Tobavarchkhili – The Silver Lake

Tobavarchkhili – The Silver Lake is located at 2,650m (8,694 ft) above sea level. It is a serene breakaway in the middle of immense and severe mountains. Hiking route to the Silver Lake starts in a tiny village – Mukhuri, in the mountains of Samegrelo, 300 km (186 mi) away from Tbilisi.

When is the best Season?

Tobavarchkhili - The Silver Lake

The Silver Lake
Photo Credit: Aleko Molarishvili

Hiking routes in Georgia offer different complexity and are attractive for amateurs as well as experienced hikers. Some routes are available all around the year, while others are accessible only in the summer. The Silver Lake is among the latest.

The high season starts in mid-July and ends in the last week of August. Travel agencies start planning trips in early March. Although you could tackle the route independently, we would still advise to apply to professionals. The route is not complex. However, there is no mobile coverage, so you are not able to use the online map or call anyone in case of emergency.

Is this for you?

Tobavarchkhili - The Silver Lake

The Silver Lake
Photo Credit: Aleko Molarishvili

Even if you have no experience in hiking, you could still handle the route to the Silver Lake. You should have the necessary equipment, be healthy enough, and have a strong will to walk the entire distance.

Shepard’s Second House is where you should start the journey, which is 17 km (10 mi) overall. It could be covered in 1 day, but our advice is to take your time, save the energy, and enjoy the breathtaking views. The sky as blue as nowhere else and the fresh air full of oxygen will make your walk more comfortable and memorable.

How to get there?

Tobavarchkhili - The Silver Lake cow-parsnip

Cow Parsnip
Photo Source: preparednessadvice.com

You usually leave Tbilisi at 3-4 am and arrive to Mukhuri in 5 hours. Have you ever travelled in a Soviet car? Well, this is your chance. URAL is virtually the only vehicle that can handle the road from Mukhuri to the Shepard’s Second House – 1,950m (6,400 ft) above the sea.  It is only 35km (21 mi) long, but the travel time is over 4 hours. Don’t hope for a comfortable seat, you will have to share a standing space in the back of a prehistoric vehicle.
Note that near the Shepard’s Second House there are a lot of Cow Parsnips (Heracleum) that can cause rash, so try to avoid touching this plant.

What is it like?

The silver Lake

The Silver Lake
Photo Credit: Aleko Molarishvili

Old wooden hut (The Shepard’s Second House), tents, a fire, coffee, and hot chocolate is what you will get in the first evening. Wait for the sunset and look up in the sky. The sky becomes dark really late. It seems that the sun reaches this place almost up to the midnight. However, when the stars finally appear, you will feel as if you were in the observatory. You can easily see our galaxy – the Milky Way. Stars and planets appear one by one, guarantying the cosmic sensation.

Next morning, you will have to leave at around 8am in the direction of the second camping location – Eagles View. The route is not tough. There are several hills. Ups and downs change each other so the route is not boring. The longest distance you might need to climb is only 200m (655 ft). There is plenty of fresh water on the way, so you will not need to carry large vessels. This makes your 20kg (44 lbs) luggage at least somewhat lighter.

At around 3pm you will arrive to the destination. Eagles View is located near the river. Huge relief after a long walk. Who would not want to refresh in the chilly water? The water temperature is only +5C (41 F), but this is an experience that you shouldn’t miss. The next morning starts early as well. This route is tougher than the previous one. You will mainly have to climb up surrounded by the piles of heavy stones. You will soon pass the Alpine Zone and reach a long path full of snow and ice. Two more mountains to pass and you will reach the “Promised Land”.

is it worth it?

Tobavarchkhili - The Silver Lake

The Silver Lake
Photo Credit: Aleko Molarishvili

After a long journey in the snow and ice, you can see a fresh green grass. The nature looks as if it never knew a human being. No traces of civilization. Only a small Silver Lake, gigantic mountain peak and you. We promise that at first you will not believe your eyes. But in a while the euphoria will gradually leave you and the only thought will be – It was worth it!

Make a deep breath and enjoy the following couple of days that you will spend in this heavenly place!

2017-02-02T12:58:45+00:00 September 2nd, 2016|