From Petrosani follow road 66 (E79) towards Hațeg. After 6 km turn right on Strada Jiroreasa, after 200 m park before road crosses the railroad tracks. Straight ahead is an abndoned logging company, turn right in front of their yard to the river.
|self guided, D=40min
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Cheile Băniței (Banita Gorge) is a small but spectacular gorge in limestone. It is only 150 m long and up to 10 m deep, but its a spectacular wavelike rounded form. If there was no river, the gorge would qualify as a shelter or abri. But the narrow rounded gorge is a result of rather fast downcut of this river. Such forms can be found in river caves.
The gorge is obviously connected to nearby Peștera Bolii. The Jupâneasa creek which flows through the gorge enters the cave only 100 m downstream. It seems the water cut into the rock quite fast, because the drainage went down quite fast. The reason could be the development of the cave. There is also the theory that the gorge once was a cave, but the ceiling collapsed and it is now open, a roofless cave.
This gorge is not developed, to visit it you must walk through the water of the creek. Its a short and simple hike though, there are no waterfalls and no need to climb. Just be prepared to get wet feet and legs, use appropriate shoes for walking in water and have a blanket and dry clothes to change. There are neoprene shoes available which are intended for canyoning, traditionally you can use gum boots. During summer the water is low and not very cold, so we recommend the trip in late summer, early autumn. However, it is possible all year round, just avoid snow melt or heavy rains, floods can be very dangerous. We guess there is also the possibility to follow the creek upstream after your visit to the show cave, you'll reach the gorge after 100 m. The cave ends at the railroad tracks, but there is a tunnel under it. However, you have to walk in the creek as the trails end here.