Sighiștel Canyon – Apuseni’s green paradise

For a long time we knew that the Apuseni Mountains are an inexhaustible resource for nature’s gems: never ending forests, caves, waterfalls, canyons, flooding meadows and special karst phenomena. This is why every time we explore them they never cease to amaze us 😊

Brief useful information:

Date: October 2016
Route: Sighiștel village – Sighiștel valley
Signposting:   not visible, just follow the creek
Distance: 5 km (one-way)
Slope+ 370 m/ – 200 m (one-way)
Duration: 2.5 h (one-way, breaks and many photos included)
Difficulty:  easy (3/10), you also have to cross the creek several times
This time we are going to tell you about our new favourite place in the Apuseni: Sighiștel Canyon. Located just 2 km away from the main road (DN 75), this place is simply a paradise made of rock and lush vegetation. Since this canyon is relatively unknown it managed to preserve its wild beauty.

To get here you must reach the town of Beiuș, Bihor county, Western Romania. Then you continue on the DN 75 road going up to the Vârtop – Arieșeni ski resort. In the village of Câmpani you must follow the indicator to the Sighiștel village which is only 2 km away from the main road. Then drive up until the end of the village where you’ll reach a meadow and the Sighiștel creek in the middle of it. Leave the car here and continue on foot and follow the creek upstream 😊
Initially the valley is pretty wide and doesn’t stand out from other valleys. Let’s say it’s not really boasting with the amazing places it hides further upstream 😋 We go up the valley creating our own trail. There really isn’t a proper trail but going forward is really easy. You’ll have to cross the creek quite a few times.

We were here in October and the creek was pretty small but I recommend you take some proper boots which are waterproof or if you come here in the heat of summer you can take some water shoes which let water in but have an adherent sole which comes in handy when crossing over wet rocks.
The first two thirds of this valley is not special, but be prepared to be amazed in the last third where this valley transforms into a canyon. From nowhere we are surrounded by rock walls, at first pretty far apart and not so high and then they get higher and higher and also closer and closer.

There are numerous trees fallen inside the canyon which are filled with moss. Some of the rock walls are also invaded by moss and these elements put together give the impression of an ordered chaos and a beautiful painting painted in rich green and stone white! Simply breathtaking!
 
This is one of those places where I know I hiked with my mouth open, just being absorbed by this place’s beauty and perfection! The walls of the canyon are very narrow in places, I estimate less than a meter apart.

Our route comes to an abrupt halt when we reach the stone wall in the image above. It’s about 5 or 6 meters high and you can only climb it with special gear. I wonder what other amazing places can be found above that wall. What we do know is that we’ll definitely come here again. It’s a brilliant place to hike. It’s worth coming here. It’s mandatory! 😋
Our route on the map:

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