Hiking to Creasta Cocosului

A beautiful climb from Breb to the Rooster’s Crest

As soon as you arrive in Breb, you will see the Creasta Cocosului, or the Rooster’s Crest, beckoning in the distance: an impressive craggy volcanic rock formation. It promised a rewarding hike, so I went.

This walk takes you out of the village of Breb, past the last haystacks, into the territory of blueberries and bears. I didn’t get to see any of the latter though. The route is well marked (red cross) and leads you to the summit in about 3 – 3.5 hours (depending on your luggage – I was carrying 23 kgs so it took me a bit longer than that).

The last 45 minutes or so take you up the steep slope towards the Creasta itself. If you want to really get on top, you will have to get off the path and scramble your way onto the cliffs. The view will definitely be rewarding.

From here, you can either backtrack your steps to Breb or continue to Cavnic over the main ridge or Baia Sprie off the ridge. There is also a mountain biking route from Breb that takes you past the Creasta; you can rent mountain bikes at Babou Maramures in Breb, or at one of the other places listed at the bottom of this post.

I mentioned bears – you don’t really need to worry about those because bear attacks are rare. However, you will come across a few flocks and the sheepdogs that guard them. Sheepdogs are meant to fend off bears (amongst other things) and can be very violent against people too. You are advised to bring an ultrasonic dog chaser. You can bring one from home or buy one from Liliacul in Sighetu Marmatiei, Str. Ioan Mihaly de Apsa Nr. 15. If you are leaving from the Babou campsite, the owners will kindly lend you one.

Starting & finish point: Breb, Maramures
Altitude at starting point 545 m
Altitude at finish point: 1331 m
Distance (one way): 10 km
Waymarks: red cross
Map: Ignis, Pietrii and Gutai Mountains, 1:50,000, Dimap
How to get there: take a bus from Sighetu Marmatiei or Baia Mare to Breb

Another concern is water. You will find plenty of streams crossing your path, but since there are also plenty of sheep crossing the same paths you may want to filter your water so as not to get infected with whatever diseases sheep carry. I am using a Sawyer mini water filter and am really pleased with it. It weighs next to nothing and does its job really well.

Maramures is a great starting point if you want to explore Romania, and the Creasta makes for a great first hike. So haide– Maramures, Breb and the Creasta Cocosului are waiting for you!

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