Classic Hiking in West Mongolia
Travel Buddies - 7 days
- Classic Hiking in West Mongolia
- 7 days / 6 nights
- Difficulty: Easy
> Meet an eagle hunter family
> Hike to Potanian glacier
> Walk over an Ice River
Hiking in Mongolia especially to Altai Tavan Bogd National Park is a magnificent experience. The Mongolian Altais are known for their high snow-capped mountains, glaciers, ancient archaeological sites, and the unique nomadic customs of the local people including Kazakhs and Tuvans. The Altais with their eternal snow, glaciers, and traces of ancient ice covers have been well preserved due to the constantly cold climate and strong winds. The area is inhabited by some endangered animals (such as the Argali sheep, Ibex, Snow Leopard, Rock Ptarmigan and Altai Snowcock) and plants (such as the Dwarf Siberian Pine and White Gentiana). The Altais also contain Potanin, the largest glacier in the country.
Note: the minimum of trekkers for this route is 3. If you are traveling alone, get in touch with our booking experts to join a group!
What's the plan?
DAY 1: FLY TO ULGII TOWN & CITY TOUR, 2.5 hours domestic flight
Today you will take a commercial flight to Bayan-ulgii aimag, in western Mongolia, where our local driver and guide will pick you up. Ulgii is the home of Kazakh ethnic groups and this expanding city built in the Khovd river valley is fascinating to explore. Discover Scattered mosques, mud houses, soviet apartments and red theater, museums are architectural artworks. We will visit the provincial museum, the main square, and the open- market bazaar. Enjoy a traditional Kazakh concert in the evening. Stay overnight at a local hotel.
DAY 2: LAKE HOTON & HURGAN, 6 to 7 hours
Today we will head to the Lakes Hoton and Hurgan, which are glacial and twin lakes, connected by a channel, in Altai Tavan Bogd national park. Explore archaeological and historical sites along the way. As we head west, the more sights get more beautiful. Hike to the waterfall on the cliff and enjoy the waterfall's water colors falling from above. Stay overnight in tented camping.
DAY 3: ALTAI TAVAN BOGD NATIONAL PARK, 6 hours
After breakfast, we will drive to Altai Tavan Bogd national park and white river valley. This national park is situated at the triple border with China and Russia, and is popular for its 20 km long Potanian glacier and snow-capped peak mountain called Khuiten, at 4374 meters above sea level. The holy mountain is sacred and has a Buddhist ritual site, “Ovoo”, built by a former president of Mongolia and is state protected. This afternoon we will hike to a glacial lake on the hill nearby our camp site. Stay overnight in tented camping
DAY 4 & 5: HIKE TO POTANIAN GLACIER, 18 km hiking each day
We pack everything on horse and start our hiking to the Potanian glacier; The Ice River starts from Altai tavan bogd snow peak. After we cross the bridge over the white river, we will reach the trailhead. Hike uphill as the trail starts to rise. The terrain is uneven and muddy in the middle. Make sure you bring waterproof trekking shoes. You may experience a four-season-weather while ascending the mountain. Enjoy the breathtaking view of 5 peaks of Mongolia in front of you after this inspirational trek. Visit the mountaineers base camp and walk on the ice river. We will spend the nigh in tents. The next day we will hike back to the base camp and drive to Tsengel town for our overnight stay.
DAY 6: DRIVE TO ULGII, 4 hours
Today we drive back to Ulgii town via Ulaanhus town, surrounded by a unique landscape and the snow-capped mountain Sogoog. We will visit Zaisan hill for panoramic views over the town and local art shops. Enjoy a Turkish meal in one of the best restaurants in Ulgii. Overnight in a local hotel.
DAY 7: RETURN TO ULAANBAATAR, 2.5 hours with domestic flight
Take a flight to Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival we will transfer you to the hotel.
√ Domestic flights
The flights from Ulaanbaatar to Ulgii and back are included in the price of the trek.
During the trek, all necessary transportation will be in a 4WD vehicle.
You will be accompanied by an experienced, English-speaking guide at all times.
During the trek, our staff will take care of preparing the food. All meals detailed in the itinerary are included. Food during the tour can be found many varieties of a typical meat-based dish with vegetable and rice/pasta/noodle and some fruits. Fresh veggies and fruits are rare to find. Fortunately, vegetarian foods are available and can be requested. A gluten-free diet can be catered such as some fruits, rice, vegetable, and meat.
The admission fees to Altai Tavan Bogd national park and all activity fees are included in the price.
Accommodation during the trek is included in the price. On your first and last night, you will spend the night at a local hotel in Ulgii Town. The rest of the nights of the trek you will spend camping.
√ Camping gear
You will spend 4 nights during the trek in camping sites. All camping gear such as tents and sleeping bags are included.
We will provide you with 1.5 liters of bottled water per day during the trek.
√ Luggage Transfer
During the trek, horses will carry your main bag. You will only have to carry a day bag with your personal items, water, and packed lunch.
× International Airfare
Flights to and from Mongolia are not included. To get an idea of which airlines are flying on Chinggis Khaan International Airport (ULN), have a look at their website.
×Visa application & fees
Your trekking company will not take responsibility for the travel visa for Mongolia. This should be organized by yourself. You can find a list of visa-free countries here http://www.consul.mn/eng/02visae.php.
× Accommodation before and after the trek
Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.
The tip is not included in the price of the trek. Tipping is optional, but if you had a good time, try to be generous with those who made it happen.
× Travel Insurance
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before you travel.
All personal expenses such as alcoholic drinks, laundry, souvenir, and other similar expenses are for your own account.
Frequently Asked Questions
The weather in Mongolia is definitely one of its most curious features: it is so far inland that no sea tempers its climate. Moreover, Mongolia has 3 distinctive regions: the south, with the Gobi Desert, The North-west with its mountain ranges, and the center.
Mongolia is popularly known as “The Land of the Blue Sky” because it has an average of 230-260 annual days of sunshine. Despite the sunshine, temperatures in Mongolia can get really low, especially in winter (December-February), with temperatures of -30° C.
When is the best time to visit Mongolia? Well, summer and beginning of autumn are the seasons most recommended, that is, between June and September. During these months, temperatures range between 15°C and 30°C. Spring and late Autumn are not bad options neither, but bring a thicker jacket, because temperatures at night get down to -8°C.
Despite the low temperatures, remember to bring with your sunglasses and sunscreen, it is not called “the land of the Blue Sky” for nothing.
How do I get the visa for Mongolia?
You need a visa upon arrival if you are traveling to Mongolia from a country that has no Mongolian consulate or embassy, you can pick up a 30-day tourist visa upon arrival at the airport in Ulaanbaatar. You’ll need 108,000 tugrugs (45 USD) and two passport photos – you should also have a pre-approval letter from an organization or company in Mongolia. In case of booking a tour with us, we will help you to get a visa support letter and further assistance.
Tipping is not that common in Mongolia. However, it is common to tip guides and drivers. How much to tip is never clear, but we advise to tip your guide and driver some 2-5 USD per day of the trek. If you got a good service and had a good time thanks to their work, show them your gratitude. Be generous, it will be much appreciated.
When trekking, packing the right equipment is essential. You need to always be ready for the unexpected. We asked our trekking partners in Mongolia to see what they recommend you to pack for your adventure and these are their recommendations:
- Trekking shoes
- Warm clothing
- Windproof and waterproof Jacket
- Small towel
- Hat or bandana
- Lip Balm
- Insect repellent
- Sandals (optional)
During the trek, you will spend your nights in 2 different accommodation types.
You will spend your first and last night in a local hotel in Ulgii Town. The rest of the nights of the trek you will spend camping, surrounded by nature. We will provide you with all the equipment necessary, included sleeping bags.
Trips at “Travel Buddies” take you to the best parts of Mongolia and bring you closer to the untouched nature, various landscapes, indigenous history, cultures and traditions of the last nomad on earth.
Back in 2006 when we stepped into tourism, group tours organized by international travel companies were common but not private and tailor-made tours due to lack of Mongolia’s information accessibility and online local experts.
To help independent and small group travelers creating their trip to Mongolia and customize it to their needs/wants, Zoljargal and Urtnasan founded “Travel Buddies” in 2009. Since then, we have been planning and organizing thousands of dream Mongolia trips for our clients. Today Mongolia travel experiences are enriched that you can choose any travel style with options of basic to upmarket facilities.
Safety is of the outmost importance to us. That is why this is an area in which we simply do not compromise when it comes to keeping the cost of our trekkings low. Our guides have been selected on the basis of their technical competence, proven safety performance, impeccable judgment, friendly attitude and ability to provide useful and expert instructions. They are also very professional and well trained in first aid and personal protection equipment.
How To Book
How does it work?
On Bookatrekking.com you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking adventure your match? In that case, you can proceed to book. At Bookatrekking.com you make a deposit of 15% of the total amount. You will have to pay the remaining eighty-five percent (85%) of the price of the booked product to Bookatrekking.com forty-five (45) days prior to the departure date of the booked trek.
Bookatrekking.com uses only the safest payment methods. Once your booking has been received, your place is reserved, your place is safe and you can look forward to your chosen trekking.
After you have made your booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all necessary information and the contact details of the trekking company. If you have any questions or if you want to clarify something, you can obtain information directly from the right person. Of course, you can also always ask us your question. Send us an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
The trekking company will also receive your details and can therefore always contact you and provide you with extra information.
You wish you didn’t have to, but there is no other way: You find yourself having to cancel your plans. In this case, you lose your deposit, but since you haven’t paid the large sum yet, you at least save that. Please do let us know if you cannot make it. A no-show can be a small disaster for your trekking provider, who did its best to block your dates. View our complete cancellation policy here.
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