Get away from it all on this trekking trip through remote Altai Tavan Bogd National Park. Accompanied by an expert team that includes a mountain guide, a cook, support staff, and camels to transport gear, you'll explore the quiet trails of the rugged region, enjoying views of icy glaciers, milky-white rivers, and sweeping mountain scenery. After more than a week of camping at different spots along the trail, finish the trip with a day of sightseeing in Ulaanbaatar.

Highlights

  • Hike to mountains and rivers in the Mongolian wilderness
  • Sip tea in a local family's home
  • Sleep in a nomadic tent
  • Take in dramatic landscapes from the hiking trail

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Ulaanbaatar Ulaanbaatar
Day 2 Fly to Ulgy Ger camp
Day 3 Trek to Tavan Bogd Peaks Base Camp Altai Tavan Bogd
Day 4 Climb to Malchin Peak Malchin Peak
Day 5 Hike to White River Altai Tavan Bogd
Day 6 Continue to Har Salaa Altai Tavan Bogd
Day 7 Trek to Khurgan & Khoton Lakes Khurgan
Day 8 Drive Back to Ulgy Ulgy
Day 9 Sightsee in Ulaanbaatar Ulaanbaatar
Day 10 Depart Mongolia   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Ulaanbaatar

Welcome to bustling Ulaanbaatar and enjoy one last day in civilization before we head out to the plains!
Apartment buildings in Ulaanbaatar

Welcome to Mongolia! Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city. You will be met by an English-speaking guide who will accompany you to your hotel in the city center. The rest of the day is yours to relax or explore. You'll go on a guided city tour at the end of the itinerary, but in the meantime, you could head out to see a few sights this afternoon if you're up to it.

Consider stopping into the National Museum of Mongolia for an overview of the country's history and culture, or wander around the colorful temples in the Choijin Lama Temple Museum complex. Then have dinner in a local restaurant before getting some rest.

Day 2: Fly to Ulgy

A traditional Mongolian ger (yurt) camp

Early this morning, take a 3-hour flight to Ulgy in western Mongolia. The Kazakhs living in the area are the largest national minority and practice Sunni Islam, but a number of other ethnic groups also reside in the region. Upon arrival, you'll meet with a support team of drivers, cooks, and a guide. As a group, you'll travel across the mountainous desert and camp in a river valley.

Day 3: Trek to Tavan Bogd Peaks Base Camp

Snow-capped mountains in Altai Tavan Bogd National Park

Trek to base camp today. It's a gradual but continuous ascent across high mountain terrain with some marshes and a couple of streams to cross. Camel drivers load up the camels and start the trip later, but soon overtake hikers, arriving at camp earlier to allow the cook time to set up operations. You'll dine by the campfire and sleep tonight at base camp.

Day 4: Climb to Malchin Peak

The vast landscapes of Altai Tavan Bogd National Park

After a hearty breakfast, start the climb to Malchin Peak. You will hike along the Potanin Glacier for an hour before arriving at the mountain. Once you reach the top, you'll enjoy spectacular bird's-eye views of glaciers and of Russian territory, as the ridge overlaps with the country's border. After a meal provided by the group's cook, you'll camp out again tonight under the stars.

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Day 5: Hike to White River

A snow-covered valley in the mountains of Mongolia

Rise early and have breakfast at camp before trekking through the White River valley. Today's journey is an easy stroll downhill with beautiful views of snow-dusted landscapes along the way. Warm up at camp with a hot drink by the fire, then have dinner with the group before camping out overnight.

Day 6: Continue to Har Salaa

Two yurts in a valley between the mountains and hills of Mongolia

Today you'll leave the lakes behind and enter the mountains. Trek along the White River — its waters are milky-white due to glacial dust — following one of its tributaries. Though fenced by high rocky ridges on both sides, the river valley is rich in flowers and vegetation. With a bit of luck, you may even spot a mountain goat or a marmot.

In the afternoon, you'll make your way across a high mountain pass, then descend along the river. Camp in the valley below tonight; you'll likely be invited into a local ger (yurt) or home to sample regional food or tea. 

Day 7: Trek to Khurgan & Khoton Lakes

Camels in the snow in Altai Tavan Bogd National Park

Khurgan and Khoton are spectacular high-altitude alpine lakes surrounded by snow-capped mountains. You'll camp beside Khoton Lake, a place that features one of the largest petroglyph galleries in Mongolia. Dating back to the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age, the petroglyphs depict hunting scenes and representations of wild and domestic animals. You'll also have the chance to see some well-preserved ancient burial sites before dinner and another night of camping.

Day 8: Return to Ulgy

Mongolian women cooking in front of their home

After breakfast, you'll start the long drive back to Ulgy. Along the way, you'll stop to visit a local Kazakh family and see their golden eagles, which they keep for hunting purposes. You'll sleep at a hotel in Ulgy and have dinner in a local restaurant before the last full day of the trip begins.

Day 9: Enjoy a City Tour in Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar Government Palace

Today you will board a flight back to Ulaanbaatar. After settling in at your hotel in the city, you'll go on a guided city tour. Take some time to explore the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan, the palace where Mongolia’s eighth Living Buddha lived for two decades. It's a wonderful place to see traditional Buddhist paintings and sculptures. After the tour is over, you'll sample modern Mongolian cuisine in one of several excellent restaurants.  

Day 10: Depart Ulaanbaatar

It's time to say goodbye to Mongolia and Ulaanbaatar
A morning scene in Ulaanbaatar

Squeeze in some more sightseeing or souvenir shopping before heading to the airport. The trip has come to an end! Safe travels!

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