Mountain path in Bucegi Mountains from Bolboci Lake to Miorița Chalet

by Victor Grigore, Webphoto.ro

Bolboci Lake is one of the hidden treasures of Bucegi Mountains, a vast lake created by blocking Ialomița river with a dam in 1988. It has about the same volume with Lacul Morii in Bucharest, but it is very wide, winding between mountain peaks, in a way that makes it impossible to see its entire surface even from a considerable height. The pleasant thing about this man made lake is that it doesn’t look artificial at all. The water can take a very strong green shade sometimes, while all the surrounding mountains are covered in shady fir forests.

The cabin next to the lake is much older than the lake itself (1928), but has suffered drastic transformations and reconstructions, that allows it today to host tourists in good conditions, in about 60 beds. Also, the meadow around it is used for camping, if you have your tent with you. The place has enormous potential, being close to Sinaia, the first ski resort when you come from Bucharest on DN1 (national road that goes to Brașov). Once in Sinaia, you turn left on a street called Calea Moroieni, which is the road that goes to Moroieni and than Târgoviște. From this road there are two options to get to Bolboci Lake. The worst is from Moroieni, near the sanatorium building, but you should only attempt this road with an off road vehicle. The better option is to take the new road to Piatra Arsă Chalet, which might one day be continued to Babele Chalet. Ignore the forbidden or under construction signs, the road is excellent until you have the cabin from Piatra Arsă in plain sight, offering unique panoramic views over mountains and valleys.

In order to get to Bolboci Lake, you abandon this road long before reaching Piatra Arsă, following the signs on the side of the road. This portion is the great inconvenient of this destination, because there are between 10 to 20 km of unpaved road through the forest. Rest assure it is a circulated road, that has been leveled with some machines and covered with some gravel, so a regular car should face it. Judging by the ditches made on the sides and by the construction equipment it is possible to be the next on the local authorities’ list to be asphalted. Be careful not to miss the signs at crossroads so you won’t take the wrong direction, as the forest roads that lead elsewhere can be in horrible shape.

Before reaching the lake, you will notice the camping at Zănoage Gorges (Cheile Zănoagei), a beautiful natural place, that you should definitely explore. If you want to spare another 1-2 km of bad road, you might as well stop and camp here and follow the road to the lake by foot.

From Bolboci Lake you can take several hiking or mountain bike routes. The entire perimeter of the lake has a gravel road, that also leads to Peștera Monastery or to Scropoasa Lake. An interesting but more challenging hiking route you can take is to climb towards 2000 m altitude, or to one of the peaks in Bucegi. For that you need to follow the yellow cross signs, first crossing over the dam, that also serves as a bridge. After walking a while around the lake on the road, the ascension starts abruptly into the fir forest.

The climbing is almost continuous, as you need to go from about 1,400 m altitude of Bolboci Lake to more than 2,000 m, according to your ambition. Also, beware that there are no sources of water on the way, at least not during this dry summer. The views are excellent and in some spots you will even be able to get an almost full panorama of the lake. Half of the climb is through nice feeling forest, while from some point further you will not be able to get any shade, as only grasses and dwarf mountain pine grows. At some point you will intersect the paved road to Piatra Arsă. If you take that road, abandoning the yellow cross marking, you will only have some 4 km to the chalet, or venture towards Babele chalet.

Continuing the yellow cross marking you will reach a succession of ski slopes and ski lift installations, that go from Cuibul cu Dor to Cota 2000 and Valea cu Dor. The descend to Valea cu Dor (Love Valley) might feel like a detour after such a demanding climb, so you might take a shortcut and follow directly the cable lines of the ski lift.

Miorița Cabin is a large chalet with view on the other side of the mountain in Valea Prahovei, probably to Bușteni city. The mountain rescue station is also near and a large terrace and restaurant has developed there. Climbing from Bolboci Lake to Miorița Chalet will take you some 3 or 4 hours, depending on your condition. The return way should not take you more than 2-3 hours. From Miorița, right next to Cota 2000, there is about 1 – 1,5 h to Piatra Arsă Chalet.

From the path marked with yellow cross you will see some landmarks of Bucegi Mountains. The red and white poll from Coștila Peak (a transmitter) and in clear days even the monumental cross from Caraiman Mountain are just two of them. If you spend the night in one of the above mentioned chalets, or start very early, you can attempt various climbing routes to Omul Peak, Babele and other fabulous destinations.

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