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Rodnei Hikes - Pietrosul Peak

If you would like to experience first-hand Romanian traditions there is no better place than the Maramures region where you will still find people that regularly dress in authentic clothes and hold on to the ancient traditions of their ancestors. The people here are renowned woodworkers and you can admire some of the best wooden churches and monasteries in Romania and maybe in the whole of Europe; don’t miss out on Barsana Monastery and Sapanta-Peri Monastery as ones of the most attractive.

If you are more interested in the mountains around then rest assured you have plenty to do in Rodnei National Park. There are hikes for all levels of difficulty and the view is something you will not forget anytime soon. The most famous and tallest peak in the area, Pietrosul Rodnei,  has a height of 2303 meters and gives an open view of the surrounding mountains and valleys as it is the first landform in the chain.

pietrosul-rodnei-peak-hike-close-to-pietrosu
Close to Pietrosul Peak


Hiking stats


Time: 7 - 8 hours
Distance: 15 Km
Altitude gain: + / - 1500 meters
Difficulty: Medium
Route: ba.gif GPS Track Pietrosul

 

Where is this?




To get to Maramures from Timisoara, you have a long way ahead consisting of more than 500 km of roads that doesn't include motorways. This will take, on average, about 8 hours so plan your trip accordingly as the roads are not in the best condition in Maramures (the rest of the road is pretty good).

Your destination is the city of Borsa that lies at the footsteps of Pietrosul Peak, but to get here you need to follow road E671 from Timisoara in the direction of Arad, Oradea, Satu Mare. From here you will continue on DN19F until Apa, then switch to E58 until the city of Baia Mare. Continue on DN18 through Sighetu Marmatiei and all the way to Borsa.

In Borsa, from the main road, you will have to do a right turn at the hospital and continue on this road for 2 more kilometers after passing Borsa Turism Camping. The asphalt transforms into a dirt road, but it is totally manageable by any car until you reach a small parking place located where the path splits in two, one way goes up the mountain (road is closed and only manageable by heavy-duty off-road vehicles) and one way goes to a small monastery. Park the car here and go the rest of the way by foot.

pietrosul-rodnei-peak-hike-parking
Parking place at the start of the hike

Entrance fee?

There is no entrance fee for this hike or for the Rodnei National Park.

 

Let’s start!


From the parking lot where you have left the car, you need to start ascending on the dirt road following the ba.gif blue tape markings. The hike is totally manageable for anyone until reaching the Meteorological Weather Station located at about 2000m. This part of the road has a length of about 4.5 kilometers and an altitude gain of 800 meters and it should take you roughly 2 hours to do.

pietrosul-rodnei-peak-hike-meteorological-weather
Meteorological Weather Station

Continue on the footpath going close to Iezer Lake and start the steep ascent to the mountaintop. As you gain altitude and leave the lake behind Iezer will start resembling more and more like the map of Romania. The path does not present any difficult parts as it constantly zig-zags until the top. You should reach the saddle in approximately 1 and a half hours, where you need to do a right turn and continue to the peak that shouldn't take more than 30 minutes.

pietrosul-rodnei-peak-hike-iezer-lake


The final ascent is made on rock carved stairs that make it even easier. Enjoy the view and have a well-earned rest after which start descending on the same path in order to reach your car.

  

pietrosul-rodnei-peak-hike-pietrosu-peak

 

Where do I sleep?


You have plenty of sleeping options in this area ranging from luxury to modest accommodation, depending on personal preference and budget. A simple Google search should return enough results for you to choose from. Our recommendation would be to sleep by tent and one of the best places to do that would be at Borsa Turism Camping because you have access to hot showers, fridge, TV and the hosts are really nice and helpful. They speak 5 languages and can recommend many sites you can visit close-by.

If you want something closer to nature than I recommend going up the mountain in the direction of Pietrosul Peak. There are many glades along the way and also near Iezer Lake there is a good sleeping spot. If you plan a longer trip in the mountains you can rest at the saddle near Pietrosul and start the circuit from there.

 

pietrosul-rodnei-peak-hike-camping
Camping Borsa Turism

 

What do I eat?


In Borsa you can find many good places to experience traditional Romanian food, just ask around or do a search on the internet. You can also serve food at Borsa Turism Camping, but you need to give the hosts a heads up with some time in advance in order for them to prepare whatever you wish to eat. In the mountains, there are no chalets that serve food and you will need to pack everything you need depending on the length of your trip.

 

Good to know!

pietrosul-rodnei-peak-hike-refuge

Building a campfire is accepted in specially designated places as long as you take the safety measures to ensure you will not start a forest fire by accident.

You can find fresh water sources along the way, one at the start of the hike, one midway and the last at Iezer Lake but take notice that some of these spring might dry up during the summer season. As such I recommend you pack a good supply of fresh water for the trip.

Picking flowers is prohibited and if you do so you might end up with a big fine. The same thing can be said about leaving trash in the national park.

On Pietrosul Peak there is an emergency shelter but you can’t use it as it is totally trashed, so don’t plan on staying in it.

If you have a heavy-duty off-road car you should know that there is a road that goes up to the Meteorological Weather Station but it is closed and you risk a fine if you are caught on it. So make a favor to all the other mountaineers and go by foot.

 

pietrosul-rodnei-peak-hike-flowers
Pietrosul Rodnei in the background

 

Other close destinations?


There are a lot of other destinations you can go to in the close vicinity, but for more info consult this map of Rodnei National Park. You could plan a whole week trip in these mountains and maybe you will not be able to see all peaks and sights.

 

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


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pietrosul-rodnei-peak-hike-mountain-path

pietrosul-rodnei-peak-hike-borsa

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pietrosul-rodnei-peak-hike-iezer-lake

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pietrosul-rodnei-peak-hike-high-path

pietrosul-rodnei-peak-hike-descent-path

Rodnei Hikes - Pietrosul Peak Reviewed by Alex on 14:48 Rating: 5

4 comments:

  1. You have a fantastic site well done! I am from Australia and am travelling in Romania with my wife. We are experienced hikers. Given we are late in the season, can you recommend some good day hikes that are suitable for now (late October/November? I was thinking of going to tarcului mountains? We have a Campervan and are in sighisoara and have two weeks :) any ideas will be most appreciated

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    Replies
    1. Hi Andre,

      Many thanks, hope you find it useful :). First of all welcome to Romania, I hope you'll have a pleasant stay! In terms of day hikes there ample opportunities taking in consideration that the future forecast is manly clear skies and sunny days.

      Since you are currently in Sighisoara I recommend starting with Negoiu Peak. You start this hike from Balea Lake on the Transfagarasean road, but take into consideration that it might be closed for the season. In this case you can take the cable car all the way up to Balea Lake where you also have accommodation options. Since the day is short I recommend an super early start in the morning so you can make it in one day, but it should be manageable if you have a good physical condition. Here is the full description:

      http://www.hereihike.com/2015/06/negoiu-peak-hike.html

      Retezat National Park is one of my favorite places in Romania and offers fantastic views, but the access road is not that great. It is manageable with a small car but I can't really say about a camper. Here are some day hikes in these mountains, but for Retezat peak an early start from Poiana Pelegii is highly recommended:

      http://www.hereihike.com/search/label/retezat%20mountains

      Other possible destinations that are easily accessible would be the area around Baile Herculane city (geothermal area - with natural warm baths), check the link below for our full list of one day hike articles in the area:

      http://www.hereihike.com/search/label/cerna%20valley

      These mountains are low in altitude (topping at 1500 meters) but offer a unique view specially in the autumn. Given the late season please ignore Arjana Peak from the list as I don't think it can be done in one day.

      If you have any other questions let us know and we will be happy to help :)

      Have pleasant adventures in Romania!
      Alex and Karina

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    2. Thanks so much for your suggestions and again I want to say how awesome your site is. :)

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    3. Hi Mars,

      You are very welcome and I hope you had a pleasant adventure in Romania. Many thanks for the kind words :)

      Wish you all the best and happy trails in the future!

      Delete

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