Bicaz Gorges, the breathtaking natural attraction
Bicaz Canyon ( Cheile Bicazului), part of the Bicaz Gorges-Hasmas National Park, is located in the central part of the Eastern Carpathians in Hasmasu Mare Massif connecting Harghita and Neamt counties. The canyon is surrounded on the north and northwest side by Suhardul Mare (1,506 meters) and on the south-east by Suhardul Mic (1352 meters) stretching on an almost 8 kilometers surface.
Bicaz Gorges are the most impressive limestone gorges in Europe, formed after the erosion of the Bicaz stream in Cretaceous limestone, given that the area was covered by a Cretaceous tropical ocean where there was a coral reef.
Here and there, the rocky walls have a height of 300 meters and in some areas the distance between the rocky walls is more than six meters. The narrowest place is the ‘Stone Gate’, with room for a passing car only. The first access road to the gorges was built in 1910, out of Gheorghieni, and the road to Bicaz was brought into service much later, in 1937. The massif was gradually embellished with caves and avens.
Bicaz Gorges are also known as the ‘Alpine Paradise’. Alpinists all over Europe come here to climb one of the most difficult routes in Romania and probably in Europe. This is the place where records are set, alpinists climb the rocks at minus 20 degrees and they register remarkable results. The most dangerous place in the area, but also the most spectacular, is ‘Gatul Iadului/The Hell’s Throat’, a great panorama that stretches over 800 meters, between Piatra Surducului (Surducului Stone) and Peretele Bardosului (Bardosului Wall).
The National Park has a rich fauna and flora with dense pine spruce forests and rare plants like Edelweiss (Floare de Colt), the Lady’s slipper (Papucul Doamnei) and some wild animal species such as the red deer, the lynx, the brown bear or the wolf.
A very important point of attraction that is worth visiting is the Red Lake.