Okatse Canyon: Panoramic View and Stomach Tingling at the Hanging Cliff Trail

Okatse Canyon und Hanging Cliff Trail
Okatse Canyon: Panoramic View and Stomach Tingling at the Hanging Cliff Trail

Georgia. If you are in the area of Kutaisi, then you should not miss a visit to the Okatse Canyon. At the edge of the canyon, the adventurous Hanging Cliff Trail leads to a viewing platform with a great view over the Okatse River Valley. Stomach tingling guaranteed.

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Hanging Cliff Trail am Okatse Canyon in Georgien
Okatse Canyon is densely overgrown in summer.

Adventurous Gravel Road to Okatse Canyon

Honestly: The view and the trail at Okatse Canyon are beautiful and worth a visit. But the approach over the gravel road was the real highlight for us.

That was not planned. Actually we wanted to go to the visitor center. But our route in the navi led us by mistake over a wild gravel road directly t the Okatse Canyon. The visitor center was just behind the turnoff to the gravel road. But we discovered it only on the way back.

The gravel road is not easy to drive, but rewards with a really beautiful landscape.

The dirt road to the canyon doesn't look too bad at first. But soon the road becomes narrower, stonier and more challenging. Bumps, loose debris and larger stones require a lot of sensitivity when driving. I have linked you to my YouTube video of our road trip. You can see a part of the track to Okatse Canyon from minute 3:20 to 3:50. There you get a good idea how much we were shaken.

Our little Lada Niva mastered the 2,3 kilometers in an outstanding manner. When we arrived at Okatse Canyon we didn't have tickets, because they are only available at the visitor center. We didn't want to go back or walk, because we were happy that we arrived in one piece.

Where do you get a car like that? A Lada Niva with roof tent as rental car? Have a look at Overlando..

The canyon is about two kilometers long.
Hanging Cliff Trail am Okatse Canyon in Georgien
The Hanging Cliff Trail is anchored to the canyon wall with massive steel beams.

From the Visitor Center to the Hanging Cliff Trail

The visitor center in the village of Gordi is actually hard to miss (as long as you don't turn too early). The futuristic building is located right on the main road. Here you can get tickets and have a look at the miniature model of the canyon.

From here you have three options to get to the Hanging Cliff Trail:

  1. You walk 2.2 kilometers of paved trail that takes you partly through the historic Dadiani Forest. The trail is said to be quite beautiful. The way back is on the same route.
  2. In front of the visitor center, local drivers are waiting with their four-wheel drive vehicles, such as the Mitsubishi Delica. They will take you to the entrance of Okatse Canyon and back for about 50 Lari.
  3. Or you can drive yourself, like we did. For this you should have a four-wheel drive vehicle with a lot of ground clearance and good nerves. The track is usually quite narrow and from time to time the canyon cabs come towards us. We made good time and oncoming drivers were kind enough to give way to us.

Here is an overview map for orientation. You can see the gravel road to Okatse Canyon as well as the Visitor Center, the entrance to the Hanging Cliff Trail and the viewing platform.

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Canyon cabs are waiting at the parking lot at the entrance to the Hanging Cliff Trail at Okatse Canyon for the return trip. There is also a restroom and a small stand with drinks.

We made it! At the parking lot we are welcomed by a few strays.

Tip: There are no signs pointing the way to the canyon. We got there using the free offline maps from the app Maps Me .


Hanging Cliff Trail and Viewing Platform at Okatse Canyon

With the help of the ticket inspector at the entrance to Okatse Canyon, we were able to book online tickets on the spot. To the Hanging Cliff Trail we went down 140 meters over a metal staircase.The trail itself consists of a footbridge and a metal railing and is about 780 meters long. It hangs on the steep side of the canyon between 80 and 120 meters high above the valley and is attached to the canyon wall with massive steel beams and guy ropes.

The highlight of the Hanging Cliff Trail is the viewing platform that extends 20 meters into the canyon. With the metal grating as the floor, the panoramic view even extends far into the depths, making you feel like you're floating in mid-air.

The Okatse River is about 14 kilometers in length. The gorge, formed by erosion, is about two kilometers long, between 3 and 20 meters wide and 20 to 200 meters deep. From the platform, the view over the river valley is particularly impressive. However, in summer, when everything is green and overgrown, you can't see very much of the long river valley. Only in some places you can see the valley floor of the white limestone and the river Okatse.

At the entrance there is a metal staircase.
Hanging Cliff Trail am Okatse Canyon in Georgien
On the way to the viewing platform, there are new great views after every turn.
The bottom of the metal grid gives a deep look.
Hanging Cliff Trail am Okatse Canyon in Georgien
Here you have to be free from giddiness.

Had enough thrills? Then it will be a bit strenuous, because now you have to climb the stairs. Shortly after, you will come to a second paved path that will take you back to the parking lot.

Tip: Combine the tour with a trip to Martvili Caynon. This is about 24 km away and can be reached after about 30 minutes driving time.

Hanging Cliff Trail am Okatse Canyon in Georgien
The observation deck juts 20 meters into the canyon.
Down in the valley, the Okatse River flows over the white limestone. In some places small turquoise lakes have formed.

Besides the Hanging Cliff Trail, there is supposed to be a second trail and a metal staircase down to the Okatse River. The canyon is said to be only four meters wide here. Unfortunately, we only learned about this trail after the fact, so we missed it.


Good to know

Opening hours: daily from 10 am to 6 pm
Location: Gordi village in Khoni municipality, Imereti region.
Tickets: vailable at the visitor center or online; adults 17,25 GEL (about 4,80 Euro)
Duration: if you go on foot you should allow 2 to 3 hours.
Directions to get there: From Kutaisi to Okatse Canyon: 50 km; about 70 min. driving time.

Tip: Check the weather forecast before you go. Visiting the Hanging Cliff Trail is not allowed during rain and snow.


Book Recommendations for Georgia

Do you want to know where the journey is going? Then I can recommend this travel guides* to you.

You can order the travel guides at Amazon by clicking on the pictures. If you buy a product via an affiliate link, I get a small commission and you help me to keep filling Fernweh-Motive with interesting articles. The product will not be more expensive for you and you do me a huge favor.


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Recommendations for further Reading

Do you love road trips as much as I do? Then you might also be interested in my articles about a Road Trip in Albania or about einen weitern Road Trip around the Baltic Sea.

Roadtrip Albanien - 15 Highlights & Tipps und Route
Road Trip Albania - 15 Highlights & Tips and Route

Roadtrip Ostsee – 21 Highlights, Tipps und Route für Russland & Baltikum
Roadtrip Baltic Sea - 21 Highlights, Tips and Route for Russia & Baltic States

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