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The Bijele and Samarske Stijene

A special place in the vast area of Kapela is taken by the Bijele and Samarske cliffs. They are situated at the edge of Ogulin towards Gorski Kotar. Although they are not completely within the administrative area covered by Ogulin, they are mentioned here because Jasenak is a starting point for mountaineering and, together with Bjelolasica, they make an interesting mountaineering destination. Bijele and Samarske Stijene were proclaimed a natural reserve by the Croatian Sabor on 1st January 1985 due both to their primeval beauty and their endemic and rare plant species.

Nature has created various karst forms here. The complex obtained its name because of the numerous vertical, white and sometimes fifty metre high rocks that rise from impassable holes and ravines with permanent snow in their depths. There are virgin woods in the upper regions. Small and beautiful clearings among the rocks are similar to cauldrons and they are known as gardens due to their rich and interesting flora. Although it is difficult to pass through them, the Bijele Stijene are well-known to mountaineers. They return here with pleasure because this natural karst workshop always offers visitors new experiences and new detail. Edelweiss is the Alpine species most found here.

The Samarske Stijene are situated next to the Bijele Stijene. They consist of some twenty stone groups which protrude separately through the wooded cover. Being composed of limestone, these stone peaks are similar to large-headed cones, cracked into layers. Rich habitats for edelweiss abound in the rocks. The natural shapes of the Samarske Stijene are very similar to the Bijele Stijene and should be protected together as one unique natural reserve. Near the most beautiful rocks, there is a shelter under one of the cliffs.

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