Let's travel together #78 - The Red Lake (Lacul Rosu)

in travelfeed •  6 months ago

Even though the name of the lake currently represents the contrary of what the colour of the lake is, you must know that the way The Red Lake looks now, has not always been the same.
And that might be caused by its past, or by its secrets.
But if you are curious to find out, you really need to
keep reading :)


The Red Lake is not just one of the most known lakes from Romania but also the largest natural mountain lake from my country.
The lake is located at the foot of Hasmasul Mare Mountains, in Harghita country and really close to Bicaz Gorges (just 5 km away) which will make the subject of my next week travel article.
As localization, the lake is surrounded by many mountains depending on where you are looking at this place: between Suhardul Mic and Suhardul Mare (from north), between Muntii Kis-Havas and Muntii Licas (from northwest), Csikki-Bukk (from northeast), Muntele Ucigas (from east) and Muntii Podu Calului (from southwest).
The informative details about the size of the lake are: around 2.800m circumference, 114.676 square feet surface and the volume of the accumulated water goes up to 587.503 square feet while is located on an altitude of 983m and 9,5m depth. I know these numbers look more like phone numbers but in this way you can make an idea of how huge The Red Lake is.
Perhabs more of us think this way and it is not just me, but to be honest I've always found lakes like a peaceful place to go to whenever you feel like breaking from the daily routine that eats more than half of our lives.
I also know that most of the lakes don't really have a happy story telling how they appeared but I always prefer to live the present and enjoy those places as I feel and not by its past.

Unfortunately, The Red Lake is not one of those rare lakes that have a happy story behind, but more likely one of the most terrifying I've heard so far.
The Red Lake, also known as The Killer Lake from Harghita, or The Red Stone Lake differs from any other lake due of its tree stumps that protrude from the water.


I mentioned above that the lake is the largest one from Romania, and that it's also not accidental being composed of 4 big streams and another 12 temporary water courses, one of them being called The Killer (Ucigasul).

Now this may seem more like a horror post rather than a travel article.
The Red Lake is the place that makes the connection between Transylvania and Moldavia providing a unique view to the drowned forest.
The lake was formed back in 1837 due of a landslide caused of heavy rain and stormy days which not just swallowed a fir forest but also an entire countryside killing all the locators, their animals, and everything they had.
When this happened, the lake got the bright red color caused of all the blood spilled - this is the moment when the lake was named The Red Lake or The Killer Lake.
By time, the colour of the water started purifying and the lake itself started evolving into a special and unique touristic attraction and not just a scary place.
Happily most of the people who visit this place just come to have fun while renting a boat and making their way between the tree stumps which from time to time give them a little shock when the boat hits one of these stumps.
The price for renting a boat is 15RON/person. (3,2EURO/person)



The Red Lake has a pleasant microclimate which makes the place become a remedy for treating the mental and physical exhaustion, insomnia and neurasthenia, which most of the people fight with during the change of the seasons.
The real temperature of the lake is of 8°C, with just 2 degrees above the average of the mountain depressions which is 6°C. This occurs because the valley is very protected by wind too powerful and the air is extremely clean and rich in natural aerosols being one of the locations that offers a natural and fast regeneration.

In the meantime, along with the tourist development of the lake, more studies have been done by geologists which came to the conclusion that the colour of The Red Lake was offered by the clay found in the rocks composition that broke away from the mountain.


Even though The Killer Lake seems dark and threatenin being perfectly completed of the fir stumps that get out of the water, if you decide to rent a boat and properly enjoy the lake, you won't feel alone due of the many ducks which are flying around you to make your journey even more special.
The Red Lake is one of the very few places that are visited in winter just as much as any other season.
The spectacular show is made by the tree stumps which by time turned into stone because of the lake's sediments and made the trunkscare gain the look of the tombstones which are barely getting noticed through the snow and the ice that covers the lake.
However the most recommented season for visiting The Red Lake is in the summer time when early in the morning you will find the weather unleashed in all its beauty covering the lake with a thin fog curtain while you enjoy the game of the trout from the shiny water which confirm the fact that there is life after death.
The entire landscape sends you with the thought of the spectacular Scottish lakes.


The Red Lake is one of the most precious touristic attractions from Harghita County and this makes it become very rich in many hotels, guest houses and even restaurants.
So if you are thinking to spend a few days on here, you will have many possibilities to choose from. The prices are between 100-150RON/night (22-32EURO/night).

To get to the lake you must follow DN12C.
If you are making your way from Bucharest you need to get through Ploiesti -> Sfantu-Gheorghe -> Miercurea Ciuc -> Gheorgheni -> Lacul Rosu. The whole tour takes around 5 hours of driving.
If you are coming from Sibiu, Brasov or Iasi, the tour will be way less hours of driving but in the end no matter where are you coming from, you need to arrive to Gheorgheni which is just 26km away from The Red Lake and from where you will find many indicators to guide you to the lake.
And if you opt in for the train, you have to take the route to Bicaz from where you will get into a minibus that will take you to the destination.



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vreau si eu sa vizitez , si nu doar lacul rosu , si alte locati , a fost dificil traseul ?


Ținând cont că se ajunge cu mașina, nu. Nu are ce să fie greu :)

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Looks like a nice sport but super crowded .


It is really crowded. But the experience is unique. :)

What an awesome post! Thanks for sharing this little adventure and nugget of knowledge on the Red Lake. Really sad about how it formed for the countryside folk that got taken that day on the landslide.

But now it looks very tranquil and great to hear it's being put to good use with retreats... although you will not see me diving in to the water- 8C!! No thanks haha!


Yeah indeed. It's really a huge change if we compare its past with how it is now. And I really love that.

But there are + 8°C, not with "-", haha.


It's pretty cool to see how landscapes change over time.

Speaking of cool, +8 is still freezing! And my statement still stands haha

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That's a beautiful place! The story of it's name is a little sad but still the photos are gorgeous.

Really cool post! Thanks for sharing.


Thanks for your time to read and discover together The Red Lake! :)

It looks beautiful and peaceful. It's hard to imagine the horror of that landslide and torrent.


Yep but if that wouldn't happen, today we couldn't enjoy this place so much :)


That is true!