Hiking and Gobi

A full and contrasting tour alternating hiking and discovering, between large steppes and Mount Khangai, where you will hike for 9 days from Tsenkher hot springs to Naiman Nuur National Park, through Orkhon Valley and the arid majesty of Gobi desert.

Day 1. Arrival in Ulan Bator and visit of the city

  • Arrival at the airport, meeting with our driver. Transfer to your hotel, settling in, and rest.
  • Appointment at 12 o'clock at your hotel with your guide. He will take you in the restaurant of your choice.
  • Let's immerse ourselves in the heart of the Mongolian history, in the wonderful National History Museum. Three floors of a rich, glorious, violent and noble past, from prehistory to Soviet period, including the creation of the great Mongolian Empire by Genghis Khan.
  • Walk in the centre of Ulan-Bator. Discovery of Gengis Khan Square and the House of Parliament.
  • At 18 o' clock, Mongolian traditional show at Tumen Ekh : folkloric dances, contortion, and of course khoomi, the overtone singing.

Day 2. Let's go to Mini-Gobi

Ulan Bator - Khogno Khan
  • Visit of Gandantegchinlen Monastery. In the morning, lamas get together to pray. They will answer your questions at the Mongolian Buddhist Centre.
  • We arrive at the splendid rocky formations of Khogno Khan. Discovery of the park : semidesert steppes, taiga, stunning rocky formations, 80-kilometres (49,71 miles) long sand dunes, are characteristic of this arid area nicknamed "Mini-Gobi".
  • Walk until Erdene Khambiin Monastery. "Monk Erdene's Monastery" dates from 17th century and was built in the mountain. Zanabazar built it in honour of his teacher, monk Erdene.
  • Visit of the sand dunes of Elsen Tasarkhai.

Day 3. Discovering the former capital and relaxing in the hot springs

Khogno Khan - Kharkhorin
  • Journey to Kharkhorin, the former capital of Mongolia. The legendary city of Genghis Khan was founded in 1220 and was one of the stages of the silk road. The Mongolian Empire was governed from this city, until Kubilai Khan set up the capital in Beijing. Today, there are only a few vestiges left of the former capital.
  • Visit of Erdene Zuu Monastery, built in 1586 by a nomad prince. The Chinese and Tibetan-inspired buildings are surrounded with 108 sacred stupas. Visit of the Museum of Kharkhorin.
Kharkhorin - Tsenkher hot springs

Day 4-6. Hiking in the mountains of lower Khangai

Tsenkher hot springs - Khangai Mountain
  • We start our 9-day hike. First, we'll walk from Tsenkher hot springs until Orkhon Valley, then until Naiman Nuur National Park. We'll have the logistics vehicle during the first five days of the hike. During the last four days, the hike will be a self-sufficient hike and we'll have only pack yaks to carry the equipment.
Day 4
  • Since Tsenkher hot springs, we walk across a plain to climb a first pass on a tree-filled trail. Then we walk on a path through a forest of larches in this particularly pleasant, slightly hilly area. We reach the Tsenkher River, where we have lunch. We go on walking on the Western bank of the river, before turning on our left. We climb a second pass, where we'll have a break near an ovoo.
Day 5
  • We walk down toward the Tsetserleg River and we make a long lunch break along its banks. Swimming is possible, especially in June, July and August. After our break, we leave for 3-hour walking along the river. We turn to our left and go over a pass, before walking down towards a lush valley, where we set up our camp.
Day 6
  • We find again the valley crossed the day before and go back several kilometers before turning on the left and finding a tree-filled area. Many breeders live in the area and we met many herds of yaks and nomadic settlements. Slight difference in height in the late morning, before crossing a vast plain where we have lunch. We go on walking in the valley, then cross the river and pass a small hill, near which we camp.

Day 7. Arrival in Orkhon Valley

Khangai Mountain - Tovkhon monastery
  • Visit of Tovkhon Monastery. Vehicles can't go until the top of Öndör Ulaan Hill and we will walk until there to discover Tovkhon Ermitage, where Zanabazar, the first religious leader of Mongolia, created the Soyombo alphabet. The monastery is located 2312 metres (1,44 mile) above the sea level and from that place we'll have a wonderful view on the whole Khangai range. We'll picnic in exceptional surroundings, facing Orkhon Valley.
Tovkhon monastery - Orkhon valley
  • Following this visit, we go down and have lunch near the winter camps of the nomads, and will observe in the area petroglyphs dating from the Bronze Age. In the afternoon, after crossing the last hill, we go down towards the green Orkhon Valley and the place called Ongotstoin Guur, where we can cross the canyons of the Orkhon River. By jeep, we join the camp of our local guide.

Day 8. Hiking in the valley

Orkhon valley - Uuragt Valley
  • Visit of Ulan Tsutgalaan falls, white flood flowing on the black stone, transformed in rainbow by a short sunray... These 16-metres (52,49 feet) falls are just magic ! They were formed 20.000 years ago, as a result of a unique combination of earthquakes and volcano eruptions.
  • We go on walking in Orkhon Valley. We reach the Baga falls, near which we have lunch. Then we walk through the areas of Uuragt, Unit and Khöshigt, where we set up our camp.

Day 9-11. Self-sufficient hike in Naiman Nuur National Park

Day 9
  • We start the self-sufficient part of our hike. We hike in a valley surrounded by the Khangai chains. We reach the small Lake Tsagaan Azarga, where we camp tonight.
Day 10
  • We walk along Khangai Valley. We walk through a tree-filled area, walk up towards the pass of Khangai Nuruu. Picnic. We go up the gorges of the Khokh Davaa River, before reaching the Naiman Nuur National Park. First, we visit Lakes Doroo, Khaya and Khuis, then we set up our camp on the banks of Lake Bugat.
Day 11
  • Visit of the several lakes of the area : Lakes Bugat, Khaya, Doroo, Khaliut, Khuis, and then Lake Shireet where we set up our camp.

Day 12. Arrival among the nomads

  • We hike on Shireet Hill and visit Shurangiin Tsokhoi stone. Then we join a nomads family and rest.

Day 13. On the way to Gobi

Naiman nuur - Arvaikheer
  • Day of transition between two ecosystems. We leave the green mountains of Khangai to go towards Gobi. We drive across the green steppe and reach Arvaikheer, the capital of province, where we stop to get fresh supplies at the local market.
Arvaikheer - Ongi monastery
  • We arrive in the sum of Saikhan Ovoo. West Saikhan Ovoo, some mountains located along the Ongii River, are the perfect place to rest between Northwest of Mongolia and Gobi Desert. In the bends of the river, we can see the ruins of two monasteries, Barlim Monastery on the Northern bank, Khutagt Monastery on the Southern bank.
  • Let's discover this site, best known as Ong lamasery, and the museum. In 1937, the Soviets almost completely destroyed the homes and monasteries where one thousand lamas were living. In 2002, some lamas came back and began to rebuilt the monastery, with few resources but much enthusiasm.

Day 14. The flaming cliffs of Bayanzag

Ongi monastery - Bayanzag
  • Last day of track before reaching Great Gobi and its "Three Beauties", the three highest peaks of this part of the Gobi-Altai range : Baruun Saïhan, "the Western Beauty" ; Dund Saïhan, "the Middle Beauty" ; Züün Saïhan, "the Eastern Beauty", the highest (2846 metres, 1,77 miles).
  • Visit of the cliffs of Bayanzag, today best known as "flaming cliffs", owing to their ochre red colour, where is located the "cemetery of dragons". The cliffs and the saxaul forests that surround them are the evidence of the time when Earth was still inhabited by huge creatures : dinosaurs. Palaeontologist Roy Andrews Chapman was the first man to discover in 1922 some bones and eggs of dinosaurs that we can see today in the Natural History Museum of Ulan Bator and in other museums in the world.

Day 15-16. Camelback in the dunes

Bayanzag - Khongor sand dunes
  • We ride towards west of the park to reach Khongor sand dunes, "light bay sand". These dunes extend at the foot of the "Three Beauties".
Day 15
  • Visit of the dunes of Khongor. These dunes are the most spectacular ones of Mongolia, they extend on more than 180 kilometres (111,85 miles) long and 20 kilometres (12,43 miles) wide, and have an average height of 80 metres (262,47 feet), the hightest one being 120 metres (393,70 feet) high. From the top, the view on the desert is quite amazing. From this place, it's also possible to hear the moving masses of sand, hence the name of "singing dunes". Beyond the dunes, the steppe extends for as far as the eye can see.
Day 16
  • Camelback hike in the Gobi Desert is an unforgettable experience. The nonchalant animal will take us with its peaceful gait along the dunes and the Khongor River, "light bay", that flows alternately on the surface and under the ground. We'll go until a small oasis at the foot of the dunes, where some bushes grow, such as saxaul. Camels are very fond of saxaul and Mongolians think it's the most precious wood. We will walk until the top of a dune and will have a wonderful view on the desert. Far away, we will see the peaks of the Three Beautiful and, if we listen carefully, we might hear the song of the dunes__.

Day 17. Magical hike in the canyons area

Khongor sand dunes - Dungenee canyon
  • Journey on the track towards east of "the Three Beauties" to reach the area of canyons. Stop at Dungenee Canyon. We leave the vehicle to start our first magic hike along the river that flows between huge canyons.
  • Hiking in the canyon of Yol, the bearded vultures canyon. We will walk in the bottom of the canyon that is covered with perpetual snow. The canyon is so steep-sided, that sunrays make the ice melt only in August. The rest of the year, there's ice everywhere in the canyon.

Day 18. The great white stupa in the desert

  • We travel in one of the emptiest areas of Mongolia. Between rock desert and semi-arid steppes, we reach the white stupa, Tsagaan Suvarga. For centuries, this 30-metre (98,43 feet) high, abrupt, stupa-shaped mountain, is honoured by the Mongolians. The traveller will be surprised by the sumptuous lunar landscapes that evoke the end of the world, and by the many fossils. This area was totally covered by the sea a few million years ago.

Day 19. The granite formations of Baga Gazriin Chuluu

  • Visit of Mountains Baga Gazriin Chuluu, where we'll observe stunning granite rocky formations eroded by the violent elements of this area. In the 19th century, two respected lamas lived here, and we still can see their inscriptions in the rock. According to the legend, Genghis Khan too is supposed to have lived in this wonderful area where it's pleasant to walk.

Day 20. Back to the Mongolian capital

Baga gazariin chuluu - Ulan Bator
  • Back to Ulan-Bator. Last herds of wild horses crossing the road outside our dumbfounded eyes, last yurts smoking far away, the steppe will be with us until the last moment. Arrival in town and settling in at your hotel, where you can rest a few moments.
  • Rest of the day free. With our guide, you can go shopping in the centre of the city.

Day 21. Have a nice journey and see you soon !

  • Breakfast at the hotel. We go with you to the international airport of Ulan Bator. The transfer can be organized at the time you want, according to the schedule of your flight.

Departure dates - 2017

Start date End date Available Status Price
July 3 July 23 10 Available 2100€ Enquire
July 31 August 20 10 Available 2100€ Enquire
September 4 September 24 9 Confirmed 2100€ Enquire

Individual price per person

23-567-89-10
3300€2600€2400€2200€2100€

Included

  • Transfers airport / hotel / airport
  • 2 nights in 3* hotel in Ulan Bator, breakfast included
  • Full pension during the tour
  • Water
  • 7 nights in comfortable yurts camps with warm showers
  • 4 nights in a host family, in guest yurt
  • 7 nights tent camping
  • Journeys in Japanese 4WD jeep or Russian 4x4 UAZ + driver
  • Petrol
  • English-speaking guide
  • Cook for groups > 4 persons days 4 to 12
  • Local guides and grooms
  • Pack yaks to carry the equipment during the days 9 to 12
  • Entrance fees for the parks and museums indicated in the program
  • Traditional show
  • Equipment for meals (mess tent, camping tables and chairs) and nights (tent, sleeping bag, ground mattress), sanitary tent

Not included

  • International transport
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Repatriation insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks / alcohols extras
  • Meals in Ulan Bator
  • Phone calls
  • Any excursion that is not indicated in the program
Difficulty:
Comfort:
3.5/5
2/5

21 days from 2100€ per person. Flight not included.

Need advice?

Contact us via

+976 11 331098
horseback-mongolie
info@horseback-mongolia.com

Departures

29 mai 2015 3 available
8 juin 2015 6 available
25 juin 2015 5 available
20 juillet 2015 8 available
17 août 2015 10 available
See more →