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Retezat Hikes - Custura Peak

If you find yourself in the Retezat National Park, a great one-day hike destination is Custura Peak, with an altitude of 2457 meters, it is sure to offer great views and good exercise. You can do this hike only or you can include Custura peak in a bigger circuit that will also take you to Păpuşa and Peleaga mountain tops. Retezat is the oldest national park in Romania, dating since 1935, and it is one of the most remote and isolated  mountain ranges due to the fact that there are no roads or permanent settlements. In our guide, we will cover the best road access to the park, where you should sleep, what water sources you have available, facts about the hike and other useful information you should be aware of.

Custura-Peak-Hike-custura-peak
Custura Peak in the clouds


Hiking stats


Time: 6-7 hours
Distance: 10 kilometers
Altitude gain: 850 meters
Difficulty: Easy - Medium
RouteCustura-Peak-Hike-cr.gif Custura-Peak-Hike-br.gif Custura Track

Where is this?



There are multiple access roads to the Retezat National Park, but I will present the one I consider the best if you are coming from the west part of Romania (mainly from Timişoara). The road is great until you reach Clopotiva Village, where you will switch and drive on an industrial, but paved, road that ends up at Gura Apelor Dam. From this point, you enter the park road that is unpaved and that requires a car with a decent ground clearance. While an off-road vehicle is ideal for this road you will manage, most of the times, just fine with a high ground clearance vehicle. You can park the car at the end of the road close to Poiana Pelegii.

Entrance fee?


When entering the park you will have to pay an entrance fee that is 7 lei per person (~1.5 euro) and 10 lei per car (~2.5 euro). You only need to pay this once, when entering and there are no daily fees.

Let’s start!


Custura-Peak-Hike-Questions

From the parking place at Poiana Pelegii you will go right on the track that goes to Şaua Plaiul Mic, following the Custura-Peak-Hike-cr.gif markings. It should take you about 1 hour to get here and you will find, depending on the period of the year you're traveling in, two small non-permanent lakes at this crossroad. You can stop for a snack and if you are lucky you will find in these lakes a fair number of common alpine black newts.

The path continues left and we should follow the Custura-Peak-Hike-br.gif markings until we reach the mountaintop in about 2 hours - 2 hours and a half. On the way, we will pass close to Papuşa Custurii Peak on its north side, but we don’t need to get on top of it. The final climb to Custura Peak is somewhat more difficult because of the steep slope, but other than this the hike is easy and offers a great view of the surrounding mountains.

Where do I sleep?


If you want to go on this particular hike I would recommend you sleep at Poiana Pelegii camping place. It is free of charge and you can pick your place wherever you feel like it, but note that there are no showers or toilets available. In the case of any emergency or if you need help you can ask the park rangers for assistance as they have a hut here.

What do I eat?


You can eat only what you bring with you. There are no shops or restaurants in this part of  Retezat National Park. The only chalets that offer food are farther away at Genţiana or Pietrele, and even here, because there is no road available, you might only find a warm bed (bring your own sleeping bag).

Good to know!


Even though, you can basically camp anywhere you wish (as long as you don’t leave any marks or trash) I do strongly recommend you sleep in designated camping places. As I have already told you in previous articles, Retezat National Park is wild and the bear population here is in a fair number. Even though, wild animal attacks are not common among tourists (they mainly focus sheep herds) it is good to take precautions. Another recommendation would be to not sleep with food in your tent, try and hang it outside in a tree at a height of 3 meters so no wild animals can reach it. Don’t just keep it outside of the tent on the ground as you will probably not find it there the next morning.

As mentioned in the previous article, please note that Retezat National Park includes a protected area Gemenele Scientific Reservation. The area protects endemic and extremely rare flowers and vegetation, therefore, a special permit from the Romanian Academy is requested for passing through.

You can build a campfire only at Poiana Pelegii and only in the camping area, outside of it, you risk a high fine from the park rangers (no fires allowed at Bucura Lake).

Other close destinations?


There are a lot of other destinations you can go to in the close vicinity, but consult this overview map of the hiking routes in Retezat.

Check these other close-by hikes:



Hope you found the information helpful and accurate, but remember, if you have any questions drop them in a comment below!

Custura-Peak-Hike-start-footpath
Beginning of track
Custura-Peak-Hike-mushrooms
Forest Mushrooms
Custura-Peak-Hike-saua-plaiul-mic
View from Saua Plaiul Mic
Custura-Peak-Hike-papusa-lake
Papusa Lake at Saua Plaiul Mic
Custura-Peak-Hike-newt
Alpine Newt
Custura-Peak-Hike-to-custura-path
Route from Saua Plaiul Mic



Retezat Hikes - Custura Peak Reviewed by Alex on 11:41 Rating: 5

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