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Western Mongolia holds some of Asia’s most beautiful and unspoiled wilderness where the snow-capped Altai Mountains tower above remote forests, lakes and rivers. Teeming with wildlife, including endangered snow leopards and antelopes, this region contains the most impressive of Mongolia’s mountain scenery and is a prime destination for adventurous climbers and hikers.
Visitors with an interest in Central Asia’s ancient history are drawn by the burial markers and mysterious “stone men” found throughout the province, monuments to the tribes who roamed the Altai in ancient times.
The frozen remains of a Scythian warrior were recently found near Altai Tavan Bogd Park, and a wealth of prehistoric rock paintings have been discovered in the caves and mountains of Mongolia’s ‘Wild West’.
As a Mongolian company we prefer to support Nomadic/local families financially, and help support their livelihoods. We are sure this resonates with our travellers who enjoy engaging with their culture in the mountains. It is therefore our preference to stay with these families if they have an extra Ger. As well as directly supporting local herders, you can experience this rich traditional way of life first hand.
We will organise a driver to meet you at the guesthouse and drive you to airport at 5am. Your flight to Ulgii town will depart at 6:50am, arriving at Ulgii airport at 9:10am. There is a one-hour time difference between Ulaanbaatar and Bayan-Ulgii. You will meet the local driver and a guide at the airport and enjoy breakfast in a local café.
Bayan Ulgii province was established in 1940. Bayan-Ulgii is Mongolia ‘s ‘Roof of the World’, a remote land of high mountains, glaciers, steep slopes and rushing torrents. Visit the museum and drive out to stay with a Kasakh family, where you can help with daily herding life.
After a 7am breakfast, begin your adventure with the drive towards Altai mountains. Lunch will be at a Kasakh family ger, and we will stop at some archaeological sites to see petroglyphs, Turkic men stone and burial mounds. The final destination of the day is the base camp of Altai Tavan Bogd Mountain.
In Tavan Bogd National Park, snow-capped mountains, glacial valleys, forests and beautiful lakes and rivers create a majestic setting. In the north of the park, Khuiten peak (4374m above sea level), the highest point of Mongolia, of the Altai Tavan Bogd Mountains and the Potanin Glacier (covering an area of 23km2) draw alpine enthusiasts from around the world. The park is host to argali, sheep, ibex, red deer, black vultures, elk, snow leopard, and many other endangered wildlife species, as well as rare, medicinal plants.
Stay at a Tuvan family home, and enjoy dinner together with the family.
After an early breakfast, begin the trek with local guides, who will prepare and pack the camels which will be carrying food and camping equipment.
Start hiking to Malchin peak of the Tavan Bogd mountain, take in the awe-inspiring views of other snow-capped mountains from the top of Malchin peak and enjoy being above the border of four countries.
Stay overnight in a tent. (12km)
In the morning, after camp breakfast, trek back to base camp for about 4 hours (12km). Start driving by Shiveet Khairkhan mountain to see rock art from the Bronze Age. At the top of the mountain there is the 1000 Yangriin (a thousand ibex) lake. Camping here is refreshing with beautiful views.
If you are lucky, you may spot an ibex early in the morning. Enjoy a camp dinner and the view of the magnificent sunset over Mongolia’s highest mountains.
After an early breakfast, drive down to other part of Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, formed from ice, and a freshwater lake depression area. The surrounding area is breathtaking with high glacier mountains. We will be hosted by a Kasakh Eagle Hunter family today, with a BBQ dinner prepared by the family. It is a picturesque location, ideal for taking landscape pictures.
After a hearty breakfast, take the short drive to Baga Turgen Khurheree. This waterfall is formed from small glaciers up the Altai range mountain.
An incredibly beautiful spot with mountain gorges, great for hiking through local Kazakh nomadic areas and observe their everyday activity, visit the waterfall, enjoy the perfect landscapes, and even swim under that waterfall.
Horse riding to Baga Turgen waterfall valley, a picnic lunch, and a great spot for camping.
For two days is all about meeting the Kazakh ethnic people. More than 100 herding families possess their own Golden Eagle, used for traditional hunting. Stay with an eagle hunting family with the opportunity to observe traditional Kazakh customs and activities such as the training of hunting eagles and the making of handcraft.
Last night in the national park area.
Enroute to Ulgii town, visit a local Tuvan throat singer, have lunch in the small town of Tsengel. The drive to Ulgii to have rest of the day exploring markets and shops, and a last dinner in Western Mongolia. Stay in a local hotel.
Depending on the flight time, after breakfast in the hotel, you will be transferred to the airport. If the flight is in the afternoon, you can wander around Ulgii town, visit the museum, market and shops for a local handmade goods and souvenirs.
We will organise a driver to meet you the airport and drive you back to your accommodation.