MTB: Remeți – Leșu Lake – Iadului Valley – Stâna de Vale

After we told you about the first day in our mountain biking tour in the Apuseni Mountains, in this article we’re going to tell you about our experience in the second day 🙂
The second day was more spectacular than the first one and I’m talking about the beautiful landscapes through which went. We were especially impressed by Hell’s Valley which we crossed in order to get from Leșu Lake to Stâna de Vale.

Brief useful information:

Date: 30th of August 2015
Route: Remeți – Leșu Lake – Hell’s Valley – Iadolina Waterfall – Bride’s Veil Waterfall – Stâna de Vale – Budureasa
Distance: 48 km
Slope: +720 m/- 855 m
Duration: 5 h (including long breaks at  Iadolina Waterfall and Bride’s Veil Waterfall :D)
– Remeți- Iadolina Waterfall: 1,5 h/19,5 km
– Iadolina Waterfall – Bride’s Veil Waterfall: 30 min/5 km
– Bride’s Veil Waterfall – Stâna de Vale (start of the downhill): 1 h/7,5 km
– Stâna de Vale – Budureasa: 19 min/13 km
Difficulty: easy/medium (gentle uphill until Stâna de Vale, +720 m in 32 km)
Water sources: in Remeți, several places Hell’s Valley
Early in the morning, at about 10.30 AM :)), we start from our guesthouse. It’s surprising that we managed to wake up this fast taking into consideration how tired we were a day earlier 🙂 There was nothing to make us hurry though because this day was going to be easier than the first. It was meant to be just for savouring nature 🙂

The first day was a bit too hardcore, with a long distance and a hard climb, but that’s why we always schedule the most difficult part in the first day 🙂 That’s our secret 😛
The first stretch takes us pretty hard uphill until Leșu Lake dam. This is yet another massive chunk of concrete we didn’t expect to find here in the middle of the mountains. A bit more surprising was the lake itself, which is no longer a lake, because it’s dry now and looks creepy. See in the pictures above.
We find out that they had to evacuate the water in the lake since they discovered a fissure in the dam which threatened to break the entire thing. Unfortunately they haven’t found the necessary funds to repair the dam and now it looks like this with that brown little stream running in the middle of the lake.
We continue on the 108J road which winds on the shore of the lake through the forest. It was perfect! We encountered a few cars here, it’s true but we overtook them easily since we were much faster on offroad 😀

Theoretically, you could come from Stâna de Vale to Leșu Lake by car but I wouldn’t recommend it in a normal car. There are some stretches of asphalt left but it’s mainly a dirt road with plenty of potholes and sometimes it’s quite narrow. We, however, were very, very happy as we pedalled through the woods, the rocks and the streams. It’s magical! 🙂
We were climbing, but very gently so that you have the perfect speed in order to admire nature and not get too tired 🙂 Pure pleasure!

At the end of the lake we cross through an open field where there are some cottages and then we head back into the woods and continue on the beautiful Hell’s Valley (weird name for such a beautiful valley). After about 20 km and an hour and a half worth of pedalling we reach the main attraction on Hell’s Valley: Iadolina Waterfall!
 We were in for a big surprise when we reached Iadolina Waterfall. There’s a suspended metal platform on which you can walk and from where you can admire the waterfall in it’s entire beauty 🙂 We stood there for several minutes to look at it and listen to it.

It’s very wild, with huge boulders that fell in it and it has a very beautiful emerald colour. It’s a very beautiful and spiritual place where you can truly relax in nature. It’s just 11 km away from Stâna de Vale so it’s an easy one day trip on foot. Believe us, it’s worth it! 🙂
There’s also a trail available which reaches the waterfall. Of course we couldn’t help ourselves and we had a small encounter with the cold water but it was sooo fuun 🙂

Just before we left we were greeted by a heard of cows just strolling around. It was nice that they remind us that people around here rely a lot in nature to earn their living. They are truly part of the landscape’s picturesque feeling 🙂
Meanwhile, we continue on the Hell’s Valley, upstream. I think this was the nicest and most pleasurable climb we had to do. Of course, as I said, it was very gentle, but the mix between the forest, the waterfalls, the rocks was magical.

Only 5 km away from Iadolina Waterfall and half an hour worth of pedalling, we reach the Bride’s Veil Waterfall. This is not the same as the much more famous Bride’s Veil Waterfall in the village of Răchițele, Cuj county that we told you about in another mountain biking tour that we did in the Apuseni Mountains🙂
Unfortunately the summer drought left this waterfall with little water. There are some metal steps that take you down to the water. It’s not as spectacular as the Iadolina Waterfall but I’m sure you’ll witness a fantastic spectacle if you come and see it after a few rainy days 🙂
After a break here, we hop on our bikes and head towards Stâna de Vale on this beautiful and wild valley. We stopped at spring that has been built on the right side of the road to fill up and then we continue through the forest. 3 km before meet again with the 674A road we encounter another dam. Much smaller but holding a lake with the same beautifully coloured water 🙂
After we reach Stâna de Vale, more precisely the wooden gate we told you about in the previous article, a downhill stretch of 13 km awaits us 😀 The slope is -855 m. It’s well understood that we had a good dose of adrenaline that day on that downhill stretch 😛 We had an average speed of 40.6 km/h and a top speed of 64.1 km/h 🙂 Brilliant downhill!
As a conclusion we have to say that this circuit is pretty hard especially in the first day when you have to make that big climb towards Stâna de Vale but if you dose your effort well and don’t hurry, I think this circuit can be done by anyone with a decent mountain biking experience.
Our route on the map:

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