Mongolian Tavan Bogd Trek

Starting From

$2,799/person

Number of days

11

Start Location

Mongolia

Group Size

2-12

Operated by

World Expeditions

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The vast, remote, rugged landscapes and snow capped peaks of Western Mongolia are an adventure seekers paradise. Experience the true wilderness and the learn about the nomadic culture which calls it home.

Operated by:

World Expeditions

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

Itinerary

Join Ulaanbaatar, City Tour

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia and transfer to a centrally located 4 star hotel. An afternoon guided city tour will introduce you to the highlights of the city: the Gandan Temple - city's main Buddhist center, the central city square with a grand statue of Genghis Khan and the Zaisan Memorial, an elevated hill on the city's edge providing a panoramic view of UB. Then you can choose to visit one or two museums from the following: National Museum introducing Mongolia's history from early humans to modern era, Dinosaur Museum with a unique collection of dinosaur fossils, Choijin Lama or State Oracle Residence-museum displaying best samples of Buddhist artwork and religious masks. The winter palace of Bogd Khan showcases rare statues of Buddhist deities and items of personal use of this last theocratic ruler of Mongolia is also worth considering a visit. An evening folk show of music, throat singing and contortion will be followed by a welcome dinner. Overnight: Hotel

Fly to Altai region, drive to Baga Oigor petroglyph gallery

This morning begins with a transfer to the Ulaanbaatar airport for a flight to Olgiy town in Western Mongolia. Upon arrival you will meet with your support team and drive to Tavan Bogd National Park. We travel across mountainous desert for 5 hours to arrive at Baga Oigor valley, the site of an extensive petroglyph gallery included in the UNESCO "World Cultural Heritage List. Stone and Bronze age rock carvings here are scattered across an area 15km long and 500m wide. Images depict wild and domestic animals and scenes of human life such hunting, handling domestic animals, worship, etc. Here we set up our tented camp and spend the rest of the day leisurely exploring the rock art gallery. We then return to our camp for dinner and overnight. Overnight: Tent

Travel to Tavan Bogd National Park

We travel along enormous V-shaped mountain valleys with small rivers streaming from glaciers that cover the mountain tops. Mountain slopes covered in lush grass alternate with steep mountainsides completely covered in scree. Large mushroom-like yurts of Kazakh herders and their massive flocks of yaks and goats often come across our way as well as a multitude of marmots. Shortly after lunch we arrive at the Tavan Bogd National Park gate, a few yurts - home of local rangers at the foothill of even bigger mountains. This is the starting point of the trek. Until dinner you will have time to walk and explore the surrounding foothills. This evening local herders will arrive with their pack camels that will carry our camp, luggage and food over the next days. Overnight: Tent

Trek to Tavan Bogd base camp

After a hearty breakfast we trek to Tavan Bogd base camp (BC), the launch pad for climbing the highest peaks of Tavan Bogd. Watch Bactrian camels being loaded and set off for the BC. Most of the route is a gradual ascent on a high mountain terrain with occasional bogs and a few shallow streams to cross and just two steep but short sections. Halfway through the route magnificent views of snow capped peaks and vast glaciers will come into your sight. Around lunch time the camel caravan overtakes trekkers who normally reach BC in the late afternoon. Our camp site at just over 3000meters allows impressive views of Mongolia’s highest peaks and largest glaciers. Trekking: 4-5hrs Overnight: Tent

Climb Malchin peak (4051m) or to the Russia-Mongolia borderline

Our today’s goal is to climb one of the lower and easier peaks of the area. Although non-technical a return trip requires 7-9 hours depending on trekkers’ fitness and weather conditions. We hike along the Potanin glacier moraine for an hour before stepping on the mountain. Although entirely on scree the trail is well established and marked requiring just trekking poles. Once at the top enjoy spectacular bird eye views of glaciers, snow capped peaks and the Russian territory. There is also a less demanding option of climbing to a lower ridge that marks the borderline between the two countries. Off the mountainside it's a leisurely stroll to the camp. Trekking: 7-9hrs Overnight: Tent

Trek out to lower gate of Tavan Bogd National Park

Going to the lower gate of the National Park is an easy downhill stroll although some marshy sections and streams need to be negotiated. At two thirds of the way we reach the edge of a deep V-shaped valley at the bottom of which rumbles a torrential river full of glacial silt. This is Tsagaan Gol river. Its lush valley is the summer pastureland of Tuvan camel herders accompanying us. A steep descent to the riverside and arrive to our campsite beside the rumbling river. Enjoy a well earned rest and socialize with other travelers who might be camping at this designated camp ground. Trekking: 4-5hrs Overnight: Tent

Trek to Holy Shiveet mountain, spot wild goats or see rock carvings

We have an easy morning hike to visit a Tuvan family, most likely that of one of the camel herders that had accompanied us during the previous days of trekking. Tuvans also known as Uriankhai is an ethnic group of Turkic origin that has historically been moving around southern Siberia. Traditionally these cattle herding nomads practiced shamanism - a worship of ancestral and natural spirits but today their belief is a strong blend with Tibetan Buddhism. We use the invitation to learn of their way of life and to taste food and drinks offered by the unwritten local rules. After the visit we hike to Mt. Shiveet and climb to its wide top with a goal of spotting wild mountain goats (Capra Sibirica). Seeing them is almost guaranteed but requires a bit of tracking and hiding. A less demanding hike around the base of the Holy mountain will allow you see more ancient rock art displaying fascinating scenes of hunting by distant residents of the Altai region. We return to our camp beside the mountain. Trekking: 4-5hrs Overnight: Tent

Travel to explore Kazakh culture

We depart from the Tsagaan Gol valley and drive to summer pasturelands of Kazakh herders. Among millions of Kazakhs living in different parts of the world Mongolian Kazakhs are seen as the bearers of authentic Kazakh culture and traditions which are different from that of Mongolians in many ways. We randomly “knock on the door” and visit local herding families to find out about these very differences, their stories and customs. We might be lucky to see their daily chores: tending animals, preparing food, etc. Eventually we find a suitable place to camp and enjoy our last night of camping out in the wild. Overnight: Tent

Drive to Olgiy Town

Driving back to Olgiy will take around 3 hours. However, along the way we will stop off to visit a Kazakh family to learn about their way of life and how skills and knowledge of their environment is passed on over the generations. We aim to return to Ulgy by lunchtime and settle in a cozy hotel. Time permitting you can walk the streets of the town that has a distinct Central Asian character, visit the town market and museum. A traditional Kazakh dinner accompanied by music and songs will be a fitting final to your travels. Overnight: Hotel

Fly to Ulaanbaatar, farewell dinner

After breakfast you will be transferred to Olgiy airport for a flight to Ulaanbaatar. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your own disposal. Nevertheless, you may consider doing more city visits or souvenir shopping as your guide will still be available on standby. In the evening we will gather for a farewell dinner. Overnight: Hotel

In Ulaanbaatar, trip concludes

The trip concludes today with a transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

Additional Information

This trekking trip journeys to a group of snow capped mountains called "Tavan Bogd", literally meaning "The Five Holy", the highest in Mongolia which belong to a greater mountain range known as the Altai. Views are dominated by vast glaciers, fast mountain rivers and lush alpine pastures where flocks of yaks, goats and sheep graze. The culture of herding nomads here is authentic and rich. Geographically, this is the remotest part of Mongolia with true pristine nature, abundant wildlife and interesting cultural heritage. The area is also known as a treasure trove of human history with many ancient burials and rock art to explore. Enjoy comfortable camping as you experience the genuine wilderness of this beautiful country.

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