How do you get to Eagles Lake?
From Bucharest to Black Valley Cabin (where the trail starts) are about 185-200 km depending on which route you choose. It took us about 3 and a half hours to get there. Although it is quite easy to get to the Siriu dam, be careful because the road to the cabin can be easily missed. Keep in mind that once you get off the main road (DN 10) you will have an unpaved road and you have to be careful how you drive. The good part is that the destination is about 1.5 km away. We parked near the bridge before the river Buzau, we did not risk crossing it by car (you will understand when we explain below).
The Siriu Lake area is quite well developed, with both campsites and numerous guesthouses. If you want to stay exactly at the foot of the trail, then you can stay at Black Valley Cabin. When we passed by, it was still closed due to the pandemic, but an internet search or a phone call will help you find the ideal accommodation.
Eagles Lake Trail difficulty?
The trail Black Valley Cabin – Eagles Lake can be considered an average trail, which combines both portions of false flat and sustained climbs with slopes of 20-30%. If the weather changes and it starts to rain, it can become very difficult. And because of the wild animals in the area, plan to return while it is still light.
The trail starts smoothly, on a forest road to the right of the cabin. The middle section is the most difficult part. Here you will make a sustained and long-lasting effort, with quite steep slopes. Slippery if it rains. The last part is also easy, the trail flattening. Also in the last part you can experience strong wind, no longer in the shelter of the forest.
How long does it take to get to Lacul Vulturilor?
Black Valley Cabin – Eagles Lake: 2 ½ hours
Eagles Lake – Black Valley Cabin: 3 hours
Officially, the sign at the beginning of the trail informs you that you will reach the lake in 2 and a half hours (ofascent).
Unofficially, we did this route after a period of 2 months in the house, period that affected our physical condition. Besides, on the route we were almost eaten by dogs (we explain below), because of this we deviated from the route and we did almost 4 and a half hours. On the way down we had no more events and we managed to make it back in 3 hours. In total, with food breaks and pictures, we stayed on the mountain for 8-9 hours.
Our experience on the trail
Happy that the rain had stopped
As soon as we passed the Siriu Dam, it started to rain which made us worry. Luckily for us, the rain stopped just as we parked the car near the bridge.
We crossed the bridge. (We still don’t know how some people can cross it by car, we had doubts that it would withstand even under our weight.) 😀 Being stil morning, at 10:30, we were the firsts on the trail. It was a beautiful feeling to be just 3 people (us and Catalin, Adriana’s brother) through those forests.
The first hour was to warm up the muscles, a slight slope along a forest road. After it is a sign that indicates that you have to turn right, followed by a little wooden patio perfect for a short break. At that time we were optimistic that we were “on schedule” and that it would be an easy day.
Slopes with 20-30% inclination
But with the end of the break, we entered the middle part of the route. This part is the most difficult of the trail, having to climb constantly. Some slopes had a 20-30% incline, and the slippery mud on the ground did not help us at all. Luckily all 3 of us were semi-equipped properly. Since we kept moving slowly, Catalin took a stick off the ground to use it in the muddy portions. Stick that will save us a few minutes later from a sheepfold’s dogs.
How does a bear feel when approaching a sheepfold?
The difficult part of the trail ends in a clearing (the route takes you by the edge of the forest). Also in this clearing there is a sheepfold, quite close to the marked route. Seeing the sheepfold, we said that there was no point in panicking, especially since the sheeps were enclosed and the shepherds were still there. But what to see, no one thought to tie or close the dogs.
And so, we found ourselves attacked by 6 angry dogs. The stick in Catalin’s hand was the only way to keep the dogs away, and try not to be surrounded by them. After a few minutes, a shepherd noticed that there were some people who were screaming and had problems with their dogs and called them back.
Ok, we’re fine and let’s move on. We didn’t get to walk a few meters and guess what, the dogs saw us again. And 4 dogs charged after us again, even more aggressive. This time they don’t react to the shepherd’s calls and after a while… he decides that he should come take the dogs. He was very calm as if there was nothing wrong with everything that happened. And asked us if there is another group behind us…
The last attack made us leave the marked trail (which are quite neglected anyway) and we woke up in the woods alone. Of course, the first thing we did was to find more sticks, in case of the 3rd round we would have something to protect us.
Our luck was that we started to pick up the signal on the phones and be able to orient ourselves with the help of Google maps. So we decided to continue through the forest, without having a marked route. But after a short detour, we managed to intersect with the marked trail.
The last part of the trail is easy, almost like a walk in the park. There are no steep slopes, being an easy climb.
Finally the Eagles Lake and the way back
When you reach the intersection (where there is also a cross) for Vulturilor Lake, follow the trail on the left (red dot). From there it is about 1 km to the lake, on a forest road. Thus, after almost 5 hours of walking, we finally reached our destination.
After a short break, mainly due to the strong wind on the plateau, we decided it was time to return. To not risk being caught at night on the trail, especially since on the way up we saw some tracks that looked like bears.
An indicator announces a descent of about 3 hours and already knowing the route we were ready. In the first part of the descent we met a lot of bear tracks, and it seemed that we were following him. But after a while they disappeared.
When we arrived at the sheepfold we were already prepared, we each had a stick and we tried not to make any noise. Luckily for us, the sheep were gone, so we passed without any problems. The mud had started to dry, which helped us a lot. Managing to make it back within the estimated time of 3 hours.
Have you had such adventures full of emotions and adrenaline? :)))