The Georgian Military Road is the historic name for a major route through the Caucasus from Georgia to Russia.
The Georgian Military Road (ca. 212 kilometres long) runs between Tbilisi (Georgia) and Vladikavkaz (Russia) and follows the traditional route used by invaders and traders throughout the ages. From Vladikavkaz, the road stretches southwards up the valley of the Terek before passing through the Darial Gorge (which marks the border between Russia and Georgia). It then passes Stepantsminda before heading south-west through the region of Khevi to the Jvari (Cross) Pass, where it reaches its maximum altitude of 2,379 meters (7,815 feet) (42.5042°N 44.4538°E).
Not long after the pass the road passes the Russia–Georgia Friendship Monument, a large concrete monument built in 1983 to commemorate relations between the two countries and the bicentennial of the Treaty of Georgievsk. Next road passes popular ski resort Gudauri, which lately gains popularity as a summer destination also (mainly among mountain bike lovers). The road then turns south-eastwards, following the Tetri Aragvi River, to Jhinvali Reservoir, passing medieval fortress of Ananuri down to a point just north of Georgia's historic capital, Mtskheta, where it merges into Georgia's main East-West highway (the E60).
The 1914 edition of Baedeker's Russia describes the Georgian Military Road as 'one of the most beautiful mountain roads in the world'.
The route was first used by Russian troops in 1769.
The importance of the Georgian Military Road as a through route was diminished in recent years, primarily due to delays at the border crossing between Russia and Georgia, natural disasters such as landslides, and the outright closure of the border crossing by Russia in 2006.
Since 2013, however, when Russia finally agreed to re-open its side of the border as a result of Armenian demands, the road has once again become an important transport artery, mainly for trailer lorries linking Armenia and Russia.