Mongolian Panorama

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This incredible journey explores far western Mongolia, where mountain glaciers, large lake basins and expansive steppe grasslands characterise the landscape

Details

Duration: 18 Days
Starts in: Mongolia
Group Size: 7-16

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Itinerary

Arrive in Ulaanbaatar

On arrival at Ulaanbaatar Airport we transfer to our hotel. This afternoon discover the nation’s capital city. Our first stop is Sukhbaatar Square, the central square named after the revolutionary hero of 1921 Damdiny Sukhbaatar who declared independence from China. An important landmark on any orientation tour is the State Department Store or “Great Shop” as it is known in Mongolian. We return to the hotel in the afternoon to relax before a welcoming concert of Mongolian traditional music followed by dinner and a briefing from your guide. Overnight: Hotel

Fly to Ulaangom in Western Mongolia

Today we will be transferred to the airport for our internal flight to Western Mongolia. We will be flying to the small township of Ulaangom, which is the capital of Uvs Aimag. An Aimag is like a state or province in Mongolia. The town is an administrative center for the area. It is quite a pleasant town with tree-lined streets and fairly well kept buildings. The flight takes about 4 hours. At the airport our vehicles and drivers will meet us and will transfer us to our camp where we will spend the night. Overnight: Tented camp

Naadam Festival

Here we will celebrate Mongolia's premier national holiday and experience Naadam Festival with local people. This famous festival consists of the three "manly" sports of horse racing, wrestling and archery. It is a time of great festivity for the whole country. Spending the festival with local people in the countryside is an ideal way to get to know the nomadic way of life. Overnight: Hostel

Naadam Festival, afternoon drive to Turgen Mountain

This morning we will continue our Naadam Festival experience before breaking for lunch. In the afternoon we drive to Turgen Mountain where we will set up camp overnight. Overnight: Tented camp

Turgen Mountain Trek

For the next two days we will be trekking to the base of Turgen Mountain where, at the foot of the peak there is a long glacier. The surrounds here are picturesque and the air clear and crisp with the mountain peak towering overhead in all its grandeur. Nomadic families of the area move their gers up into these valleys in the summer months to graze their herds of livestock. Since the journey to the glacier is quite a difficult one, the locals are delighted to meet any traveller who will take the time to come and visit them. We will enjoy true nomadic hospitality in this remote corner of the world with the Durvud minority group of Mongolia. Our nights will be spent in tented camps. All camping equipment and personal baggage will be carried by vehicles. Our trek begins along the mountain valley then slowly ascends. We will hike towards the snow-capped peaks following the river upstream towards the glacier. We trek through the Urd Turgen Valley where the terrain is dry grassland scattered with large boulders. We set up our base camp for two nights, by the white water river as it flows through the deep gorge. The following day we continue our hike up the Urd Turgen Valley, crossing small mountain streams where wild flowers bloom in spring ands early summer. We may have to clamber over boulders to continue our hike to reach the origin of the river, the edge of the glacier. In the afternoon we will hike back to our base camp. Trek distance: approx. 18-24km per day. Overnight: Tented camp

Turgen Mountain to Uureg Lake

We begin with a morning walk while the locals break camp and load the vehicles. Our drivers will pick us up on the way and we will continue our journey until we reach Uureg Lake, a beautiful, freshwater lake set amongst towering peaks and, to the north, the Russian border. We make camp by the lakeshore. Overnight: Tented camp

Uureg Nuur Lake to Olgii

This morning we will drive from Uureg Lake to Olgii town, the capital of Bayan-Olgii province. The drive will take us beside Achit Lake and then along the Khovd River bank. We will be passing through changing ecosystems from semi desert area to steppe and mountainous steppe areas. Tonight we will stay in the ger camp by Khovd riverside in Olgii. We will stay in Khazak gers, the traditional dwelling of round shaped felt tent. Overnight: Ger (yurt) camp

Olgiy to Altai Tavan Bogd National Park

Over two days we will drive into the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park. We will continue driving along the Khovd River and have lunch by the riverside. After lunch we continue our drive for around 130 kms, slowly ascending over 5-6 hours. This first night, we will camp in a mountain valley. The following day we will continue the drive until we reach a local Tuva family who will be our hosts. Our drivers will make our camp near by a nomadic family, at around 2600m above sea level. In the afternoon we will pay a vists to the local camel herding family. Those who would like to ride a camel will have the opportinity to do so here. Altai Tavan Bogd is the highest mountain system in Mongolia. The name literally translates to Five Kings, as there are five peaks in the range itself. The highest peak is Huiten, which is elevated to 4350m above sea level. At the foot of Huiten peak is Potanin's Glacier. Overnight: Tented camp

Trekking the Tahilt Valley

Today we start trekking. Each day will be approximately 5-8 hours of trekking in the Mongol Altai Mountain Range, through high mountain meadows and wide, open valleys. We will cross over the high pass at Tahilt and continue onto Tsagaan Us valley. It is advisable you wear waterproof hiking boots. For the these three days journeys there will be pack camels for carrying all food and camping equipment. Our objective today is to cross Tahilt Pass (3,200m). This is a very long day of trekking through a challenging terrain with snow and glacier over the pass. The total length of trekking is about 20 kms, but the hiking gets more challenging as we ascend the steep slope to the Pass. From the top of the Pass we will see tremendous views of the surrounding peaks and high mountain lakes that are of turquoise colour. As we cross Tahilt pass, we will be descending into Tsagaan Us Valley until we come to the campsite. Our campsite is on a small plateau high on the mountainous slope with fast flowing river flowing near by making a beautiful sound. There is an amazing vista of the whole Tsagaan Us valley from the campsite. Trek distance: approx 15-18km Overnight: Tented camp

Trekking the Tsagaan Us Valley

Today we continue hiking along the Tsagaan Us river valley over undulating hills and forest. It is one of the rivers starting from the glaciers at Tavan Bogd peak of Altai Mountain Range. The river fills up the valley with towering mountains from either side with larch forest. There are many cascades and streams falling down the mountain and flowing into the big river. Tonight we camp near the heart shaped lake. Trek distance: approx 15-18km Overnight: Tented camp

Trekking the Tsagaan Us Valley

This morning we will walk short way to get out of the mountains into more open space where we will meet our drivers and vehicles again. We will drive short way to the shore of Khoton lake. It is a fresh water lake nestled in a mountain depression surrounded by high mountains with forests. There is another lake next to Khoton called Khurgan Lake. Those two lakes are connected by a stream and fed by rivers and streams originated in Altai Mountains. Khovd River originates from the Lake. This region has distinctly varied terrain from the wooded shores of the lake where our campsite is on the southern side to classic open steppe on the northern side of the lakes. Mt Ikh Turgen (3,507m) rises dramatically from near our campsite. This afternoon we may be able to visit a Khazak family, experiencing their unique culture. Although their nomadic lifestyle is very similar to that of the Mongols there are some key difference. Firstly, the Kazakh people are Muslim and follow the religious traditions and customs of Islam. They are Kazakh-speaking. The Kazakh women produce some astonishingly beautiful appliqué, stitching and rug making out of crude felt. The floors and walls of their gers are strewn with these beautiful handicrafts. Many of the Kazakh men pride themselves with their great skill in hunting with eagles. Eagles are often caught at a very young age and trained to hunt small prey in the winter months. The men carry the large birds on their arms as they ride on horseback, out for the hunt. In the summer months the family keeps the birds close to home and they are fattened for the winter’s work. Trek distance: approx 15-18km Overnight: Tented camp

Khoton Lake

Today is free for you to explore on foot the shores of Lake Khoton. It is a fresh water lake nestled in a mountain depression surrounded by high mountains with forests. There is another lake next to Khoton called Khurgan Lake. Those two lakes are connected by a stream and fed by rivers and streams originated in Altai Mountains. Khovd River originates from the Lake. This region has distinctly varied terrain from the wooded shores of the lake where our campsite is on the southern side to classic open steppe on the northern side of the lakes. Mt Ikh Turgen (3,507m) rises dramatically from near our campsite. Overnight: Tented camp

Khoton Lake to Olgii

Today we drive back to Olgii, crossing rivers that connect the two lakes. We stop for lunch at the Mogoin River Gorge before continuing on to Olgii. Overnight: Ger camp

Day Hike around Tolbo Lake

Toldo Lake lies 50km south of Ölgii, in the centre of the province of Bayan-Ölgii. The body of water extends some 185 square kilometres across the heart of the Altai Mountain range, at more than 2000m above sea level. Tolbo Lake’s water is renowned for being particularly clear. The road leading up to the lake passes along glaciers and in winter, the lake completely freezes over. The lake is also famous for being the site of the battle of Tolbo Lake (1921) which took place during the Russian civil war, when the Bolsheviks allied to the Mongolians, defeated a White Russian army. There are a few memorial plaques dotted around the lake in memory of the fallen. Tolbo is the northernmost of the enclosed basins of Central Asia. It is enclosed on the north by the Tannu Ola Range and the Sangilen Mountains in the north-east. Today we enjoy a hike in this spectacular region and can go for a swim to freshen up. Overnight: Tented camp

Fly Ulaanbaatar

In the morning we transfer to the airport and fly back to Ulaanbaatar. The afternoon is free to relax in one of the capital's sidewalk cafes and watch Ulaanbaatar go by. Tonight we enjoy a final farewell dinner together in a local restaurant.

Trip concludes in Ulaabaatar

After a leisurely breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home or you can join one of the extension tours from Mongolia.

Additional Information

Explore the mountain glaciers, desert landscapes, large lake basins and steppe grasslands in far western Mongolia on this exhilarating journey. Starting in Ulaanbaatar, we fly to western Mongolia and head into the mountains, trekking to the impressive glacier at Turgen Mountain. In the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park we undertake the second part of our trek, incorporating visits with local nomadic herders to learn about their traditional way of life from the eagle-hunting prowess of the Kazakhs to the hauntingly beautiful throat-singing of the Tuvan people. An option to extend your trip with a camel ride through the expansive Gobi Desert provides a panoramic journey of Mongolia.

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Starting From

$3,999/person

Add your business today to reach The Outbound's audience of adventurous travelers.