The West and the Altai Mountains

Trip description

In the western part of Mongolia lie the foothills of the Altai Mountains, ideal for beautiful hikes, where you can escape, thanks to the altitude, the stifling heat that prevails in the country in summer. However, you will have to avoid the entire winter season, when temperatures drop very cheerfully far below zero!

Day 1: Contact with Ulan Bator

Day 2: Direction the Far West

Day 3: Hiking in Altai Tavan Bogd Park

Day 4: High altitude trekking

Day 5: Track day

Day 6: Hiking to the Black Water Lake

Day 1 : Contact with Ulan Bator

Day1 : Contact with Ulan Bator ©Eric Martin - Iconotec

A must-see visit to the Museum of National History in the morning, and the Bogdo Khan Palace. In the late afternoon, go overlook the city from Zaisan Hill, then evening on Genghis Khan Square. As animation is not the strong point of the Mongolian capital, you can go to bed early and keep your strength for the rest of the program.

Day 2 : Direction the Far West

Day2 : Direction the Far West ©Jérôme BOUCHAUD

Domestic flight to Olgii in the morning. You are now at an altitude of 1,710 metres, surrounded by Kazakhs. In the afternoon, transfer to the Tsagan Salaa site to admire the thousands of rock paintings spread over fifteen kilometres and illustrating the culture of nomadic life and hunting. The site is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 3 : Hiking in Altai Tavan Bogd Park

Day3 : Hiking in Altai Tavan Bogd Park ©Eric Martin - Iconotec

Transfer from Olgii to the Chinese border for a day of immersion in the heart of nature. The national park is home to many glaciers and is the highest point in the Altai chain. Hikes or rafting days can be easily organized with the agencies of Olgii or Ulan Bator.

Day 4 : High altitude trekking

Day4 : High altitude trekking ©François JANNE DOTHEE

Without leaving the park, spend this day on a slightly more difficult trek, towards the Potanin glacier or to the top of the Malchin. Well-trained, these treks will allow you to go on an adventure in complete safety, far from the beaten track, with the added bonus of superb views of Mongolia on one side and Russia on the other.

Day 5 : Track day

Day5 : Track day ©Fanfo -

Drive all day to Khovd city. The track is often in very poor condition and the journey will certainly be difficult at times. To take a break, you can reach Tsambagara uul National Park, 3 hours drive from Olgii. Leopards, ibex and gazelles constitute the observable fauna, with luck, of this park.

Day 6 : Hiking to the Black Water Lake

With a vehicle you can go to Khar us Nuur National Park. Around the lake, which is no more than 4 m deep, you can observe many birds, including migrating pelicans. During the hike, you can meet the Myangad ethnic group, which has a camp along the river.

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