Retezat peak gives the name of the entire mountain range with its pyramidal shape. Its name means “cut away” and is visible from far distance when approaching Retezat National Park from north.
With its 2482 m altitude is the third highest peak in Retezat Mountains. Is the west most high peak belonging to main Retezat ridge. Those who reach the summit will discover great panoramas on the entire high mountain range.
The north ridge of the pyramid continues with Culmea Lolaia, while the south one already takes part of the main ridge of Retezat Mountains. Towards N, starting from Prelucele Peak (2265 m) is forming Culmea Valareasca, culminating at 2143 m with Valareasca Peak. Towards NW, goes another secondary flank - Culmea Prelucele.
On the north-west side, at the foot of peak pyramid, lays Stevia lake (2060 m), on the south-east side Stanisoara lake (1990 m) and towards south-west Gemenele lake (1900 m). Like all his neighbors, Retezat peak is formed from granite.
Various mountain activities can be performed here, from hiking to climbing, winter mountaineering and ski touring.
Getting ThereVarful (peak) Retezat can be reached by any of the three major access points in Retezat National Park: Carnic, Poiana Pelegii or Rausor.
The shortest trail to the peak it’s from Rausor. I would recommend Rausor as starting point if the only objective is Retezat peak because of the easy car access (also in winter) and the short walking duration compared to the other two options. However, depending on hiker’s objectives, access from Poiana Pelegii – Bucura lake or Carnic – Gentiana hut could be more appropriate.
Access path 1: Hateg – Rau de Mori – Rausor. Rausor offers accommodation and mountain rescue point. Road is good and access is easy even in winter. Parking place present.
Access path 2: Hateg – Ohaba de sub Piatra – Nucsoara – Carnic (asphalt road ends after Nucsoara village). Accommodation and parking place can be found in Carnic. Road still continues after Carnic but access is not allowed with vehicles from this point on. From here there are two options:
Variant 2A Carnic – Pietrele hut or
Variant 2B Carnic – Gentiana hut
Access path 3: Hateg – Rau de Mori – Raul Mare valley – Gura Zlata – Gura Apei (dam) - Rotunda hut – Poiana Pelegii. Offroad vehicle is recommended for the sector between Gura Apei dam and Poiana Pelegii. Small parking place and mountain rescue point are present in Poiana Pelegii but no accommodation. Camping is permitted.
For more details about access and accommodation please visit the official site of Retezat National Park.
Red TapeCamping is not permitted outside of designated places as well as leaving the marked trails.
Wood-fire, swimming in glacial lakes and disturbance of local flora and fauna are prohibited. Washing with soap or detergents in alpine waters is not encouraged. All the wastes, including the biodegradable ones, should be taken outside of the park.
More details can be found here.
Below you can find a list of relevant hiking trails for Retezat peak. Most of them reach the summit, but there are some that just pass or finish nearby.
L. – lake
Cabana - hut
Şaua – col
Vârful – peak
Refugiul – refuge
Creasta – ridge
Cascada - waterfall
● Râuşor – Refugiul Condorul – L. Ştevia
Time: 3 - 4 h
Level rising: +895 m / -50 m
Marking: red stripe
● Râuşor – Refugiul Condorul – L. Ştevia – Şaua Lolaia – Vârful Retezat
Difficulty: medium. The last part of the trail, just below the summit, is pretty steep (rated as “hardly accessible / dangerous” in some guides).
Time: 4 – 5 h
Level rising: +1317 m / -50 m
Marking: red stripe until Şaua Lolaia then yellow stripe
● Cabana Pietrele – L. Stânişoara – Şaua de Vară – Vârful Retezat
Time: 4 - 4.5 h
Level rising: +1000 m / -0 m
Marking: blue triangle
● Cabana Pietrele – Creasta Lolaia – Vârful Retezat - Şaua de Vară - Vârful Bucura – Poarta Bucurii - Taul Portii – L. Bucura
Difficulty: difficult. Sector Şaua Lolaia – Vârful Retezat is rated as “hardly accessible / dangerous” in some guides.
Time: 7 - 8 h (4 – 5 h to Vârful Retezat)
Level rising: +1150 m / -550 m
Marking: yellow stripe
● Râuşor – Izv. cu apă – Şaua Ciurila – Valea Stânişoarei – Cascada Stânişoara – Cabana Pietrele
Time: 3 – 3.5 h
Level rising: +600 m / -300 m
Marking: blue cross
From climbing point of view, interesting is the N and NW face of this mountain. The whole face has 370 m height, at the base being vertical for 25-30 m then continuing with a 55° slope to the summit.
There are not known routes on this wall, except one called Creasta Ascuţită, grade 4A, about which I couldn’t find any details. Some old climbing books mention the N face of Retezat as an climbing objective but, again, there are no details regarding this.
There are numerous possible routes on this face which can lead to the summit, which just wait to be discovered. The whole place is very suitable to trad climbing because of clean granite and relative remoteness of the area. I must mention that north side of this peak is somehow isolated from the big flux of tourists which populate the nearby valleys. Beautiful views and untouched wilderness makes this a perfect place to climb.
In the vicinity of the north face, there are some secondary ridges, walls and couloirs which offer easy climbing routes or just more interesting options for reaching/descending the summit. The mentioned couloirs maybe can be used in wintertime or early spring, depending on snow condition, for skiing as well.
Winter mountaineering in Retezat Mountains is very popular and Varful Retezat makes no exception from that. Easiest routes which lead to the summit are the hiking trails which can be used for ascent and descent. In high winter season approach on skis or snowshoes is recommended.
1) Contrasens (PD, M2, 70º, 3 pitches)
First Ascent - Cătălin Hiciu / Mişu Pop, 11 April 2010.
Route is located on the east side of Culmea Valereasca, left of the Valereasca Peak.
Another popular sport in Retezat during wintertime is ski touring. One recommended tour is to follow the ridge which connects Cabana Pietrele with Varful Retezat (Culmea Lolaia), but there are many other options.
CampingThe closest overnight place is Refugiul Condorul (1770 m) (refuge) on the Stevia valley. Usually it is used when approaching from Rausor.
Other close huts are Cabana Genţiana (1670 m) and Cabana Pietrele (1480 m). Camping is only possible at Bucura lake and in Poiana Pelegii.
More information about these campsites and huts can be found on the Retezat Mountains parent page.
Weather & Maps
● Weather forecast for Bucura lake
● Weather forecast for Rausor:
● Weather forecast for Nucsoara (Hunedoara) (closest village to Carnic):
● National Meteorological Administration
● Evolution of snow cover
● Munţii Retezat/Retyezát-hegység/Retezat Mountains (1:50,000) by DIMAP, with guiding text in English, Romanian and Hungarian.
Can be ordered online from KARPATIA or DIMAP.
● Munţii Retezat/The Retezat Mountains/Das Retezat Gebirge (1:50,000) by Bel Alpin, with text in English, German and Romanian.
Can be ordered from KARPATIA.
Additional online maps and details can be found on Retezat Mountains parent page.
External Links● Retezat National Park page.
● Online climbing guide (Romanian language).
● Retezat page on alpinet.org (Romanian only)