Due to its unique natural background, exceptional geomorphological forms and magnificent forests, the area of Velika and Male Paklenica was already a national park in 1949. The main reason for proclaiming this area to the national park was the protection of the most prominent and largest forest complex in Dalmatia.
Paklenica National Park extends over 95 km², on the southern slopes of Velebit, below the highest peaks of Vaganski vrh (1757m) and Sveti Hram (1753 m). It covers the area of the torrent streams of Velika and Male Paklenica, or their recognizable canyons vertically engraved in the southern slopes of Velebit, and the wider surrounding area. In a relatively small area, there is an abundance of geomorphologic phenomena and shapes, diverse plant and animal worlds, attractive landscapes and untouched nature. The diversity of the living world is conditioned by the climatic characteristics but also the rich and diverse geological past.