Last updated on 15th February, 2018

Walk in the Truso Valley

Nice walk in an almost abandoned valley full of interesting travertine formations.

Nice walk in Kazbegi area in an almost abandoned valley towards South Ossetia borders. Except for the nice nature, there are also peculiar travertine formations due to local mineral springs, geyser, ancient towers and several abandoned settlements. It is not possible to explore the whole valley; you have to turn back at the ruins of Zakagori fortress, where is the Georgian border post.

Duration: 6 hours

It takes 6 hours to walk from Kvemo Okrokana village to the ruins of Zakagori fortress and back.

Difficulty: Moderate

Mostly comfortable walk on the dirt road without major elevation change, but still - it´s 22 km.

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How to get to Truso valley:

Entrance to Truso valley, the source of the Tergi river lies on Georgian Military Highway, some 20 km south of Kazbegi at the Kobi village. You can ask your marshrutka driver to drop you there.
However, it's much better to start the walk at Kvemo Okrokana village 4 km deeper in the valley. So I recommend taking a taxi. Tho we were quite unlucky with the drivers on Kazbegi's main square; they kept asking 60-80 GEL for a one-way ride.
2018 edit: This year, Mountain Freaks - Mountain Travel Agency organizes a daily bus that brings takes tourists to Kvemo Okrokana village. It departs twice a day, at 9:15 (return at 16:30) and 11:15 (return at 18:30) from their office in Stepantsminda. The price of the return ticket is 30 GEL and the bus departs when there are at least three passengers. It can take only 7 people, so during the high season (Jul, Aug), I recommend to book it at least one day in advance - at this occasion, check also those departure times since they change them from time to time.

How to leave Truso valley:

If you want transport both in and out of the valley, prices are luckily not so crazy. Most of the drivers are willing to take you there, wait for you for the whole day and bring you back for 80-100 GEL.

Description of the route

Trail parameters

Distance 21,9 km
Trail type: Roundtrip
Max. elevation: 2251m
Min. elevation: 2014m
Total climb: 463m
Total descent: 463m

The walk starts at the almost deserted village Kvemo Okrokana. Follow the road by the river - you will pass several abandoned houses and eventually enter beautiful Kasari canyon. After a few kilometers, you cross a bridge to the right bank of the river.

Shortly behind the bridge, the trail turns to the west and the whole valley opens up before you. Here you can see the first travertines, formed by local mineral springs. The ones here are mostly orange and white. There are also several small mineral springs emerging in the area. On the opposite bank, you see a small basin filled with water - looks inviting, but the water is icy. Still, it could be a nice option on a sunny day.

Follow the main road and you will soon come to another group of forming travertines, this time of mostly red color. The mineral water here bursts from a pipe (the place is also known as a “geyser”).

Further down the road lies Ketrisi village, mostly in ruins, but few houses are still occupied. At the end of the village, cross the bridge to the left bank of the river. Here you will find several monasteries. First, you see a pink one, then you will come to a very nice, newly reconstructed nun´s monastery. Nuns are friendly, it´s even possible to rest in the garden.

Then it´s only a short walk to the ruins of Zakagori fortress.There is a soldier´s post below the fortress - you cannot venture deep into the valley, but you are allowed to climb the hill and explore the ruins. There is no reason not to - view from the top is pretty nice.

You can't continue any further unless you have a permit (the procedure to get is described under treks exploring the area more deeply such as here). If you don't have it, you will have to return the way you came. It could be a good idea to make an arrangement with your taxi driver to pick you up at Kvemo Okrokana village or even deeper in the gorge.

The photo of red travertine is borrowed from from this interesting article about the walk . Thanks Thomas.

Upper Truso valley Behind the Kasari gorge Okrokana village Kasari gorge Yellow travertines Yellow travertines close to Kasari gorge Sheep in Truso valley View towards Keli plateau Geyser in Truso valley Geyser Travertines in Truso valley Ketrisi village Ruined mill in Ketrisi village Truso valley Abano monastery and village in the distance Abano monastery Ruins of Zakagori fortress Views from Zakagori fortress elevation
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