Length: 29 – 35 km
Season: June – October
Price indication: 325 GEL
An easier version of the 2-day hike exploring Mazeri and its surroundings. A lighter option is to trek to the foot of the waterfalls on the second day (shorter distance, smaller elevation gain), but you can also opt for the longer hike to Ushba glacier. Suit yourself, either version is good!
Day 1. The driver will bring you to Grand Hotel Ushba in Mazeri (location “2” on the map), from where the marked trail starts. It is the same trail that hikers going from Etseri to Mazeri use, but you will be doing it the other way around to shorten. From Tvebishi you will hike up to Meziri lake (the only alpine lake reflecting Ushba). If you look north, in the direction of Ushba and Peak Mazeri, you will see your trail for tomorrow: Becho waterfalls. On the same meadow, a little further on you will find tiny Archangel’s church (10th century). Follow the path past the church and through a birch grove, up to Detsili (the ridge separating Etseri and Mazeri). You can go all the way to the sign post at Baki pass if you like, and settle there to admire Ushba and a great view of Etseri and the Svaneti Range on the other side. Return to Mazeri the same way. Distance for the day: 9-12 km. Elevation change: 850 m. Overnight in Mazeri.
BLUE: trail from Mazeri to Meziri and Detsili.
Day 2. The trail to Ushba glacier starts at the wooden bridge across the river Dolra, to the north of Mazeri village, near Grand Hotel Ushba. The trail has double marking (red and white + blue and white) – both are correct for you. First it goes along a pleasant dirt road along the Dolra, then near Hiker’s Cafe the road becomes a footpath and goes on through a shady forest with glimpses of the valley and Becho waterfalls on your right. Then the path crosses another wooden bridge and arrives at the border police post. Pass the border police and follow the path through the forest. Soon the path emerges from the forest and here you will need to decide if you want to go to the foot of the waterfalls (the medium difficulty trail) or all the way up to the glacier (difficult trail, long distance and high climb). If you opt for the waterfalls, you can choose any of the paths that take you there – they are visible from the marked trail. If you opt for the glacier, the path starts going up and getting more and more steep and rocky. Watch out very carefully for the markings, especially at the turnings that are easy to miss, some marks are almost invisible because of the grass. You will need to cross a few streams on your way, and finally the trail arrives at the start of the waterfalls and further at the beginning of the glacier (2900 m). The end of the trail is marked by a big boulder monument to alpinists that perished storming Ushba. You can go a little further to the river flowing from under the glacier, but we strongly recommend NOT to walk on the actual glacier. Follow the same trail back to Grand Hotel Ushba where the driver will meet you at 7 pm. Distance for the day: 24 km. Elevation change: 1300 m.
There are no technically difficult parts on this trail, but it is long and the elevation changes are significant, so you really need to be in good physical shape to enjoy it.
Photographs in order of the trail