Bodoc - Ciomatu Mare Mountains
This wooded hilly forest area is well-known to me. We have made here the National Geographic Project, but apart from this I continue to come here all the time to take pictures, to observe wildlife, to hike or to ride bicycles off-road. Now we have a look at it first from the point of view of the tours and nature photos. The Bodoc Mountains ranging in middle height are characteristic for the Carpathians, since except of a few higher mountain massifs, this average altitude is what we mostly come across in this region. Despite the fact that a large part is covered by dense forest, there is no lack of panoramic sights. From the main ridge of the Bodoc Mountains there is a continuous panorama in all directions, but certain spots of the Ciomad Mountains are offering photogenic views as well. Last but not least we find here the volcanic lake which is considered to be unique in Eastern Europe (Saint Anne Lake) and its twin sister the Mohos peat bog. The latter is a strictly protected natural reserve with plant rarities that have remained since the Ice Age. It provides an inexhaustible photo material source. I personally have been coming here to take photos for many years and this landscape still offers me something new and surprising. The pastures with scattered trees, the intimate and quite forests, the idyllic lakeshore, or the scenery dotted with pleasant streams is worth visiting even alone. As a matter of course you should make yourself familiar with the region, and that’s exactly what our tours mean to offer: becoming acquainted with the atmosphere of the forest, finding calmness and rest on sunny glades or in the endless woodlands which can only be offered by nature.
Some information about the mountain
With an altitude between 1200 and 1500 meters, it is a typical representative of the middle height. Insofar this mountain is particular (first of all the Ciomad region) since it is part of the mountains formed of the inner ring of the volcanic Carpathians: therefore we can be witnesses of numerous post-volcanic activities. Not only the famous Saint Anne crater lake, or its twin, the Mohos peat bog are worth to be mentioned, but also numerous mineral water springs, sulfur caves, thermal baths and mofettas. While in summer the weather fronts are coming mostly from the west, the northeastern winds are prevailing in winter. The mountain range is surrounded by numerous settlements, its routes includes many paved roads, being therefore accessible from each direction. For sure we will meet shepherds with grazing flocks, and even quite often big wild animals, too. Your hiking guide is able to handle each kind of situation. We can tour in the mountains throughout the year, but I would recommend the period of October until November due to the most picturesque and breathtaking landscape. The most interesting and spectacular parts can be visited in 1-2 days.
Some words about the tours
Among our tour offers, this is the place with least climbing. Moreover many places are accessible by car on paved roads, while the whole area can be easily traversed by an off-road vehicle. You don’t have to pass great distances by foot, with a few hour hiking we can get everywhere, but we might as well wandering around in the forest the whole day. The number of the group is not restricted. You need simpler equipment as in case of other mountains. Of course a good pair of hiking boots and adequate clothing are indispensable (underclothing, fleece sweater, windproof jacket/raincoat and trousers), besides the usual sunglasses, a hiking stock, a headlamp, etc. In winter you will need maximum a pair of snowshoes. A 20-25 liter backpack would be a good size for exchange clothing and having space for water and food supply (sandwiches, chocolate, nuts, and fruits).
In the central part of the mountain (Ciomad) there is a possibility to sleep in a pension, or to stay at the hotels or pensions of the surrounding settlements. These can serve as a base, from which we can approach on paved roads our destinations, and every evening we can return to our accommodation. Whereas the pensions rarely provide food, the restaurants offer cooked meals at affordable prices. Camping is allowed in the whole region of the mountain, but due to the proximity of sheepdogs and big wild animals you should respect some important rules. We will discuss about this matter and you will be explicitly instructed before departure. In this context the region around the Saint Anne Lake – Mohos peat bog reservation is an exception, where only the marked places can be used for camping.