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Hiking trail recommended route Stage 8

High Scardus Trail Stage 08 Brod - Radika

· 3 reviews · Hiking trail · North Macedonia
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High Scardus Trail Organization
  • A landscape like in Mongolia on the way to Torbeshki Most
    A landscape like in Mongolia on the way to Torbeshki Most
    Photo: Matthew Nelson, CC BY-ND, High Scardus Trail Organization
The path to nowhere: very long but scenically one of the most magnificent stages on the High Scardus Trail through the Mongolian-like highlands of the western foothills of the Sharr Mountains.


>>>> ATTENTION: Detailled informations on how to plan your trip, safety instructions, regulations for border crossing etc. are provided by the official website <<<<

Distance 23.6 km
8:00 h
1,193 m
930 m
2,392 m
1,383 m
One of the king stages on the entire High Scardus Trail - in several respects: This stage from Brod to Radika is the longest stage on the trail without optional shuttle. Large parts are extremely remote and you often hike pathless or only on almost not visible tracks. But it is certainly one of the most beautiful stages of the trail: The landscape soon becomes extremely spacious after the small ski resort south of Brod and almost reminds of Mongolian steppe landscapes, in which you feel quite small. You are constantly on a high plateau over 2,000 m high, hiking past small mountain lakes before you finally climb steeply up Radika Peak, which is over 2,400 m high. On the other side you hike over gentle meadows and steppes down to Radika, where only a few shepherds live in the middle of nowhere. You have reached the western end of the Sharr Mountains - now the Korab Mountains are waiting for you!


Author’s recommendation

As this stage is very long we recommend a shuttle from Brod to Arxhena Mountain Resort (1 hr less). For more details see "How to get there".
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High Scardus Trail 
Update: March 17, 2023
Highest point
2,392 m
Lowest point
1,383 m
Best time of year

Track types

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Safety information

Attention: The stage is currently not well marked in some places, which in combination with difficult to see sections of the trail and little detailed maps can lead to serious orientation problems in some places. Currently we strongly recommend to hike the trail only with a local guide. If you still want to hike on your own, great experience with GPS devices or the use of map apps (including the possibility of offline storage of maps; Outdooractive app recommended) is necessary!

Attention: For crossing the Kosovar-North Macedonian border (green border) a Border Permit is necessary!

Note: Radika is almost uninhabited and there is no cell phone reception!

Attention: This stage is difficult to find in poor visibility!


Brod village center by the post office (1,388 m)
41.991165, 20.706416
41°59'28.2"N 20°42'23.1"E
34T 475682 4648837
Show on Map


Radika near the hydro power station

Turn-by-turn directions

From the start of the stage in Brod at the post office you walk down to the right to the "Pizza" Market. In front of the grocery store (sorry, there is no pizza here) turn left into the road (signpost "Torbeshki Most" and "Hotel Arxhena") and follow it out of town. Just outside the village a signpost ("Shutman Lake") directs you to the right onto the old road into the valley. You follow this dirt and overgrown road as it gains elevation on the right side of the valley. The road becomes a trail and meets the ski slope of the small ski area above the Arxhena Mountain Resort visible below (if you stayed at Arxhena Mountain Resort, just ascend the gravel ski slope to this point in 15 minutes).

You hike up the ski slope for a short while until, in a right turn, footprints lead straight up over the meadow slope. You will reach a signpost and follow the trail towards "Shutman Lake", which leads into the valley on the right side above the valley floor at a constant altitude. Two hairpin bends bring you down just above the valley floor and you continue to follow the trail into the valley until you reach another signpost.

You will now see a large pasture house, head towards it, but leave it on the left. On the right side of the valley, a path leads further into the valley (difficult to see in the vicinity of the alpine hut, after a small field it becomes clearer again), which takes you up to Shutman Lake.

You hike along the right bank and continue to follow the trail through the shallow valley until you reach a saddle. At the far end of the saddle, vehicle tracks lead to the right: you follow these slightly uphill until you reach more vehicle tracks. Turn left here until you come to more vehicle tracks from the right. Follow these again to the left until they lead downhill to the southeast of the small peak Mramor. At this point you must not miss to leave the vehicle tracks to the left and hike pathlessly across the meadows slightly downhill across the plateau to below the prominent peak of Small Vratsa. Attention: from here to the bottom of the steep ascent to Radika Peak you are always on the trail!

You keep below the summit of the Small Vratsa to the right and traverse mostly pathless always between the steep summit ridges and a beautiful lake below you over the slopes slightly uphill (now and then also once briefly downhill) to the west. You leave the lake behind you and traverse further to below Radika Peak. A small valley brings you to the start of a climb that zigzags over a steep slope to a notch in the summit ridge. Now do not follow the trail downhill on the other side, but turn right over the crest to the 2,404 m high summit of Radika (the rocky summit structure is best bypassed to the left over a boulder field).

On the other side of the peak, go down a short steeper slope to a flat ridge with vehicle tracks. Follow these tracks along the ridge at the same altitude or slightly uphill to the west until you reach a signpost "S. Mavrovo" (here the meadow ridge ends). You now hike diagonally left downhill towards a rock, but pass it on the right. At about the height of the rock, the vehicle tracks begin again, which bring you down over meadows to the wide saddle "Kafa e Kadis".

Here you hike down the vehicle tracks to the right and reach the alpine huts in Radika across gentle meadows.

By road

From Prizren you follow the road M25 to the west in the direction of Kukës. In the village of Zhur, however, turn south onto the R113 road and follow it to the village of Dragash. Here you turn left on the R114 and follow the mountain road to Brod. In the center of Brod there is a place where you can't go straight: turn left here and in 50 m you will be at the start of the High Scardus Trail stage 08 "Brod - Torbeshki Most".

Even though the first part of the High Scardus Trail stage to Torbeshki Most up to above the Arxhena Resort is quite beautiful, the whole stage is very very long. Therefore, it is recommended to continue to the Arxhena Mountain Resort and from there to reach the High Scardus Trail by foot in about 15 minutes via the ski slope. To do this, do not turn left at the crossroads in the village, but turn right and then immediately left again in front of the "Pizza" mini-market. Leave Brod on this road and after about 3.5 km you will reach the Arxhena Mountain Resort (time saving about 1 hour).


Parking in a suitable place in the village.


41.991165, 20.706416
41°59'28.2"N 20°42'23.1"E
34T 475682 4648837
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


  • Backpack approx. 30-40 liters with hip belt
  • Rain cover for the backpack
  • Telescopic poles


  • Trekking shoes at least category B (preferably ankle-high for the pathless passages)
  • Flipflops or similar for the accommodations
  • 2 pairs of hiking socks
  • underwear
  • hiking pants softshell or similar (wind- and water-repellent - the High Scardus Trail runs through alpine regions)
  • Hiking pants spare (also for accommodation)
  • Shorts
  • T-shirt quick drying
  • T-shirt fast drying spare (quantity depending on the length of the tour)
  • Top long first layer (e.g. Transtex-Sleeve) + replacement
  • Top long second layer (e.g. sleeve made of fleece or merino wool) + replacement
  • Softshell jacket or similar
  • Clothing for accommodation
  • rain jacket (hardshell jacket waterproof and breathable)
  • umbrella if necessary
  • Rain pants (hardshell pants waterproof and breathable)
  • Sun protection for the head (sun hat or cap)
  • Hat (can get cold even in summer!)

Hygiene/medication/personal items

  • small travel towel
  • personal hygiene items personal medicines (important medicines in addition to personal medicines are e.g. Imodium, charcoal tablets, Bepanthen and a painkiller like Ibuprofen or Parkemed)
  • Blister plaster
  • Pocket knife, small scissors
  • Sunglasses (tight-fitting with 100% UV protection and tint category 3)
  • Sunscreen (SPF at least 30, water/sweat resistant, broad spectrum protection, not older than 1 year)
  • Lip protection (SPF at least 20)
  • Outdoor first aid kitpossibly spare glasses
  • small LED headlamp
  • bivy sack (at least a very light one)
  • Handkerchiefspassport + copycredit card/cash (at many accommodations you can only pay with cash)
  • Border Crossing Permit
  • Small dictionaries


  • Travel documents printout
  • Orientation App (e.g. Outdooractive with Pro-Account, so you can save the map sections offline)
  • if necessary additional GPS-device
  • Cell phone (smartphone for orientation app) + charger
  • Powerbank for cell phone (not all accommodations have sockets)
  • if necessary power socket adapter

Food and drinks

  • Drinking bottles (depending on temperature and personal drinking needs 1,5-3 liters; the sources are shown in the map)
  • Food for the day (the respective shopping possibilities can be seen in the map)

Similar routes nearby

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Questions and answers

Question from Sebastian Adamski · July 11, 2022 · Community
Kommt man bei den Schafhirten am Ende der Etappe 8 im Sommer problemlos unter? Besteht die Möglichkeit dort Verpflegung (Abendessen/Frühstück) zu bekommen?
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Answered by Zbulo! Discover Albania · July 12, 2022 · Community
Hallo Sebastian, eher schwierig, die Shutman Baracke liegt auch nicht am Ende der Wanderung im Radika-Tal. Auch dort gibt es einige Schäferhütten aber man kann sich nicht darauf verlassen und sollte zumindest seine eigene Verpflegung dabei haben. Ich habe hier eine Alternative Route dargelegt auf der man jeden Tag verlässlich ein Dach über dem Kopf und Logis hat. Bis es auf den Etappen 8 und 9 eine Unterkunft gibt, würde ich diese nur für Selbstversorger mit Zelt empfehlen. Schau mal hier: Frage zu Ende ET09: 3 kleine Hütten in Strezimir von Cornelius
2 more replies


Sophie Grandclaude
September 14, 2022 · Community
Beau démarrage avec un magnifique soleil et ciel bleu, les paysages sont splendides... Puis après le déjeuner l'orage est arrivé... La trace GPS nous emmenait sur les crêtes... Les éclairs, la pluie... tout était de la partie... NOus avons vite filé et sommes arrivés bien trempés à l'ancienne base militaire où nous avons campé notre tente et avons trouvé de l'eau à la source.
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When did you do this route? August 21, 2022
Rüdiger Mertz 
August 22, 2022 · Community
Auch für uns die wahrscheinlich schönste Etappe. Die Weite ist unglaublich. Unfassbar schön. Aber die Hochebene ist definitiv nicht so eben, wie die Beschreibung suggeriert. Man darf nicht zu weit nach links an die Berge kommen, sonst wird es zu viel auf und ab. Auch waren viele der eingezeichneten Bergseen ausgetrocknet, so dass die Wasserversorgung gerade noch so ging. Wir konnten aber immerhin unterwegs kochen. Wir haben einen Kilometer vor Radika gezeltet. Wasser gab es vom nahen Bach. Die Weite und Stille an diesem Abend waren absolut überwältigend. Eine traumhafte Etappe, die ich nie vergessen werde
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Sebastian Adamski
August 16, 2022 · Community
Our personal highlight stage of the High Scardus Trail - even though it is energy sapping. Beautiful, super varied landscape past lakes, beautiful plant life with a seemingly endless view. Unfortunately, the descent to Radika is relatively steep and not quite as scenic as the rest.
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When did you do this route? July 15, 2022

Photos from others

23.6 km
8:00 h
1,193 m
930 m
Highest point
2,392 m
Lowest point
1,383 m
Linear route Multi-stage route Scenic Insider tip Summit route


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