The Valea lui Stan (Stan’s Valley) Canyon is the only attraction of the kind in the Fagaras Mountains, the highest mountains in Romania. The Valea lui Stan Canyon, along the 7 Scari (The 7 Stairs) Canyon (The Piatra Mare Mountains) are in fact the only 2 tourist canyons in Romania.
The access in the Valea lui Stan Canyon is available since 1965, as the Vidraru Dam was built. At that time, the Stan’s Valley was captured and diverted in order to supply the reservoir. In the same time many foot bridges and metal stairs were installed in order to facilitate the access to the dams on the valley. In 2012, Mountain Rescue Arges began to update the foot bridges, the railings, the metal stairs and cables. Nowadays, the Valea lui Stan Canyon is one of the best equipped canyons that can be crossed without special climbing equipment.
General data: the canyon is at relatively low altitude, between 800 and 950 m. The canyon impresses with its narrowness and its dizzying rock walls that compose a wild landscape. This trail is very spectacular, an adventure trail where advancing along the canyon is made almost entirely with the aid of facilities.
The entire trail is a succession of vertical areas among which are intercalated horizontal ones. All the areas are well secured with metal stairs, scaffolds, foot bridges and wire rope.
Trail: Transfagarasan – Valea lui Stan Canyon – Calugarita Glade- Vidraru Dam- Transfagarasan
The trail is marked with red point;
The whole circuit takes 4-5 hours.
Length: around 9 km.
There is no fee for crossing the canyon.
The crossing is made along 2 km and a cumulative elevation gain of 150m. It takes 2 hours, but those who do not want to do the circuit can return through the canyon.
Recommended equipment: boots, raincoat, water, sweets. For safety, if you are beginners and have not crossed over abysses, take a via-ferrata kit (helmet, harness and Y lanyard). There is no need for water boots; there is no area where you could get wet, unless you slip in the water. Also, at the beginning of the trail, there is a tourist panel which warns you that during winter time the trail must be made only equipped with crampons, helmet and safety kit.
- Not recommended during strong rain or when rain is forecasted as a flash flood can be formed
- Pay attention to bears, quite frequent in the area.
- There is a spring after descending in the Calugarita Glade.
Access to the Valea lui Stan Canyon:
-the trail begins in Transfagarasan, at about 3 km upstream the Poienari Fortress and 2 km downstream the Vidraru Dam. Where the trail begins, Transfăgărăşan makes a curve of almost 180°. For those coming by car, you can park on each side of the road, which is quite large here. There is no special parking lot. During summertime you can find many cars here.If you wish to do the whole circuit, you should consider letting your car near the Vidradu Dam.
At less than 5 minutes from the starting point on the valley you will reach a hydrological station. It is a small dam that you can surpass with the aid of metal stairs, set up at its left. Continue on the valley course, the valley being dry at the beginning. A tiny water thread will later appear.
In about 30 minutes from the starting point, the first facilities appear. You will find railed metal stairs, vertical ones or set up in the mountain, suspended over the 6 different sized water falls.
The trail goes left to make a detour on a short 150 m narrowing, a sort of a canyon within a canyon. This area can be crossed through water as well, when the flaw is small.
Farther, the trail joins an array of waterfalls, some even over 30 m high, divided by very big potholes.
The most spectacular area is the crossing of the suspended metal footbridge over the narrow valley course, over the threshold of two waterfalls. In addition, once the foot bridge crossed, you have to climb a 10 long vertical stair. For those not used to heights this is an adrenaline-filled area.
The trail does not give you time to rest as there are other waterfalls to climb over, small lakes or huge rocks to avoid. You will not notice how time flies by. The climbing will keep you focused so as not to slip.
You will know that you are the end of the canyon when you cross over the barrier that locks most of the valley water. The water is diverted towards the Vidraru Dam, so is the marked trail. From the barrier you continue around 15 minutes on the valley course, on its left side. Farther on, the trail climbs abruptly on the left slope, through the woods, about 15-20 minutes up to the hill top. Yu will find here the Călugărița Glade.