Adventure Riding In Altai Mountains


Highlights of Mongolian Altai is high snow-capped mountains, glaciers, ancient archeological sites and unique nomadic customs of locals, as Kazakh and Tuvan people.. The Altai Mountain range with their eternal snow, glaciers, traces and signs of ancient ice covers, has been well preserved due to a 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 biggest glacier of the country Potanin is in the Altai Mountains and has a total area of 107.9 square km.

Bayan-Ulgii Province, which borders Russia and China, is home to a diverse population whose traditional ways of life have been preserved in these isolated mountains for centuries. Among these is Mongolia’s largest ethnic minority, the Kazakhs whose ancestors migrated to the area in the 1800s, and only here you can meet Kazakh Eaglehunters with their magnificent bird, which is trapped mostly from wild  or collected from the nest just before flying. Also known for their exquisite embroidery and the fine tapestries and carpets they produce, these Muslim nomads live alongside the Uriankhai, famous for their archery skills, and other nomadic groups such as the Tubans, who are shamans which is unique to this part of Mongolia.


Day 1:

Airport pick up in UlaanBaatar and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2 To Ulgii & To Altai Tavanbogd National Park:

Driven to airport for domestic flight to Bayan Ulgii

Catch an early flight to Ulgii, which  is the most remote town of western Mongolia.  Meet at Bayan Ulgii and driven by 4×4 5 hours in the Altai to first camp and safari starting point.

Drive about 180 km via Ulanhuis over desert mountain landscapes.. Meet local tuban people who prepare horses and camels to support our trek.  Overnight in tents.

Day 3.  Tavanbogd massif:

We a ride  for the 16km  towards the base camp of the snow-capped Tavanbogd massif. We will pitch camp next to the 20km long Potanina glacier – the biggest of the twenty glaciers in Mongolian Altai – and 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.. The other peaks are named Nairamdal, Ulgii, Burged and Malchin.  It is a stunning setting with the awe-inspiring massif of high snow capped peaks and gorgeous view of all of them during the sun set and sun rise..

In the afternoon ride  to the Malchin Uul. It is  the least highest of the five highest in Mogolia, which is 4050meters high. Wonderful view of all the peaks and Potaina glacier as well as Russian and Kazakhstan territory. This peak divides Mongolian and Russian Border.


Day 4  Back to Tsagaan Gol Valley:

Ride  back to to the head of Tsagaan Gol valley where tuban people spend their summer. Tubans are shamans, and there are some tribe people who really practice shaman and they help sick people and do various shaman ceremonies.  In the evening visit tuban family and get introduced to their culture, taste dairy products as well as milk vodka, which is distilled from the yogurt made from yak milk. They also do wonderful felt crafts. Camp nearby the family.

Day 5. Khara Airikh Valley via Shiveet Khairhan Mountain,( Holly carved mountain):

Ride  to the Khara Airikh Valley via Shiveet Hairhan Uul we will be able to view the biggest petroglyphs from the iron and bronze ages…  Here we may have a chance to view Siberian Ibex (Capra sibirica) and pitch camp before the snow area of the pass to other side of  Altay Mountains. Explore numerous petroglyphs and Turkic stones along the Sogoog River basin. Bayan-Ulgii is rich in archaeological remains, as a reminder of the Bronze Ages and the time of the Huns and Turkic invasions. At Shiveet Hairhan Mountain, where numerous Tuvan nomads live, in Altai Tavanbogd National Park. Shiveet Hairhan is sacred for the local people, and they don’t hunt there as a result it is inhabit for over 400 mountain ibexes. Shibeet Khairkhan Mountain Means “Carved Holly Mountain”

Day 6-7: Altai Mountains crossing:

We will cross the Altai at the highest elevation of some 3600m our trek and have the broad views across the Altais.  We are here near the peak of Tsaagan Hairhan Uul (Sacred White Mountain/ 3662m). Arrive to a scenic valley which the locals call the Bear Valley..

We are now in a scenic area, where small streams develop into rives fed by the melting glaciers flowing  down broad steppe valleys.  Around are forested hills of larch forests and mountains. Along the rivers there are wooded and alluvial meadows with broad leaf forests. We will stay  for two overnights and next day we will make day hikes in this stunning beautiful  area.


DAY 8:  To Hoton Lake via Green lake:

Full day ride  through the dramatic steppe valley along the river that drains from the Altai Tavanbogd massif creating a series of beautiful lakes. Camp on the shores of  beginning of  Hoton Lake. The area is below the snow capped Ikh Turgen Uul. The campspot is  a mere 3km from the China border. These are the summer pastures  Kazakh nomads. They are very friendly and hospitable people.  Have a chance to visit a Kazakh family and get introduce with the Kazakh culture and a Kazakh ger. Kazakh gers are much bigger in size and a lot taller than Mongolian or tuban gers. It they are much more colorfully decorated than the others. . This area will be totally vacated for the winter, which takes place some time in September. A fishing rod comes 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 is plentiful of fish in the lakes and rivers.

Day 9:  Ikh Turgen Uul And Hurgan lake & Baga Thurgen valley  and waterfalls:

Khurgan Lake. Today’s ride will across the wildest territory of the region through the green pastures and empty wide spaces. Our trekking route reaches the extreme western edge of the country along the Russian and Kazakh border. We will explore the neighbourhood areas including herds of cattle and horses. We will reach Khurgan Lake. Khurgan Lake is alpine lake dotted with islands, is 22 km long and 28m deep in places. Six rivers feed it, and the Khovd River flows from its eastern end. Overnight in the tent camp.

Day 10:  Baga Thurgen valley  and waterfalls:

Ride  fast through a plain filed to the Baga Turgen valley where there are 3 waterfalls. The waterfalls are located just few steps before the China border and eternal snow-caps. The are is full of wild fruits such as gooseberry. Red and black currant.  On the way back visit Kazakh nomads and get introduced with their nomadic lifestyle and culture. The Kazakh gers are much bigger in size than Mongolian gers and much more colourfully decorated.

Ride back to the camp site.

Day  11:  To Ulgii via  Snake Valley and Khovd river valley:

Drive to Ulgii through Khovd river valley,  in the Snake Valley stop by ancient Balbals,  Turkic man stone left by Turkic migration between 7-9th century, and deer stones , they come from bronze age which is about 2000-4000 years ago in this region.

Visit Eagle  hunter’s family, talk about eagle hunting practices and see the magnificent Altai Golden Eagle. Stay in ger camp neaby Ulgii and enjoy traditional Kazakh concert and beshbarmak which traditional Kazakh meal.

Day 12:

Drive to Bayan Ulgii airport for flight to UlaanBataar

Staying in UB Hotel

Day 13:

Driven to airport to meet International flight departure to Europe.