Touristik Label - 401MN08: Buşteni - Cabana Padina - Pietroşiţa

Bucegi Plateau has always been the favorite of hiking enthusiasts, more or less experienced. If the first choose to hike here even in the winter, heading towards Omu and Bucsoiu peaks, the latter prefer to walk here in the summer, when days are longer and they can enjoy the landscapes peacefully. The trail crosses the section called Jepii Mici, then it goes past Caraiman Hut in the picturesque Caraiman Saddle, crosses Babele Plateau, goes around the Elephant Cemetery, crosses the leisure oasis from Padina area and reaches the road bends on the edge of Bolboci Lake. A real tour de force in the Bucegi Mountains.
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Trail Details

Difficulty
medium/hard
Distance
42,19km
Duration
10:30-13:00h
Ascent
1440m
Descent
1790m
Peak
2190m

Gallery

Tabs

Directions

From Busteni train station go up to the cable car station. Climb on the left side of the cable car station on the dirt road for 10 minutes and continue on the path and dirt road in Jepi Valley. The path continues to the left on the southern slope of Jepi Valley and after 1,5 hours you cross on the northern slope of the valley. After 45 minutes get into the alpine meadows and follow the path that crosses the water twice and continues on the northern slope over two rocky thresholds equipped with cables and then it winds up to Caraiman Hut. Continue uphill to Babele cable car station and then to the right to Babele Hut. The trail continues on Piciorul Babelor to the west for 1-1 ½ hours and then, to the left, you get to Pestera Hotel. Follow the road to Pestera Monastery, turn right and descend on the path with wooden or cement stairs to Ialomita Valley. Cross the water and continue downhill to the meadow hosting Padina Hut and then walk past the Mountain Rescue base, Diana restaurant and Coteanu villa and enter Cotean Gorge. Follow the road on the right side of the lake (west), walk past the trout farm and Laptici peat bog, cross Tataru Gorge to the tail of Bolboci Lake and follow the road on the right side of the lake to Bolboci Hut. The road takes you to Zanoaga Hut, past Zanoaga Camping and through Zanoaga Mare Gorge to finally reach Scropoasa Hut (out of use). Follow the right bank of Scropoasa reservoir, leave the entrance to Orza Gorge to the right and continue around the mountain that forms the left slope of the gorge to descend after the end of Orza Gorge to Ialomita Gorge. Follow the workers' access road to Vanatorul Camp and Dobresti Hydro Power Plant. From here you follow the unmodernized road, walk past Cerbul and Caprioara camps and get to the village of Pucheni. Follow the road to Pietrosita up to the train station.

Stages

Buşteni - Valea Jepilor - Cabana Caraiman - Cabana Babele - Hotel Peştera - Cabana Padina - Cabana Bolboci - Cabana Zănoaga - Cabana Scropoasa (dezafectată) - Dobreşti - Tabăra Căprioara - Pietroşiţa

Description

One of the most popular trails in the Bucegi Mountains is on Jepii Valley, recommended for tourists with mountain experience. The trails goes up in a difficult climb, following the blue cross marking for three to four hours. The scenic and yet dangerous path, the path of Jepii Mici trail crosses the mountain, divided by deep precipices, guarded by Caraiman Peak (2,384 m) and Jepii Mici Peak (2,154 m).

It's a spectacular trail with a rocky path and smaller or bigger boulders along the way, so you have to take care not to send them crashing down the valley. There are several narrow sections where you can only move forward using the cables and chains firmly fixed in the rock, which is why this trail is not recommended in the winter, being considered a difficult one if not using suitable mountain gear.

Jepii Mici trail starts from Busteni, known as "Bucegi Gate", on the same route as Jepii Mari trail up to climb through the forest. From here, the blue cross trail continues to the right, towards Caraiman Hut and Babele Hut. A great part of the trail intersects the one that follows Busteni cable car and goes up to Bucegi Plateau in 12 minutes. The view from above can not be compared with the feelings experienced down in the valley, where the rocks, the forest and the deep abysses merge perfectly along the entire route.

Jepii Mici trail, marked with blue cross, follows the valley on the eastern steep slope of the Bucegi Mountains, also known as Caraiman Valley, along which Caraiman Waterfall (also known as the Phantom Waterfall) and Caraiman Hut are also located. From the Mountain Rescue Hut below the cable car, there are 19 cables that accompany you to Caraiman Hut, with many panoramic views. An example is the "Ridge with Swiss Pines", where there is an important reserve with unique specimens of Pinus cembra (Swiss pine).

Get to Caraiman Waterfall, impressive especially in the spring and early summer, and have a small break to admire the ledges of the Jepi, the cable car suspended above the valley, and, if you are lucky, a frisky chamois. You can also enjoy the panoramic view of the Baiului Mountains on the left bank of the Prahova River.

Jepii Valley trail further leads you to the Snow Dale (with a lot of snow until late spring), and then it follows a rocky slope, climbs steeply through a chimney and takes you above the cliff area; then, it continues on a steep slope to return to the Snow Dale and after a short climb it reaches Caraiman Hut (2,025 m). (connection to trail 42, which leads to the Heroes’ Cross on Caraiman Peak, called Caraiman’s Great Ledge, marked with blue dot).

From Caraiman Hut, the trail continues to Babele Hut, to the base station of the cable car. (connection to trail 37 leading to Omu Hut). Up to Babele Hut you follow trail 37 for 10 minutes. The wind has carved into the rocks, sandstones and conglomerates of this "Stone Fortress" the most curious shapes, the "Sphinx", the "Old Ladies" and other megaliths in a compositional and dimensional diversity that impresses those who contemplate them.

Follow the gas pipe that descends to Pestera, on Piciorul Babelor secondary ridge, below the area called the Elephant Cemetery, to Pestera Hotel, and then further to Pestera Monastery and the path with wooden or concrete steps takes you to Ialomita Valley. Accompanying the Ialomita downstream, to the NW you can see the area with steep limestone cliffs above Horoabei Valley culminating in the impressive Seciului Tower.

The trail continues forward, in a slight descent, through the meadows, parallel to the Ialomita. From here, the valley narrows and, after a curve to the right, the path enters the Coteanului Gorge. After you cross the gorge, get into the wide tableland between Laptici (left) and Tatarul (right) mountains, walk past the trout farm (abandoned) and Laptici peat bog (on your left) and soon walk through the short and beautiful Tatarul Gorge leading you to the tail of Bolboci Lake.

The Ialomita River dug an impressive "V" into the limestone, with high and steep walls. After the first two curves of the road, get to the starting point of trail 56 (that goes to Tataru Saddle – yellow triangle).

Continue on the curves of the road along the lake, cross Tatarul, Mircii and Bolboci valleys (connection to trail 43) and after 2½ hours from Padina reach Bolboci Hut next to the  dam. Trail 36 leaves from the dam to Dorului Valley and the former Varful cu Dor Hut.

Bolboci is a vast lake created by the artificial blocking of the Ialomita River in 1988 through a dam, hidden between the slopes, so it is almost impossible to take a picture of it in a single frame, even from up above. Walk through the short and beautiful Tartarul Gorge, which lead you to the tail of Bolboci Lake and further to Bolboci Hut, built between 1926 and 1928 by the Schiel brothers. From here, the route follows the road to Zanoaga Hut and further through the beautiful Zanoaga Mare Gorge, where there are three springs so you can refill your water bottles.

Continue to Scropoasa Complex (closed hut), follow the right bank of Scropoasa reservoir (where there is a source of drinking water) and leave the entrance to Orza Gorge to the right (closed to the public) to walk around the mountains and get to the beautiful Ialomita Gorge. Walk through the gorge to Vanatorul Camp and Dobresti hydroelectric power station and further to Caprioara Camp. The last 4 km take you to Pucheni village, part of Moroeni commune.

Observations

Inaccessible in winter on the section between Busteni and Caraiman.

Weather

Best Seasons

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

People who contributed

 

Buşteni - Cabana Padina - Pietroşiţa in Bucegi-Leaota, Dâmboviţa, Prahova is a medium/hard hiking trail.
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