When to Hike the TCT

Best Hiking Seasons and Weather Considerations


When is the best time to hike?

Summer is the primary season for hiking the TCT. If you’re thru-hiking, the window for this route is from mid-May to mid-October in Armenia and early July to early October in Georgia. Earlier starts or later finishes may be possible, but you’ll likely have to contend with snow in the higher mountains; be prepared to take alternate routes if necessary. 

Many sections of the route are accessible throughout the spring and fall, and some even in winter, but you should anticipate seasonal variations in trail conditions. Be sure to read the trail notes on the specific section(s) you plan to hike to prepare for the appropriate season.

Summer brings dense forest canopies, new undergrowth, and long grass and weeds, making trails more difficult to follow and markings more difficult to see, especially on lesser-used routes. In autumn, paths can again become muddy or obscured by fallen leaves, and some springwater sources may be running dry, depending on annual variations in rainfall. 

No matter what time of year you hike, we recommend you bring appropriate equipment for mixed conditions, including long trousers and long-sleeved tops for protection from the elements, sturdy hiking shoes and trekking poles, waterproof clothing, and plenty of reserve drinking water capacity.


When to Hike the TCT


Weather Considerations 


In Armenia, the main limiting region in terms of weather is the Gegham mountain range in the center of the country. The higher parts of this range, including areas passed through by the TCT, are reliably snowbound from October to June. 

The most reliable window to hike the Gegham range is from the start of July to the end of September. Earlier, you’re likely to encounter significant snowfields; later, finding water sources can become an issue, and you may find the higher sections already covered by fresh snow. Read more information here

On Khustup, towards the southern terminus of the TCT in Armenia, snow can also linger until early June in sheltered nooks and north-facing slopes on both sides of the ridge, and snow often falls again as early as October. 

In the higher passes of Svaneti and Racha in Georgia, lingering snow or early-season snowfall can also  pose a challenge before mid-June and from early October onwards. A mid-May trek from Mestia to Ushguli can be passable but sketchy and avalanche-prone. The same trek completed in mid-April during a warm spring was full of deep post-holing for one hiker.

Descending from Guli Pass (2978m) towards Mestia after a snowy September night in Svaneti, Georgia.    Photo by Kobi Lee
Descending from Guli Pass (2978m) towards Mestia after a snowy September night in Svaneti, Georgia. Photo by Kobi Lee

We encourage hikers to not underestimate the risks of snow, even if you are an experienced hiker. In steeper terrain, spring avalanches can pose a significant danger. Losing your footing on snow slopes can also have life-threatening consequences. This post from the PCTA offers some helpful advice on traversing snow slopes. As long as you hike within the suggested window, an ice axe is not necessary for the TCT, but be prepared to cross snowy passes—or detour around snowfields—just in case. 

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The TCT team hit snowfields at the Sasvano Lakes and upwards in Racha (towards the Ghebi side of the Zeskho to Ghebi connection) during an early June scouting trip.


In midsummer, you can also expect intense heat (typically mid-30s Celsuis, up to 40 Celsius) at the lower elevations in Armenia’s southern regions, particularly Vayots Dzor province and Arevik National Park. 

By shifting your daily hiking schedule to compensate—such as starting very early in the day, resting in the afternoon, and then hiking more in the evening—you can avoid the worst of the heat. Make sure you’re familiar with the symptoms, prevention strategies, and treatment for dehydration, hyponatremia, and heat stroke.



Storms in the Caucasus can be sudden and extremely intense, with lots of lightning and often hail.

You should be familiar with best practices for choosing a campsite to minimize the risk of a lightning strike, stay attuned to the weather while hiking, be prepared to get to a lower elevation or to shelter if necessary, and be familiar with first aid practices for treating lightning-related injuries.

To brush up on your lightning knowledge, we suggest reading this resource on lightning risk management before you hit the trail. It covers how lightning strikes, types of lightning-related injuries, and how to manage your risk. 

The the aftermath of a hailstorm in the Gegham Mountains.
The the aftermath of a hailstorm in the Gegham Mountains.

How cold will it be at night?

At higher elevations (2000-3000m), expect to spend at least a few nights at 0℃, even in July and August. Later in the autumn, it may dip a bit lower. At lower elevations, night temperatures will be more mild during the summer.