Creasta Cocosului may just be the most iconic natural landmark of Maramures, a region otherwise famous 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.
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.
The large carnivores are not the only carnivorous species in the area. Around the small lakes Morarenilor and Chendroaiei you can reach following the red cross trail from Breb, grows a rare carnivorous plant along the many water plants and invertebrates that add to the rich biodiversity of Gutaiului Mountains. We just know you’ll be as curious as we were in finding this particular plant.
Less challenging than many of the Carpathians peaks from Romania, Creasta Cocosului offers, nonetheless, a surprising experience, one you shouldn’t miss the next time you’re heading to Maramures. An easy hike here perfectly fits with your cultural itinerary across the ‘Land of Wood’.
Mara Guest House is the perfect option if you’re planning to stay in Desesti, one of the most beautiful villages in Maramures. On the shore of Mara River, with a large garden, and the best home-cooked food from organic local ingredients, this guest house is our favorite in the region.
There are many options to start and end the trail to Creasta Cocosului. 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 to the Memorial of Victims of Communism takes at least 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 from village to village. Take your time to enjoy the walk.