Bucegi Mountains

Bucegi Mountains

Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 45.41629°N / 25.46906°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope, Bouldering, Ice Climbing, Aid Climbing, Big Wall, Mixed, Scrambling, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 8248 ft / 2514 m
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The Bucegi with the Piatra Craiului range beyond it to the right and the Făgăraș Mountains further right - photo by eco


The Bucegi Mountains (Bucsecs in Hungarian, Butschetsch in German) with an area of more than 300 square kilometres, mark the border between the East and South Carpathians. They are usually regarded as the easternmost range of the South Carpathians. However, this page's parent page has included the Bucegi in the Eastern Carpathians, emphasizing their geologic make-up. The basement of the Bucegi is of crystalline schists, but these are covered by sedimentary rocks from the Jurassic and Cretacious periods, namely limestone (especially in the east) and the characteristic Bucegi conglomerates and gritstone resembling the material some of the most spectacular ranges in the East Carpathians - the Ciucaş and Ceahlău - are formed of. 

Bucegi /Peretele vulturilor/Fluturele de piatra rute 5 B /Mark Elod
Peretele Vulturilor, Coştila - photo by endy
orange morning
Coştila summit - photo by adygaz
Tancul Ascutit
Ţancul Ascuţit, Coştila area - photo by yamesu

The most obvious of the geographic borders of the Bucegi is the east one, formed by the over 1.5km deep valley of the River Prahova, which carries the road and railway linking Romania's capital city Bucharest with the city of Braşov. (East of the Prahova sit the Baiului (Gârbova) Mountains.) The valley runs closest to the dramatically rearing Bucegi between the resort towns of Buşteni and Sinaia. Further to both north and south the huge cliffs angle away from the Prahova making way for lower mountain ranges, which can be regarded as the foothills of the Bucegi, namely the Diham (1579m) in the north and the Gurguiatul (1337m) mountains in the south.

NE face of the Bucegi - photo by yamesu
Bucegi from Zănoaga Glade.
W face of the Bucegi
Hut Omu (left) and the Meteo Station (right)
The summit of Omu

The north end of the Bucegi is at approximately the same latitude as the town of Bran, famed for Dracula, and the resort town of Predeal. The western boundary of the Bucegi runs more or less north to south between Bran and the village of Dobreşti on the River Ialomița. To the west of its northern section lies the Bran-Rucăr corridor, beyond which rises the Piatra Craiului range, whereas west of its southern stretch, beyond the Brătei River, extend the Leaota Mountains. While the east and north edges of the Bucegi proper are so sharp and vertical, and their west face is also quite impressive, the inside - especially in ithe east and north - resembles an undulating plateau rather than a bunch of ridges and valleys. It leans south and is drained by the Ialomița, which has its source south of the Bucegi's highest mountain Omu at 2514m. (This is the elevation of the top of the huge block of rock that sits on the very summit adjoined by the Omu Hut at 2505m. The traditionally given value 2505m seems to be the elevation of the hut.) The edges of the upper Ialomița's drainage basin form a horseshoe, whose arms are 7 to 8 km apart and form the two longest ridges in the Bucegi. The midpoint of the horseshoe is in the north at the rocks of Găvanele, which mark the south end of the massif of Omu. 

Bucegi upland plateau
Around the middle of the Bucegi's horseshoe, Omu in the centre

Despite attracting a great many tourists, Omu is not the prettiest of the highest peaks in these mountains. A far more handsome summit, with steep slopes on each side, is Bucşoiu at 2492m, located on the ridge that Omu sends to the north. Bucşoiu is – depending how you count – Bucegi’s second or third highest summit. Three hundred metres southwest of Omu at 2503m sits Bucura Dumbravă, formerly known as Ocolit, but this tiny pyramid with little prominence can be considered a subsidiary summit of Omu. Talking of the highest peaks, just two metres lower than Bucşoiu is Coştila at 2490m, whose western side is very gentle and which has a telecommunications mast on its top, but which has imposing walls on the other side and will be the rock climber’s favourite. 

Omu ahead
SE face of the massif of Omu: Omu summit in the centre, Bucura Dumbravă and Găvanele to its left, Moraru Ridge to its right - photo by Konrad Sus

Apart from being the highest, Omu is the Bucegi's focal mountain constituting a hub where five important ridges meet, two of which have been just mentioned. There is no doubt that the east ridge is the main ridge of the mountains (whereas where to locate the main ridge beyond Omu is a matter of opinion). The east ridge, being the edge of the huge Bucegi cliff, runs southeast from Găvanele to the cuesta of Colţul Obârşiei (2480m), after which it gets closer to the Prahova Valley at the summits of Coştila and Caraiman (2384m, the Heroes' Cross), where it turns south passing Jepii Mici (2143m), Jepii Mari (2075m), Piatra Arsă (2044m), Furnica (2103m), Vârful cu Dor (2030m), Vânturis (1942m) and Dichiu (1713m) to finally end near the village of Moroieni. The length of the east ridge is around 24 km. Less than two kilometres southwest of Caraiman sit the Bucegi's most famous rock formations - Babele (Old Women) and Sfinxul.

Climbing in Costila
Walls of Coştila - photo by yamesu
Bucegi - Caraiman
Caraiman - photo by yamesu
Mount Babele
Just one of the Babele, Colţul Obârşiei top right - photo by Tomek Lodowy
Sphinx rock - Mount Babele
Sfinxul - photo by Tomek Lodowy


 The west ridge, often referred to as the Strunga Ridge, within its NE-SW stretch west of Găvanele rises to over 2400m at the peaks of Doamnele. It turns south at Guţanul (2246m) and runs over Batrâna (2181m), Colţii Ţapului (2168m), Strungile Mari (2089m), Şaua Strunga (1909m, saddle), Strungile Mici (1968m), Tătarul (1998m), Deleanu (1904m), Lucăcila (1895m) and Lespezi (1686m). The ridge is about 18km long. total length of Strunga Ridge is about 18km. At Strungile Mici the Bucşa Ridge (1848m) branches off and runs west to connect with the Leaota massif.

Doamnele ridge (view from E) from Batrâna peak to Tătaru peak (1998m) through the Strunga saddle.
The West Ridge across the Ialomița Valley

The other three ridges sprouting from Omu, along with their side ridges and adjacent valleys, create the most spectacular chunk of the Bucegi, which boasts proper, pretty narrow and jagged, occasionally toothy crests, as well as deep valleys featuring post-glacial scenery, the only missing element of alpine landscape being tarns (unless the tiny Lacul Țigănești counts). Of the three ridges the most spectacular is Creasta Morarului (Miller's Ridge), which stretches east from Omu and before dropping to the Prahova Valley features Acele Morarului, i.e. Moraru Needles (from east to west: Colţul de sus, Acul Crucii, Degetul Roşu and Acul Mare). To the north from Omu runs the Bucşoiu Ridge and to the west a ridge to Scara (2422m). Both ridges carry waymarked trails. Scara sends a long ridge north, to the north end of the Bucegi Mountains. This ridge is called Ţigăneşti (Gypsy's) and has interesting rock formations. 

Bucşoiu - photo by yamesu
The Bucegi Mountains - Rapa Crucii
Acele Morarului from Valea Morarului - photo by gabriela
From Morar Needles
Acele Morarului
Tiganesti towers (2413 m)
On Ţigăneşti Ridge


It would be hard to decide which of the great valleys in this most magnificent corner of the Bucegi is the most beautiful, but among those nominated for the title by many would no doubt be the Gaura (between the west and Scara ridges), Mălăiești (west of Bucşoiu Ridge) and Cerbului (south of Moraru). Through Valea Cerbului (Deer Valley) winds the yellow trail to Omu from Buşteni resort. Valea Gaura has one more asset - it is much less frequented.

On Gaura valley - Bucegi mountains
In Valea Gaura
Valea Mălăiești - photo by DiaconescuVlad
Bucegi Mountains
In Valea Cerbului - photo by codrin


Talking of the valleys, bear in mind that in the Bucegi the word valea can also refer to countless steep ravines, chutes or couloirs, which in the nearby Piatra Craiului range are called padina's!

Rock Climbing 

The Abruptul Prahovean, i.e. the great Bucegi cliff rearing over the Prahova Valley, is a mecca for Romanian rock climbers. The most demanding walls are those of Coştila, the 350m tall wall of Valea Alba being the largest of them. The rock climber's paradise in the vicinity of Coştila, offering a great many pleasant routes of varying difficulty, encompasses the Moraru Ridge and the sides of Caraiman. Bear in mind that the rock can be very loose, especially if it is conglomerate. 

The following photos were taken in the Coştila area.

Fisura Albastra
Fisura Albastra, Coştila - by yamesu
Climbing in Costila
Ridge and peak Gălbinele - Bucegi mountains
Hermann Buhl route
Ţancul Mic - by yamesu


The photos below were taken on Acele Morarului (Miller's Needles).

Acul Mare (Big Needle) ridge from Acele Morarului (Morar Needles)- Bucegi mountains 1
Looking at Acul Mare (Big Needle)
From Morar Needles
Looking towards Bucsoiu
My partner Andrei on the Cross needle
Needle of the Cross
Just me


Maps & Books

Camping, Red Tape & Bears

Good morning!
Campanula patula
Sleeping in Bucegi mountains
Photo by cristakhe

There never used to be red tape in the Bucegi but this has changed.

Now you can bivouac only at designated sites.

Be aware that there are lots of bears and the bears can be really dangerous since they fear humans no more. Things have changed for the better recently and the most troublesome bears are now deported to less populated areas.

Ferdinand ;)
Photo by adygaz
You'd better not do what the guy did towards the end.
Check out the following link to find out how to behave when you meet a bear.


Huts & Shelters

In the Bucegi there are about twenty mountain huts (cabana in Romanian) and seven shelters (refugiul). Details can be found on the following sites of carpati.org:

Caraiman Cabana - Bucegi Mountains
Cabana Caraiman
Cabana Omu - Bucegi mtns.
Cabana Omu
Malaiesti Hut (1720 m, Bucegi Mountains)
Cabana Mălăieşti
Hotel Gălbenele :D ;;) - Bucegi mountains
Hotel Gălbenele :)


The mountain huts which are the most convenient to the hiker willing to explore the most interesting chunk of the Bucegi show in the above photographs.

Three of the shelters belong to the mountain rescue service (Salvamont) and are supposed to be used only in an emergency. Refugiul Coștila (access from Buşteni through Poiana La Măsuratoarea Urşilor via an unmarked route) is for rock climbers only. The other refugii are located along the western rim of the mountains, where there is much less traffic – at Strunga, Bătrâna and Țigănești passes.

Comfortable accommodation as well as campsites can be easily found in the resort towns in the Prahova Valley.

Climbers hut Costila
Refugiul Coștila
Batrana refuge
Refugiul Bătrâna
Strunga refuge
Refugiul Strunga

Rare Plants & Wildlife

The best-known protected flowers are: Leopoldinum Alpinum, Rhododendron Kotschyi, Nigritella - rubra and Nigra,Trollius europaeus, Gentiana lutea, Gentiana kochiana, Daphne Blagayana.

Edelweiss (Leontopodium Alpinum)
Rhododendron kotschyi on Ciubotea
Climbing bear
Photo by andreidone
Chamois / Gemse


The wildlife is rich and includes big mammals such as the brown bear, wolf, lynx, chamois, red deer and wild boar.

Interesting Natural & Cultural Sites

The table below (made by LukZem) lists attractive natural and cultural sites in the Bucegi Mountais.

Name Photo Status Short description
Abruptul Prahovean Bucegi
Nature Reserve 
The most extensive protected territory with an area of almost 3500 ha. Varied relief with an elevation ranging from 1300 to 2500 m: sheer cliffs, corries, jagged side ridges, rock spires, karst features, mountain glades and pristine woodland.
Monument of Nature
This 8 m tall and 12 m wide, natural megalith resembling Egypt´s Great Sphinx of Giza is said to be thrown into sharp relief on November 21st. The first photo of this hotbed of old folk tales and modern mystery stories was probably taken in 1900.
Lacul Țigănești
This tiny tarn, still being slowly enlarged by nivation, sits at 2050 m.
Cheile Tatarului
Nature Reserve 
A kilometer long canyon whose the most spectacular segment is Tatarul Mare. The reserve encompasses an area of 145 ha and boasts varying karst formations, alpine glades and numerous fossils in the limestone beds. Legend has it that once Tatar invaders were so charmed by the beauty of the Bucegi Mountains that they changed their minds and stopped looting. They rushed back home in order to share that experience with their loved ones. What is more, they didn't notice that in the canyon they had lost all the treasures stolen from other peoples.
Peștera Ialomiței
In C18 the monks from Sinaia Monastery established a small hermitage at the entrance. The first historical record was made by I. Kleinlauf in 1793. The first description of the cave was completed in 1897 and the first research was conducted in 1953. Since 1967, the Ialomita Cave has been illuminated by electric lighting. Formed in limestone at 1560 m, the Ialomita Cave is more than one kilometer long, of which 400 m is accessible to the public without a guide. It is made up of active and fossil galleries arranged in two floors. The temperature varies between 5 to 6 °C and humidity ranges from 85 to 100%.
Mănăstirea Caraiman
Founded in 1998, in its center it has a unique fir tree with six branches. It is situated at the foot of a namesake peak adorned with a cross.
Cascada Urlatoarea
A 15 m tall waterfall.
Turbaria Laptici
Botanical Reserve
Covers an area of 15 ha with 1 m thick layers of turf. A relic from the Ice Age called Salix myrtiloides grows here at its European southern range boundary.
Monument of Nature
Mushroom shaped rock formations are a result of erosion and varying resistance of the local conglomerate. According to legend, Emperor Traian tried to entice a shepherd´s girlfriend with wealth. When the shepherd expressed his will to stay here forever, they turned into the rock..
Portița Caraimanului
Natural rocky window accessible via an unmarked path named Brâul Portiței.
Mănăstirea Ialomiței
Consecrated in 1996.
Cheile Zanoagei
Nature Reserve
Carved in Jurrasic limestones on a length of about 2 km, it boasts more than 200 m tall cliffy walls surrounded by pristine woodland.
Lacul Bolboci
Nicknamed the Sea of the Bucegi, it was constructed in 1928.
Arcada din Valea Gaura
An interesting rock arch to be found near the red stripe hiking trail.

Access & Tourist Resorts

Bucegi map
View from city Busteni to...
Towering over Bușteni

The Bucegi Mountains are easily accessible by rail/road from the capital city of Romania. 

The main resorts around the Bucegi: 

  • Sinaia is situated in the Prahova Valley on DN1, about 130km north of Bucharest and 40km south of Braşov, near Furnica and Piatra Arsă peaks. The town, packed with hotels and boasting Romania's biggest ski resort, can be likened to Chamonix. A cable car (telecabina in Romanian) can lift you up to an elevation of 2000m. The major sights are the Peleş Complex with Peleş Castle, Pelişorul; Sinaia Monastery founded by Mihai Cantacuzino in 1695, Museum of Sinaia Monastery, Casino built in 1912 – a copy of that in Monte Carlo, Museum of Bucegi Nature Park.
  • Poiana Ţapului sits in the Prahova Valley on DN1 134km from Bucharest.  
  • Buşteni, the capital of Romanian alpinism, lies six kilometres north of Sinaia under the cliffs of Caraiman with the 36 metre tall cross commemorating Romanian heroes of World War I. Most of the best rock climbing routes are accessible from Buşteni. The town is also convenient for day hikes in the northeast, most interesting part of the Bucegi. Buşteni's cable car terminal is at the rocks of Babele. The most popular sights are Cezar Petrescu Memorial Museum, Biserica (church) Domnească, Cantacuzino Castle.
  • Azuga on DN1, 139km from Bucharest, has the longest ski track.
  • Râsnov is located at the intersection of DN73 (Braşov-Câmpulung) and DN73A (Predeal-Şircaia), 12 km from Braşov. The trail to the Mălăieşti Valley starts here.
  • Bran, boasting the Dracula castle lies in the Bran-Rucăr corridor on DN73 (Braşov-Câmpulung-Piteşti), 24km from Braşov. It is a good access point for the northwest corner of the Bucegi, including the Gaura Valley and Țigănești Ridge.

Mountain Conditions & Rescue

Bucegi mountains - Clincea-Tiganesti ridge
February - photo by Cristina
  Sinaia Omu
Highest temp. recorded +32°C +22°C
Lowest temp. recorded -27°C -38°C
Days with fog per year 23 258
Snow lasts 78 days 208 days
Annual precipitation 808 mm 1346 mm
On Albisoara Gemenelor
Sunset from Omu
November (Bucura Dumbravă in the foreground)
  • coldest month: January; warmest: July
  • wettest month: June; driest: October
  • first snow falls in October, last in May
  • on La Verdeaţă in Valea Albă you can sometimes ski until July

Select External Links

Valea Albă (White Valley) - Bucegi mountains
Andreea's first climb, 1991
Bucegi from Baiului 3
The Bucegi seen from the Baiului (at the end of a January)

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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roamaniac - Feb 25, 2020 6:07 am - Voted 10/10

New Cicerone guide to the Romanian Carpathians

As of 15 Feb 2020, a new Cicerone guide is available to the Romanian Carpathians, with the same title as the old one ('The Mountains of Romania') but a different author (me). You can find it here: https://www.cicerone.co.uk/948 It contains 37 routes and covers all the major and many lesser mountain ranges of Romania - including two itineraries through the Bucegi. Happy hiking!


yatsek - Feb 29, 2020 6:03 am - Voted 10/10

Re: New Cicerone guide to the Romanian Carpathians

Thanks! Links included. I wonder if you could submit a couple of pix. We still have nothing or next to nothing of the Tarcu, Vilcan, Cozia, Leaota and Gilau mountains.

Viewing: 1-2 of 2



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.