Bicaz Pass and the Red Lake!

Bicaz Pass and the Red Lake!

Lacu Rosu („Red Lake”) is one of the most beautiful climatic resorts of Romania. The alpine settlement is situated in the valley of the Bicazi Stream, along National Road 12C. It belongs to Gheorgheni, its distance from which is 29 km. Bicaz lies 33 km far from it. The development of the resort has become more intensive since 1926. Several villas have been built around the lake. The number of the inhabitants was 102 in 1992, 81 Romanians and 21 Magyars. As you get closer to the place you’d like to stop at every 100 meters and take some photos because the scenery is amazing. In the southwest you have a clear view of the southern Ghiurghiu volcanic mountain-range. As you continue your journey through the valley of Hasmas Stream on 983 m altitude you arrive to this unique lake, the Red Lake.

The main attraction of the resort is represented by one of the most wonderful lakes of Romania, Lacu Rosu („Red Lake”), one of the best-known and most visited natural rarities of Seklerland. The remains of a fir-wood lying under the lake make it unique. It is even more significant because of another rarity, the Bicazi Pass in its vicinity.
The picturesque lake forms an organic part of the Hasmasu Mare mountain-range. It is a naturally barricaded lake formed 160 years ago as a result of a rockslide following a strong earthquake. It probably got the name „Red” because of its ferric oxide content which has conserved the remains of the pine-trees that still stand out of the lake. Some people still believe that the huge earthquake covered over shepherd lads and that is the reason of the lake reddish color. In sunny weather, the surface of the lake reflects the red limestone rocks of the shores. In the summer of 1837, date by which the lake had been definitely formed, its water-level was 1 m higher and stretched about 1 km longer into the valley of the Hasmas Stream.

We can organize programmes for a few days, climbing, long walks, hiking in the surroundings. If you have only a few hours to spend then hire a boat and go boating among the fir-trees on the water. I personally guarantee that you’ll never forget this trip. Peace, quietness, a mystical atmosphere, the peacefully swimming ducks, the surrounding cliffs, and the fresh air all sounds like paradise. If your time allows you should climb up to Kis-Cohard cliff (blue triangle blaze, about one and a half hour return). From there there is an excellent view to the lake and to the mountains around. The Red Lake and Bicaz pass from 1966 is national park. Here you find plant rarities like edelweiss or yew-tree and other different rock flowers.

Bicaz Pass
From Red Lake you can take a walk to get to the Bicaz pass along the Bicaz gill. This is one of the natural rarities in Europe. This cracking valley in the limestone is hard to forget. In the valley on each side of the road the almost vertical high cliffs makes you feel vertiginous. The fast gills and streams with small waterfalls and caves form an unforgettable picture in your mind.

If you come from Red Lake the Fairy garden cliffs impress you then the monumental cliff appears with a huge cross on the top. This giant cliff is called Oltarko (Altar rock), 1156 m high and first it was climbed in 1935 by the Transylvanian Hungarian mountaineers. The valley is getting narrow and narrow. There you can almost always see mountaineers because this place is their paradise too. But this is just the beginning. Getting to the Bicaz-stream bridge, where the Small Bicaz flows into Big Bicaz stream. We are standing on a place called The Hell’s Gate; it is also called the Hell’s throat. At this extremely exciting place we can ask ourselves which god power has made this miracle happen. You feel like the cliffs and rock walls fell on you. A lot of small streams are coming out of the cliffs. The Bicaz stream collects all these small waterfalls and as it isn’t wide enough it behaves like a wild beast. You can hardly hear each other’s voice. And suddenly the nature is tamed and we are standing on the border of Transylvania and Moldova.

The legend of Red Lake

A long time ago there lived a long haired and green-eyed girl. She was a rare beauty. She was called Eszter Fazekas. In the Gyergyo market Eszter saw a handsome lad and she immediately fell in love with him. He was taken in the army as a soldier and the wedding never took place. Eszter waited her love in vain. Eszter was found by a dirty Allan and he liked the girl very much. Suddenly he put her on his horse and took her away. He took her in the caves of the Kis-Cohard mountain. He promised her all the treasure in the world but Eszter was still waiting for her love. The man couldn’t make Eszter to love him. She called the mountains for help. The nature answered with a huge storm, trees were crashing, mountains were moving and the clouds burst out. In that storm the mountains were covering everything that it came into their way. Eszter and the thief were killed too. And that is how the Red Lake was formed. Even now if you look carefully, you can see Eszter’s deep green eyes.

Odorheiu Secuiesc – Gheorgheni – Red lake – Bicaz pass (about 90 km)

Have a nice trip!

Yours sincerely,
Arpad Nagy

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other programme possibilities, fishing in the lake or in fast gills, hunting on the harghita mountain, bear watch, horseriding, organised programmes, bicaz pass, red lake, lodgings

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