Maramures Mountains

Maramures Mountains are part of the Northern Carpathians, bordering the Ukraine republic. They stretch for about 100 km from north-west to the south-east and they cover a massif area of about 1500 square km. The mountain area continues across the border, to the north, only half of its surface being in Romania.

They are formed mainly from crystalline slate, with some volcanic and sedimentary rocks, mining for copper and gold being one of the main industries in the past.

To the south lies Maramures depression, who separates them from Rodna Mountains, with a high saddle, Prislop Pass (1416m), at its eastern end. To the east they continue with Obcinile Bucovinei Mountains and to the west Vaser valley separates Maramures M. from the hilly Maramures depression.

The mountain is split into five massifs (Pop Ivan, Farcau – Mihailec, Pietrosu Bardau, Toroiaga – Jupania and Cearcanu – Prislop) by the streams tributary to Viseu River, with a maximum altitude reached in Farcau Peak (1957m).

Flora consists in oak, beech and spruce forests on the lower level, dwarf pine and juniper on the sub alpine level and alpine meadows on top. Fauna is represented by dear, wild boars, brown bears, wolfs, lynxes, mountain cocks and eagles.

In 2004 the limits of Maramures Natural Park were established but, unfortunately, logging continues, with no much respect for the nature.

The area need more attention, having a great touristic potential, but, excepting the famous steam train still riding on Vaser Valley and a limited development around it, there are no marked trails or mountain huts.