Kremenski Lakes

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Kremenski Lakes
Picture: TSD

The Kremenski Lakes are a group of 9 water bodies in Pirin mountain. The Kremenski Lakes are situated in the Kremenski cirque, a narrow, yet incredibly well defined Pirin cirque.

The Kremenski cirque is surrounded by the Sivriya and Dzhano peaks, as well as the Kremenski hill, which starts from Kremenski peak. The name of the peak and lake group comes from Kremen village, whose territory they occupy.

7 of the Kremenski Lake group are permanent, while 2 of the smaller ones are seasonal, i.e. they usually dry up when summer is in full swing. The waters of the Kremenski Lakes flow out into a small river, one of the tributaries of Retije River.

Upper Kremen Lake
Picture: Daniela S.

Even though they are not the lake group with the greatest number of lakes, the Kremenski Lakes have the largest total surface area in all of Pirin. They take up a total area of 196 000 m² and possess an impressive volume of 1 560 000 m³.

Upper Kremen lake and Lower Kremen lake are worth noting. Upper Kremen lake sits at an altitude of 7714 ft (2352 m) above sea level. It is 1099 ft (335 m) long and 886 ft (270 m) wide.

Its area is 66 100 m², putting it in 4th place in size among all Pirin lakes. Upper Kremen lake reaches a depth of 44.6 ft (13.6 m), its water volume is estimated at 478 000 m³.

Lower Kremen Lake
Picture: Daniela S.

Lower Kremen lake ranks 2nd in size among the Pirin lakes, right after Popovo Lake. It has an area of 98 000 m². It has an elongated shape, 1640 ft (500 m) long and 902 ft (275 m) wide and lies at an altitude of 7557 ft (2304 m) above sea level.

Lower Kremen lake has a depth of 88.5 ft (27 m), making it rank 3rd in depth among Popovo Lake and Tevno Vasilashko Lake. Toward the end of spring, the water volume of this Kremen lake can even exceed 1 000 000 m³.

There are several smaller lakes located under it, which have not yet been studied. Even though some of them are larger than the uppermost Kremen lake, the so-called Ice Lake, they have not yet been named.

Lower Kremen Lake in Pirin
Picture: Daniela S.

The Ice Lake, or Ledeno Ezero, is the lake at the highest altitude among the Kremenski Lakes group. It is located at 7737 ft (2359 m) above sea level and is relatively small, both in volume, as well as area. Ice Lake is a mere 394 ft (120 m) long and 361 ft (110 m) wide. Its area is about 10 000 m².

The Kremenski Lakes are not particularly popular and well-known among tourists, due to the fact that the main hiking trails through the mountain go around the Kremenski cirque.

The approach toward them is not difficult. The easiest way to get to them is to go through the valley of Retije River from Dzhano peak. Once you reach the spot where the Kremen tributary flows into Retije, you'll see 2 trails.

The shortest of the 2 trails winds steeply along the right shore of the Kremen tributary and leads to the mountain plateau right before the 2 lowest Kremenski Lakes.

The other trail is more suitable for inexperienced hikers. It is sloping and begins from the same spot but heads in an eastern direction. Then it turns west along the right valley slope of the river and reaches the same grassy plateau where it meets the 1st trail.

From there, the 2 trails lead to the plateau, with the path winding through thick vegetation, consisting mainly of mountain pine, and leading to Lower Kremen lake. From there, along the Lower Kremen lake tributary the trial follows a steep slope up the moraines to reach the lake proper. The trail leads to the other lakes as well.

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