12 hours in Bucegi Mountains: Buhacu Meadow - Mălăiești Cabin - Goats' Ledge - Omu Peak - Țigănești Refuge - Mălăiești Cabin - Buhacu Meadow (Aug 2022)

Hiking Dec 6, 2022

Our original plan, to sleep three nights at the Mălăiesti Cabin and leisurely explore the beautiful northwestern valleys of the Bucegi Mountains, had fallen through.

I learned that reservations at Mălăiești Cabin are made on Monday for the current week at the earliest.

We called on Monday after our morning coffee and found out that the cabin was fully booked with people who had called before coffee… #priorities #lessonlearned.

For better or for worse, we reoriented towards the mountain neighboring Bucegi: the Piatra Craiului massif, and it was a good call. We enjoyed three wonderful days there: day 1, day 2, day 3!

Today we came down from the massif. We are fulfilled and happy after the hikes we had in Piatra Craiului. Though, we cannot return home with our longing for Bucegi unsatisfied.

We decide to stay two more nights in Râșnov (at the Waldburg Pension), to dedicate a whole day to Bucegi. And what a day it was going to be!

Technical Details

We planned for less, but decided we would assess the situation on the spot and reconfigure the route depending on the weather and how we feel. The result surprised us, too.

From Buhacu Meadow, where, theoretically, the public road ends, we take the shortest road to Mălăiești Cabin. Then we climb the Goats' Ledge (Brâna Caprelor) towards the peaks of Bucșoiu and Omu. From there we continue over the Scara peak, through the Țigănești Towers, to the Țigănești refuge, from where we cross the valley with the same name, arriving back at the Mălăiești Cabin. And from Mălăiești we go down, on the same path we came up, back to Buhacu Meadow.

Map. Screenshot https://muntii-nostri.ro/

Parking: Poiana Buhacu
Route and markings:
  BB*: Buhacu Meadow (880m) - Mălăiești Cabin (1720m) - Mălăiești Valley (1890m)
  BT: Mălăiești Valley (1890m) - Goats' Ledge Saddle (2270m)
  RB: Goats' Ledge Saddle - Omu Peak (2505m) - Țigănești Refuge (2180m)
  YB: Țigănești Refuge - Mălăiești Cabin (1720m)
  BB: Mălăiești Cabin (1720m) - Buhacu Meadow (880m)
Length: 28km
Height difference: +/- 1860 m
Duration*: 12h (breaks included)

Buhacu Meadow - Mălăiești Cabin 2h
Mălăiești Cabin - Mălăiești Valley Crossroad 35m
Mălăiești Valley Crossroad - Goats' Ledge Saddle 1h 20m
Goats' Ledge Saddle - Bucșoiu Peak 35m
Bucșoiu Peak - Omu Peak 45m
Omu Peak - Mălăiești Great Gully (Hornul Mare) 30m
Mălăiești Great Gully (Hornul Mare) - Scara Peak 20m
Scara Peak - Țigănești Refuge 35m
Țigănești Refuge - Mălăiești Cabin (alergare) 40m
Mălăiești Cabin - Buhacu Meadow 1h 20m

Water sources: Mălăiești spring, at the beginning of the ascent
Tracking: Strava

*BB =Blue Band, BT = Blue Triangle, RB = Red Band, YB = Yellow Band

*The duration represents the time it took us to complete the hike in almost ideal conditions: small team, no backpacks, in excellent weather and in good physical condition.

The Hike

Buhacu Meadow - Mălăiești Valley

It was worth getting up early. It's 7:15, and we're already leaving the car behind, in Buhacu Meadow, and we set off through the fresh morning air towards the Mălăiesti Cabin.

A few minutes after the start, we find the first signpost, which tells us that we have 2h 45m to Mălăiești. We have no luggage and the thought of breakfast motivates us, consequently we are confident that we will arrive a little earlier.

For a few moments the rocky and steep alpine peaks glimpse through the trees, bathed in the sun. That's where we want to reach today. Another source of motivation!

15 minutes from Buhacu Meadow, we leave the road and enter the forest. For another 30 minutes, the route is slow and increasingly bright.

A few minutes after we pass the Mălăiești Spring, we reach the intersection with the route to Diham Cabin. It is only from here that the real ascent begins.

From the junction to the cabin, two words best describe the route: panting and sweating. There are still moments of respite, there are still a few views, but the climb is sustained.

To everyone's surprise, a man in his 70s overtook us on this stretch, with whom we could barely keep up. He was going up to eat some blueberries…

We were relieved when we learned that he had been a mountaineer and part of the mountain rescue team. We enjoyed his stories, appreciated him for the physical condition he maintained, and climbed with him without allowing ourselves to complain that it was hard.

Anyway, all the tiredness is forgotten when we leave the forest in the Mălăiesti glacial valley, where the cabin and the high walls of the valley welcome us.

At this time (9:15), after two hours of climbing, the most beautiful part of the landscape is the breakfast.

The Mălăiești Cabin platform.

We are in no rush. We enjoy the food, and we enjoy the scenery. Only after an hour or so, at 10:25, we start moving again.

We start our hike from the cabin

After a few steps, we realize one thing: it is harder to walk with a full stomach in the sun than with an empty stomach in the shade.

The next 30 minutes to the next glacier terrace are the hardest of the day. The heat of the sun presses us at every step.

Climbing through the Mălăiești glacial valley.

At every break, which is quite often, we are encouraged to go on by the fantastic landscape.

Glacial terrace on Mălăiești Valley. Bucșoiu peak in the background.
Glacial terrace on Mălăiești Valley.

Goats' Ledge (Brâna Caprelor)

From here we part ways. Part of us continues the route on the Goats' Ledge (Brâna Caprelor), another part will return to the cabin.

Towards Goats' Ledge (Brâna Caprelor)

Goats' ledge is… a ledge. For the safest experience, be sure not to have altitude sickness, or not to hike when there's snow, or ice, and be sure not to trip. Otherwise, it's great!

Mălăiești Valley seen from Goats' Ledge.
Humans and cliffs on the Goats' Ledge.
Mălăiești Cabin and valley.

The landscape opens up before and behind us. We can see the Scara Peak, the Țigănești Towers, and even the Țigănești Saddle, where the refuge we want to reach is located.

On the Goats' Ledge. In background: the Big Mălăiești Gully, Scara Peak, Țigănești Towers, ridge and saddle.
The last part of Goats' Ledge.

After 1h 20m of fun, we leave the ledge and start the climb towards Bucșoiu.

Goats' Ledge Saddle - Bucșoiu Peak - Omu Peak

Indicator în Șaua Brâna Caprelor

The horizon keeps widening. Now, beyond Țigănești Ridge, we can even spot Piatra Craiului. Yesterday, we were looking over these places from there.

Scara Peak, Țigănești Ridge. In backgroun: Piatra Craiului.

We pass the Bucșoiu peak, where two foreign tourists take some pretty funny and poorly positioned group photos for us, and we continue towards the Omu peak, where the atmosphere is darker.

From Bucșoiu Peak towards Omu Peak.

On the top, we even encounter some dense fog. We're ok with that, but we can't believe how many people are up here!

Foggy path towards Omu Peak. (Photo: Adela)

With a bit of effort, we find a place to have lunch.

Not before we take a photo of the signpost with the estimates from the top:

Meanwhile, the clouds part again and allow us to have lunch with a view.

We allow ourselves to waste an hour over our lunch break and admire.

Omu Peak - Scara Peak - Țigănești Peak

At 14:40 we start moving. We realize that if we keep a good pace, we can pass by the Țigăneşti refuge!

From Omu Peal towars Gullies' Saddle (Șaua Hornurilor) and Scara Peak.

From here we have no more major climbs, so we can pick up the pace.

Omu peak, seen from the Gullies' Saddle (Șaua Hornurilor)
Gullies' Saddle (Șaua Hornurilor)

We slow down for the last climb of the day, towards the Scara Peak.

The weather, the landscape, and our condition, are all under an indescribable spell. We no longer feel the fatigue, we only move forward, filling ourselves with energy at every step.

Țigănești Ridge, seen from Scara Peak.
Signpost near Scara Peak

We descend energized on the chains, among the Țigănești Towers. When we get a chance to look at something other than our feet, we admire the route traveled today:

Goats' Ledge (Brâna Caprelor), Bucșoriu Peak, Omu Peak.

We pass the towers and the chains. The route becomes softer, and we become more energetic.

Beyond Țigănești Towers.
Running towards Țigănești Refuge.
Peaceful donkeys welcome us at Țigănești Refuge.

We don't feel tired, but we try to enjoy as much as possible of the landscape from Țigăneşti.

Țigănești Refuge - Mălăiești Cabin - Buhacu Meadow (car)

At some point we realize that it is getting late, so we set off at an alert pace on the route marked with yellow band, towards the Mălăiesti Cabin.

From Țigănești to Mălăiești.

Pretty quickly, the alert pace turns into a run.

Through Țigănești Glacial Valley.

We take a look back, towards the imposing peak of Scara and the Țigănești Towers, then we speed up our pace even more towards Mălăiești, from now on, with the hope to still find something for dinner there.

Scara Peak, Țigănești Towers, seen through Țigănești Valley
On the level curve.

The last part of the route before Cabana Mălăiești is a descent that puts us to the test. But steep as it is, it is too short for our energy level.

The descent rewards us at the end with some bushes full of good raspberries.

The last descent towards Mălăiești.

At 17:10 we arrive at the cabin. Unfortunately, there is no more food left for us, so we have to make do with the leftovers from lunch. But hey! At least there is cake!

The final cake.

After we somewhat satisfy our hunger, but definitely satisfy our eyes with the scenery, at 5:45 p.m. we start to descend towards Buhacu Meadow, towards the car.

A last look at the amazing Mălăiești Valley.

Going down through the forest is more than relaxing. We continue at a sustained pace, energized by all the experiences of today, and we reach the car in an hour or so.

The Trout from Regatul Păstrăvului

There couldn't be a tastier conclusion to a day like this.


If I had only one day to spend in Bucegi, I would redo this route.

It's spectacular, it's intense, and it's perfect to do on a day with good weather. Or in two, or in three, depending on the desired level of intensity.

Okay, after doing it two or three more times, I'd turn to the other valleys as well. I heard that Valea Gaura is beautiful. Has anyone been there and can anyone confirm?

What trails did you do in Bucegi? What else do you recommend?

We are looking forward to your messages on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, in the comment section below, or in a private message.

'Till next time!