The Vadu Crisului cave is one of the six show caves in the Apuseni Mountains.
The cave is an old and well known touristic objective, being arranged since the beginning of the XX century.
The Vadu Crisului cave betrays its presence through its water turmoil which, after crossing its galleries, throws in the Crișul Repede (Fast River) forming a beautiful fall. Is is situated in the heart of the Fast River (Crișul Repede) defile which this Transylvanian river forms between the Șuncuiuș and River’s Frod (Vadu Crișului).
In the professional biography we find it also under the name Zichy’s Cave.
It was discovered in 1903 by the K. Handl road surveyor, while the Railroad that crossed the defile was build. It was explored, mapped and opened till the first chiffon, by J Czaran (1905). Very short time afterward, the owner of the land, count Zichy proposes the touristic arrangements of culverts and wooden stairs.
The history of the hole provides data about the biospeleology research during the 1921-1927 done by the Speleogy Institute „E. Racoviță”.
In 1969 the Țării Crișurilor (Rivers’ Land) Museum from Oradea rearranged the cave with stairs and metal and concrete culverts and provides the electrical system on a 600m long range. Now the cave arrangement has been extended over a bigger area and the visiting conditions have been improved. The lightning electrical system has changed as well.
Nearby Vadul Crisului cave there is the fall having the same name. Practically the water that forms the cave is the same water that forms the also the fall. A particular aspect from the other arranged caves from the Apuseni Mountains represents this water flow.
At the moment the Vadu Crisului Cave is in the custody of Rivers’ Land Museum and it is open for visiting purposes by the large public.
Location: The cave is found in the Pădurea Craiului (Prince Forest), a subunit of the Apuseni Mountains, in the Fast River defile (Crișul Repede), on the left bank. The entire areal is found in Situl Natura 2000 – Fast River (Crișul Repede) defile.
The defile is traversed by many touristic marked trails and the stones walls abounds in climbing trails. A new touristic objective which the area provides for us is the rail via from the Fairies’ Wall.
Vadu Crisului Cave visiting fees: 10 lei;
Program: Monday – Tuesday > closed;
Wednesday – Sunday> between 9 am and the 5 pm.
The last entrance is at 15:30. In order to visit the cave you don’t need any special equipment.
The auto access can be done from Șuncuiuș or Vadu Crișului villages. Any way you may choose, you will need to leave the car in the village in a parking lot and to go by foot towards the defile. If you want to visit the Vadu Crișului Cave we suggest to leave the car in the Vadu Crisului village in the sport hall parking area.
Not long ago the only way to get from the village to the cave was the trail along the rail pass. In 2014 the bridge which provide access for the tourists to another touristic trail trip towards the Vadu Crisului Cave, was opened.
The marked trail is found on the left bank (geographically) of the Fast River (Crișul Repde). At about 200 m from the sport hall parking area you see an indicator on the bridge which leads you to the cave. The trail goes parallel with the river, nearby its banks.
The touristic trail that needs to be followed is a red and white circle. The trail is not difficult, it doesn’t have large levels of difference and the walking is very beautiful from the landscapes point of view. The duration from the parking area to the cave is 30-45 minutes. The distance ~ 2,5km.
You can easily get to the cave by train, beacause it is found at only 300m from the Cave Halt, on the Cluj – Napoca Railroad.
The cave entrance from the River’s Ford (Vadu Crișului) is found at an altitude of 305 m, on a rock terrace, on the left bank of the river. The portal is oriented towards east and is found at the base of a steep cliff. The water flow which exits the cave has deposited, in the confluence area with the Fast River (Crișul Repede) a thick travertine deposit.
On its surface. the buildings of an old touristic complex formed by a cottage with 130 places, a restaurant, and warehouses, are placed. Unfortunately the buildings built at the beginning of the 20th century are in disrepair.
The Vadu Crisului cave arranging is realized from concreted and metal gangways. In some places the arranging is found near to the water flow that traverses the cave. Sometimes the gangways pass also above the water. But there are gangways that continue the touristic trail through lateral galleries or fossil galleries, without water. Here the limestone formations are richer and more beautiful.
Visiting conditions. Due to its diversity and importance of the carvernicole fauna, the Vadu Crisului cave was declared a nature monument. As a result, it is closed and cannot be visited but only under the guide management.
The underground hole of the cave from Vadu Crisului is formed from a single gallery, which spreads relatively meander? The gallery leaks diverticulitis and the development in one direction. Hence the gallery has mostly a characteristic aspect, being relatively narrow, but having high ball sometimes over 20 m.
At 100 m from the entrance the first impenetrable chiffon appears. The passing cicumvents through a superior fossil level, which ends in the Balcony’s Hall after a 150 m trail. This is the only sector where the forms? especially parietal leaks are numerous.
Most of them are rather degraded as a result of the cave long visits with poor surveillance conditions of the visitors. For the next 80 meters, after descending to the underground flow’s level, its deep water occupies the entire gallery’s width.
The space opens in the Great Hall, after that the underground view stays nearly unchanged till the second chiffon, with gravel and clay beaches spread alternatively on the two river’s banks. This second chiffon, situated at 750m from the entrance, becomes penetrable while drought seasons, allowing the access in the last part of the cave, highly concreted and formed from two convergent corridors, from which only one is occupied by the river’s water.
When many precipitations (in spring, when snow melts) the cave visiting is not possible because of the flooding of some of the visitable galleries of the cave. The terminus point of the cave is a third chiffon, permanently closed this time. Its traversal requires using diving equipment. The length of the gallery from the entrance till here is 1000 m.
The water flow, with a varying debit depending on precipitations comes from Old man’s cave, fact proved by its mark of fluorescein. The two caves are placed at 4,25km aerial distance one from another and a 270m level difference.
Besides speleology, trail trips and climbing in the area rafting activities are also practiced. The rafting trail most used from the Fast River defile is the sector between Șuncuiuș and River‘s Ford (Vadu Crișului).