At 1645 metres (1,02 mile) above the sea level, Lake Khövsgöl is a real small sea that extends on 136 kilometres (85 miles) long, 36 kilometres (22 miles) wide, and until 267 metres (876 feet) deep. It contains 2 % of the world’s freshwater reserves (480,7 km3). It is named “the blue pearl of Mongolia” because of its very clear water, so clear that we can drink it. It’s the second largest lake of Mongolia, after Lake Uvs that is located in the West of the country. Lake Khövsgöl and surroundings are a protected natural area.
It’s the pressure of the same tectonic forces than the gigantic Lake Baikal, located 195 kilometres (121 miles) towards North, in Siberia, that formed Lake Khövsgöl. A rivers network binds the two lakes. That’s why we name Lake Khövsgöl “Baikal’s little brother”. The water will have to flow on more than 1000 kilometres (621 miles) after leaving Khövsgöl before flowing into Baikal.
Almost one hundred rivers flow into Lake Khövsgöl. Lake Khövsgöl flows into the Eg River and the Eg River flows into Lake Baikal. The lake is surrounded by a dozen of peaks covered with pines forests and that reach more than 2000 metres (1242 miles) at their highest point.
The lake is very full of fish. The omul of Baikal, the lenok, the grayling and the sturgeon of Siberia found there an excellent environment. It’s also the place where you can see many species of birds and mammals, such as sables, castors, Mongolian deer, Siberian roe deer, brown bears or lynxes.
We also find in this area some endemic plants, such as marsh saxifrage and valerian.
The lake freezes between January and April and we can ride a husky or a troika.