Towards Arjana Peak – winter in the Cernei Mountains

I can’t really remember since when we planned on doing some hiking in the Cernei Mountains including visiting the remote villages with a few scattered houses on top of these picturesque mountains. So it was unexpected that we got here during winter…of all seasons. This is actually not bad at all since snow and cold means no snakes 😋

Brief useful information:

Date: 22nd of January 2017
Route: Dumbrava Motel (Băile Herculane) – Dobraia – Meadow just before Arjana Peak
Signposting:
Distance: 6 km
Slope+ 900 m
Duration: 4 h (breaks included, with plenty of snow)
Difficulty: medium (steady climbing, nothing hardcore)
We are no strangers to Băile Herculane and the spectacular trails of the Mehedinți Mountains. We already wrote about our adventures here but also about the amazing Vânturătoarea Waterfall in the Cernei Mountains, on the other side of the Cerna Valley. Although the Mehedinți Mountains may be more spectacular since they are very steep, the Cernei Mountains (which are across the valley) are very picturesque and offer spectacular views towards the rocky and steep Mehedinți Mountains 😊

For us the hike we present today was special also because we met a couple passionate about travelling and which share their adventures on Here I Hike 😊 So, together with these guys we start off early in the morning at Dumbrava Motel which is located at the tail of the Prisaca Lake on the DN 67d road. We cross the Cerna river on the suspension bridge you see in the images above and then we start the climb. The classic “no buts about it” climb 😏

At this low altitude there wasn’t much snow which made the climb much easier. There are a few places in the first part of the trail where the views open up and we take advantage of that to rest for a little while. The trail is generally through the forest and panorama points are scarce.

We hike for about 2.5 h until we reach the first true panorama spot: the Church in Dobraia village (images above). From here we see the great and steep rocky walls of the Mehedinți Mountains in what seems to be an unbreakable stone barrier. From here we also get a glimpse of the Arjana Peak (1511 m) – the highest in the Cernei Mountains.

In about 10 minutes we reach the School in Dobraia which has been fitted with solar panels that provide electricity to this very remote school. We reach the back of the school to the left and re-enter the forest and then continue the climb which we ended up hating by now 😋

3.5 h since the start of the trail or 45 minutes after we passed the school we reach a tree-less plateau. Here we find one of the best places to sit down and enjoy the views. It’s simply awesome here with stunning panoramas all around. The almost cloudless sky is perfectly combined with the white snow on the mountains. Images below.






We took a longer break here in these beautiful surroundings on this beautiful day! These are the moments that stay with you for a long time, these kind of places not necessarily the peaks or the accomplished objectives. For this place alone it was worthwhile coming here 😊

With a heavy heart we must leave and continue towards Arjana. We enter the forest once again. And once again we start climbing. We pass some boulders and then we reach a meadow that is also the end of our trail unfortunately. From here until the peak we would have had one more hour to go. It was already kind of late and wanted to avoid returning on pitch dark.

We don’t mind that we stopped here. Not at all! We had the most stunning views from up here. We were speechless. From this spot Arjana Peak seems to me like a small Everest. A massive and intimidating block of rock. The view towards Arjana is simply amazing!

Looking Eastwards, we admire again the stunning Mehedinți Mountains steep and rocky Western face. I declare these mountains (viewed from here) the most photogenic mountains in Romania! Enjoy the rest of the images and we hope you find time to come and see all of these for yourselves 😊
 
Our route on the map:

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