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Overview


The complete ridge trail of Rodnei Mountains /Munţii Rodnei, Radnai-havasok, Rodnaer Gebirge/ spans over 57 km in east-west direction, connecting Pasul Şetref (818m, west end) and Pasul Rotunda (1271m, east end). The trail is marked by red stripe, and can be split into three parts (see Route Description section below). Backpacking along the main ridge of Rodnei Mountains is a very nice experience, especially in nice weather. If you can devote a few days for this beautiful area, perhaps this is the best journey to take. The trail is long, but has no difficult parts (walking is all you have to do). As there are no huts nearby along the route, prepare for nomadic circumstances. Nevertheless, designated camping sites are quite well partitioned over the range, and most of them are situated near springs. Sharing your own experiences about this trail is very welcome. Also, feel free to report any typos, broken links, etc.

Getting There


Pasul Şetref /Şetref pass, Szacsali-hágó/ is located on car road 17C between Dealu Ştefăniţei /Szalanca/ and Săcel /Izaszacsal/, and can directly be approached only by car. According to the map, there is a motel and a camping place here. If you plan to come by train, the closest stop is Dealu Ştefăniţei. From there, blue triangle leads up along the Fundoaia creek to La Jgheaburi, where it joins red stripe coming from Pasul Şetref.
Cabana Alpina of Pasul RotundaCabana of Pasul Rotunda
Pasul Rotunda /Rotunda pass, Radnai-hágó/ is located on car road 17D between Valea Mare /Máriavölgy/ and Rotunda /Borsaszéplak/ villages. This section of road 17D is dirt road, asphalt cover extends only until Valea Mare! Rotunda village can also be approached on car road 18 from Borşa or Cârlibaba. At Pasul Rotunda you can find a camping place and Cabana Rotunda mountain hut. No train access, though. Midpoints of the trail can be approached from several other starting points (these are covered in the Route Description section below). The three most popular are: 1) Borşa /Borsa/, 2) Rodna /Óradna, Alt-Rodna/ or Şanţ /Újradna, Neu-Rodna/ and 3) Staţiunea Borşa /Borsafüred/. Getting to these places is covered on the pages of Buhăescu Mare /Nagy-Bukuly/, Ineu /Ünőkő, Kuhhorn/ and Gărgalău /Gargaló/ pages, respectively.

Route Description


The following description follows the route in west-to-east direction, split into three parts. Of course, it can be done the opposite way as well.

Part 1: Pasul Şetref (818m) - Tarniţa La Cruce (1985m)

From P. Şetref the trail ascends onto the Bătrâna plateau mostly in woods, following a cart road. There are two camping places along this section of the trail: La Jgheaburi (cca. 1400m) and Pasul Pietrii (1196m). The trail leaves Bătrâna plateau at Tarniţa Bătrânei, and climbs up to the Pietrosu massif, where it will not drop below 1800m (in fact, it levels around 2000+/-100m most of the time). Vegetation changes to be dominanted by alpine grass. Between Tarniţa Bătrânei and Tarniţa La Cruce there are two "parallel" variants of the trail: one follows the cart road (moderate slope), the other climbs up Vf. Gropilor (2063m) and Vf. Rebra (2119m) before reaching Tarniţa La Cruce. This latter is joined from the north by the blue stripe (coming from Borşa - access to Buhăescu Mare /Nagy-Bukuly/ and Pietrosu /Nagy-Pietrosz/ peaks) at Vf. Rebra. The cart road ends at Tarniţa La Cruce, a pass under which you find Rebra lake, a designated campsite. From here the main ridge trail is only a simple footpath.

Part 2: Tarniţa La Cruce (1985m) - Vf. Ineuţ (2222m)

Pietrosu and Buhăescu peaksview of Pietrosu and Buhăescu peaks from Vf. Repede
This is where the main part of the trail begins. First comes Vf. Obârşia-Rebri (2052m) and Şaua (saddle) Obârşia-Rebri (1985m). Here you can choose again: this time between dropping directly to Şaua Între Izvoare (cca. 1850m) or climbing Vf. Cormaia (2033m) and Vf. Repede (2074m) on the way there.

Şaua Între Izvoare is a designated camping site by a spring, but with not much comfortable place (there is limited wind shelter, some of which is in a rather stony depression). So the sooner you arrive, the easier job you will have setting up the tent and surviving a windy night.
On the main ridge of Rodnei Mountainsnear Şaua Între Izvoare
Horses in Rodnei Mountainssoon after leaving Şaua Între Izvoare
From Şaua Între Izvoare the trail levels in the side of Vf. Negoiasa Mare (2041m). This place offers another nice view on Pietrosu and Buhăescu Mare.

After leaving Negoiasa Mare, the trail moderately ascends to Tarniţa Bârsanului (1970m) and further to Şaua Puzdrelor (Puzdra pass, cca. 2030m).

Here you can take short (but steep) side-tours to the two highpoints of the central ridge region: Vf. Puzdrelor (2189m) and Vf. Laptelui Mare (2172m).
Vf. Negoiasa Marelooking back on Vf. Negoiasa Mare
West panorama from Laptelui Marelooking west (down to Şaua Puzdrelor pass) from Vf. Laptelui Mare
East view from Laptelui Marelooking east from Vf. Laptelui Mare towards Vf. Gărgalău
The trail itself continues towards Şaua Laptelui (cca. 1930m). Poorly marked blue dot leads down to the ruins of Cabana Puzdrele and further to Staţiunea Borşa (not recommended due to high chances of getting lost).

From Şaua Laptelui the trail climbs up to Vf. Galaţului (2048m), then descends to Şaua Galaţului (1882m, blue triangle to Cabana Puzdrele).

Here it joins a cart road, which passes by a small lake (L. Cailor) and little later a small spring. The area by this spring is desigated camping place.
Ideal campsitethe spring by the campsite near Şaua Galaţului
Smooth ridgewest view from Şaua Gărgalău pass
View to the west from Gărgalău saddleat Şaua Gărgalău
From the spring, the trail heads for Şaua Gărgalău (1907m), leaving the Pietrosu massif and entering the Ineu massif. Two side-trails leave the main ridge trail at this saddle:
  • blue stripe north to Poiana Ştiol, from where you can take red triangle to Cascada Cailor /Lóhavasi-vízesés/ (waterfall, designated camping place) and further to Staţiunea Borşa


  • blue cross (continuation of the cart road) south to Anieş /Dombhátfürdõ/ village (24km)
The main ridge trail continues southeast as a simple footpath again, and climbs up to Vf. Gărgalău (2159m).
The central part of the main ridgewest view from Vf. Gărgalău
West view from Vf. Omuluion the top of Vf. Omului
From Gărgalău, the trail follows the ridge southwards through Vf. Clăii (2121m) and turns back to eastern direction just below Vf. Omului (2134m - worth to take a few steps up to check out the peak).

The "roller-coaster" goes on along the asymmetric ridge: Şaua Cişa (1950m) - Vf. Cişa (2036m) - Tarniţa Lui Putredu (1960m, poorly marked blue triangle takes south to Valea Vinului /Radnaborberek/) - Vf. Coasta Neteadă (2060m) - Şaua Putredă (cca. 2000m) - Şaua Ineului (2223m).
On the ridge trail towards Ineuen route from Vf. Omului to Vf. Ineu
From here you can go up to Vf. Ineu (2279m) or get around it in level, through Şaua cu Lac (2140m) to Şaua Ineuţului (cca. 2100m).
  • from Şaua cu Lac blue dot south to Salvamont Curatel refuge and further to Rodna or Valea Vinului via red triangle


  • from Şaua Ineuţului blue dot north to nearby Lala Mică lake (designated camping place with spring along the trail) and further all the way down to Gura Lalei)

From Şaua Ineuţului the main ridge trail climbs up Vf. Ineuţ (2222m) and continues east on red stripe towards Pasul Rotunda.
  • from Vf. Ineuţ you can descend south on the blue cross to Şanţ via Valea Blaznei
Fluffy vegetationLala Mică lake - campsite
East panorama from Vf. IneuView towards the the final part of the main ridge from Vf. Ineu
Lala MicaLala Mică Lake - somewhat below the main ridge

Part 3: Vf. Ineuţ (2222m) - Pasul Rotunda (1271m)

In this final section, the trail descends to Şaua Gajei (1721m) where it merges into a cart road, which leads all the way down to Pasul Rotunda. There is an almost-parallel trail, descending in the Lala Valley, situated north from the main ridge (this trail ends at Gura Lalei, north from Pasul Rotunda).
Lala MareLala Mare Lake (photographed from the valley-trail)
Valea LalaIn the Lala Valley (photographed from the valley-trail)
Pasul RotundaThe eastern endpoint of the main ridge: Pasul Rotunda

Overview Image Map


The image map below gives an overview about the marked trails of Rodnei Mountains. Red line indicates the main ridge route, yellow lines indicate all other routes. Bold black lines denote main asphalted roads (the one dotted section is the unpaved portion of road 17D). Further key to symbols - blue triangles: mountain peaks - green pentagons: settlements - red dots: huts - white dots: designated campsites - blue squares: pensions (note that there are a lot more around, i.e.: in Borşa town or in Complex Turistic Borşa) Some featured points are clickable - these contain links to subsequent webpages (both SP and external).
Vf. Pietrosu Mare (2303 m) Vf. Buhăescu Mare (2268 m) Vf. Gărgalău (2159 m) Vf. Ineu (2279 m) Vf. Galaţului (2048 m) Vf. Bătrâna (1710 m) Rebra (2119 m) Vf. Obârsia-Rebrii (2052 m) Vf. Cormaia (2033 m) Vf. Repede (2074 m) Vf. Negoiasa Mare (2041 m) Vf. Puzdrelor (2189 m) Vf. Laptelui Mare (2172 m) Vf. Mihăiasa (1805 m) Muntele Cailor (1922 m) Vf. Omului (2134 m) Vf. Cişa (2036 m) Vf. Coasta Netedă (2060 m) Vf. Ineuţ (2222 m) Vf. Roşu (2113 m) Vf. Coronghiş (1987 m) Vf. Saca (1705 m) Ursu (Bear) pension Suzy pension Cabana Diana (1250 m) Cabana Pasul Rotunda (1275 m) Curăţel refuge (1510 m) Cabana Alpin (1416 m) Cabana Valea Secii (630 m) Valea Secii forester hut (750 m) Farmecul Pădurii tourist hut (610 m) Valea Vinului tourist hut (700 m) Pasul Şetref (818 m) La Jgheaburi (1450 m) Pasul Pietrii (1196 m) Zăvoaiele Borcutului (930 m) Lake Iezer (1760 m) Lake Rebra (1950 m) north side of Vf. Repede (1850 m) former Puzdrele hut (1540 m) south slope of Muntele Cailor (1882 m) Lake Lala Mică (1920 m) Romuli Dealu Ştefăniţei Săcel Moisei Borşa Complex Turistic Borşa Valea Mare Şanţ Rodna Anieş Maieru Cormaia Sângeorz-băi Parva

My Personal Experience


I have been on the middle portion of the trail ("Part 2" in the description above), which I think is the most exciting. Both ends of this section can be approached more easily with train/bus than the main ridge route endpoints. Also, since Vf. Pietrosu, the highest peak of the range (and thus, a "must-visit"), is located on a side-ridge along the blue stripe (which connects Borşa with Tarniţa La Cruce), it is very straightforward to start or finish the hike in Borşa and stay overnight at the meteo station campsite (1760m), just below the northern face of Pietrosu. The image below shows the transect of the path I have taken. Optionally, in case of bad weather or emergency, you can also leave the main ridge at Şaua Gărgalău towards (the ruins of) Cabana Puzdrele or Cascada Cailor to the nearest settlement: Staţiunea Borşa). Southern "escapes", except for the one from Vf. Ineuţ to Şanţ, are rather long (and most of them poorly marked, hence not mentioned here - for these please refer to Rodnei Mountains parent page).
Borsa > Rodna trail transectBorşa > Rodna trail transect (enlarge for better resolution)

Weather Conditions


The best season for a "ridge ride" is (late) summer. In wintertime, the middle section can be uncomfortable at certain points, full winter gear and good orientation is needed. Wind is frequent and can be quite strong, especially on the ridge. Annual mean temperature at about 2000m is 0C°. Most precipitation is in the summer. Actual weather situation for Borşa (north side) and Şanţ (south side) can be seen below (idea borrowed from Nanuls). Please note that these are data for towns/villages at the feet of the mountains, they're good to get a general feeling of what's around. In the high regions the situation may be quite different.
The data of the meteo station by the Iezer Lake (on 1786 m) is available online here (on the right side of the page, under "IEZER"). This is the direct "high-altitude" situation in the north side of Pietrosu.

Essential Gear


Tent, food, cooking set definitely. Rain and windproof stuff can be useful. Bag for trash is a must. And don't forget to take your camera, so that you can upload here some new pics :)

Maps

  • The 1:50,000 map of Rodnei Mountains by Dimap (with guiding text on the backside in English, Romanian and Hungarian) can be ordered online from Dimap here (8 €)


  • An interactive online map can be found here


  • An overview map of Rodnei Mountains in black&white can be found online here, however this is insufficient on the terrain

Miscellaneuous


Shepherd dogs Flocks of sheep are frequent in the Rodnei Mountains, especially around the passes. While sheep are not dangerous, care must be taken with the aggressive shepherd dogs whose role is to keep bears away from the sheep. Direct approach of the flock is not advisable, it's better to get around them in a proper distance, without stopping. Traditional lifestyle In the Rodnei Mountains you can still find many people living according to their ancestors' tradition. Sometimes you might have the feeling of traveling back in time, meeting your own ancestors...
Carpathian Dream


Description

This is my backyard page for pre-publishment stage works. In other words, PERMANENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!! :) Please do not vote on it.  
Zemplén Mountains Zemplén Mountains

High Tatras

 
Vysoka, Rysy and Niznie Rysy - High Tatras  
Biography of Dávid Frölich with his experiences in the High Tatras at the bottom of p176 and several other interesting non mountain-related things... A Magas-Tátra feltárása Zamkovského chata

Salvamont info

 
calimans 4  
General emergency number: 112 National dispatcher: 0-SALVAMONT (0725-826668) Salvamont Bihor | salvamontbihor(at)yahoo.com | 0359-436022 Salvamont Mureş | salvamont(at)cjmures.ro | 0729-988844 Salvamont Gheorgheni | 0724-212586 Salvamont Sibiu A list - not known how up-to-date

Egyebek

OLD (2016) CARPATHIANS Overview

Karpaty - Munţii Carpaţi - Kárpátok - Карпати - Karpaten
The Carpathians and their neighborsCarpathians in the Center - the Big Five - subregions we have identified. The neighborhood: Alps to the West, Dinarides (SW – across Great Hungarian Plain), Balkans (S), Sudetes (NW).
 
Rhododendron kotschyi Rhododendron kotschyi - token flower of E&S Carpathians
The Carpathian Mountains constitute one of Europe's main mountain systems, whose characteristic arc spans some 1,500 km across, separating the Carpathian Basin from the vast lowlands of Eastern Europe. At both ends, it is cut off from the neighboring mountains – the Alps in the west, and the Stara Planina/Balkan Mountains in the south – by the Danube River (although in geologic terms the Carpathians extend a bit beyond the Danube - further discussion in the SW chapter). The Carpathians run across the political borders between half a dozen countries: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and Romania. Bearing in mind the sheer size of the Carpathian mountains, we are not going to provide a plethora of information about all the ranges. Our objective is to give an overview and some clues for fellow SPers - detailed information is expected of the child pages. The existing SP pages have been attached (they vary considerably in quality), the most anticipated (IOHO) of the missing pages have been highlighted in bold print in the tables. With this page, we would like to challenge other SP'ers and hope to see more SP pages about the most beautiful segments of the Carpathian Mountains.  
Geological map of the Carpathians Geological map of the Carpathian Basin - 1922

Geology and Physiography

The Carpathians presented here have been split into five groups: Northwestern, Northeastern, Eastern, Southern (Northeastern and Eastern Carpathians are often classified as one region named the East Carpathians), and finally the Southwestern Carpathians. The Carpathians are typically composed of three lithologic belts: the outer flysch belt (of relatively hard sandstone and soft shale), which is usually broad but low; the central crystalline (i.e. metamorphic/granitoid) belt, which contains nearly all of the highest ranges; and the inner volcanic belt (usually low). This pattern is best displayed in the Northwestern Carpathians, and also in the Eastern Carpathians. The crystalline chain is very poorly exposed in the relatively low Northeastern Carpathians (only a couple of crystalline mountains of Marmarosh break through the sedimentary cover). Also, the make-up of the Southern Carpathians, which are almost exclusively composed of crystalline blocks, is different.  
Obidza Waterfall Flysch belt binds Carpathians (Beskid Sądecki Mts)
Within the Carpathians, the eastern sibling of the Alps, there are many blocks whose rocks were (trans-)formed by orogenic cycles older than the Alpine orogeny. Some of those blocks, e.g. the Rodnei Mountains constitute well-preserved pre-Mesozoic orogens, i.e. mountains last folded during the Hercynian (Variscan) or older cycles. Generally, what is now metamorphic rocks used to be pre-Mesozoic sediments (e.g. flysch or limestone) which were altered - mostly through contact with magma – in the late Paleozoic. The metamorphic rocks (usually gneiss and schists) along with the granitoid rocks (magma that has set) form the so-called crystalline cores of numerous ranges on the inner side of the flysch belt. These crystalline blocks are – to varying extent – covered by Mesozoic limestone, especially on the flanks, since prolonged erosion has usually removed the limestone from the central part of the range.  
View to the west from Gărgalău saddle Ancient orogen of Rodnei Mountains
However, regardless of how old the rocks are, the geomorphology of the Carpathians was virtually determined by the Alpine (Tertiary) mountain-building cycle, which: 1)folded vast areas of limestone and flysch deposited in the post-Paleozoic seas that covered most of what is now the Carpathians 2)uplifted a number of old, crystalline blocks along fault lines (cracks in the Earth's crust) 3)towards the end of the Tertiary, was completed with eruptions of lava inside the Carpathian arc In contrast to the Alps, limestone nappes (i.e. huge folds) are neither well developed nor well preserved. In the Carpathians, it is flysch which plays their part. Limestone (or more precisely calcareous rocks - limestone and dolomite - white triangles on our maps) occurs mainly on the sides of the crystalline massifs. Limestone 'splinters' can also be found immersed in the flysch. But like elsewhere the outcrops of calcareous rocks, especially mid-Mesozoic (Jurassic), often boast precipitous bluffs and crags, narrow gorges or caves. At present there aren't any glaciers left in the Carpathians, although the highest ranges did undergo intensive glacial activity in the Ice Age. As a result, their relief is bold and they are dotted by cirques and blue tarns, which makes for spectacular scenery. (A virtual NW to E to S to SW Carpathian traverse above the tree line is possible on SP by clicking here.)
 
Calm before the stormGranite and Tarns
 
Magosfa (Tátralátó)Volcanoes Inside
In the following chapters, we will aim to list all particular ranges of each part of the Carpathian Big Five in a separate table, split into columns according to the dominant rock type. Below each table, you will find a list of the most attractive limestone areas.

Babel of Toponyms

 
On the ridge Romanian shepherds (cioban, pronounced chobbun) in Făgăraş Mountains
The Carpathians have always been inhabited by a handful of peoples. In recent centuries, among those nations are the Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Ukrainians, Romanians, Hungarians and Germans (Saxons). Hence, for most of the Carpathian ranges and sub-ranges there are names in several languages. Since including all the names in each of the languages would make the tables too crowded, we will normally use the name in the language of the country whose territory a particular area is part of at the present time (most of the Carpathians lies in Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania today), with some exceptions (when an English name is commonly used or when the translation brings out the meaning, and occasionally when local ethnic proportions justify it). However, we believe it would be appropriate to list all the different names on subsequent area and mountain pages. A dictionary of toponyms has been initiated for this purpose. Also, a little Carpathian Picture Dictionary, which lists about 150 words in eight languages, is available on SP.

Wilderness

 
the bearBrown bear in theCarpathian Bend
Per 100 sq km of WoodlandRomaniaSlovakiaSlovenia(top non-Carpathian)
Bear
Lynx
Wolf
7 (3.5?)
3
6 to 5
3.5
2
4 to 3
5
1
1
The Carpathians cannot compete with the Alps in height, but they are one of the few remaining areas in Europe that boast true wilderness. The Northwestern Carpathians are the most touristy. Especially the High Tatras, where the custom of hiking and mountaineering dates all the way back to the 16th century, are packed with visitors in summertime. However, some of the mountain ranges just south of the Tatra Mountains, such as parts of the Low Tatras and Greater Fatra, resemble the remote corners of Transylvania, where you can easily find solitude in the mountains.
Wolf filmed by LukZem
Bear filmed in Hagymás/Hăşmaş Mts
The Carpathians are home to various endangered and endemic species of plants and animals, including Europe's second largest (after Russia) brown bear population, especially strong in the Carpathian Bend. According to officials, there are five to six thousand brown bears in Romania although many ecologists claim half of the bears have been shot down over the past two decades. If you are seeking an adventure package which encompasses crossing the bear country, the Carpathians by all means have it on offer. Check out the following link, full of information on the Carpathian bear, including detailed safety advice: for starters. Here is a map of the major protected areas.
 
Chamois familyCarpathian chamois
 
MarmotHigh Tatra Marmot
 
the flower 3Pink: Dianthus callizonus
 
Fire Salamander of Devil s RockFire salamander
 
Black Stork of the DunajecBlack stork
 
Rosalia longicorn (<i>Rosalia alpina</i>)Rosalia longicorn

OLD Northwestern Carpathians

The widest and most complex part of the Carpathians, stretching from the Danube River at Devín to the valley of the Topľa River, inside which rises the highest range of all in the Carpathian Mountains: the High Tatras (highest point: Gerlachovský štít, 2655 m). The table below lists the member ranges of the group from west to east, sorted by the dominant rock type, in the following format: mountain range - highest peak - elevation (in meters). Information about limestone areas is to be found below the map and the following table. An SP album Polish and Slovakian Carpathians houses a large number of photos from the area.
 
Triangles indicate the highest peaks of particular ranges (hover the mouse over them to see the names of the ranges and peaks). Black pentagons indicate major towns with airports (click to open links).
White Carpathians (Veľká Javorina, 970 m)Javorníky (Veľký Javorník, 1071 m)Moravskoslezské Beskydy (Lysá hora, 1323 m)Beskid Śląski (Skrzyczne, 1257 m)Beskid Mały (Czupel, 933 m)High Beskid (Babia Góra, 1725 m)Oravská Magura (Minčol, 1394 m)Skorušinské vrchy & Pogórze Gubałowskie (Skorušina, 1314 m)Beskid Makowski (Lubomir, 904 m)Gorce (Turbacz, 1310 m)Beskid Wyspowy (Mogielica, 1170 m)Beskid Sądecki (Radziejowa, 1262 m)Spišská Magura (Repisko, 1259 m)Levočské vrchy (Čierna hora, 1289 m)Čergov (Minčol, 1157 m)Little Carpathians (Záruby, 768 m)Inovec (Inovec, 1042 m)Strážovské vrchy (Strážov, 1213 m)Little Fatra (Veľký Kriváň, 1709 m)Western Tatras (Bystrá, 2248 m)High Tatras (Gerlachovský, 2655 m)Branisko (Smrekovica, 12000 m)Tribeč (Veľký Tribeč, 829 m)Greater Fatra (Ostredok, 1592 m)Low Tatras (Ďumbier, 2043 m)Veporské vrchy (Fabova hoľa, 1438 m)Stolické vrchy (Stolica, 1476)Volovské vrchy (Volovec, 1284)Vtáčnik (Vtáčnik, 1345 m)Kremnické vrchy (Flochová, 1317 m)Štiavnické vrchy (Sitno, 1009 m)Javorie-Ostrôžky (Lažtek, 1044 m)Poľana (Poľana, 1458 m)Börzsöny (Csóványos, 938 m)Visegrádi-hegység (Dobogókő, 700 m)Mátra (Kékes, 1014 m)Karancs-Medves (Karancs, 727 m)Zempléni-hegység (Nagy-Milic, 894 m)Slanské vrchy (Šimonka, 1092 m)Súľovské skaly (Veľký Manín, 891 m)Chočské vrchy (Veľký Choč, 1611 m)Belianské Tatry (Havran, 2152 m)Pieniny (Trzy Korony, 982 m)Muránska planina (Kľak, 1409 m)Slovenský raj (Ondrejisko, 1270 m)Gömör-Torna karst (Matesova skala, 925 m)Bükk (Istállós-kő, 959 m)Bratislava (SK)Budapest (HU)Košice (SK)Poprad (SK)Kraków (PL)
Zdiarska Vidla and HavranBelianske Tatry - spring
Real skyscrapersHigh Tatras - summer
Hrubá Kopa-2166 mWest Tatras - winter
Flysch beltCrystalline beltVolcanic belt
Northern chain
Moravskoslezské Beskydy *Lysá hora1323
Beskid Śląski *Skrzyczne1257
Beskid Mały *Czupel933
Beskid Makowski *Lubomir904
Beskid Wyspowy *Mogielica1170
Central chain
White CarpathiansVeľká Javorina970
Javorníky Mts.Veľký Javorník1071
High Beskid *Babia Góra1725
Gorce *Turbacz1310
Beskid Sądecki *Radziejowa1262
ČergovMinčol1157
Inner chain
Oravská MaguraMinčol1394
Skorušinské vrchy &Pogórze GubałowskieSkorušina1314
Spišská MaguraRepisko1259
Levočské vrchyČierna hora1289

Ranges marked with * make up the Western Beskids group.The High Beskid Mountains, straddling the Poland-Slovakia border, are called Beskid Żywiecki in Poland and Kysucké a Oravské Beskydy in Slovakia.
Outer chain
Little CarpathiansZáruby768
Inovec Mts.Inovec1042
Strážovské vrchyStrážov1213
Little FatraVeľký Kriváň1709
Western TatrasBystrá2248
High TatrasGerlachovský2655
BraniskoSmrekovica1200
Inner chain
TribečVeľký Tribeč829
Greater FatraOstredok1592
Low TatrasĎumbier2043
Central (SE) massifs
Veporské vrchyFabova hoľa1438
Stolické vrchyStolica1476
Volovské vrchyVolovec1284

The Western Tatras (mostly metamorphic rocks and limestone) and the High Tatras (granite) are in fact one range.The central massifs are often grouped together as Slovenské rudohorie or Spišsko-gemerské rudohorie (Slovak / Spiš-Gemer Ore Mountains)
Central (Slovakian) massifs
VtáčnikVtáčnik1345
Štiavnické vrchySitno1009
Kremnické vrchyFlochová1317
Javorie-OstrôžkyLažtek1044
PoľanaPoľana1458
Southern (Hungarian) rim
BörzsönyCsóványos938
Visegrádi-hegységDobogókő700
Karancs-MedvesKarancs727
MátraKékes-tető1014
Eastern rim
Slanské vrchyŠimonka1092
Zempléni-hegységNagy-Milic894

Slanské and Zemplén Mountains actually make up a single range, cut in half by the political border between Slovakia and Hungary - hence the two names. The complete range is also referred to sometimes as Eperjes-Tokaj Mountains, after the two towns on its two ends (the Slovak name of Eperjes is Prešov). However, the traditional name of the range was Sátor (Tent) Mountains, after the shape of its mountains.
High Tatras Vysoké Tatry /High Tatras/ from Nízké Tatry /Low Tatras/ - autumn
 
Babia Gora 1725mBabia Góra, highest point of the Western Beskids
 
Nizke Tatry - Dumbier summitĎumbier /Ginger/, highest summit in the Low Tatras
 
Vadálló kövekVadálló-kövek in the Visegrád Mountains
The most distinct limestone blocks in the north:
  • Belianské Tatry (Havran, 2152 m) - the distinct limestone/dolomite ridge adjoining the High Tatras, along with which it's often classified as the Eastern Tatras
  • Pieniny (Wysoka, 1052 m) - see also the SP photo album about Pieniny - the most outstanding group of the limestone rocks scattered along the inner rim of the flysch belt (nice crags also stick out of flysch within the Orava-Podhale basin and in the White Carpathians), right opposite the outer edge of the crystalline belt
  • Chočské vrchy (Veľký Choč, 1611 m) - a link between the Western Tatras and the two Fatras
  • Súľovské skaly (Veľký Manín, 891 m) - plenty of rock towers made of limestone conglomerate, at the northern end of the Strážovské vrchy
Limestone plateaus and canyon lands on the peripheries of the Slovenské rudohorie:
  • Spišsko-gemerský kras - consisting of two distinct parts:- Muránska planina (Kľak, 1409 m)- Slovenský raj (Ondrejisko, 1270 m)
  • Gömör-Torna karst - cut in half by the political border between Slovakia and Hungary:- northern part: Slovak karst (Matesova skala, 925 m) - see SP page Zadielská Dolina- southern part: Aggtelek karst (Fertős-tető, 604 m).
  • Bükk (Istállós-kő - 959 m) - inside the Carpathian Arc, within the Hungarian volcanic belt, which runs toward Lake Balaton
 
Sulov breathtaking...Súľov Rocks in the Strážovské vrchy
 
View of Rozsutec from StefanowaVeľký Rozsutecin the Little Fatra
 
View from Velky Choc summit....Veľký Choč
Belian Tatras Belianské Tatry - autumn

OLD Northeastern Carpathians

The lowest group of the Carpathians, located at the NE reaches of the Pannonian basin, forms a stout flysch bridge between the old orogens of the Northwestern Carpathians and those of the Eastern Carpathians. The topography of the Northeastern Carpathians is rather monotonous. The outer belt of flysch is accompanied by an inner belt of Tertiary volcanoes. The elevation of the mountains and passes generally increases toward the southeast to finally culminate in the highest summits of the Chornohora Range (Black Mountains) and the Marmarosh Mountains, but the highest point hardly exceeds 2000 m. Most of the other ranges generally rise within the 1000-1500 m bracket. The borders of this quarter of the Carpathians are drawn somewhat arbitrarily: usually the valley of the Topľa River in the NW and Prislop/Borşa pass in the SE. In the tables below, the member ranges of the NE Carpathians have been listed from northwest to southeast, sorted by rock type; in the following format: mountain range - highest peak - elevation (in meters). The divisions and names of the subgroups within the sandstone chain are plenty and confusing. A case in point can be the borderline between the Eastern Beskids and the Marmarosh Mts., which has completely different versions: 1) Użocka/Uzhots'kyi pass at the Polish/Ukrainian border, 2) Verets'kyi pass, 3) the source of Bela Tysa (White Tisa) River by the Ukrainian/Romanian border. Here we have used the last one, as it is the most commonly applied today.
 
Triangles indicate the highest peaks of particular ranges (hover the mouse over them to see the names of the ranges and peaks). Black pentagons indicate major towns (click - if available - to open links for airports).
Central / Low Beskid (Bušov, 1002 m)Góry Sanocko-Turczańskie (Magura Łomniańska, 1024 m)Bieszczady Zachodnie (Tarnica, 1346 m)Bieszczady Wschodnie (Pikui, 1405 m)Beskidy Skolskie (Parashka, 1269 m)Gorgany (Syvulia, 1836 m)Pokuts'ki Karpaty (Rotylo, 1483 m)Mountains of Northeastern Bukovyna (Lungul, 1377)Putylski Hory (Yarovytsia, 1575 m)Obcina Mare (Skoruşet, 1223)Obcina Feredeu (Veju Mare, 1494)Obcina Mestecăniş (Ţapul Mare, 1661)Polonyna-Runa (Runa, 1480 m)Polonyna Borzhava (Stiy, 1682 m)Polonyna Krasna (Hropa, 1564 m)Svydovets' (Blyznytsia, 1881 m)Chornohora (Hoverla, 2061 m)Hryniavs'ki Hory (Pohreptyna, 1605 m)Munţii Maramureş (Farcău, 1956 m)Vihorlatské vrchy (Vihorlat, 1076 m)Makovytsia-Synyak (Dunauka, 1019 m)Velykyi Dil (Buzhora, 1085 m)Tupyi Mountains (Tupij, 878 m)Munţii Oaş (Piatra Vâscului, 917 m)Creasta Pietrii (Igniş, 1307 m)Munţii Gutâi (Gutâi, 1445 m)Munţii Lăpuş (Văratec, 1348 m)Munţii Ţibleş (Ţibleş, 1839 m)Košice /Kassa/ (SK)Uzhorod /Ungvár/ (UA)Satu Mare /Szatmárnémeti, Sathmar/ (RO)Ivano-Frankivsk (UA)Lviv (UA)
Wetlinska Meadow II - Summit VistasWestern Bieszczady - fall
HoverlaChornohora - winter
Cliff of Pip Ivan s corrieMarmarosh Mts - summer
Sandstone (flysch) beltVolcanic belt
Central / Low Beskidbetween the Topľa River and Lupkovský/Łupków pass, in Poland known as Beskid Niski, in Slovakia as Ondavské vrchyBušov1002
Eastern Beskyds (a.k.a. Ukrainian Carpathians)usually split into two subgroups: the Polonyna Ridge and the Wooded Beskyds/Carpathians - details in a separate table belowHoverla2061
Marmarosh Mountainsthe most complex and unique of all the mountains in the Northeastern Carpathians, in geological and geomorphological terms - more info below this tableFarcău1956
Bukovina Carpathiansa group of parallel ranges within the borders of the historic Bukovina (now in Ukraine and Romania):UA - Mountains of Northeastern Bukovyna (Lungul, 1377), Putyls'ki Hory (Yarovytsia, 1575)RO - Obcina Mestecăniş (Ţapul Mare, 1661), Obcina Feredeu (Veju Mare, 1494) and Obcina Mare (Skoruşet, 1223)Ţapul Mare1661
Vihorlatské vrchyVihorlat1076
Makovytsia-SynyakDunauka1019
Velykyi DilBuzhora1085
Tupyi Mts.Tupij878
Munţii OaşPiatra Vâscului917
Creasta PietriiIgniş1307
Munţii GutâiGutâiul Mare1445
Munţii LăpuşVăratec1348
Munţii ŢibleşBran1840

Sometimes the Oaş and Lăpuş Mountains, along with Creasta Pietrii, are incorporated into the Gutâi Mountains.
Pearl of the ChornohoraChornohora
Maramures seen from ChornohoraMarmarosh from Chornohora
His majesty Marmarosh Mts
Mount Cergowa ( 716 m )Low Beskid
Bukovina Carpathians - Obcina MestecanisObcina Mestecăniş
GutaiGutâi Mountains
 
Cearcănul Cearcănul (Sárkány)
To demonstrate the complexity of the Marmarosh Mountains, it should suffice to list their highest peaks along with the rocks they are composed of:
  • Pop Ivan (1937 m) - Precambrian gneiss, one of the oldest rocks in the Carpathians
  • Farcău (1956 m) - submarine basalt
  • Mihailecu (1920 m) - alternate beds of limestone and basalt, folded and set vertically
  • Toroiaga (1930 m) - andesite (lava intrusion)
The above peaks once comprised the main ridge of the Marmarosh Mountains, which has been cut by headward erosion of the tributaries of the Vişeu (Vyshov) river. (This part of the Carpathians - in contrast to the NW Carpathians - is still being lifted relatively quickly.) Therefore most of today's main ridge is a much lower, mostly flysch ridge (its central part is often called the Chyvchyn Mts), and the isolated, non-flysch, highest summits of the Marmarosh stand alone and tall. This interesting geomorphology is enhanced by traces of little glaciers of the Ice Age. The highest range of the Bukovina Carpathians (Obcina Mestecăniş) is geologically similarly patchworked, although it is less prominent.
Maramureş Mountains Marmarosh Mountains viewed from the Rodnei Mountains - summer
As to the Eastern Beskids / Ukrainian Carpathians, the various divisions, names (Ukrainian/Polish/Rusyn) and elevations found on the maps and in the guidebooks can be perplexing. In the table below, we have aimed to provide an accurate and reasonably comprehensive list. Providing you are able to decipher Cyrillic, you can also enjoy these excellent maps.
Wooded Beskyds / Wooded Carpathians(In Polish: Beskidy Lesiste. In Ukraine, the term Beskydy is not normally used for any mountains east of Toruns'kyi/Vyshkovskyi Pass.)Polonyna Ridge(Polonyns'kyj chrebet)
Western Bieszczady (Polish: Bieszczady Zachodnie)between Lupkovský/Łupkowska and Użocka/Uzhots'kyi passTarnica1346
Eastern Bieszczady (Polish: Bieszczady Wschodnie)or Skolivs'ki Beskydyseveral parallel ridges between Użocka/Uzhots'kyi and Toruns'kyi/Vyshkovskyi passPikui1405
Gorgany (Horhany)SE of the Bieszczady/Skolivs'ki Beskydy as far as the Prut riverSyvulia1836
Pokuts'ki Karpaty between the Prut and the Cheremosh riversRotylo1483
Polonyna-Runa (Rivna)Runa/Rivna1480
Polonyna BorzhavaStiy (Stohy)1682
Polonyna KrasnaSyhlianskyi1564
Svydovets'Blyznytsia1881
ChornohoraHoverla2061
Hryniavs'ki HoryPohreptyna / Polonyna Myhailova1605
Issues that complicate the situation:
  • The SW part of the Western Bieszczady lies in Slovakia, where it is known as Bukovské vrchy.
  • The NE threshold of the Bieszczady is named the Sanok-Turka Mts (Polish: Góry Sanocko-Turczańskie - Magura Łomniańska, 1022) or the Upper Dniester Beskyds (Ukrainian: Verkhnio-Dnistrovs'ki Beskydy).
  • In Ukraine, the term Eastern Beskydy is used for the parts of both the Western and the Eastern Bieszczady that lie north-east of the main ridge. What Poles call Beskidy Skolskie (Parashka, 1269) is the northeasternmost range of the Eastern Bieszczady.
The Sun of BieszczadyWestern Bieszczady
Mt.Starostyna - Eastern BieszczadyEastern Bieszczady
Mount Syvula - Gorgany mtns.Gorgany
Three polonynasToward Polonyna Runa
Karst arch Polonyna Krasna
Sunrise viewed from SvydovetsSvydovets

OLD Eastern Carpathians

 
Ferdinand ;) Face to face
The Eastern Carpathians run southwardly from Prislop/Borşa and the valley of the Bistriţa Aurie at least as far as Predeal Pass, beyond which rises the dramatic wall of the Bucegi Mountains towering over the Prahova Valley. If more attention is drawn to the rock type than to the topography, the west frontier of the Eastern Carpathians will have to be pushed farther west and the most logical border line will be Giuvala Pass (Bran-Rucar corridor). If you have read the previous chapters, you will not be surprised that we have opted for the latter division line. The location of the highest point of the Eastern Carpathians depends on the answer to the question where the southwestern reaches of these mountains are. Having decided on Giuvala Pass, we have to look towards the Bucegi Mountains and point to their highest summit Omu, 2509 m. Had we opted for Predeal Pass and the Prahova Valley, it would be the highest peak of the Rodnei Mountains (Pietrosu Mare, 2303 m). Except for these two ranges, most of the other mountains in this part of the Carpathians reach elevations from 1500 to 2000 m. In the Eastern Carpathians, all the three lithologic belts characteristic of the Northwestern Carpathians get exposed again. The volcanic range is of great importance and boasts the highest volcanic massifs across the Carpathians. The flysch belt is well developed, as wide as the flysch belt of the Northeastern Carpathians but - especially on the Transylvanian side - differs from the typical Carpathian flysch in that it contains large amounts of calcium. As a result, several ranges of the Eastern Carpathians show off scenic, bizarre, mighty rock formations of calcareous conglomerate (or arenaceous, i.e. sandy, limestone). The table below lists member ranges of the Eastern Carpathians from north to south, sorted by rock type, in the following format: mountain range - highest peak - elevation (in meters).
 
Triangles indicate the highest peaks of particular ranges (hover the mouse over them to see the names of the ranges and peaks). Black pentagons indicate major towns with - except Braşov - airports (click to open links).
Munţii Rodnei (Pietrosu Mare, 2303 m)Munţii Bârgău (Heniul Mare, 1612 m)Munţii Suhard (Omului, 1932 m)Munţii Bistriţei (Budacu, 1859 m)Munţii Giurgeu (Şipoş, 1576 m)Munţii Ciucului - North (Noşcolat, 1553 m)Munţii Căliman (Pietrosu, 2102 m)Munţii Gurghiului (Saca Mare, 1777 m)Munţii Harghita (Harghita-Mădăraş, 1800 m)Ciomat (Ciomatul Mare, 1301 m)Munţii Giumalău-Rarău (Giumalău, 1856 m)Munţii Giumalău-Rarău (Rarău, 1651 m)Munţii Stânişoarei (Bivolul, 1530 m)Munţii Ceahlău (Ocolaşul Mare, 1907 m)Munţii Goşman (Cracul Geamăna, 1442 m)Munţii Tarcăului (Grinduşul, 1664 m)Munţii Hăşmaş (Hăşmaşul Mare, 1793 m)Munţii Ciucului - South (Şoiul Mare, 1553 m)Munţii Nemira (Nemira Mare, 1649 m)Munţii Bodoc (Cărpiniş, 1241 m)Munţii Baraolt (Gurgău, 1017 m)Munţii Perşani (Măgura Codlei, 1292 m)Munţii Vrancei (Goru, 1783 m)Munţii Penteleu (Penteleu, 1772 m)Podu Calului (Podul Calului, 1440 m)Munţii Siriu (Siriu/Bocârne, 1657 m)Munţii Ciucaş (Ciucaş, 1954 m)Munţii Grohotiş (Grohotiş, 1767 m)Munţii Baiului (Neamţului, 1923 m)Munţii Bârsei - Piatra Mare (Piatra Mare, 1843 m)Munţii Bârsei - Postavarul (Cristianul Mare, 1804 m)Munţii Bucegi (Omu, 2507 m)Munţii Leaota (Leaota, 2133 m)Sibiu /Hermannstadt, Nagyszeben/Braşov /Kronstadt, Brassó/Târgu Mureş /Marosvásárhely/Cluj-Napoca /Kolozsvár, Klausenburg/
Pietrosu and Buhăescu peaksRodnei Mountains - summer
CiucasCiucaş Mountains - spring
Rock climbing areaBucegi Mountains - spring
Flysch beltCrystalline beltVolcanic belt
We have split the great number of mountain ranges within this group into these two (subsequent ranges are listed in a separate table below):
  • Moldovan-Transylvanian subgroup
  • Carpathian Bend subgroup

The term Carpathian Bend, (Romanian: Carpaţii Curburii; Hungarian: Kárpátkanyar) is in widespread use for the mountains between Oituz pass and Giuvala pass, where the great Carpathian arc takes a sharp turn (from N-S to E-W).
Munţii RodneiPietrosu2303
Munţii SuhardOmului1932
Munţii Giumalău-RarăuGiumalău1856
Munţii BârgăuHeniul Mare1612
Munţii BistriţeiBudacu1859
Munţii GiurgeuŞipoş1576
Munţii PerşaniMăgura Codlei1292
Munţii CiuculuiNoşcolat1553
Munţii LeaotaLeaota2133

The Perşani Mountains are geologically complex and display sedimentary and volcanic rocks as well as crystalline rocks.The southern part of Munţii Ciucului consists of sedimentary rocks.
Munţii CălimanPietrosu2102
Munţii GurghiuluiSaca Mare1777
Munţii HarghitaHarghita-Mădăraş1800
CiomatCiomatul Mare1301

Ciomat is a relatively small volcanic block situated on the periphery of the flysch Bodoc Mts., but geologically related to the Harghita Mts.Ciomat is the youngest and best preserved volcano of the group, cradling the beautiful Szent-Anna Lake in its main crater. There is still intensive post-volcanic activity in the area.SP photo album about Ciomat
Pietrosu and Grohotu Rodnei Mountains (Vf. Pietrosu) - highest crystalline
Lake St. AnnaCiomat Mountains
 
 Dripping Stone , TransylvaniaGurghiului Mts
 
LeaotaLeaota Mts
Calimani Călimani Mts - highest volcano
Ranges of the flysch belt in detail:
Moldovan-Transylvanian subgroupCarpathian Bend subgroup
Moldovan ranges
Munţii StânişoareiBivolul1530
Ceahlău *Ocolaşul Mare1907
Munţii GoşmanCracul Geamăna1442
Munţii TarcăuluiGrinduşul1664
Transylvanian ranges
Munţii NemiraNemira Mare1649
Munţii Ciucului (S)Şoiul Mare1553
Munţii BodocCărpiniş1241
Munţii BaraoltGurgău1017

The northern part of Munţii Ciucului consists of crystalline rocks.
Munţii VranceiGoru1783
Munţii PenteleuPenteleu1772
Podu CaluluiPodul Calului1440
Munţii SiriuSiriu/Bocârne1657
Munţii Ciucaş *Ciucaş1954
Munţii GrohotişGrohotiş1767
Munţii Baiului (Gârbova)Neamţului1923
Munţii Bucegi *Omu2507

The Ciucaş, Baiului, Grohotiş and Bârsei (mostly limestone, see below) mountains are often grouped together as Munţii Braşovului. Likewise, the Penteleu, Podu Calului and Siriu mountains (along with the small Întorsurii and Ivăneţu mountains, which are neglected here) are often grouped together as Munţii Buzăului.
Ranges marked with an asterisk (*) in the above table are composed mostly of calcareous conglomerates (and arenaceous limestone) and boast scenic rock formations.
 
Ocolaşul Mare - Ceahlău mountains, Ceahlău 
 
Ciucaş - Tigăile MariCiucas
 
RomaniaBucegi
Spectacular limestone ranges and blocks:
  • Rarău in the Giumalău-Rarău Mountains (Rarău, 1651 m)
  • Munţii Hăşmaş (Hăşmaşul Mare, 1793 m) - featuring Egyeskő/Piatra Singuratică, Oltár-kő/Piatra Altarului, Fekete-Hagymás/Hăghimaşul Negru, the breathtaking Békás/Bicaz gorge, and Gyilkos-tó/Lacul Roşu (a lake created by a 19th century landslide blocking a stream)
  • Vargyas (Vârghiş) gorge and Măgura Codlei in the Perşani Mountains
  • Bârsei Mountains - consisting of two distinct massifs: Postavarul (Cristianul Mare, 1804 m) and Piatra Mare (Piatra Mare, 1843 m)
 
Oltár-kő/Piatra Altarului(Altar Rock)
Egyeskő / Piatra SinguraticăEgyeskő/Piatra Singuratică(Solitary Rock)
Gheara Pisicii (right side)Piatra Mare/Nagykőhavas(Big Rock)
Spring in TransylvaniaGyilkos-tó/Lacu Roşu(Killer/Red Lake)
Is This DRACULA?Békás-szoros/Cheile Bicazului(Froggy Gorge)

OLD Southern Carpathians

The Southern Carpathians (also known as the Transylvanian Alps) extend from the Mountains of Banat in the west to Giuvala Pass, or - according to a diverse vision - Predeal Pass in the east, where the mountain system meets the Eastern Carpathians. If the latter endpoint is assumed, the Bucegi and Leaota mountains, which we have included in the Eastern Carpathians, belong to the Southern Carpathians.
The  Iezer-Papusa  mt.., the hihghest summit ( 2391 m), in the center Iezer-Papuşa - winter
The Southern Carpathians differ from the Northwestern, Northeastern and Eastern Carpathians in that both flysch and volcanic belts are completely missing from them. These mountains are the most elevated, southern edge of the ancient Tisa-Dacia platform. They contain about a dozen ranges that exceed 2000 m in elevation, including eight ranges rising above 2200 m - more than the other parts of the Carpathian Mountains altogether. However, many of the high ranges of the Southern Carpathians are rather monotonous. The ridges, usually of metamorphic schists and gneiss, are generally broad and constitute remnants of a Tertiary plain - best preserved and easily recognizable in the Godeanu mountains - lifted high, deeply cut by the rivers and since time immemorial used as pastureland. These natural meadows have been extended by clearing the bushes of the mountain pine above the tree line, which may also have been lowered; especially on the less rocky, warmer, southern slopes. The bold alpine, or rather Tatra-like relief, is to be found in the Făgăraş and the Retezat mountains, and also in the highest part of the Parâng. Limestone karst is fabulously developed in the southwestern, lower ranges, whereas at the east end of the Southern Carpathians stands the most spectacular limestone ridge in the Carpathian Mountains, the Piatra Craiului (Royal Rock), which offers plenty of climbing opportunities and shelters stunning wildlife.
Bucura cirque panorama Retezat Mountains - spring
The table below lists member ranges of the Southern Carpathians from east to west, split into three major mountain groups, in the following format: mountain range - highest peak - elevation (in meters).
 
Triangles indicate the highest peaks of particular ranges (hover the mouse over them to see the names of the ranges and peaks). Black pentagons indicate major towns with - except Braşov - airports (click to open links).
Piatra Craiului (La Om, 2238 m)Munţii Iezer-Păpuşa (Roşu, 2469 m)Munţii Făgăraş (Moldoveanu, 2544 m)Munţii Cozia (Cozia, 1668 m)Munţii Cândrel (Cândrel, 2244 m)Munţii Lotru (Stefliste, 2242 m)Munţii Căpăţânii (Nedeia, 2130 m)Buila-Vânturariţa (Vânturariţa I, 1885 m)Munţii Şurean (lui Pătru, 2130 m)Munţii Parâng (Parângu Mare, 2519 m)Munţii Retezat (Peleaga, 2509 m)Munţii Vâlcan (Oslea, 1946 m)Munţii Ţarcu (Pietrii, 2192 m)Munţii Godeanu (Gugu, 2291 m)Munţii Mehedinţi (lui Stan, 1466 m)Munţii Cernei (Dobrii, 1928 m)Timişoara /Temesvár/ (RO)Sibiu /Hermannstadt, Nagyszeben/ (RO)Braşov /Kronstadt, Brassó/ (RO)Târgu Mureş /Marosvásárhely/ (RO)Cluj-Napoca /Kolozsvár, Klausenburg/ (RO)
Piatra CraiuluiPiatra Craiului - summer
Negoiu peak (2535m) taken...Făgăraş Mountains - winter
Lakes of the Bucura valleyRetezat Mountains - summer
Făgăraş GroupParâng GroupRetezat Group
Munţii CândrelCândrel2244
Munţii LotruŞtefleşti2242
Munţii Şureanului Pătru2130
Munţii ParângParângu Mare2519
Munţii CăpăţâniiNedeia2130
Munţii RetezatPeleaga2509
Munţii VâlcanOslea1946
Munţii ŢarcuPietrii2192
Munţii GodeanuGugu2291
 
viewFăgăraş
 
rocky wall of Gruiul peak (2345m)Parâng
 
Bucura from Pietrele valleyRetezat
Muntii SureanuȘureanu
The Land of Serenity - Lotru mountainsLotru
Gugu (2291m)Godeanu
 
Leontopodium alpinum II Edelweiss
Remarkable limestone blocks:
  • Piatra Craiului (La Om, 2238 m) - the most majestic limestone range of all in the Carpathians, whose name translates as Royal Rock
  • Munţii Cozia (Cozia / Ciuha Mare, 1668 m) - on the western edge of the Făgăraş Group, across the Olt river from the limestone part of the Căpăţânii Mountains
  • Buila-Vânturariţa massif (Vânturariţa I, 1885 m) - interesting, prominent dolomite ridge in the southeastern corner of the Căpăţânii Mountains
  • Munţii Cernei (Dobrii, 1928 m) - southerly extension of the Godeanu Mountains
  • Munţii Mehedinţi (lui Stan, 1466 m) - vast karst area dotted with caves and gorges, southwestern extension of the Vâlcan Mountains
Karst Paradise Buila-Vânturariţa
 
Piatra CraiuluiPiatra Craiului
 
Mount ArjanaCernei Mountains
 
RomaniaMehedinţi
South Ridge Piatra Craiului

OLD Southwestern Carpathians

 
Nera s Gorges Nera Gorges (Aninei Mountains)
 
NERA S GORGES Beusnita Falls (Aninei Mountains)
What we have identified as the Southwestern Carpathians consists of three separate mountain groups. 1) By the Danube River, in the historic province of Banat, sits the last segment of the Carpathian Arc. The mountains of Banat and the northernmost mountains of Eastern Serbia can be seen as parts of the same mountain group - a link between the Carpathian chain and the Balkan (Stara Planina) Mountains - split by the canyon of the Danube. In fact, there are three options for the SW end of the Carpathians: a) The gorges of the Danube, for which we have opted here. b) The Juzna (South) Morava and the Timok rivers in Serbia. c) The Timiş (Temes) and Mehadica rivers in Romania. Regardless of whereabouts the Carpathians end, the eastern border of the mountains of Banat runs straight north from the Iron Gate proper, along the tectonic fault line which determines the course of the Mehadica and Timiş rivers, between the towns of Orşova and Caranşebeş. 2) To the north-east of these mountains, north-west of the Retezat Mountains, lies the massif of Poiana Ruscă - for centuries heavily grazed, and more recently heavily mined for iron. Both the mountains of Banat and the Poiana Ruscă contain fairly low mountains (below 1500 m a.s.l.) and are often regarded as parts of the Southern Carpathians. 3) Finally, north of the Poiana Ruscă, across the valley of the Mureş (Maros) River, stands the largest and highest (above 1800 m) Carpathian "island" (some geological classifications exclude it from the Carpathians, however), bounded by the Pannonian Plain in the west and separated from the Carpathian Arc by the upland of Transylvania in the east. Romanian people call it Munţii Apuseni, which translates as the Western Mountains (before World War I, they were called the Island Mountains of Eastern Hungary, nowadays Hungarians refer to them as the Island Mountains of Transylvania). 
Bihor Mountains The highest range of the Apuseni Mountains
The Southwestern Carpathians are the lowest and least forested of the five major parts of the Carpathians we have depicted on this page, each in a different chapter. What makes these mountains fascinating is the fact that they embrace vast limestone areas, including the most spectacular karst paradise of all in the Carpathians: the Padiş Plateau in the Bihor Mountains. Some evidence suggests that the ancient core of the Apuseni differs from that of the Carpathian Basin and could have once been part of the Dinarides. On the flanks of the Apuseni, besides limestone plateaus, post-Paleozoic lava (most of the Vlădeasa Mountains) and flysch are also present. In the tables below, the member ranges of each group are listed from north to south, in the following format: mountain range - highest peak - elevation (in meters). Ranges marked with an asterisk (*) in the tables display spectacular limestone karst.
 
Triangles indicate the highest peaks of particular ranges (hover the mouse over them to see the names of the ranges and peaks). Black pentagons indicate major towns with - except Braşov - airports (click to open links).
Munţii Plopişului / Şes (Măgura Mare, 918 m)Munţii Meseş (Măgura Priei, 996 m)Pădurea Craiului (Hodrâncuşa, 1027 m)Vlădeasa (Vlădeasa, 1836 m)Codru Moma (Pleşu, 1112 m)Munţii Bihor (Cucurbăta Mare, 1849 m)Padiş (Biserica Moţului, 1456 m)Munţii Gilău (Muntele Mare, 1826 m)Munţii Zarand (Drocea, 836 m)Munţii Metalliferi (Poieniţa, 1437 m)Munţii Trascău (Dâmbău, 1369 m)Poiana Ruscă (Padeş, 1374 m)Munţii Aninei (Leordis, 1160 m)Munţii Semenic (Semenic/Piatra Goznei, 1446 m)Munţii Locvei (Corhanul Mare, 735 m)Munţii Almăjului (Svinecea Mare, 1224 m)Timişoara /Temesvár/ (RO)Sibiu /Hermannstadt, Nagyszeben/ (RO)Târgu Mureş /Marosvásárhely/ (RO)Cluj-Napoca /Kolozsvár, Klausenburg/ (RO)
Székelykő from the Szentgyörgy castleSzékelykő (Szeklers' Rock)
Hiker s ParadiseFrom Trascău to Gilău
Tordai Hasadék (Cheile Turzii)Turda/Torda Gorge
Apuseni Mountains (Western Transylvania)
Northern group
Pădurea Craiului *Hodrâncuşa1027
Munţii Plopişului / ŞesMăgura Mare918
Munţii MeseşMăgura Priei996
Central group
Codru MomaPleşu1112
Munţii Bihor *Cucurbăta Mare1849
VlădeasaVlădeasa1836
Munţii GilăuMuntele Mare1826
Southern group
Munţii ZarandDrocea836
Munţii MetalliferiPoieniţa1437
Munţii Trascău *Dâmbău1369
Truly TransylvaniaPadiş/Pádis karst plateau
Poiana Ruscă and Mountains of Banat
Poiana RuscăPadeş1374

Munţii SemenicSemenic / Piatra Goznei1446
Munţii Aninei *Leordis1160
Munţii AlmăjuluiSvinecea Mare1224
Munţii LocveiCorhanul Mare735
 
Eminenciás-vízesés / Cascada EvantaiGalbena Gorge(Padiş plateau)
 
Turnul Ascuţit (Éles-torony)Turda/Torda Gorge(Trascău/Torockó Mts)
 
Rock in Cheile RametiRâmeţ/Remete Gorge(Trascău/Torockó Mts)
Inside the caldronPadiş/Pádis karst world
Craciunesti main  wallMunţii Metaliferi (Ore Mts)
NERA S GORGESDanube River at Carpathians' SW end

Hiking

 
Gendarmes of Retezat from Tău Porţii
 
Bucura valley from Viorica lake
 
Hanging lake Agătat lake and Poarta Bucurei ridge
 
Slaveiului ridge Slaveiului ridge
First of all, let's mention that no marked trail leads to the summit of Judele (so, if you take the NP rules very strictly, it is not allowed to climb it). However, one of the marked trails crosses the Judele saddle, which is so near to the peak that temptation is hard to resist if you are not afraid of a little scrambling. The saddle can be approached in four possible ways: 1) Bucura Lake – Tăul Porţii - Ăgatat Lake – Şaua Judele Difficulty: difficult Time: 1.5 - 2 h Level rising: + 400 m Marking: blue stripe -> yellow stripe -> red dot 2) Bucura Lake – Ana Lake - Viorica Lake - Florica Lake - Ăgatat Lake – Şaua Judele Difficulty: difficult Time: 1 - 1.5 h Level rising: + 400 m Marking: red dot Routes #1 and #2 merge by the well-hidden Ăgatat Lake, situated just below Turnu Porţii. From here a steep ascent follows up to Judele saddle - this part of the route is usually covered with snow until summer, and can be dangerous to tackle unprepared in such conditions. 3) Zănoaga Lake - Şaua Judele Difficulty: moderate Time: 1 - 1.5 h Level rising: + ... m Marking: red dot 4) Bucura Lake – “La Pintenul Slăveiului” – Creasta Slăveiului (Slaveiului ridge) – Şaua Judele Difficulty: difficult Time: 2 - 3 h Level rising: + 550 m Marking: blue cross, yellow dot, red triangle -> stone marking Route #4 has unmarked parts, so the hiker must be prepared for some route finding. But this probably makes it even more interesting.  
Judele peak Judele from Judele saddle
Once you have reached the Judele saddle, take the obvious ridge (unmarked) towards the peak. The first section is wide and comfortable. When you reach the base of the summit, it gets more exposed (see the photo on the left). The safest route is a path on the western side of the ridge (the photo on the left shows the exposed eastern face), which is occasionally marked with stone piles. Soon you will reach the summit of Judele, marked with a wooden pole.

flagging

Romanian Piatra Craiului German Königstein Hungarian Királykő

Retyezat Overview Resummited

Instead of "Geography" Granite, take away the High Tatras, is not a common rock in the Carpathians at all. But the bulk of the Retezat Mountains which sit between the Parâng group in the east and the Godeanu and Ţarcu mountains in the west is of granite. Were the Retezat Mountains just two hundred meters higher, they would be most likely as jagged as the High Tatras are. Hardly rising above 2500 m, the Retezat Mountains are no doubt gentler, however, the northern walls of some of their peaks house several fine rock-climbing routes at UIAA grade V (YDS 5.8) and over, not to mention a number of routes which are less demanding but no less fun.
 
Lakes of the Bucura valley 
 
Gate Tower of Retezat 
 
The northern main ridge of Retezat Mountains 
The Retezat Mountains have 55 peaks over 2000 m and are probably the most prominent mountainous area in the Southern Carpathians (sometimes called "Transylvanian Alps"), covering almost 500 square km. Its average elevation is over 1500 m, with a quarter of its territory rising above 1800 m (and still rising in our days, by about 3.5 mm/year). Since the Retezat Mountains were sculpted by glaciers in the Pleistocene epoch, they are rich in beautiful, turquoise tarns and tumbling waterfalls. The biggest of the glaciers gouged the pits which have filled up with water and now shine as the lakes of Bucura Cirque. That longest glacier had a length of about 15 km, thus ranking longest of all in the Southern Carpathians. Due to mechanical erosion in periglacial climatic conditions, the highest terrain is almost completely covered with granite blocks and scree. Take caution when walking over this rubble – not only because the rocks are loose but also because the trail marks are more difficult to spot (more on the marking in the Routes section).
 
From Curmatura Bucurei pass 
 
Sunset from Bucura lake.  
 
On the way to Vf. Peleaga 
The Retezat Mountains are made up of two parallel main ridges that run southwest to northeast and are connected by a short perpendicular ridge, thus forming a letter H. The east part of the mountains is lower than their west part. Also, the northern ridge is considerably higher than the southern ridge (Custura, 2457 m), which runs on the other side of the valleys of the Lăpuşnicul Mare and Bărbaţ rivers. Therefore it is the northwest part of the mountains - boasting the highest peaks and series of tarns (see next chapter) on both sides of the main ridge - that attracts the most visitors. The west part of the southern ridge (Piule-Iorgovanu) is mostly formed of limestone. This area, often referred to as "Little Retezat" (Retezatul Mic /Kis-Retyezát/) contains typical karst forms, such as narrow gorges and caves. The most interesting scenery can be found at a group of limestone rocks forming the summit of Piatra Iorgovanului (1997 m) in the southwest corner of the Retezat Mountains, where bears often roam at dusk or dawn. Limestone also forms the ridge of Oslea (1946 m) – the highest summit in the Vâlcan Mountains – rising south of Piatra Iorgovanului, across the Jiu de Vest River.
 
stanisoara valley 
 
After the stormLittle Retezat
 
Lacul LiaOslea on horizon
Here a paragraph on winter may do.
Panorama from Peleaga  
 
Spindrift 
?
 
Retezat- winter 2008 
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The following table introduces the 7 highest summits in the Retezat ("peak" = vârful in Romanian, abbreviated to Vf.):  
Peleaga peak and Tău Porţii  
 
Papusa N face  
 
Retezat north face  

2015 NE Carpathians

The lowest group of the Carpathians, located at the NE reaches of the Pannonian basin, forms a stout flysch bridge between the old orogens of the Northwestern Carpathians and those of the Eastern Carpathians. The topography of the Northeastern Carpathians is rather monotonous. The outer belt of flysch is accompanied by an inner belt of Tertiary volcanoes. The elevation of the mountains and passes generally increases toward the southeast to finally culminate in the highest summits of the Chornohora Range (Black Mountains) and the Marmarosh Mountains, but the highest point hardly exceeds 2000 m. Most of the other ranges generally rise within the 1000-1500 m bracket. The borders of this quarter of the Carpathians are drawn somewhat arbitrarily: usually the valley of the Topľa River in the NW and Prislop/Borşa pass in the SE. In the tables below, the member ranges of the NE Carpathians have been listed from northwest to southeast, sorted by rock type; in the following format: mountain range - highest peak - elevation (in meters). The divisions and names of the subgroups within the sandstone chain are plenty and confusing. A case in point can be the borderline between the Eastern Beskids and the Marmarosh Mts., which has completely different versions: 1) Użocka/Uzhots'kyi pass at the Polish/Ukrainian border, 2) Verets'kyi pass, 3) the source of Bela Tysa (White Tisa) River by the Ukrainian/Romanian border. Here we have used the last one, as it is the most commonly applied today.
 
Triangles indicate the highest peaks of particular ranges (hover the mouse over them to see the names of the ranges and peaks). Black pentagons indicate major towns (click - if available - to open links for airports).
Central / Low Beskid (Bušov, 1002 m)Góry Sanocko-Turczańskie (Magura Łomniańska, 1024 m)Bieszczady Zachodnie (Tarnica, 1346 m)Bieszczady Wschodnie (Pikui, 1405 m)Beskidy Skolskie (Parashka, 1269 m)Gorgany (Syvulia, 1836 m)Pokuts'ki Karpaty (Rotylo, 1483 m)Mountains of Northeastern Bukovyna (Lungul, 1377)Putylski Hory (Yarovytsia, 1575 m)Obcina Mare (Skoruşet, 1223)Obcina Feredeu (Veju Mare, 1494)Obcina Mestecăniş (Ţapul Mare, 1661)Polonyna-Runa (Runa, 1480 m)Polonyna Borzhava (Stiy, 1682 m)Polonyna Krasna (Hropa, 1564 m)Svydovets' (Blyznytsia, 1881 m)Chornohora (Hoverla, 2061 m)Hryniavs'ki Hory (Pohreptyna, 1605 m)Munţii Maramureş (Farcău, 1956 m)Vihorlatské vrchy (Vihorlat, 1076 m)Makovytsia-Synyak (Dunauka, 1019 m)Velykyi Dil (Buzhora, 1085 m)Tupyi Mountains (Tupij, 878 m)Munţii Oaş (Piatra Vâscului, 917 m)Creasta Pietrii (Igniş, 1307 m)Munţii Gutâi (Gutâi, 1445 m)Munţii Lăpuş (Văratec, 1348 m)Munţii Ţibleş (Ţibleş, 1839 m)Košice /Kassa/ (SK)Uzhorod /Ungvár/ (UA)Satu Mare /Szatmárnémeti, Sathmar/ (RO)Ivano-Frankivsk (UA)Lviv (UA)
Wetlinska Meadow II - Summit VistasWestern Bieszczady - fall
Maramures seen from ChornohoraMarmarosh Mts. - winter
Main ridge and HoverlaChornohora - summer
Sandstone (flysch) beltVolcanic belt
Central / Low Beskidbetween the Topľa River and Lupkovský/Łupków pass, in Poland known as Beskid Niski, in Slovakia as Ondavské vrchyBušov1002
Eastern Beskyds (a.k.a. Ukrainian Carpathians)usually split into two subgroups: the Polonyna Ridge and the Wooded Beskyds/Carpathians - details in a separate table belowHoverla2061
Marmarosh Mountainsthe most complex and unique of all the mountains in the Northeastern Carpathians, in geological and geomorphological terms - more info below this tableFarcău1956
Bukovina Carpathiansa group of parallel ranges within the borders of the historic Bukovina (now in Ukraine and Romania):UA - Mountains of Northeastern Bukovyna (Lungul, 1377), Putyls'ki Hory (Yarovytsia, 1575)RO - Obcina Mestecăniş (Ţapul Mare, 1661), Obcina Feredeu (Veju Mare, 1494) and Obcina Mare (Skoruşet, 1223)Ţapul Mare1661
Vihorlatské vrchyVihorlat1076
Makovytsia-SynyakDunauka1019
Velykyi DilBuzhora1085
Tupyi Mts.Tupij878
Munţii OaşPiatra Vâscului917
Creasta PietriiIgniş1307
Munţii GutâiGutâiul Mare1445
Munţii LăpuşVăratec1348
Munţii ŢibleşBran1840

Sometimes the Oaş and Lăpuş Mountains, along with Creasta Pietrii, are incorporated into the Gutâi Mountains.
 
HoverlaChornohora - winter
 
Pearl of the ChornohoraChornohora - summer
 
Cliff of Pip Ivan s corrieMarmarosh Mts.
 
Mount Cergowa ( 716 m )Low Beskid
 
Karst arch Polonyna Krasna - fall
 
GutaiGutâi Mountains
 
Cearcănul Cearcănul (Sárkány)
To demonstrate the complexity of the Marmarosh Mountains, it should suffice to list their highest peaks along with the rocks they are composed of:
  • Pop Ivan (1937 m) - Precambrian gneiss, one of the oldest rocks in the Carpathians
  • Farcău (1956 m) - submarine basalt
  • Mihailecu (1920 m) - alternate beds of limestone and basalt, folded and set vertically
  • Toroiaga (1930 m) - andesite (lava intrusion)
The above peaks once comprised the main ridge of the Marmarosh Mountains, which has been cut by headward erosion of the tributaries of the Vişeu (Vyshov) river. (This part of the Carpathians - in contrast to the NW Carpathians - is still being lifted relatively quickly.) Therefore most of today's main ridge is a much lower, mostly flysch ridge (its central part is often called the Chyvchyn Mts), and the isolated, non-flysch, highest summits of the Marmarosh stand alone and tall. This interesting geomorphology is enhanced by traces of little glaciers of the Ice Age. The highest range of the Bukovina Carpathians (Obcina Mestecăniş) is geologically similarly patchworked, although it is less prominent.
Maramureş Mountains Marmarosh Mountains viewed from the Rodnei Mountains - summer
As to the Eastern Beskids / Ukrainian Carpathians, the various divisions, names (Ukrainian/Polish/Rusyn) and elevations found on the maps and in the guidebooks can be perplexing. In the table below, we have aimed to provide an accurate and reasonably comprehensive list. Providing you are able to decipher Cyrillic, you can also enjoy these excellent maps.
Wooded Beskyds / Wooded Carpathians(In Polish: Beskidy Lesiste. In Ukraine, the term Beskydy is not normally used for any mountains east of Toruns'kyi/Vyshkovskyi Pass.)Polonyna Ridge(Polonyns'kyj chrebet)
Western Bieszczady (Polish: Bieszczady Zachodnie)between Lupkovský/Łupkowska and Użocka/Uzhots'kyi passTarnica1346
Eastern Bieszczady (Polish: Bieszczady Wschodnie)or Skolivs'ki Beskydyseveral parallel ridges between Użocka/Uzhots'kyi and Toruns'kyi/Vyshkovskyi passPikui1405
Gorgany (Horhany)SE of the Bieszczady/Skolivs'ki Beskydy as far as the Prut riverSyvulia1836
Pokuts'ki Karpaty between the Prut and the Cheremosh riversRotylo1483
Polonyna-Runa (Rivna)Runa/Rivna1480
Polonyna BorzhavaStiy (Stohy)1682
Polonyna KrasnaHropa (Gropa)1564
Svydovets'Blyznytsia1881
ChornohoraHoverla2061
Hryniavs'ki HoryPohreptyna / Polonyna Myhailova1605
Issues that complicate the situation:
  • The SW part of the Western Bieszczady lies in Slovakia, where it is known as Bukovské vrchy.
  • The NE threshold of the Bieszczady is named the Sanok-Turka Mts (Polish: Góry Sanocko-Turczańskie - Magura Łomniańska, 1022) or the Upper Dniester Beskyds (Ukrainian: Verkhnio-Dnistrovs'ki Beskydy).
  • In Ukraine, the term Eastern Beskydy is used for the parts of both the Western and the Eastern Bieszczady that lie north-east of the main ridge. What Poles call Beskidy Skolskie (Parashka, 1269) is the northeasternmost range of the Eastern Bieszczady.
 
The Sun of BieszczadyW Bieszczady - winter
 
Three polonynasToward Polonyna Runa
 
Sunrise viewed from SvydovetsSvydovets' - summer
 
View from Wyzna Pass (872 m) towards Mount Tarnica (1364 m)W Bieszczady - fall
 
Swidowiec,UkraineSvydovets' - fall
 
His majesty Marmarosh Mts. - summer

2015 E Carpathians

 
Ferdinand ;) Face to face
The Eastern Carpathians run southwardly from Prislop/Borşa and the valley of the Bistriţa Aurie at least as far as Predeal Pass, beyond which rises the dramatic wall of the Bucegi Mountains towering over the Prahova Valley. If more attention is drawn to the rock type than to the topography, the west frontier of the Eastern Carpathians will have to be pushed farther west and the most logical border line will be Giuvala Pass (Bran-Rucar corridor). If you have read the previous chapters, you will not be surprised that we have opted for the latter division line. The location of the highest point of the Eastern Carpathians depends on the answer to the question where the southwestern reaches of these mountains are. Having decided on Giuvala Pass, we have to look towards the Bucegi Mountains and point to their highest summit Omu, 2509 m. Had we opted for Predeal Pass and the Prahova Valley, it would be the highest peak of the Rodnei Mountains (Pietrosu Mare, 2303 m). Except for these two ranges, most of the other mountains in this part of the Carpathians reach elevations from 1500 to 2000 m. In the Eastern Carpathians, all the three lithologic belts characteristic of the Northwestern Carpathians get exposed again. The volcanic range is of great importance and boasts the highest volcanic massifs across the Carpathians. The flysch belt is well developed, as wide as the flysch belt of the Northeastern Carpathians but - especially on the Transylvanian side - differs from the typical Carpathian flysch in that it contains large amounts of calcium. As a result, several ranges of the Eastern Carpathians show off scenic, bizarre, mighty rock formations of calcareous conglomerate (or arenaceous, i.e. sandy, limestone). The table below lists member ranges of the Eastern Carpathians from north to south, sorted by rock type, in the following format: mountain range - highest peak - elevation (in meters).
 
Triangles indicate the highest peaks of particular ranges (hover the mouse over them to see the names of the ranges and peaks). Black pentagons indicate major towns with - except Braşov - airports (click to open links).
Munţii Rodnei (Pietrosu Mare, 2303 m)Munţii Bârgău (Heniul Mare, 1612 m)Munţii Suhard (Omului, 1932 m)Munţii Bistriţei (Budacu, 1859 m)Munţii Giurgeu (Şipoş, 1576 m)Munţii Ciucului - North (Noşcolat, 1553 m)Munţii Căliman (Pietrosu, 2102 m)Munţii Gurghiului (Saca Mare, 1777 m)Munţii Harghita (Harghita-Mădăraş, 1800 m)Ciomat (Ciomatul Mare, 1301 m)Munţii Giumalău-Rarău (Giumalău, 1856 m)Munţii Giumalău-Rarău (Rarău, 1651 m)Munţii Stânişoarei (Bivolul, 1530 m)Munţii Ceahlău (Ocolaşul Mare, 1907 m)Munţii Goşman (Cracul Geamăna, 1442 m)Munţii Tarcăului (Grinduşul, 1664 m)Munţii Hăşmaş (Hăşmaşul Mare, 1793 m)Munţii Ciucului - South (Şoiul Mare, 1553 m)Munţii Nemira (Nemira Mare, 1649 m)Munţii Bodoc (Cărpiniş, 1241 m)Munţii Baraolt (Gurgău, 1017 m)Munţii Perşani (Măgura Codlei, 1292 m)Munţii Vrancei (Goru, 1783 m)Munţii Penteleu (Penteleu, 1772 m)Podu Calului (Podul Calului, 1440 m)Munţii Siriu (Siriu/Bocârne, 1657 m)Munţii Ciucaş (Ciucaş, 1954 m)Munţii Grohotiş (Grohotiş, 1767 m)Munţii Baiului (Neamţului, 1923 m)Munţii Bârsei - Piatra Mare (Piatra Mare, 1843 m)Munţii Bârsei - Postavarul (Cristianul Mare, 1804 m)Munţii Bucegi (Omu, 2507 m)Munţii Leaota (Leaota, 2133 m)Sibiu /Hermannstadt, Nagyszeben/Braşov /Kronstadt, Brassó/Târgu Mureş /Marosvásárhely/Cluj-Napoca /Kolozsvár, Klausenburg/
Pietrosu and Buhăescu peaksRodnei Mountains - summer
CiucasCiucaş Mountains - spring
Rock climbing areaBucegi Mountains - spring
Flysch beltCrystalline beltVolcanic belt
We have split the great number of mountain ranges within this group into these two (subsequent ranges are listed in a separate table below):
  • Moldovan-Transylvanian subgroup
  • Carpathian Bend subgroup

The term Carpathian Bend, (Romanian: Carpaţii Curburii; Hungarian: Kárpátkanyar) is in widespread use for the mountains between Oituz pass and Giuvala pass, where the great Carpathian arc takes a sharp turn (from N-S to E-W).
Munţii RodneiPietrosu2303
Munţii SuhardOmului1932
Munţii Giumalău-RarăuGiumalău1856
Munţii BârgăuHeniul Mare1612
Munţii BistriţeiBudacu1859
Munţii GiurgeuŞipoş1576
Munţii PerşaniMăgura Codlei1292
Munţii CiuculuiNoşcolat1553
Munţii LeaotaLeaota2133

The Perşani Mountains are geologically complex and display sedimentary and volcanic rocks as well as crystalline rocks.The southern part of Munţii Ciucului consists of sedimentary rocks.
Munţii CălimanPietrosu2102
Munţii GurghiuluiSaca Mare1777
Munţii HarghitaHarghita-Mădăraş1800
CiomatCiomatul Mare1301

Ciomat is a relatively small volcanic block situated on the periphery of the flysch Bodoc Mts., but geologically related to the Harghita Mts.Ciomat is the youngest and best preserved volcano of the group, cradling the beautiful Szent-Anna Lake in its main crater. There is still intensive post-volcanic activity in the area.SP photo album about Ciomat
Pietrosu and Grohotu Rodnei Mountains (Vf. Pietrosu) - highest crystalline
 
Ocolaşul Mare - Ceahlău mountainsOcolaşul Mare, Ceahlău Mts
 
 Dripping Stone , TransylvaniaGurghiului Mts
 
LeaotaLeaota Mts
Calimani Călimani Mts - highest volcano
Ranges of the flysch belt in detail:
Moldovan-Transylvanian subgroupCarpathian Bend subgroup
Moldovan ranges
Munţii StânişoareiBivolul1530
Ceahlău *Ocolaşul Mare1907
Munţii GoşmanCracul Geamăna1442
Munţii TarcăuluiGrinduşul1664
Transylvanian ranges
Munţii NemiraNemira Mare1649
Munţii Ciucului (S)Şoiul Mare1553
Munţii BodocCărpiniş1241
Munţii BaraoltGurgău1017

The northern part of Munţii Ciucului consists of crystalline rocks.
Munţii VranceiGoru1783
Munţii PenteleuPenteleu1772
Podu CaluluiPodul Calului1440
Munţii SiriuSiriu/Bocârne1657
Munţii Ciucaş *Ciucaş1954
Munţii GrohotişGrohotiş1767
Munţii Baiului (Gârbova)Neamţului1923
Munţii Bucegi *Omu2507

The Ciucaş, Baiului, Grohotiş and Bârsei (mostly limestone, see below) mountains are often grouped together as Munţii Braşovului. Likewise, the Penteleu, Podu Calului and Siriu mountains (along with the small Întorsurii and Ivăneţu mountains, which are neglected here) are often grouped together as Munţii Buzăului.
Ranges marked with an asterisk (*) in the above table are composed mostly of calcareous conglomerates (and arenaceous limestone) and boast scenic rock formations.
 
RomaniaBucegi
 
Ciucaş - Tigăile MariCiucas
 
RomaniaCiucas
Spectacular limestone ranges and blocks:
  • Rarău in the Giumalău-Rarău Mountains (Rarău, 1651 m)
  • Munţii Hăşmaş (Hăşmaşul Mare, 1793 m) - featuring Egyeskő/Piatra Singuratică, Oltár-kő/Piatra Altarului, Fekete-Hagymás/Hăghimaşul Negru, the breathtaking Békás/Bicaz gorge, and Gyilkos-tó/Lacul Roşu (a lake created by a 19th century landslide blocking a stream)
  • Vargyas (Vârghiş) gorge and Măgura Codlei in the Perşani Mountains
  • Bârsei Mountains - consisting of two distinct massifs: Postavarul (Cristianul Mare, 1804 m) and Piatra Mare (Piatra Mare, 1843 m)
 
Oltár-kő/Piatra Altarului(Altar Rock)
Egyeskő / Piatra SinguraticăEgyeskő/Piatra Singuratică(Solitary Rock)
Gheara Pisicii (right side)Piatra Mare/Nagykőhavas(Big Rock)
Spring in TransylvaniaGyilkos-tó/Lacu Roşu(Killer/Red Lake)
Is This DRACULA?Békás-szoros/Cheile Bicazului(Froggy Gorge)

2015 S Carpathians

The Southern Carpathians (also known as the Transylvanian Alps) extend from the Mountains of Banat in the west to Giuvala Pass, or - according to a diverse vision - Predeal Pass in the east, where the mountain system meets the Eastern Carpathians. If the latter endpoint is assumed, the Bucegi and Leaota mountains, which we have included in the Eastern Carpathians, belong to the Southern Carpathians.
Bucura cirque panorama Retezat Mountains - spring
The Southern Carpathians differ from the Northwestern, Northeastern and Eastern Carpathians in that both flysch and volcanic belts are completely missing from them. These mountains are the most elevated, southern edge of the ancient Tisa-Dacia platform. They contain about a dozen ranges that exceed 2000 m in elevation, including eight ranges rising above 2200 m - more than the other parts of the Carpathian Mountains altogether. However, many of the high ranges of the Southern Carpathians are rather monotonous. The ridges, usually of metamorphic schists and gneiss, are generally broad and constitute remnants of a Tertiary plain - best preserved and easily recognizable in the Godeanu mountains - lifted high, deeply cut by the rivers and since time immemorial used as pastureland. These natural meadows have been extended by clearing the bushes of the mountain pine above the tree line, which may also have been lowered; especially on the less rocky, warmer, southern slopes. The bold alpine, or rather Tatra-like relief, is to be found in the Făgăraş and the Retezat mountains, and also in the highest part of the Parâng. Limestone karst is fabulously developed in the southwestern, lower ranges, whereas at the east end of the Southern Carpathians stands the most spectacular limestone ridge in the Carpathian Mountains, the Piatra Craiului (Royal Rock), which offers plenty of climbing opportunities and shelters stunning wildlife.
The gentle surface of Godeanu Godeanu Mountains - summer
The table below lists member ranges of the Southern Carpathians from east to west, split into three major mountain groups, in the following format: mountain range - highest peak - elevation (in meters).
 
Triangles indicate the highest peaks of particular ranges (hover the mouse over them to see the names of the ranges and peaks). Black pentagons indicate major towns with - except Braşov - airports (click to open links).
Piatra Craiului (La Om, 2238 m)Munţii Iezer-Păpuşa (Roşu, 2469 m)Munţii Făgăraş (Moldoveanu, 2544 m)Munţii Cozia (Cozia, 1668 m)Munţii Cândrel (Cândrel, 2244 m)Munţii Lotru (Stefliste, 2242 m)Munţii Căpăţânii (Nedeia, 2130 m)Buila-Vânturariţa (Vânturariţa I, 1885 m)Munţii Şurean (lui Pătru, 2130 m)Munţii Parâng (Parângu Mare, 2519 m)Munţii Retezat (Peleaga, 2509 m)Munţii Vâlcan (Oslea, 1946 m)Munţii Ţarcu (Pietrii, 2192 m)Munţii Godeanu (Gugu, 2291 m)Munţii Mehedinţi (lui Stan, 1466 m)Munţii Cernei (Dobrii, 1928 m)Timişoara /Temesvár/ (RO)Sibiu /Hermannstadt, Nagyszeben/ (RO)Braşov /Kronstadt, Brassó/ (RO)Târgu Mureş /Marosvásárhely/ (RO)Cluj-Napoca /Kolozsvár, Klausenburg/ (RO)
Piatra CraiuluiPiatra Craiului - summer
Negoiu peak (2535m) taken...Făgăraş Mountains - winter
Lakes of the Bucura valleyRetezat Mountains - summer
Făgăraş GroupParâng GroupRetezat Group
Munţii CândrelCândrel2244
Munţii LotruŞtefleşti2242
Munţii Şureanului Pătru2130
Munţii ParângParângu Mare2519
Munţii CăpăţâniiNedeia2130
Munţii RetezatPeleaga2509
Munţii VâlcanOslea1946
Munţii ŢarcuPietrii2192
Munţii GodeanuGugu2291
The  Iezer-Papusa  mt.., the hihghest summit ( 2391 m), in the center Iezer-Papuşa - winter
 
viewFăgăraş
 
rocky wall of Gruiul peak (2345m)Parâng
 
Bucura from Pietrele valleyRetezat
 
Leontopodium alpinum II Edelweiss
Remarkable limestone blocks:
  • Piatra Craiului (La Om, 2238 m) - the most majestic limestone range of all in the Carpathians, whose name translates as Royal Rock
  • Munţii Cozia (Cozia / Ciuha Mare, 1668 m) - on the western edge of the Făgăraş Group, across the Olt river from the limestone part of the Căpăţânii Mountains
  • Buila-Vânturariţa massif (Vânturariţa I, 1885 m) - interesting, prominent dolomite ridge in the southeastern corner of the Căpăţânii Mountains
  • Munţii Cernei (Dobrii, 1928 m) - southerly extension of the Godeanu Mountains
  • Munţii Mehedinţi (lui Stan, 1466 m) - vast karst area dotted with caves and gorges, southwestern extension of the Vâlcan Mountains
 
Piatra CraiuluiPiatra Craiului
 
RomaniaFrom Cozia to Buila
 
RomaniaMehedinţi
South Ridge Piatra Craiului - winter

2015 SW Carpathians

 
Nera s Gorges Nera Gorges (Munţii Aninei)
 
NERA S GORGES Beusnita Falls (Aninei)
What we have identified as the Southwestern Carpathians consists of three separate mountain groups. 1) By the Danube River, in the historic province of Banat, sits the last segment of the Carpathian Arc. The mountains of Banat and the northernmost mountains of Eastern Serbia can be seen as parts of the same mountain group - a link between the Carpathian chain and the Balkan (Stara Planina) Mountains - split by the canyon of the Danube. In fact, there are three options for the SW end of the Carpathians: a) The gorges of the Danube, for which we have opted here. b) The Juzna (South) Morava and the Timok rivers in Serbia. c) The Timiş (Temes) and Mehadica rivers in Romania. Regardless of whereabouts the Carpathians end, the eastern border of the mountains of Banat runs straight north from the Iron Gate proper, along the tectonic fault line which determines the course of the Mehadica and Timiş rivers, between the towns of Orşova and Caranşebeş. 2) To the north-east of these mountains, north-west of the Retezat Mountains, lies the massif of Poiana Ruscă - for centuries heavily grazed, and more recently heavily mined for iron. Both the mountains of Banat and the Poiana Ruscă contain fairly low mountains (below 1500 m a.s.l.) and are often regarded as parts of the Southern Carpathians. 3) Finally, north of the Poiana Ruscă, across the valley of the Mureş (Maros) River, stands the largest and highest (above 1800 m) Carpathian "island" (some geological classifications exclude it from the Carpathians, however), bounded by the Pannonian Plain in the west and separated from the Carpathian Arc by the upland of Transylvania in the east. Romanian people call it Munţii Apuseni, which translates as the Western Mountains (before World War I, they were called the Island Mountains of Eastern Hungary, nowadays Hungarians refer to them as Island Mountains of Transylvania).
 
Craciunesti main  wallMunţii Metaliferi (Ore Mts)
 
Cheiile ManastiriiTrascău/Torockó Mts
 
Inside the caldronPadiş/Pádis karst world
The Southwestern Carpathians are the lowest and least forested of the five major parts of the Carpathians we have depicted on this page, each in a different chapter. What makes these mountains fascinating is the fact that they embrace vast limestone areas, including the most spectacular karst paradise of all in the Carpathians: the Padiş Plateau in the Bihor Mountains. Some evidence suggests that the ancient core of the Apuseni differs from that of the Carpathian Basin and could have once been part of the Dinarides. On the flanks of the Apuseni, besides limestone plateaus, post-Paleozoic lava (most of the Vlădeasa Mountains) and flysch are also present. In the tables below, the member ranges of each group are listed from north to south, in the following format: mountain range - highest peak - elevation (in meters). Ranges marked with an asterisk (*) in the tables display spectacular limestone karst.
 
Triangles indicate the highest peaks of particular ranges (hover the mouse over them to see the names of the ranges and peaks). Black pentagons indicate major towns with - except Braşov - airports (click to open links).
Munţii Plopişului / Şes (Măgura Mare, 918 m)Munţii Meseş (Măgura Priei, 996 m)Pădurea Craiului (Hodrâncuşa, 1027 m)Vlădeasa (Vlădeasa, 1836 m)Codru Moma (Pleşu, 1112 m)Munţii Bihor (Cucurbăta Mare, 1849 m)Padiş (Biserica Moţului, 1456 m)Munţii Gilău (Muntele Mare, 1826 m)Munţii Zarand (Drocea, 836 m)Munţii Metalliferi (Poieniţa, 1437 m)Munţii Trascău (Dâmbău, 1369 m)Poiana Ruscă (Padeş, 1374 m)Munţii Aninei (Leordis, 1160 m)Munţii Semenic (Semenic/Piatra Goznei, 1446 m)Munţii Locvei (Corhanul Mare, 735 m)Munţii Almăjului (Svinecea Mare, 1224 m)Timişoara /Temesvár/ (RO)Sibiu /Hermannstadt, Nagyszeben/ (RO)Târgu Mureş /Marosvásárhely/ (RO)Cluj-Napoca /Kolozsvár, Klausenburg/ (RO)
Székelykő from the Szentgyörgy castleSzékelykő (Szeklers' Rock)
Hiker s ParadiseFrom Trascău to Gilău
Tordai Hasadék (Cheile Turzii)Turda/Torda Gorge
Apuseni Mountains (Western Transylvania)
Northern group
Pădurea Craiului *Hodrâncuşa1027
Munţii Plopişului / ŞesMăgura Mare918
Munţii MeseşMăgura Priei996
Central group
Codru MomaPleşu1112
Munţii Bihor *Cucurbăta Mare1849
VlădeasaVlădeasa1836
Munţii GilăuMuntele Mare1826
Southern group
Munţii ZarandDrocea836
Munţii MetalliferiPoieniţa1437
Munţii Trascău *Dâmbău1369
Poiana Ruscă and Mountains of Banat
Poiana RuscăPadeş1374

Munţii SemenicSemenic / Piatra Goznei1446
Munţii Aninei *Leordis1160
Munţii AlmăjuluiSvinecea Mare1224
Munţii LocveiCorhanul Mare735
NERA S GORGESDanube River atCarpathians' SW end
 
Eminenciás-vízesés / Cascada EvantaiGalbena Gorge(Padiş plateau)
 
Turnul Ascuţit (Éles-torony)Turda/Torda Gorge(Trascău/Torockó Mts)
 
Rock in Cheile RametiRâmeţ/Remete Gorge(Trascău/Torockó Mts)
Truly Transylvania Padiş/Pádis karst plateau