Creasta Cocosului: Seeing Maramures from Above
Creasta Cocosului may just be the most iconic natural landmark of Maramures, a region otherwise known for its wooden churches and wooden gates that gain all the tourist attention. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for the complete experience of Maramures, hiking one of its peaks is a must. And what better choice than Creasta Cocosului or the Rooster’s Ridge, the most famous of all the peaks from Gutaiului Mountains.
Almost 1,400 meters tall and of volcanic origin, Creasta Cocosului rises above the villages from the valleys of the rivers Mara and Cosau. You’ll see its jagged ridge from all of these small communities and you’ll find many hiking options from Desesti, Breb, Budesti or Cavnic. You can even go by bike, that is a mountain bike, on the marked red C trail if you’re looking for a challenge.
Carnivorous plants and wildlife
More than a local symbol, the entire area of Creasta Cocosului is protected as a Natura 2000 site. Its forests and meadows conserve many plant and animal species, including the splendid brown bear, the wolf, the lynx and the boar. No needs to worry though, wild animals are even less eager than you are to meet face to face. If you make your presence heard and you keep to the trail, everything will be just fine.
But, the large carnivores are not the only carnivorous species of the area. Around the small lakes Morarenilor and Chendroaiei, along the red cross trail that starts in Breb, grows a rare carnivorous plant along the many water plants and invertebrates that add to the rich biodiversity of Gutaiului Mountains.
Smaller and less challenging than many of the Carpathians peaks from Rosia, Creasta Cocosului offers, nonetheless, a surprising experience, one you shouldn’t miss the next time you’re heading to Maramures.
There are many options to starts and end the trail. If you choose the ones that depart from Breb, Budesti and Desesti you can also include in your day a visit to these villages’ wooden churches. Two of them, Budesti Josani and Desesti, are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Reserve an entire day for Sighetu Marmatiei. A complete visit at the Memorial of Victims of Communism takes at least some three hours. Add a visit to the nearby Memorial House of Elie Wiesel and the Village Museum.
If it’s your first time in Maramures, don’t miss the Merry Cemetery from Sapanta. It’s a world unique attraction.
There are many walking and cycling trails that will take you across fields and pastures, from village to village. Take your time to enjoy the walk.