Georgia: 1-day hike in Truso Gorge

Georgia: 1-day hike in Truso Gorge

On the way back from Stepantsminda in a direction back to Gudauri (Tbilisi), we stopped for a short easy hike through a Truso Gorge valley (30 minutes drive). Truso George is located in the Kazbegi area and leads towards South Ossetia. This valley is pretty abandoned and it is a nice flat walk. Start early if you want to avoid buses full of tourists coming to take a picture on mineral stones. The good thing is that they don’t get much further than that. The whole path has 29km, however, it can be shortened into a much shorter hike depending on where you start and what you want to see.


  • Abano lake with mineral springs
  • Mineral stones
  • Ketrisi abandoned village
  • Ruins of a Zakagori Fortress

7.2km, duration 2hours, 10,270 steps

Why we chose this hike?

The valley is famous for its mineral springs, geyser, ancient towers, and much more. We also chose this because of its easiness and ability to adjust the length as we were a bit in hurry to our next adventure after this one.

Where to start?

If you want to finish the whole hike (29km), the best is to start in Kvemo Okrokama village (you can park your car there) and continue through the valley until Zakagori fortress where is the Georgian border post and you won’t be able to walk much further even though the valley continues.

If you want to make it shorter and still see the best out of it, go by car until you almost reach Truso camping and cafe. There is a spot where you can park your car near the river and continue on foot. From the parking spot to the fortress, this way it is 22km. Or continue by car till the very end, but you will see much more with your foot on the ground.

So that’s what we did, we went all the way by car until we reached the parking spot next to the Truso Camping and Cafe. (No, don’t get too excited, there is no cafe and the camping consists of two destroyed houses), where we parked and walked through Mineral stones where the springs of water are sliding down the mineral stones colored in rainbow colors. We passed the Abano lake and turned around at the Ketrisi village.

Way to our starting point

There are two roads going to Lake Abano. One is bordering the river Terek (going through the valley) and is easy for even a small car or a van. On this road we met also a lot of cyclists, so the trek can be easily changed into a cycling trip (how awesome!). It was pretty flat.

There is also one more road (Google’s favorite ?) going up the opposite mountain and down again reaching the parking spot. You need 4×4 for this one. It’s not pretty. There was a point when we had to move some stones out of our way in order to pass through. But what is good about this road is the view!! Since you climb the mountain up, you have a fab view of the valley.


Views from the road on the top

Starting the hike from our parking spot

After the mineral stones on your left, you have to cross the river Terek and walk through the Truso Camping and Cafe. There are stairs made from old car tires, which will get you on the path going to lake Abano.

Tire stairs

Abano lake

For me, this was the highlight of the hike. Coming near the lake you can already smell the usual CO2 odor (it smells like rotten eggs) and you know you are on the right way when you see orange and almost red riverbed. The water coming from this lake turns everything it touches into red/orange. Crystal clear small lake is made of mineral springs and looking at the water you can see small bubbles coming out from the bottom of the lake. That is CO2 released into the air. That’s why the smell. It is also poisonous and sometimes you can see small dead animal bodies around the lake.

We did not see any, only a dead sheep, but that was not that close to the lake, so I wouldn’t expect this to be a job of CO2, but more likely a sheep accident.

It is healthy to drink this water! However not my favorite taste.

Lake Abano

Other sceneries

After enjoying this natural phenomenon we hit the road again. Going further into the valley, we saw ruins of a small fortress, village, cows, goats, and much more. It’s so calm and peaceful place, the only thing you hear is the river. If you continue you can reach a St. 12th Apostles Fathers Monastery, and at the end of the path, you can see the Zakagori Fortress, which is now just a ruin of an ancient fortress. You won’t be allowed to go much further since there is already a Georgian border with Russia.

We did not make it to the end and instead send our flying messenger to take a look at the monastery and the fortress since we had to save our energy for the next day’s 3-day hike. We turned back on the level of the village Ketrisi. For us, the total distance was 5.5km (Truso Camping and Cafe to Ketrisi village and back)


Ruins of the Fortress

Village Ketrisi

On our way back we went through a village Keterisi. A small village with just a few buildings but loads of cows, goats, and horses. The village seemed pretty abandoned and we only met a couple of people (and some tourists as ourselves). After the village, it is only a couple of km to reach the parking spot.

Ketrisi village

What do you need?

This is a pretty easy walk. Just take your water and some snacks, the amount depends on the length you want to walk. Or take a bike and enjoy the sceneries from a saddle. Don’t forget your sun protection.


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