Godeanu Mountains

Godeanu Mountains

Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 45.25803°N / 22.67237°E
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 7516 ft / 2291 m
Sign the Climber's Log

LukZem Video



Munţii Godeanu (Romanian) Godján-hegység (Hungarian)

The Godeanu range constitutes a massive mountain hub located in the western extremity of the Southern Carpathians. Separated from the Mehedinţi and the Vâlcan mountains by the valley of the Cerna, which forms their southeastern border, they sit between the Retezat Mountains in the northeast and the Cernei Mountains in the southwest, beyond Olanelor saddle. To the northwest of the Godeanu extends what can be called their twin range, namely the Ţarcu Mountains. The Godeanu and the Ţarcu are connected by the Corhale-Prislop ridge. From the perspective of a Carpathian hiker, the Godeanu Mountains are SPACE. A large part of the Godeanu rises well above timberline, creating a world of vast alpine pastures, still being grazed by flocks of sheep and herds of cattle or horses, although not nearly as intensely as in the 20th and previous centuries. The tree line must have been lowered by slash-and-burn, probably centuries ago. The krummholz zone has virtually vanished – patches of dwarf mountain pine have survived in few places, mostly in the rockiest terrain. Still, the lower parts of the deep valleys are thickly forested, wild and home to the bear, wolf and lynx.

Gugu - the highest peak in the Godeanu

The rocks forming the Godeanu Mountains are predominantly metamorphic schists. The grass-covered ridges are broad and gentle, the adjacent valleys bear traces of glacial action which took place in the Pleistocene epoch. Most of the valley heads have been converted into more or less shapely cirques, some of which cradle small tarns now. The main ridge runs from NE to SW and has a length of approximately 25 km. The highest summit of the Godeanu, Gugu rises in a massive lateral ridge, which branches off the main ridge near Moraru (2279 m – the second highest peak in these mountains) and runs north towards what used to be the confluence of the streams marking the northern boundary of the Godeanu: Râul Șes and Lăpușnicul Mare. Towards the end of the 20th century, the place was converted into a large reservoir named Gura Apei. Gugu stands about 3.5 km north of the main ridge (and about 6 km south of the reservoir), and tops out at 2291 m.

Gugu tarn Lacul Gugu
The central & western part of the main ridge
Scărişoara lake LaculScărişoara
Corcoaia Gorge, taken in 1979 Cheile Corcoaiei
Bisericile din Bulz Bisericile din Bulz

Even though the bulk of the Godeanu is formed of crystalline schists, patches of sedimentary rocks do occur in a few places. From among rock formations composed of conglomerates, Bisericile din Bulz, up to ten metres tall, located 2 km south of Muntele Scărişoara is worth mentioning. The River Cerna, which flows along the southeast flank of the Godeanu, has sculpted spectacular gorges, such as Cheile Corcoaiei (Corcoaia Gorge), but these are limestone features which are typical of the adjacent Mehedinţi range and therefore should be regarded as part of it. A few kilometers above Cheile Corcoaiei, the Cerna has been recently dammed, thus the second large reservoir (Lacul Iovanul) on the fringe of the Godeanu Mountains has been created. Due to their westerly location as well as high elevation, the Godeanu Mountains are one of the wettest mountain ranges in the South Carpathians. They are often covered in clouds, which – combined with the topography – can result in navigation being quite difficult.

The Silence of The Lambs


The table below lists the highest summits of the Godeanu Mountains.

Elevation in Meters
A few words about
The highest summit with a glacial cirque and namesake tarn at its NE foot.Sits 3 km off the main ridge on the most important, outstanding northern spur.Unmarked path.
In the western section of the range, just about half a kilometre N of the main ridge.It has a craggy NE face and its namesake tarn. Unmarked path.
Piatra Scărişoarei
In the central part of the main ridge.Craggy S face. Red stripes. 
In the western part of the main ridge.Red stripe trail. Namesake tarn below its rocky SE face.
In the central part of the main ridge.Red stripe. Small tarn S of summit. 
In the central part of the main ridge.Red stripe. Scărişoara lake NW of summit. 
Borăscu Mare
A kind of table mountain with small tarn E of summit. On the namesake plateau, 3 km N of the main ridge.Unmarked path.
In the eastern part of the main ridge. Its craggy S face connects with Sturul peak. Red stripes.
A twin-peaked mountain in the eastern part of the main ridge.Red stripe traverse.
In the eastern part of the main ridge.Rocky W face. Red stripe traverse.
The eastern part of the main ridge
The eastern part of the main ridge

Getting There

Thousand herds paradise Between the Cernei and the Godeanu


Access routes Trailhead at Marks Destination
Petrosani - Uricani - Câmpuşel (66A)
Soarbele valley (glade), Pasul Jiu-Cerna
red dot, unmarked
Paltina, Sturul
Haţeg - Ostrov - Gura Apei
valley of Lapuşnicul Mic, Lunca Berhina
pink line, red triangle
Gugu refuge, Stanuleti saddle
Băile Herculane - Cerna SatTârgu Jiu - Baia de Aramă (67D)
Cerna SatValea lui Iovan
yellow stripe, red cross
Vf.Godeanu (via Oslea Românească), Piatra Scărişoarei (via Bisericile din Bulz)

Camping, Accommodation & Red Tape

  • you can pitch your tent anywhere in the Godeanu Mountains.
  • There is no mountain hut in the Godeanu Mountains, but you can use some of the abandoned shepherd's huts.
  • In 2011 a brand new Gugu refuge was built. It is situated under Branu summit on the pink line trail leading from Gura Apei reservoir. Its capacity is about 10 hikers.
  • The southern edge of the Godeanu lies within the territory of Domogled-Valea Cernei NP
  • In the valley of the River Cernei is a mountain hut named Cabana Doru - Izvoarele Cernei
Gugu refugeGugu Refuge
Jiu-Cerna pass Jiu-Cerna Pass at the east end of the Godeanu


Online map

Paper map

Towards Cerna river canyon Just south of the Godeanu

Weather & Mountain Rescue

Weather forecast for the Godeanu Mountains (1769 m)

The Salvamont (mountain rescue) national dispatcher's telephone number is: 0-SALVAMONT (0725-826668)

Salvamont Gorj Coco (member of the rescue team): 0724 758 577
No Salvamont team is stationed in the Godeanu.
Godeanu Massif in spring The Godeanu (Gugu on the right) seen from the Retezat (May)

External Links

Borăscu plateau
Borăscu plateau in the eastern part of the Godeanu