Altai Mountains is the highest of three major mountain ranges in Mongolia, straddling the Russian and Chinese frontiers in the Far West. In these remote regions live many nomads of ethnic minorities. The Kazakhs are Muslims, and speak an ancient Kazakh language, as well as Tuvans, who are Buddhist and schamanistic. This dramatic journey will bring us to Mongolia’s highest mountain region. We will do a trekking supported by pack camels or horses and locals. We will then continue across the high Altai and trek into the lakes region, next to the Chinese frontier. Local Kazakh herdsmen will keep their priced Golden Eagles next to their yurts.
On this dramatic journey we use low impact traditional modes of transport. Our equipment will be carried on pack-camels, possibly also in addition, packhorses. We will fly to west Mongolia on an almost 4 hour domestic flight from Ulaanbaatar. We will transfer out to the mountain regions from Olgii, the Kazakh provincial capital, by 4wd Russian vehicles. Our crew will be Kazakhs and/or Tuvan. The local guide is trilingual at least: English, Mongol and Kazakh, and possibly also, Tuvan and Russian.
***This trek is led by our local female guide as part of our efforts to normalize the roles of women in the trekking tourism industry.***
June 7-23, 2019
GROUP SIZE: 2 TO 25
Arrive UB airport and explore UB. Arrive UB airport and meet by our team. Transfer to your hotel. Today we will do city site seeing tour. Explore Gandan Monastery, Buddhist center in Ulaanbaatar. See Zanabazar Museum & Chojin Lama temple, lunch time in a typical Mongolian Restaurant, Visit the winter Palace, Buda Big Statue on the Hill Central market (black) (one or two hours if we have time)
Typical folkloric Mongol performance (songs and dances), at the restaurant, during Dinner time (optional).
Overnight at 4* hotel.
Day 2. To Olgii
Meet your local Kazakh guide arriving at Olgii airport. Have a lunch in Blue Wolf Restaurant. Visit the most interesting local museum of Olgii, with comprehensive information of flora and fauna of Bayan-Olgii as well as it colourful traditional costumes. Dinner with Kazakh Short Concert from local singers and musicians. Overnight in ger camp. (LD)
Day 3. To Dayan Lake (2400m, 4-5hrs)
Drive to Dayan Lake, near the frontier with China. We drive through the Hargant Valley, below Tsengel Hairhan Uul (3043m) - snow-capped mountains. Here live Tuvans. They are Buddhists, but of a Turkic speaking ethnic group. Their gers (yurts) are more like Mongol gers as opposed to the larger Kazakh ones. There are also some shaman practitioners among them. After picnic lunch, continue our driving and reach Dayan Lake. Overnight in tent. (BLD) Visit Kazakh Nomadic Families and feel their grade hospitalities. Good fishing and stunning sunsets. Dayan Lake is also home of many birds as duck, geese, swans and many others. Meet horses and camels. Overnight in tent. (BLD)
Day 4. To Baga Turgen Uul (2150m-2400m, 6-7hrs)
We will load our equipment onto pack-camels and/or pack-horses and start hiking nearby western side of Hurgan Nuur and Hoton Nuur, where many Nomadic Kazakh families spend summer. Along the lakes, we see the beautiful waterfall, rock printings and some ancient Turkic stones with face. On the right side we see the snowcapped mountains with forest, which make the wall between China and Mongolia. Overnight in tent. (BLD)
Days 5-7. To Hoton Lake (2300m-2400m, 6-8hrs)
Full day trek through the dramatic steppe valley along the river that drains from the Altai Tavanbogd massif, creating a series of beautiful lakes. Our impressive camel caravan comes out to the steppe valleys of the lake area. We pitch camp on the shores of Hoton Lake. The area is below the snow-capped Ikh Turgen Uul. We are now only 10km from the China border. These are the summer pastures of numerous Kazakh herdsmen. Their yurts are a bonanza of handicraft. They are a very friendly and hospitable people. A fishing rod comes in handy here. The largest subspecies of Mongolian Grayling (Thymallus arcticus) is easily fished here. The numerous Great Cormorants in the vicinity are a good indicator that there are plentiful fish in the lakes.
Third day, Trek up a valley with patches of Larch forests and have a picnic lunch near the so-called Green Lake, After few hours trekking come to Bear Valley, where we will pitch camp. Overnight in tent. (BLD)
Day 8. Bear Valley (2400m)
Rest day. We spend one night near small waterfall. You also can make a day hike along these waterfalls up to Bear Valley. Overnight in tent. (BLD)
Days 9-10. Altai Mountains crossing (2400-3300m, 6-7hrs)
We have allocated two full days for the crossing of the Altai Mountain range, the total distance being 32km. We will pitch camp before the snowy area. Certainly big game such as Snow Leopards and its prey species live here, but they are extremely difficult to see. Perhaps you may see Altai Snowcock, the highest altitude living bird of Mongolia.
We will cross the Altai at the highest elevation of some 3600m and have broad views across the Altai. We will be near the peak of Tsagaan Hairhan Uul (3662m). Overnights in tent. (BLD)
Day 11. To Shiveet Khairkhan (2800m-2500m, 5-6hrs)
Trek down to Shiveet Hairhan Mountain, where the Tuva people live. Here we will now be able to view the biggest petrolgyphs from the period of the Huns (approx 200 B.C.). The Huns were the reason for the Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huangdi to build the Great Wall of China. Overnight in tent. (BLD)
Days 12-14. Tavanbogd massif (2500m-3000m, 6-8hrs)
First day, trek for 11 km toward the base camp of the snow-capped Tavanbogd massif. Pitch camp next to the 20km long Potanina glacier – the biggest of the twenty glaciers in Mongolian Altai. Remain there for two nights. Tavanbogd means “The Holy Five”, referring to the five highest peaks, of which Huiten Uul is the highest in Mongolia, 4374 meters above sea level. Quite a considerable height at this altitude. It is a stunning setting with the awe-inspiring massif of high snow-capped peaks.
Second day, for a full day we will make day hikes to the Malchin Uul. These are non-technical climbs.
Third day, trek back to Tsaagan River (White River). The pick-up vehicle(s) will arrive this camp side tonight. Overnights in tent. (BLD)
Day 15. To Olgii (5-6hrs)
Drive via Ulaanhuis over desert mountain landscapes, with the snow-capped Sogoog Mountain as a powerful backdrop and the Altai Mountain range ahead of us. We will find numerous petroglyphs and Turkic stones along the Sogoog River basin. Bayan-Olgii is rich in archaeological remains, as a reminder of the Bronze Age and the time of the Huns and Turkic invasions. After 5-6hrs, arrive back to Sagsay village and Blue Wolf Ger Camp. (BLD)
Day 16 & 17:
Fly back to UB and the next day fly home.
PRICE: $3390 ($3550 with Eagle Hunter Festival )
Single supplement: $680
●Domestic flight (ULN-ULG-ULN)
●4x4 land transport
● 3 meals per day
● 4 star hotel in Ulaabatar (2 nights)
● Ger camp stay (4 nights)
● Shared Tents (12 nights)
●Group camping equipment such as dining tents, cooking utensils, all meals during the trek, pack camels/horses & horse rangers.
● Festival fees, border & national park permits
●Tips for Guides and porters
●Mountain equipment (eg sleeping bags)
●Any personal expenses (such as laundry, souvenir shopping etc)
●Extra activities (e.g. horseriding)
●Visa fees & travel insurance
● International flight tickets
International flights are excluded. Clients must book their own flights and send a copy of their flight itinerary by e-mail to Ymd0cmVra2VyIHwgcGVha2V4cGxvcmF0aW9ucyAhIGNvbQ== no later than the trip balance due date.
TRAVEL INSURANCE REQUIRED:
After making a deposit, you are required to obtain appropriate travel insurance through Travel Guard or other insurance of your choice that should cover at a minimum 100% of the trip cost (land & air), emergency medical and evacuation for high altitude trekking of up to 5000 meters. Proof of travel insurance must be provided via electronic mail to Ymd0cmVra2VyIHwgcGVha2V4cGxvcmF0aW9ucyAhIGNvbQ== no later than the trip balance due date. Failure to obtain travel insurance by the trip balance due date will result in cancellation and no refund of your trip deposit and/or applicable cancellation fees as noted in the Terms & Conditions.
Note: If you opt to buy your insurance from a company other than Travel Guard, please ensure that the insurance you purchase covers high altitude trekking as there are only a select number of companies that provide such type of coverage.
Please check ahead of time as to the visa requirements for the country of your choosing. You are responsible for securing your own visa, if required.
Upon booking, you will receive trip notes that include the recommended gear list and specific trek information.
FOR FULL DETAILS & TO BOOK, VISIT