Trail 1 (Red stripe) is the main ridge trail of the Calimani Mountains, climbing to the alpine area, from where it follows the Maria Theresa historic road, crossing a series of peaks measuring over 1800 m in height and then climbing to the Pietrosu Calimani-Negoiu Unguresc-Retitis section, its elevations over 2000 m. This is a long demanding trail, an elevation difference of over 2800 m, to be hiked over 3-4 days.
The trail starts in Piatra Fantanele village, follows the communal road toward Dornisoara village, then turns right, goes into the mixed forest and reaches the Maria Theresa road, which was built for military purposes a few hundreds of years ago. This approximately 3-hour section winds through forests and meadows (hosting wild boars), then climbs the Buba Peak slopes steeply (1670 m) to further descend toward Terha Saddle, where there is a water source.
On the second day, you enter Calimani National Park, climbing Mount Viisorul and continuing through the dwarf pine area of Struniorul Peak (1963 m) to reach the secondary ridge of Bistriciorul Peak, from where you can follow an alternative route to reach Bistriciorul Peak (1990 m). Your efforts are fully rewarded by the view toward Colibita Lake to one side and Pietrosu Calimani Peak (2100 m) to the other. If necessary, you can descend (via trail 4 – blue triangle) from the peak to the cirque hosting Bistriciorul Mountain Rescue Hut and a spring, which is situated within 200 m upstream of the mountain hut. The mountain hut features an inside stove and can accommodate 5-6 people.
Returning to Bistriciorul Saddle, you continue in a slight descent below Stracioru Peak (1875 m), between dwarf pine, rhododendron, cranberries, bog bilberries and juniper areas, to reach Curmatura Tihului within approximately 3 hours. A spruce and dwarf pine clearing section follows and then you reach below Rusca and Grui Peak, which is known locally due to the events that occurred during World War I. In fact, the Calimani Massif was a front line in its entirety. It is said that a shepherd discovered the bones of numerous soldiers while shepherding his sheep in its proximity, marked the spot and then built a memorial in their honor (access to trail 26 – blue stripe). A service is held on Whit Sunday every year.
From Grui Peak, you continue through the dwarf pine area, climbing for approximately 2 hours before you reach Pietrosu Calimani Peak (2103 m), the tallest of the Calimani Mountains, where beautiful views open up in both directions. The next section passes Negoiul Unguresc Peak (2081 m) and then descends steeply (even hazardously) to Negoiu Saddle along the scree. Here, a water source can be found and hikers can camp (1-2 tents). Here, you are joined by the red dot marking (loop trail 43) to reach the intersection with the (sulfur) open pit road in the Calimani exploitation area and turn toward Nicovala Saddle below Pietricelu Peak. Within another 20-30 minutes, you reach Retitis Peak (2021 m), where the weather station and Roza Vanturilor Hut are located (accommodation and camping available).
The 38 km climb to this point is followed by a 29 km long descent (a camping site available within Iezerul Calimani Reserve), as you turn right toward Voievodeasa Saddle and descend steeply toward the Voievodeasa Spring, Steja Meadow and farther on to the forested La Mori Peak (1379 m). From here, you continue through groves and meadows to reach the paved Bilbor-Secu road, which provides an overall view over the Bilbor Depression.