The ridge of Risnjak is spreading in the same direction as the Dinarides. The peak area is recognizable from far away, due to the rocky peaks of Veliki Risnjak and Mali Risnjak, separated by a mountain pass with a mountain hut. On the western side, the ridge of Risnjak is separated from Snježnik by a valley deeply cut into the terrain, with a forest road that leads from Gornje Jelenje towards Gerovo, passing through it. This road is quite useful to hikers, as it provides the shortest access to the peak area of Risnjak. On the eastern side, the slopes of Risnjak descend rather more mildly to Crni Lug.
There are several well maintained hiking trails that lead from Crni Lug to the peak area of Risnjak. All these trails take hikers through forests and cover a substantial elevation difference; however, orientation along these trails is not difficult. The most frequently used trail is the so-called Horvat Trail (Horvatova staza) – named after a mountaineer, botanist and researcher Ivo Horvat. Some 3 to 4 hours of hiking are needed to climb from Crni Lug to Risnjak in summer conditions.