Leaota Mountains: hiking in Spring

Leaota in April

In April, most likely it will be cold, windy and inhospitable on the summit, however the nice views along the way and the reasonable steep path will make it a pleasant journey.

Walking in the mountains of Romania in April is fun and rewarding.

While planning your hike, you may also want to do some research on the benefits of taking cold showers in the morning or how soaking your feet in ice water can boost your immune system.

Jokes aside, wherever you decide to go, there’s a big chance you will get wet.

At lower altitudes, it’s probably raining and the trails are either muddy or the snow is damp as hell.

Above 2000 meters, the mountains are still covered in icy snow. If you want to climb the highest summits, you will need winter equipment.

Besides, most likely thick clouds will be covering the highest peaks and blocking the views. You will put on so much effort to get on the top and all for nothing.

So, yeah, it’s bad. It’s just not worth hiking anywhere in April. However, there is hope and can be summarized in one word: TV.

It’s April, it’s raining, stay inside and watch TV.

The wide forest path from Runcu to Leaota Peak
The wide forest path from Runcu to Leaota Peak

Enough with the rant, let’s go hiking

In the distance you can spot the sheepfold near Cabana Leaota Hut
In the distance you can spot the sheepfold near Cabana Leaota Hut

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.

John Ruskin

Listen to the wise quote.

Pull up your socks, put on your boots, pack a rain coat and head for the trails.

Hiking in April may not be only sunshine and rainbows, but not even once we regretted a hike we took, and we know neither have you.

The mountains are beautiful in any weather.

One day hike in Leaota Mountains

The summit - Leaota Peak (2133 m)
The summit – Leaota Peak (2133 m)

If you want to go for a day-walk in April, hike a peak over 2000 meters high, meet and greet the winter one more time and then quickly retreat back to comfort, a hiking trip to Leaota Mountains may be what you’re looking for.

The highest peak in Leaota Mountains is Varful Leaota (2133 m).

In April, most likely it will be cold, windy and inhospitable on the summit, however the nice views along the way and the reasonable steep path will make it a pleasant journey.

The blooming spring flowers will be covering the path.

Remember to take some good photos of the crocus and the snowdrops before you crush them all under your boots.

Crocus flowers
Crocus flowers

Quick info about the trail

  • Trail head: Runcu Monastery (850 m)
  • Primary objective: Leaota Peak (2133 m)
  • Length: 27 km
  • Duration: 8-10 h
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Trail markings: blue stripe
  • Equipment: depending on the season and weather
  • Distance from Bucharest: 127 km (2.5 h) by car
  • Parking: free parking at Runcu Monastery
  • Closest accommodation unit: Hanul Leaota

Weather

Check the weather forecast on meteoblue.com

Map

Runcu Monastery to Leaota Peak and back
Click here to open on mapy.cz

Trail Profile

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Trail Description

View near Romanescu Peak. The peak covered in snow in the background is Leaota Peak
View near Romanescu Peak. The peak covered in snow in the background is Leaota Peak

The start of the trail is on the forest road near the Runcu Monastery, in Dambovita County.

You can get there by car and park for free in front of the monastery. It is a 2-hour drive from either Bucharest or Brasov.

The last 7 km are on a forest road, which is already blazed with the blue stripe markings you will follow all the way up to the Leaota Peak.

Round-trip, the hike is a 27 km long and can be done in about 10 hours at a leisurely pace.

If you parked your car at the monastery, you have to go back to the forest road, turn right, and look for the signpost pointing towards Cabana Leaotay. You will ascent on a wide path, marked with blue stripe, all the way to the summit – Varful Leaota peak (2133 m).

You will pass by the ruins of the deserted Cabana Leaota hut, a sheepfold, and then by the Varful Romanescu peak (1713 m).

Once you get at Varful Romanescu peak you will be half way to the summit.

You’ll have to make a small detour from the main path to get on top of the Romanescu peak, but it’s worth it, since the views from up there are quite nice.

From Romanescu peak, you will see the Iezer mountains at the West, parts of the Bucegi Mountains at the East, and the Leaota Peak – which in April it is still covered in snow – at the North.

Now it will be a good time to asses the weather conditions and decide if you want to continue. From Romanescu it usually takes 2-3 hours to reach the Leaota Peak.

Spring and winter in the same photo
Spring and winter in the same photo

How we did it

The trail covered in snow
The trail covered in snow

We started the hike from the Runcu Monastery at 10 in the morning.

An hour and a couple of rain showers later we were at Cabana Leaota hut.

The weather started to get better while we approached Romanescu Peak, after 2 hours from the start of our hike.

There wasn’t much snow on the trail, it was warm and sunny and we were really enjoying the walk.

At some point, the path turned left and around the corner the weather was completely different. The temperature dropped considerably and the scenery turned gray.

We had entered the winter realm, just like that, without any warning.

We knew this would happen at some point, but we didn’t expect the transition to be so sudden. We quickly put our hard shells jackets on, replaced our running shoes with hiking boots and continued on the trail that was now completely covered in snow.

After 4 hours of walking from the start of the trail we had finally reached the highest peak, Varful Leaota.

It was freezing cold and windy on the top, so we only spent a few minutes there… before realizing how hungry we were.

We quickly returned to the Runcu Monastery, took the car, drove for a few minutes and stopped at Hanul Leaota restaurant to have a lavish meal.

Happy hiking, everyone!

Descending from Leaota Peak
Descending from Leaota Peak