Ruginoasa Pit Tourist Trail
Routing: 1-1 1/2 hours routing refers to the estimated duration required to reach the Ruginoasa Pit and to return to Vârtop.
The Ruginoasa Pit is the result of strong water erosion on soil composed of red, purple and yellow sandstones, resulting in a huge pit (about 100 m deep and 500 m diameter) of a rusty colour. The Ruginoasa Pit is in the Northern side of the Țapul mountain, at the Seci Valley springs, at an altitude of 1373 m. FromVârtop, the access to Ruginoasa Pit is done from the road from 28km-400m. So, to get to this point we must travel about 800m from national road.
A more precise identification of where the trail climbs to the pit, is the first big curve after kilometer 28. At this point, road crosses a water dale, descending from the Țapul top.
The touristic hiking trail climbs this dale, the tourist markings ‘red lane’ and ‘yellow lane’ that will lead to Ruginoasa Pit can be identified on the stones in the water. This section of the route (road-Rugionasa Pit) can be divided into two, one part characterized by a steep climb of about 10-15 minutes and the other part, in which the difference of the altitude is not so big, climbing in this area is relatively smooth.
Otherwise, from the highway, after about 10 minutes of climbing through the woods, the trails passes on the left side, the water disappears and finally we enter a clearing. In front of us is shaped the saddle between the Țapul Top (on the left) and La Morminți top graves (on the right). We continue our ascent to his saddle, where we find the immense pit.
The routing of the national highway is 20-30 minutes. From the saddle, looking ahead, we will discover the Yellow Valley, the Flowers Glade or walls of the Yellow Stone, touristic sights of Padiș, area which one can reach, either by passing the Rugionasa Pit, or descending through it, in which case we need specific equipment for the mountaineers, as there are very many jumpers.
To return to Vârtop, we will follow the route whose marking is the ‘red cross’. Basically the ‘red cross’ follows a forest road that starts from the clearing where the Rugioasa Pit is, gets in Vârtop.
In this area, those who like berries can find an abundance of blueberries. An alternative of the above- presented route, consists in leaving Vârtop on the forest road that climbs into the woods, following the ‘red cross’ mark, and from the Ruginoasa Pit we will descend on the ‘yellow lane’ mark in the national highway.