savinja Alps open. From here descend a bit into a small basin towards a ski slope (north-west), and proceed ascending towards the cottages and the chapel of Snow Mary at Velika Planina. After that comes a short & a bit steeper ascent to the highest summit of Velika Planina – Gradišče, where a chair-lift and a drag-lift come together. From the summit of Gradišče descend along the ridge towards south-east back to Mala Planina, from where you follow the road, which descends between Gojška and Mala Planina. The road brings you directly to the starting point.
Bukovec: 1553 m
Gradišče: 1666 m
Kranjski Rak (Volovljek pass) – Parking below Rakov rob: 30 min
Parking below Rakov rob – Mala planina (direction Kisovec meadow): 1.15 h
Mala planina – Bukovec: 30 min
Bukovec – Gradišče: 1 h
Gradišče – Mala planina: 30 min
Mala planina – Marjanine Njive – Parking below Rakov rob: 1 h
Total: 5 h
Because it is an 'up and down' kind of tour, you will benefit from skiing the most if you descent from Bukovec directly towards south-east, past Gojška Planina towards Marjanine Njive and then follow the road to the parking. When descending from Gradišče you won't be skiing that much. On the ridge itself the snow is usually swept away and there is a small ascent waiting for you before Mala Planina. Follow the road from Mala Planina past Marjanine Njive to the starting point.
Skiing difficulty: : 1
Skiing duration: from Bukovec ca. 30 min, from Gradišče ca. 1 h