Pereval Zagar (also known as Zagari Pass) is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.620m (8,595ft) above the sea level, located in the Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti region of northwestern Georgia.
Located in the Caucasus Mountain range, the track is usable by anybody with a SUV, a spare tire and a large, full gas tank, despite the fact that according to several informations and people who drove here, they believe it’s a mistake to sign it as a road for cars on the map, and should be marked as a mudroad or a path for walking.
The road links Ushguli in Upper Svaneti and Mele village in Lower Svaneti going up sharply. The drive can take your breath away. The path is bumpy, littered with rocks and frequent streams and perilously steep drops. The road is hardly used because it’s really tough. It’s definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo or a fear of landslides. The road is in awful shape. Periods of much rain makes the road undrivable. During and after a storm the road may be impassable, even with a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
The whole trip takes around 5 1/2 hours at a leasurely pace, including various stops. Also, the armed robberies you probably heard about seem to be a thing of the past, and you can safely travel across the region and even take on the occasional hitch-hiker. From Ushguli to Zagar Pass, the road, with a length of 7,5km, is extremely difficult and it’s open only during the summer months. To drive this trail, you must have supreme confidence in your vehicle and your driving skills.
The road encompasses miles of stunning views through twisty hair pin corners, high elevations and steep grades. The journey offers astounding views of mountain peaks, luscious valleys, and the remains of glaciers. The journey offers superb views. Don't forget your camera with lots of film/memory, fully charged batteries and an empty memory card! The summit offers a great view of central Caucasus ridge dominated by peaks Ailama and Tsurungali.
Pic: Ingmar Kliche