Rădesei Cave and The Warm Someș Gorges – adventure in Padiș

As we were saying in our previous posts, Padiș area is extremely rich in trails, amazing places and wonderful people. The Apuseni Mountains have very picturesque  scenery and people and it is worth going on vacation here.

In this post we will tell you about one of the most spectacular trails in Padiș: Rădesei Cave & The Warm Someș Gorges. It’s a super spectacular circuit full of contrasts: cave, gorges, water, stunning heights and beautiful forests.

Brief useful information:

Date: August 2013
Length: 5 km
Duration: ~ 6 h
Difficulty: medium (several areas with steep climbing, a short portion of steep descending scree)
Water sources: several, when exiting Rădesei Cave and when intersecting a creek
Equipment:boots, trekking poles, flashlights for traversing the cave

start of the trail, through the forest
a treețs winding roots

To get to this trail you must climb to Padiș, Bihor county on the DJ 763 road. Once you’re up you must turn left on the road leading to Vărășoaia Cottage. You pass the cottage and continue until you reach a crossroad. You can leave your car here and from here you continue on foot. The road from DJ 763 until you reach the start of the trail is a dirt road but it’s good enough for any small car.

The trail quickly enters the forest and several tens of minutes later you reach a crossroad. You must take the trail on the right which leads to Rădesei Cave and which you shouldn’t miss! 🙂 The other trail, towards the left, avoids the cave and goes above it. This will be the trail which we will use on our way back.

climbing down to the cave entrance, on chains
Rădesei Cave entrance

Rădesei cave is very spectacular but you should be aware of some things before you visit it. First of all it’s not electrified so you need a flashlight in order to go through it. At least the first part of the cave is very dark and right after the entrance you must climb down a ladder in order to reach the cave’s rock bottom and continue the track.Second of all, this cave should not be crossed after heavy rain or during heavy rains because the small harmless creek that goes through it can turn into a dangerous stream of water that can take everything in its path. So you should check the weather forecast before you visits it.

climbing down to the cave’s rock bottom
cave’s ceiling windows
cave’s ceiling windows

The cave is very spectacular because of it’s impressive size and the ceiling windows which allow light to enter from place to place and allow us to see the forest’s crown several tens of meters underground. The cave has two entrances and is crossed by a creek which you must cross in several places. The creek is very shallow during summer, no deeper than your ankle. Nothing to worry about 🙂The white limestone walls are very impressive and we stopped multiple times to see the show the ceiling natural light offers when it enters the cave and, in combination with the white limestone walls and the vegetation on the walls, offer a great show.

cave’s ceiling windows
high and white limestone walls
high and white limestone walls
traffic jam when exiting the cave

The cave exit is pretty narrow and the last part of it is pretty steep. You have a cable mounted there in order to get out safely. There were many tourists visiting the cave when we were there and there was a big traffic jam as we exited the cave, as you can see in the image above 🙂After we got out of the cave we reach the banks of the creek which crosses the cave. Here you can see many big boulders which just complete the general Padiș landscape. You can fill up your water bottles here because the trail continues up through the forest. The climb is not very steep and not very long, about 30 mins. Then the trail continues pretty flat and then goes down again until you cross another creek. Here you can also fill up your water bottles.

going up through the forest after exiting the cave
the trail continues through the forest

After taking a break for food and water, here at the creek crossing, the trail goes up again, pretty steep this time around. Fortunately the climbing portion is very short and then we continue flat through the forest. At some point we reach a beautiful panorama point where we can see the full magnitude of the Warm Someș Gorge. At this point we are very high up over the gorges and we can admire the high and vertical white limestone walls covered in dense fir forests. It is very spectacular! 🙂

out guide, Alex
panorama over the Warm Someș Gorges
beautiful walk through forest
beautiful walk through forest

Now we are already on the other side of the gorges and you can take several detours from the trail to reach some stunning panorama points. And it’s worth it, if you’re not scared of heights that is 🙂 After so many ups and downs you can walk relaxed on the trail going through the wonderful forest, admiring the scenery, breathing the fresh air. It’s charming 🙂

several panorama points
how can trees grow on rock ???
gorges walls

The trail continues and is pretty easy until we reach a point which I hated. It’s a steep descent on scree and it’s very unstable. This dangerous combination resulted in me going on my derier until down :)) It seemed the safest way to go down 😀 I really don’t understand why Bihor Mountain Rescue did not mount any cables for this short portion. This portion is pretty dangerous in my opinion and you must be very careful here.

After this short dangerous portion which annoyed me, the trail goes down until we reach a creek which we must cross. The good thing is that there is a tree over the creek and we used it to cross to the other side. Otherwise it would have been pretty dangerous to cross through the water because of the strong current 🙂

untouched nature
last check on the map

We continue the track, this time on top of the Rădesei Cave. We climb pretty steep on some rocks and it is very interesting that the trail goes on the margin of the cave’s ceiling windows which we saw earlier from inside the cave. All in all, this track is very spectacular and is a must – see when you’re in Padiș.


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