The central element of the Apuseni Natural Park is the karst area in the northern half of the Bihor Mountains, known as Padis. Located on the territory of Pietroasa commune, it is crossed by the road DJ 763, which provides access to Beius, on a paved road (in the west), and to Huedin, on a roadway (in the east). The average altitude is about 1200 meters, the maximum reaching 1694 meters on Cârligate peak, and according to toponymy is a relatively flat, relatively flat area.

Geology and hydrography

The alternation between the soluble (limestone) and the insoluble geological substrate combined with the action of the hydrological forces are the ones that make it the most important tourist attraction in the Apuseni Mountains and the most beautiful karst area in Romania. Eight small river basins drain the entire surface, among which the most spectacular are: Padis Plateau, Valley of the Cities, Ponor Glade and Lost World Plateau. Except for a small part, all the water on the plateau appears at the base of its abrupts through the Galbena outbreak and the Boga outburst.
An example of hydrographic complexity, which is very easy to identify on the ground, is that of streams that are lost in the Forts of Ponor. Follow the letters on the map to better understand the explanations below.
The Rea Valley and the Trânghieşti Valley (1) cross the eastern part of the Padis Valley and are lost underground by a dive located southeast of Padiş Chalet (2). They reappear to the surface by the Ponor Outbreak (3), from the homonymous glade, which flows through the flat bottom and is lost again in the sinks of the earth (diving) at the base of a steep (4). From the east, the waters of the Bear Valley (5), some of which are drained from the Lost World Plateau, are lost in the Cave Cave (6), and in the underground they encounter those in Poiana Glade. The next surface of this watercourse is in the most grandiose karst phenomenon in Romania, namely Cetatii Ponorului (7). Three huge dunes, 300 meters deep, are the result of millions of years of water action that currently appears briefly on the bottom of the Dolina I and is lost again in the darkness of the Fortress of Ponor cave. A 1,800-meter course is necessary for the waters to reach the edge of the Padis Plateau and to give a last show through the upper sector of the Wild Keys of Galbena (8).

You must see:
Poiana Ponor,   Cetățiile Ponorului,  PLatoul Lumea Pierdută,  Cetățiile Rădesei,  Ghețarul Focu Viu,   Izbucul și Cheile Galbena