Located south and east of the city of Petrosani, the Parâng Mountains form the eastern barrier of the Jiu Valley (a vast plateau 100 km long from East to West and 70-80 wide from North to south). They are the highest mountains in the area, second within Romania only to the Fagaras Mountains to the east. Parângul Mare (Parâng Peak), at 2519 m offers spectacular views of the valley and surrounding areas – and even the Danube on a clear day in the summer.
The Parâng Mountains also boast over 22 major glacier lakes and over 20 smaller lakes and ponds. and a well-developed network of marked trails. Of special mention are the following glacier lakes:
- Calcesu – (3.02 ha, 9.3 m deep, 1935 m altitude)
- Rosiile or Taul Fara Fund – (Bottomless Lake- 3.76 ha, 17.6 m deep, 1978 m altitude)
- Carja Lake
- Mija, Custura, The Green Lake, etc.
Within the Parâng Mountains is situated the Woman’s Cave, a natural monument, as well as a geological and botanical reservation from around the Calcescu lake.
Parâng is the origin of the Lotru River, collecting waters from the Calcescu and Iezer creeks. The Lotru flows towards Brezoi and empties into the Olt River. The area is also the origin of the Jietul River, which has created the gorges bearing the same name along 5.5 km distance. Other rivers and creeks empty into the Jietul river, originating spectacular waterfalls.
There are two main approaches to the interior of the Parâng Mountains. The first is via the Parâng Telescaun (chairlift). To reach the chairlift, in Petrosani on Route 66, turn south on Closca Street and continue straight on Zorilor and gen. V. Milea. The telescaun is situated approximately 5 km up this road. The trail to Parâng Peak starts at the top of the lift. Another approach to the Parâng Mountains is at Cabana Groapa Seaca, located 18 km from Petrosani on Route 7A. Take the same road to the Parâng chairlift for about 4 km, turn left on Route 7A (Highway to Voineasa).