Okatse Canyon Visitor Centre, Окаце.
|Address:||Okatse Canyon, Okatse Canyon Visitor Centre, Окаце, Tel: +995-591-45-74-63.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|2007||declared a Natural Monument.|
ოკაცეს კანიონის (Okatse Canyon) is famous for the hanging cliff trail, an elevated trail built of iron frame and wooden planks, which was mounted at the almost vertical wall of the canyon. The Visitor Center is located in the nearby village Okatse. From here a 2.3 km long trail through the Dadiani historical forest starts. At the gorge is a sort of ticket office, which was abandoned when the visitor center was opened, and rest rooms. It is the starting point of two trails. The ოკაცეს კანიონის დაკიდული ბილიკი (Okatse Canyon Hanging Trail) is reached through a gate with turnstile and is 780 m long. At the end is a 20 m long platform which extends over the gorge, a popular spot for selfies. The trail is one way because it is quite narrow, so you have to return to the starting point on a parallel trail higher up the slope. A second trail leads down into the canyon, a 645 m long stone paved trail with 989 metal steps. It leads to the most impressive part of the canyon which is only 4 m wide but 50 m deep. The trails are paved with limestone and very safe.
It's also possible to drive to the canyon and skip the trail through the forest, but the road is a single lane gravel road and the number of parking lots is limited. The hanging trail is only accessible through the turnstile with a valid ticket, so it is necessary to get the ticket first at the visitor center.
Okatse River is 14 km long. A 2 km section of the river cuts into the ridge, which is a result of an uplift. After the uplift the valley was blocked and a lake formed above the dam, we know this because of the sediments deposited in the lake, which are almost 30 m thick. The water overflowed the dam and started to cut into the rock, the height difference resulted in a high energy and thus a deep and narrow gorge. The result is a 2 km long valley, mostly 15 m to 20 m wide, at the narrowest section it is only 3 m to 6 m wide. And as the rocks are karstified limestone, there are numerous caves along the gorge, some are resurgences, the water forming waterfalls and flowing into Okatse River.
However, the most impressive waterfall is კინჩხის ჩანჩქერი (Kinchkha Waterfall), which is located 5 km north of the gorge. It is located near Kinchkha, and has three sections. The upper section is 25 m high, the middle 70 m, and the lower is 20 m high.