Trekking Stan Valley Canyon

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After experiencing The Seven Ladders Canyon, I felt like I needed to step up my adrenaline game. And I did, by deciding to complete the longest marked canyon in Romania – The Stan Valley Canyon (Romanian: Valea lui Stan). And all I can say is that this canyon exceeded all my expectations.

If you know some things about Romania, you probably heard before about Transfagarasan Highway. It’s a road included in almost any list of the most amazing roads in the world. So if you visit Romania, chances are you might want to see it for yourself. If that’s the case, you should know that Stan Valley Canyon is very close by. Actually, the track starts from the side of the road, just before Vidraru Dam. The trail marking is a red dot in a white circle, but sometimes the markings are not very visible, so following the riverbed should do the trick.

Trail marking
Trail marking for Stan Valley Canyon

The Stan Valley Canyon can be completed without special equipment, but some training, previous mountain experience and a strong sense of balance are highly recommendable. Also, you should consider proper footwear, like mountain boots with outsole made of adherent material. Although the track starts as an easy one, overall it has a medium level of difficulty, requiring your full attention on several segments. As a side note, I don’t recommend this canyon for kids. The Stan Valley Canyon is much more dangerous than The Seven Ladders Canyon. Also, it is longer and requires more skills and strength to complete it.

Besides the natural wonders of the canyon (waterfalls, impressive mountain formations and dizzying heights), there are many man-made elements that will help you keep going. There are numerous metal ladders, cables and other support elements.

Shortly after you start walking through the forest you’ll find several waterfalls with beautiful water basins:

Waterfall with it's water basin
Waterfall with it’s water basin

Then the metal ladders start to appear. They are both horizontal and vertical, small and big. Make sure you don’t look down while climbing them.

Metal ladder
Metal ladder

The main forest footpath is a good way to catch your breath, since the landscape is very relaxing.

Footpath from the first part of the hike
Footpath from the first part of the hike

Soon you’ll reach a place guaranteed to leave you speechless. Imagine a landscape two water basins, with waterfalls and tall stone walls between them. And you get to see all this from a high and amazing bridge.

The metal bridge
The metal bridge

From now on, it gets harder and harder to advance. There are some sectors that require having a strong connection with the metal cables provided. Literally.

Support elements
Support elements

When you’ll think you’ve done it all, you’ll face another challenge: rock climbing. Be extra careful here, there is a high risk of injury, due to slippery rocks.

Stan's Valley Canyon
The Stan Valley Canyon

And if you didn’t believe me when I said this track is not for kids, you’ll probably be convinced after you see the following photo, which is already taken from a great height:

Climbing elements
One of the most dangerous parts of the track

The path will continue in the woods. You’ll know you almost completed the track when you’ll reach Călugăriţa Meadow (English: Nun Meadow). It’s a nice and quiet place to catch your breath and regain your strength.

Calugarita Meadow
Calugarita Meadow

From this point the markings disappear, but the road is obvious. If you reach a beautiful lake, you’re on the right track. This is Vidraru Lake. The view is simply amazing.

Vidraru Lake
Vidraru Lake

Straight ahead you can also see the impressive Vidraru Dam.

Vidraru Dam
Vidraru Dam

To your left is a tunnel that will lead to your starting point.

Tunnel leading to the starting point
Tunnel leading to the starting point

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37 Comments on "Trekking Stan Valley Canyon"

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Guest
2 months 6 days ago

Woah! That was an impressive hike! I’m not sure if I’m adventurous enough to climb those ladders, but I’d definitely be so proud of myself if I did all that!

Guest
Dane
5 months 29 days ago

Was it dangerous at all? It looks like an amazing part of the world. The lake and the mountains are so beautiful!

Guest
6 months 9 hours ago

This looks like an adventurous trek. The metal ladders look exciting and yes i think it would be prudent not to look down :) Would love to experience this trek some day.

Guest
Indrani
6 months 9 hours ago

This seems hard, definitely not for kids. I like the detailed photographs you have taken, I usually forget to do that and concentrate on climbing part.

Guest
6 months 14 hours ago

That looks like a pretty advanced trail not for kids as you say. Some of those trails with the metal hand rails look pretty scary to be honest. I think that I will pass on this until I’m more advanced but the whole trip looks beautiful.

Guest
6 months 15 hours ago

Interesting trek. I have done many treks but those vertical metal ladders are something new. I would actual prefer to just trek wth my feet even if it takes longer.

Guest
6 months 16 hours ago

There are some seriously stunning views on this track, but it would take me a lot of courage to cross those ladders. How long did the track take to complete? I didn’t see a time in your post but would love to know how long it is.

Guest
6 months 1 day ago

What an amazing place to see! Fantastic trek for adventurous peoples:-) I would love to make it, but some parts seem to be quite risky. I think it would be a thrill :-)

Guest
6 months 1 day ago

The Canyon looks like a great hike but I don’t think I’ll ever have the courage to climb those ladders, they look so unsafe. I am afraid of heights and by that point I would probably turn around. The scenery is stunning through and worth it.

Guest
6 months 1 day ago

That climb with the metal bars in the rock really looks like something that would make the heart beat faster. Must have been an amazing experience reaching the top and knowing that you have made it. Haven’t done anything like that myself, but it would be nice to give it a try one day. But I would probably do something easier to start with. :)

Guest
6 months 1 day ago

This was fabulous, and I especially loved the sections on rock climbing. Even though I know I will be a little afraid, I will still do it for the adrenaline rush :)

Is there a fee for this? Do you need a guide?

Guest
6 months 1 day ago

The hike is definitely for someone with a strong heart or the adventure enthusiasts. At some points, it does look real dangerous is it really safe for the adults too? Vidraru dam looks real impressive. We love hiking and trekking but not sure if we be going to make this ;)

Guest
6 months 2 days ago

This hike does not look fit for kids for sure. But it definitely looks like an amazing hike. Now let me go Google more about the highway.

Guest
6 months 4 days ago

This looks like an amazing hike! It is definitely not one with kids. There are obviously some safety issues with those steep ladders, but it looks like it would be fun! How long did the hike take you overall? I would love to try this if I’m ever there.

Guest
6 months 5 days ago

Fantastic trek! That’s another thing I can add to my solo bucket list, since my gf would kill me rather than try to walk that path!
But first I have to go to Romania, and that’s a problem of mine instead…

Guest
6 months 6 days ago

Holy sh*t, this looks dangerous and adventurous with the ladders and support elements! Don’t know if I could have done it. How many hours did this whole trip take you?

Guest
6 months 6 days ago

Wow, this looks pretty terrifying actually (and also beautiful). I think you give some solid advice when you say to not look down the ladder though…

Guest
6 months 6 days ago

To me, trekking is definitely not something for the faint of heart. I do love all things adventure and adrenaline but somehow this just gets too scary for me haha. Congrats on doing the longest canyon in Romania!

Guest
6 months 6 days ago
This hike looks like a TON of fun! We took a road trip through Romania from Switzerland a couple years back, and we loved it so much we wanted to move there. That says a lot since we were living in Switzerland, land of snow-capped pointy mountains and endless hiking. Bummer that we drove the Transfăgărășan and didn’t know about this trail. Considering that thunder storms and torrential rains almost blew us off Făgăraș Ridge in our tent, this trail probably wouldn’t have been passable anyway. We’ll file it away for any future trips to Romania though!
Guest
7 months 8 days ago

This definitely looks impressive! Romania is a country I would like to discover

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