GEM OF MONGOLIA TREKKING TOUR

OVERVIEW

A classical trekking tour in Kharkhiraa and Turgen mountain massif in north western Mongolia, a spectacular region of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, torrential rivers, saline and freshwater lakes. Locked out from the rest of the country the area's animal and plant life is unique. The trek route runs across alpine meadows, rugged mountain sides and 3000m high passes from top of which there open expansive views of mountains and deserts beyond them. Ethnic Khoton people accompany throughout the trek with their camels transporting food and camp. Except for just one all trek days are suitable for trekkers of average level of fitness.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Unplug yourself from modern life
  • Enjoy tranquility of Kharkhiraa and Turgen mountains
  • Soak in the beauty of pristine nature
  • See wild flower carpeting the ground
  • Meet Durvud and Khoton ethnic group nomads
  • Experience nomadic way of life
  • Feel atmosphere of modern Ulaanbaatar

 

| Price range: 1,594 USD - 2,994 USD
| Dates: 2019 , 2020
| Difficulty rating: Moderate to Demanding

DAY 1: Arrival to Ulaanbaatar, guided city visits

Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar (UB) you will be met by your guide and transferred to a hotel in the city center. Time permitting you will be taken on a guided tour to some of the city’s highlights, including a giant Buddha statue at Mongolia’s main Buddhist center, the National museum and the central square. A traditional throat singing and contortion performance will be presented at the end of the day. At a welcome dinner you will be given an informal introduction to the tour ahead of you. (Dinner, hotel)

DAY 2: Flight to western Mongolia and transfer to trekking camp

Transfer to airport and fly to Uvs province in western Mongolia inhabited by several ethnic minorities. They speak dialects slightly different from the common Mongolian tongue and are famous for “nursing” some of the legendary wrestlers of the nation. Just before landing you will see the country’s largest lake – the Uvs. After lunch we transfer to Uliastai valley and set up our first camp in the wilderness. Throughout the trek tents, food and luggage will be transported by 2 humped Bactrian camels that belong to ethnic Khoton nomads who will join us this evening. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

DAY 3: Trek to Blue Lake

We start trekking by ascending the Uliastai pass (2410m) which will bring in to our view a fresh water alpine lake called the “Blue lake”. Beyond the lake you will see rugged folds and snow clad peaks of the Kharkhiraa & Turgen mountain ranges. After a picnic lunch we descend to the lake and trek along its shoreline until arriving to our camp site at 1795m above sea level. Our camel caravan will catch up with us soon after lunch and continue on to prepare camp and dinner. Such will be the routine for each trekking day. Overnight in tents by the “Blue lake”. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

DAY 4: Trek to Turgen river

Leaving the lake behind we cross a few gentle ridges before descending in to the valley of Turgen river. The torrential river takes source from massive glaciers of its namesake mountain massif that is nearly 4000m high. The Khoton camel drivers will shuttle you by horses across the deeper and faster mountain streams. We camp in the valley of the Turgen river. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

DAY 5: Trek to Dund Khoroo mountain

We abandon the Turgen river and cross over a low shoulder to the Kharkhiraa river valley which we ascend for the rest of the day. Numerous burial mounds dating back to the Bronze Age period lie on our route. This very route is used by the Khoton when they migrate from their winter quarters to their summer pastures in high mountain areas. Depending on the time in the season we may see a migration: a few camels laden with most unpretentious belongings led by horsemen moving fast along the riverside. Tonight we camp on Khakhiraa river bank at 1860m above sea level. 50 meter high red rock cliffs on the opposite bank make an impressive backdrop to the campsite view. Overnight in tents. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

DAY 6: Trek to Kharkhiraa pass

We continue trekking further upstream. Views of the Kharkhiraa peak lying at 4037m above sea level are ever grander. On the right now you will also see the snowy peaks of the Turgen massif. The trail bends and climbs following the river valley that continues running between two massive rock faces. Tonight we camp at an altitude of 2660m just before the trail starts climbing towards the pass. The Turgen massif is also within close reach from the campsite. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

DAY 7: Excursion to alpine lakes

Without changing the camp location we hike to several alpine lakes nestled in the Turgen mountain massif. After days of continuous physical effort it will be an easy excursion altogether making it an half a day affair. Those wishing can even stay in the camp and relax. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

DAY 8: Cross the Kharkhiraa pass and descend to the “Olon Nuur” valley

A steep climb brings us atop the 2976m pass. The views are immense: snow-capped mountains, distant desert plains, turquoise lakes glittering below in the valleys and even Sayan mountain range in Russia can be seen in clear weather. We descend to the valley of “Olon Nuur” – a typical alpine meadow with a multitude of small lakes and marshy soil. This is a popular summer grazing land of Khoton nomads whose felt tents and huge herds of yaks and goats you will see in abundance. Origins of Khotons are Turkic but language and life style nowadays is quite similar to that of the Mongols. Today we will visit some herding families to drink tea, eat local food and to learn about their way of life. We might be lucky to see different chores of nomadic living and even participate in some of them. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

DAY 9: Cross the Black goat pass

We traverse the the Olon Nuur valley and climb to a high pass at 2959m. The ascent is fairly gentle but the descent is steep. It brings us to the head of the Black Goat valley formed by two parallel ridges that extend from the Turgen peak. The lower slopes on both sides are densely forested. This is a home to the elusive Snow Leopard and wild mountain goat the former’s main prey. We erect the tent camp upon reaching the valley floor. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

Day 10: Trek along the Black Goat valley

Throughout the day we trek downstream along a swift mountain river that flows through the Black Goat valley with wooded slopes on one side and rugged mountainsides on the other. This is a relatively easy day with a gentle incline throughout the way. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

DAY 11: Last trekking day and transfer to Ulgii town

Last trekking day. We continue downstream along the Black Goat valley until our pick up point. We say good-bye to the Khoton camel drivers and drive to Ulgii town, the capital of the only Muslim province with the majority of its population comprised of Kazakhs. Tonight you will have a chance to enjoy some Kazakh songs and music, traditional delicacies and an overnight in a felt walled tent. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, ger camp)

DAY 12: Fly back to UB, good-bye dinner

Transfer to Ulgii airport and fly back to UB. Upon arrival transfer to a comfortable hotel. You may enjoy the rest of the day relaxing and shopping. In the evening we all gather for a farewell dinner. (Breakfast, dinner, hotel)

DAY 13: Departure

Transfer to airport for your return flight home. (Breakfast)

PRICES & DATES

2019 dates Status Spaces Min price - Max price
11 June - 23 June, 2019 2 to guarantee
10% off for 2 first sign ups
Available USD 1,594 - USD 2,994
Pp twin occ. + USD 115 for sgl. occ.
12 July - 24 July, 2019 Will run Available USD 1,594 - USD 2,311
Pp twin occ. + USD 115 for sgl. occ.
2020 dates Status Spaces Min price - Max price
12 June - 24 June, 2020 2 to guarantee
10% off for 2 first sign ups
Available USD 1,594 - USD 2,994
Pp twin occ. + USD 115 for sgl. occ.
06 July - 18 July, 2020 2 to guarantee
10% off for 2 first sign ups
Available USD 1,594 - USD 2,994
Pp twin occ. + USD 115 for sgl. occ.
Price Includes:
  • All accommodation: hotel (2 nights), tent (9 nights), ger camp (1 night)
  • Complete camping & cooking equipment
  • Sleeping mattresses
  • Indicated meals & drinking water
  • All visits, sightseeing, national park and permit fees
  • Overland transport
  • Domestic airfare and airport transfers
  • English speaking guide
  • Expedition cook(s)
  • Local guides (pack animal drivers)
  • Pack animals
  • Satellite phone for emergencies
Price Excludes:
  • Travel insurance
  • Excess baggage fee on domestic air travel
  • Sleeping bags
  • Meals not indicated
  • Drinks & Alcohol
  • Gratuities

REVIEWS

Michael Haire

I didn’t get the chance to thank you properly for putting together a fantastic group and trek for us. Dulgunn, Mønkh and Battuul were great. Please let them know how much we appreciated how they took care of us and showed us a glimpse of the wonders and beauty of your glorious country. While I only got to spend time with Uugaa in the city, I was thoroughly impressed with him as well. If our experience is any indication (and I’m sure that it is) you have put together a trekking company that stands head and shoulders above the rest. If running an American law firm has anything in common with running a Mongolian Trekking company, it is in the need to find the best people. It is clear you have a talent for doing so. If you ever need a recommendation for your company, including especially a ringing, written endorsement for any advertising (web or print), I would be glad to provide one without hesitation. Cheers, my friend. Stay adventurous!


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