The Red lake is one of the largest lake made by a natural dam on the territory of Romania and is part of Bicaz Gorge – Hășmaș National Park. It is located at the foot of the Hăşmaşul Mare Mountain, near the Bicaz Gorges, 26 km from the town of Gheorgheni, being accessible from the DN12C national road.
The lake formed in 1837, when part of the Mount Ghilcoş slid down towards the foot of the Suhard massif after storms and torrential rains, blocking the Bicaz river valley.
The name of the lake, both in Romanian and in Hungarian, comes either from Mount Ghilcoş (the Killer) or from the Red stream (Verescheu). Thus, in 1864, it is mentioned as the Lake of the Red Stone, later as the Killer Lake, as well as Tăul Roşu. Since 1936, it is officially named the Red Lake (Lacu Roşu).
The red color is due to the clays rich in iron oxides, brought by the Red Creek and deposited in the lake. At the same time, the red rocks of the Suhard massif accentuate the color of the lake.
The view is spectacular due to the submerged forest, the trunks of the spruce trees still piercing the water here and there, giving the lake a unique appearance in the Romanian water landscape.
The lake is L-shaped and has two arms: the Oii Valley, 900 m long, and Suhard Valley, which measures 438 m.
Formed at an altitude of 983 m in a depression with a predominantly subalpine climate, the lake has an area of 12.6 ha, a length of 2.5 km and a width of 100-200 m, a volume of 680.000 cubic meters and a maximum depth of 10.5 meters.
The surface of the lake decreases every year because of the alluvial deposits of the rivers flowing into it.
Downstream of the Red Lake is the beginning of the Bicazului Gorges, 6 km of spectacular gorges in the Eastern Carpathians, along the valley of the Bicaz River, linking Transylvania and Moldova, and forming together a travel destination unique in Romania
Here, a resort with the same name is built. It benefits from the subalpine climate and offers attractive trails to the amateur hikers.
Cover photo: Mihálydeák Antal
Photo: Zomborácz Zsolt