This county has a total area of 6,304 square kilometres (2,434 sq mi), of which 43% is covered by the Rodna Mountains, with its tallest peak, Pietrosul, at 2,303 metres (7,556 ft) altitude. Together with Gutâi and Ţibleş mountain ranges, the Rodna mountains are part of the Eastern Carpathians. The rest of the county are hills, plateaus, and valleys. The county is crossed by Tisa River and its main tributaries: Iza, Viseu, and Mara rivers.
Maramureş is known for its pastoral and agricultural traditions, largely unscathed by the industrialisation campaign that had been carried on during Romania's communist period. Ploughing, planting, harvesting, and hay making and handling are mostly done through manual labour.
The county is also home to a strong mining industry of extraction of metals other than iron. The industrial plants built around Baia Mare during the communist period heavily polluted the area in the past, but recently, due to the decline of the city's industrial activity, the area is less polluted.
The region is known for its beautiful rural scenery, local small woodwork and craftwork industry as well as for its churches and original rural architecture. There are not many paved roads in rural areas, and most of them are usually accessible.