Few people know that in the Apuseni Natural Park one can find Groapa Ruginoasa (The Rusty Pit), a red, lonesome canyon. The huge cavity dug by the waters in red, purple and yellow sandstone, is a form of relief unique in Europe. It is the result of a long erosion process and has a diameter of 600 meters and a depth of over 100 meters.
Groapa Ruginoasa is one of the most unique natural areas protected by law in the whole region of Transylvania. This geological natural reservation is located in the South-East of Bihor County, in the Batrana Mountain area.
Groapa Ruginoasa is also a unique case in Europe in terms of adaptation of the relief to the geological structure. It is the gigantic basin of a torrent whose genesis is connected to the presence of a limestone pile stacked on the sandstones which were dissolved and which undermined the limestone pile, paving the way for an intense regressive erosive action.
Only alpinists are allowed to go down in the pit, yet tourists can reach the edge of the canyon and the scenery is spectacular.
The cavity is a tourist area accessible throughout the year, including during the winter when the snow level is not very high, the departure being made from the tourist resort of Arieseni.
Very close to this location there are other attractions that can be visited, such as the Padis Karst Plateau Natural Reservation, Cheile Galbenei, Pestera Gardului (The Fence’s Cave), Avenul Bortig, Cetatile Ponorului (The Fortresses of Ponor), Ghetarul de la Barsa (The Iceberg from Barsa) or the Focul Viu (Live Fire) Cave