Zănoagei Gorges, Bucegi Mountains

Camping Zănoaga (1.400 m) – Cheile Zănoagei – Cabana Scropoasa (1.200 m) – Cascada Șapte Izvoare (1.250 m) – Lacul Scropoasa (1.200 m) – Camping Zănoaga (1.400 m)

Access

It is summer. The recommended car access in Bucegi to the Ialomița Valley is on the sequence of roads DJ713, DJ713A, DJ714 – the summer road, which is paved. DJ713 is formed from DN71 Targoviste – Sinaia, a few hundred meters after Cota 1000, the maximum altitude point on this road, on the right and left, and is marked with signs. It passes by the Cuibul Dorului Hut, then crosses uplifting landscapes, the road is narrow in places, winding in the alpine gap, on the edge of the precipice to Saua Dichiu and Dichiu Cabana, at about 1600 m altitude, after which it descends on DJ713A through the forest until it meets DJ714 which comes from Moroieni (the winter road) and which then continues towards Valea Ialomitei to Zanoaga, Bolboci, Turbaria Laptici, Cheile Tatarului, Cheile Coteanu, Padina, Peștera (Cave) Ialomitei, Hotel Peștera. We will stop the car near Salvamont Zănoaga, opposite Camping Zănoaga. This is the starting point, but also the end point of our route.

About the route

The proposed route is accessible to all categories of hikers, who want to take an easy and spectacular walk. I saw many groups of tourists on the trail, definitely more than 100 people. I traveled this route for the first time when I was a child, the penultimate time 6 years ago, with my son Emi, who was 12 years old at the time, and now, with my daughter Denisa, also 12 years old. 7 more cheerful hikers accompanied us. The route is well marked and takes 4-5 hours.

Route Map

(click on objectives for extended version)

Technical Box

Difficulty: Easy

Duration / distance: 4 hours / 8 km

Marking: blue cross / blue triangle / blue cross

Water sources: in Camping Zănoaga, at the exit from the gorges, at the Spring of Zamolxe

Minimum altitude: 1,200 meters above sea level at Lake Scropoasa

Maximum altitude: 1,400 meters above sea level at Camping Zănoaga

Difference in level: +400 m / -400 m

Remarks: accessible all year round

1. Camping Zănoaga (1.400 m) – Cheile Zănoagei (Zănoaga Gorges) – Cabana (Hut) Scropoasa (1.200 m)

Marking: blue cross // Duration: 1.5 hours

Let’s go. In a few minutes the path leads us to the entrance to Cheile Zănoagei (Gorges). They are 2 km long and are dug by the waters of the Ialomița river between the Zanoaga and Dichiu mountains. The “excavations” started since the ice age. This objective is classified as a natural monument of geomorphological importance. In total there are 46 such areas in the Bucegi Mountains.

In Cheile Zanoagei, the walls in which Ialomita excavated a spectacular road are made of crystalline and sedimentary rocks developed on Jurassic limestones, a combination that favors the formation of gorges. In this area, there is also some more special flora, among which I will mention the endemic species of sycamore or less common specimens such as the dogwood or the forest lily, which we will be able to read about on the information boards encountered along our marked route. The mountain scorus is a shrub with red and orange fruits similar to poppies, but rounder, with dimensions of 1-2 cm. On our path we will be able to identify several such shrubs. We could not enjoy the beauty of the forest lily flowers, not being in its flowering period,

The route through the gorge is easy and pleasant. Slowly-slowly, more and more large rock boulders appear in the river bed and vegetation specific to mountain forests in the temperate zone. This translates into shade and a lot of green, dirt path and partly rock. Shortly after entering the quays, we meet a large queue of people.

Here is the first crossing of Ialomita. This is done on a landscaped, suspended bridge, installed in place of the former fixed bridge once taken by a flood. It passes from the right bank to the left bank of Ialomita.

We reach a second bridge, which was destroyed by a flood. Of necessity, an alternative bridge was created, improvised from logs, to cross the river at water level. I don’t think this solution can be used if the river is very swollen and swirled by the rains, which rarely happens because there is a large reservoir upstream of the campsite from where the water level is regulated through pipes.

From this point and until the exit from the quay, we will stay only on the right bank of the Ialomita. In the bed of the river we meet bigger and bigger rocks, which makes the course of the Ialomita more winding, offering a spectacle of small waterfalls. We also have some rock blocks to overcome from time to time, the path putting us to some small challenges. From time to time, side hikes branch off towards the edge of the valley that offer vantage points over waterfalls and rocks, deviations that are worth making for the sake of immortalizing the images in photographs and films. Although not abundant in this area, I photograph some flowers and mushrooms. If at the entrance to the route the forest was mixed, predominantly of firs and spruces, as we advanced, which means that the altitude decreases, we encountered mainly beech trees.

After 1.5 hours we arrive at Cabana Scropoasa (Hut).

Camping Zănoaga

path

landscape

suspension bridge

impromptu crossing

marking

lookout to the gorges

Ialomița in the gorges

Zănoagei Gorges

huge boulders

path through the forest

rest in the gorges

Ialomița river

Zănoagei Gorges

path through the gorges

2. Cabana Scropoasa (Hut) (1.200 m) – Cascada Șapte Izvoare (Waterfall Seven Springs) (1.250 m)

Marking: blue triangle // Duration: 15 minutes

Cabana Scropoasa (Hut) is an old wooden cabin, with a floor, with a stone arm, where in the past, we served a soup or bought a canned food, which is now closed. We find it in the same clearing at the exit from Cheile Zanoagei, but sad and abandoned. Instead, several other buildings with households appeared in the area. Let me specify that at this end of the keys there is a forest road that can be driven with care and for cars with a higher guard, a road that is formed from DJ714, the winter road. We follow the forest road we just entered, which will turn to the left and cross the valley on a concrete bridge just before it gathers its waters in Lake Scropoasa. We take two pictures and continue along the forest because we will return to the lake not long after. After another 15 minutes from the Scropoasa Hut, we arrive in front of a beautiful painting.

We are at the base of the Seven Springs Cascade. There is also a branch that goes up above the waterfall where there is a small house, a technical point. Next to this is another fascinating painting. Several jets of water shoot from a rock wall. It’s an outburst and it’s called Zamolxe’s Spring.

 

Scropoasa Hut

Dichiu

Scropoasa Lake

road to the waterfall

marker to the waterfall

7 Springs Waterfall

base of 7 Springs Waterfall

group picture

to the spring (l), to the waterfall (r)

to the Spring of Zamolxe

technical point

Spring of Zamolxe

3. Cascada Șapte Izvoare (Seven Spings Waterfall) (1.250 m) – Lacul Scropoasa (Lake) (1.200 m)

Marking: blue triangle / blue cross // Duration: 30 minutes

At the base of the Seven Springs Cascade, many tourists try to cross the stream and get as close as possible to the base of the waterfall in order to obtain the best angles for photography. The most spectacular setting in which you can take in the waterfall in all its splendor and in its entirety, is not at its base, but on the forest road.

The Seven Springs waterfall has an interesting story. It is said that the water from the Seven Springs Waterfall and from the Zamolxe Spring is the purest water in Europe. Or maybe it’s not a story… “”Legend says that Zalmoxe drank water from there for the first time. And for the Dacian priests it was a holy place. […] scientists have confirmed the miraculous nature of the water here. Studies show that it is the purest not only in Romania, but in the whole of Europe. “”, it was reported in a TV report.

We return to Lake Scropoasa. Lake Scropoasa is an artificial reservoir, built for the production of electricity at the Dobresti (DB) hydropower plant. It is quite small as its surface area is less than 6 ha, and its maximum depth is 15 m. In front of the Scropoasa Hut we returned to the blue cross marking, which we followed on the left bank of the lake to the tail of the lake on a bridge under which the waters gather like a corset between 2 close and steep rock walls through which the course of the Ialomiţa continues when the water is not fully directed through pipes to the hydropower plant. Here are the spectacular Orzei Gorges, which can only be visited with special permission, as they are only accessible through a usually closed tunnel next to the bridge.

flowers

Scropoasa Lake

entrance to Orzei Gorges

tunnel to Orzei Gorges

Scropoasa Lake

bridge at the end of the lake

4. Lacul Scropoasa (Lake) (1.200 m) – Camping Zănoaga (1.400 m)

Marking: blue cross // Duration: 1.5 hours

We will return to the Scropoasa Cabin at the Zănoaga Camping, on the same road through Cheile Zănoagei, marked with a blue cross. In the forest, I almost didn’t feel the welcome rain. By the way, until the end of the route, the sun appeared again. The duration of the return route was comparable to that of the departure route.

landscape

suspension bridge

a little more

our group

Conclusion

Cheile Zănoagei (Zănoagei Gorges) is a trail within reach of anyone. The easy access on the paved road to Camping Zănoaga makes it a popular route. Visit Cheile Zănoagei, Seven Springs Waterfall and Zamolxe Spring, Scropoasa Lake.

All the best!

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