Dinara is the highest mountain in Croatia. Although it does not protrude with remarkable height – it does not exceed 2000 m, with its configuration and length represents one of the most impressive mountains in Croatia. Its massif, 20 km long and almost 10 km wide, ascends as natural boundary wall between Dalmatia and Bosnia and separates like a wall two different worlds: mediterranean and continental. Its amazing several hundreds meters high southwest wall by its size attracts glances of everyone who finds himself at the foothill. Especial beauty at the same time provide abundant flowery meadows and forests. Climbing to the top of Dinara demands good shape because approaches are long, steep and difficult. Croatian mountaineering association with mountaineering clubs in Knin and Kijevo organizes every year collective ascent to its top.
The town Knin is the biggest settlement at the Dinara foothill and at the same time main starting point to ascend. The only road ascending up high into the mountain gets off from the village Guge, at outskirts of Knin. The road is winding and dusty, and unfortunately in very bad shape. The road from Suvo polje ("Dry plain"), at the half of the altitude of Dinara, continues further via several forest roads towards Brezovac, where there is the hiking hut for overnight stay. Anyone who wants to go on foot to Dinara will stay overnight in the hiking hut from where one can reach the top for 3 h of climbing.
The top can be reached also from the other side of Dinara, from the village Glavaš, but this ascent takes 4-5 hours. Above the village Glavaš there is an old picturesque tower, and at half way to the top hiking shelter Martinova košara is situated, arranged in former shepherd summer cottage. Since there are no water sources along the path, and it is exposed to the sunshine, one has to carry plentiful of water.
KNIN is the biggest settlement at the Dinara foothill and at the same time main starting point to ascent it. The town developed at southeast slopes of Spas hill that dominates over Knin valley surrounded by river streams of Krka, Radljevac, Orašnica and Butižnica. In 9th century the town was seat of the croatian duke, from 11th century of the croatian king, and from 12th century of the croatian banus (governor), and as dominant strategic location and important military stronghold it remained important also in subsequent centuries. In Fatherland war the town became the symbol of new croatian freedom because by its liberation on August 5th, 1995 the serbian aggression was broken-down. The most important building is the great fortress above the town, nowadays arranged as an outdoor museum.
The starting point for Dinara ascent from the Knin direction is Suvo polje (Dry plain), the large plateau at the half of the mountain altitude. Starting from Knin one has to go by car from road curve near the village Kovačići (at outskirts of Knin) in Grahovo direction 1.5 km, then to the right on the narrow road through the hamlet Guge towards Dinara. Just behind the last house in Guge asphalt ends, and our road turns to the right over the bridge. Onwards follows 18 km of ascent by wide macadam up to Suvo polje. The road is unfortunately in very bad shape (recommended only for cross country vehicles). This is the only road ascending high into the mountain. One can go from Guge up to Suvo polje also on foot following the marked path that cuts the road, but this way is long and tedious. At the entry of Suvo polje, on the place named Markov grob (Mark's grave) there is a broadening suitable to park the car, but it is possible to drive still further, until the road becomes even worse.
From Suvo polje the impressive southwest wall of Dinara is well seen, and to the left there is a scenic peak Badanj beside which the path towards the hiking hut "Brezovac" passes. The marked path leads across the meadows and later by bad supply-road towards Brezovac and after 1.5 h reaches the Badanj foothill. The pathway bypasses Badanj through the middle of valley and afterwards descends to sinkhole Brezovac, on which right edge the hiking hut is placed.
HIKING HUT BREZOVAC (1050 m) is placed in the woods, at the edge of the large sinkhole Brezovac. Brezovac is the small mountain settlement with about ten weekend cottages still in use. The hiking hut in ground floor has three rooms, one of which is arranged as dining room, and on the first floor are two sleeping rooms. Water cistern is situated near the house. INFO - Open: by arrangement - Supplied: not supplied - Sleeping places: 50 – Managing: HPD Dinara, Knin - Informations: Perica Šimić +385 91/89 13 506
The marked path to the top of Dinara enters the forest on the right from the house. In 20' it reaches the edge of Duler meadow and afterwards proceeds on the large meadow Samar. The wide path lengthy ascends through Samar 45' up to the flatter part where the marked path turns to the right uphill and leaves the forest road. Along the steep meadows it reaches the first grove, where from the right approaches the path from the village Mirkovići. The path here arrives to predominantly stony terrain and gradually ascends with the broad view, and by the little more steep couloir to the place where the geodetic pillar on the peak can be seen. From this point the peak can be reached in 10'.
DINARA (1831 m) is the highest peak in Republic Croatia. On its tops there are several stony apexes overgrown with dwarf-pines. At one of the apexes oriented towards the Peruča lake is situated a geodetic pillar, and on the other metal cross. Owing to its altitude and location, the peak provides the view to almost all mountains in Dalmatia and Bosnia, and especially attractive is to the Peruča lake in the depth. The peak of Dinara is the only obligatory peak of Croatian hiking trail, where the visitor has to prove the visit by his own photo, not only by a stamp. Metal seal is on the rock close to the geodetic pillar. Knin citizens call the peak simply Dinara, while those of Kijevo call it Sinjal since long time ago.
Glavaš can be reached by car or on foot from Kijevo (22 km from Knin) by road towards Uništa in northeast direction 6 km (1:30 h). From the road to Uništa it has to be turned to Glavaš at second concrete bus station (1 km after the first such concrete bus station and turn to Validžići).
THE HIKING HUT GLAVAŠ (550 m) is situated 200 m to the north from the last Glavaš houses. This is in fact a blue metal container with two separated rooms. One serves as sojourn and sleeping room, and the other only for club purposes. The house is provided with a refrigerator, cooker, heating unit, sink, as well as dishes and cutlery. INFO - Open: by arrangement - Supplied: not supplied - Sleeping places: 8 – Managing: HPD Sinjal 1831, Kijevo - Informations: Marko Gojević +385 91/52 15 285
The ascent in Glavaš begins at concrete small house on which there is a hiking mark. The marked path goes from the road to the left through the village, and 200 m after the last houses there is the hiking hut Glavaš. Then follows the ascent on open terrain past medieval fortification Glavaš (671?m, 20’ from the village). The path after 2:30?h from Glavaš reaches the grassy plateau Podcrkvica. Beside the main pathway, in shepherd settlement Donje Torine there is an open hiking shelter Martinova košara.
HIKING SHELTER MARTINOVA KOŠARA (1287?m) is situated in Donje Torine. This is an old shepherd dwelling arranged as simple shelter. INFO - Open: permanently - Supplied: not supplied - Sleeping places: 14 – Managing: HPD Sinjal 1831, Kijevo - Informations: Marko Gojević +385 91/52 15 285
Further follows the constant ascent up to the top. The ascent is very scenic, but it has to be taken into account the length and altitude that has to be overcome.