Off the Beaten Track in Bicaz Gorges-Hasmas National Park

Diana Condrea
Diana Condrea
Diana is a tourism consultant, tour guide, travel writer and amateur photographer. You can find Diana on LinkedIn

If you’d like to explore Bicaz Gorges-Hasmas National Park or other attractions in the area, contact us via www.uncover-romania-tours.com

One of the most popular summer destinations in Romania for the Red Lake and the famous road that crosses the narrow and abrupt gorges of Bicaz River, this national park is actually one of the most surprising in the country if you decide to leave your car behind. Just a few meters away from the noisy road, packed with selfie-takers and too much traffic, you will enter a stunning world of tranquil trails and picturesque hamlets.

Bicaz Gorges-Hasmas National Park

Located in the central part of the Eastern Carpathians, in Neamt and Harghita counties, this protected area also includes Sugaului Gorges, Avenul Licas, Hasmasul Negru and the massif Hasmasul Mare-Piatra Singuratica, all nature reservations you can discover hiking the many trails that cross the park.

Bicaz Gorges-Hasmas National Park

Summer houses close to Bicajelului Gorges

From chaos to peace in a few minutes

The most famous part, Bicaz Gorges wind for six kilometers along the course of the Bicaz River. Their tall rocky walls reach 350-400 meters, narrowing up to seven meters in its most spectacular part, the Hell’s Gate. The road leads up to the Red Lake, the second major attraction, and the best-known natural dam lake in Romania. Impossible to appreciate for their real beauty during crowded summer months, the gorges and the lake are best seen on foot during the low season.

day trips from iasi

Red Lake

But even in the noisy summer months, Bicaz Gorges-Hasmas National Park is a treat if you’re looking for peace. Surprisingly so considering how many people waste their time here, stuck in an almost endless line of cars. Even if you plan to leave yours behind, start your day early. This way you can find a parking spot on the narrow spaces along the road.

Many trails start from the Red Lake, usually easy and medium level like the ones to Avenul Licas (3 hours), Suhardul Mic (2 hours), Piatra Ghilcos (2 hours), Poiana Alba (4 hours). From Bicaz Gorges, follow the yellow stripe along Bicajelului Gorges that ends up back at the lake. It’s almost a parallel reality to the asphalt of the road, with dense forests, isolated sheepfolds, small waterfalls and suspended bridges.

Bicaz Gorges National Park

Bridge over Bicajelului Gorges

If you have two free days, cross the park from the lake or Pangarati Pass across Poiana Alba to Hasmasul Mare Peak (1,793 meters) and Piatra Singuratica. Book your bed in advance at Piatra Singuratica Hut or bring your tent if you prefer to have more privacy. The hut is basic, but its location is priceless. You can descend to Balan or return to the Red Lake the second day.

Hasmas Mountains

Piatra Singuratica Hut, Hasmas Mountain

Don’t ignore the trails from Sugaului Gorges. Four medium-level hikes start and end at Ecolog Hut. If climbing is your passion, then the Via Ferrata Astragalus is your perfect adventure. The Bicaz Gorges also offer challenging climbing routes, some of the most difficult in Romania.

Plan well your adventure, and leave one day before the weekend if possible to actually enjoy driving along the gorges. If you want to reach the lake by car, it’s best to do so early morning and late evening, the traffic can be as hectic as on the Transfagarasan on summer weekends. But don’t be discouraged. The views and the hikes are more than worth the effort.

Bicaz Gorges-Hasmas National Park

Summer hut on the yellow stripe trail

Travel tips

We recommend the map Muntii Giurgeu-Hasmas from Muntii Nostri or their app.

For more information on the national park, visit www.cheilebicazului-hasmas.ro

If you’d like to explore Bicaz Gorges-Hasmas National Park or other attractions in the area, contact us via www.uncover-romania-tours.com

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