There are bad hikes, good hikes, great hikes and hikes that you will never forget. The hike to Maja Bojs is just that, unforgettable. The views from the top are just an added bonus to what you will find along the way. The trail passes through the famous valley of lakes consisting of six breathtaking glacial lakes and towering peaks. Oh, and with the peak standing at 2,461m, the view from the top? Priceless. In this Maja Bojs hiking guide you will find everything you need to know to tackle this hike.
MAJA BOJS HIKE DETAILS
This hike can be started either in Vusanje, Montenegro or Theth, Albania. The details below will all assume you start in Vusanje, Montenegro at Katun Zastan. I will include details on how to begin from Theth, Albania at the end of the post.
HIKE DURATION: If you start at the main trail head at Katun Zastan in Montenegro the hike will take you about 6 hours total. In order to start at the main trail head you will need a jeep to take you there as the road is too rough for average vehicles. However, if you do not have access to a jeep you can send me a text on Whatsapp @ +18607597320 and I can take you. Also, you can begin in the valley of Vusanje and just walk the road to Katun Zastan. This will add a total of 2 hours to your trip.
HIKE DISTANCE: The total distance of the hike is about 20 kilometers.
HIKE ELEVATION GAIN: About 1000m.
HIKE DIFFICULTY: I rate this hike as a difficult hike. Not because of the distance or elevation gain, but because the last 200m to the top of Maja Bojs is very technical. The final climb is through a steep couloir filled with lose rocks and slippery grass. Instructions to navigating this difficult portion of the climb are below.
PERMITS: If starting in Montenegro you will need a permit to cross into Albania for the day. You can contact the Montenegrin Border authorities located in Plav for this permit or contact me and I will arrange this for you.
NAVIGATING THE TRAIL TO MAJA BOJS
Follow me on strava to follow the exact trail map. The trail starts and ends at the green dot marked on the map. I forgot to shut the tracking off after the hike so you will see the data is not accurate, but the trail map can still be followed. At some points I stray off the trail to avoid snow. If there is no snow, follow the marked trail.
The trail will begin with a 350m snake climb through the forest. Once finished you will exit the forest and enter a short traverse until you pass the border marked by a large concrete stone. Shortly after the border you will come to the first and largest of the 6 lakes. If you arrive in the morning, with the sun at your back, you will have an amazing mirror view of the mountains on the lake.
After the first lake, follow it around the left side and climb the next small hill that will lead you to the next lake. Feel free to stop to soak in the sights and take some pictures. Then, follow the trail to the next lake keeping on the right side of it. Continue to follow the trail and you will come to a point where it makes a sharp right turn. Here, the main climb to the top of Maja Bojs begins.
This climb is tough, but simple. Follow the trail until you come to the final climb marked by a steep couloir.
NAVIGATING THE FINAL CLIMB THROUGH THE COULOIR
This section of the hike is why I consider this hike a difficult one. This last section is dangerous and should you should proceed with caution. The main things to be aware of is falling and loose rocks that can be deadly when they gain momentum. First, make sure there isn’t anyone in the couloir before you. If there is, give them 20 minutes to get to the top then begin your accent. If you are in a group, stay as close to each other as possible. This prevents rocks knocked loose to gain momentum before hitting the next person in line.
You want to make your accent like you are walking on eggshells. Do everything possible to avoid sending rocks flying down the slope. Check every possible handhold and step before making it. This will take longer to get to the top, but you need to be patient. Better safe than sorry.
MY EXPERIENCE HIKING MAJA BOJS
I hiked Maja Bojs with a few friends who came from Budva for the weekend. They had all already made this hike before so I was the only virgin entering the famous valley of lakes. Even though they had previously visited, their reactions were the same as mine, absolutely stunned. This speaks to just how special this hike is. I have never experienced anything like it.
The feeling when you first come out the forest and get blindsided by the view of the great lake and valley is indescribable. I swear I would be happy just sitting there all day and it’s literally just the start of the hike. They call these mountains the Albanian Alps for good reason. It’s the closest thing you have to the Alps.
We had plenty of time, so we took a break at every lake to enjoy it. Thankfully, we hiked this trail during the best time of the year (June). The snow was still melting so the lakes had this rich blue glow to them, but summer was also in full swing so the pastures were a radiant shade of green.
Everything was smooth sailing until we reached the final climb in the couloir. We arrived just before a group of Albanian hikers who came from Theth. Dejan, the most experienced climber in our group, advised them to wait 20 minutes to avoid getting hit by falling rocks.
They only took us half serious, until we got up just a few meters and a rock the size of a baseball came flying down right past their heads at a speed that would easily kill. After that, they smartened up and waited properly.
When we got to the top of Maja Bojs I was taken aback. There is a 360 degree view of all the best mountains in the area. By far, the best view I have seen hiking the Prokletije Mountain Range. After a well needed break, some pictures and drone shots, we hurried back to the jeep.
HIKING MAJA BOJS FROM THETH, ALBANIA
This hike is also a popular hike starting from Theth, Albania. Although, it is possible to do this hike in one day, you will not enjoy it. It is much too far and a ton of elevation gain. I suggest hiking from Theth to the famous lake Qafa Pejes (an established day hike from Theth), then continuing a couple kilometers past the lake to the flat pasture Runica.
You will know there you are in Runica when you cross a small stream and the geography goes flat. You will see two trails next to the stream. Both head in the same direction, but one continues flat and the other continues up the mountain on the right side. You will take the trail that above and gaining elevation to Maja Bojs.