Naadam Festival and Trekking around Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, 15 Days
This is a-two week tour tailored for those who want to experience all in one as a mix of hiking, climbing, horse riding and culture, nomadic lifestyle. Mongolia's western frontiers with Russia and China are guarded by the snow capped peaks of the Altai Tavan Bogd mountain range, highest in the country. Tavanbogd means “The Holy Five", referring to the five highest peaks, of which Khuiten 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. Its highest and most interesting peaks are Khuiten, Nairamdal, Malchin, Snowchurch and Ulgii. The longest glacier of Mongolia, the Potanin glacier stretches for 19km from the eastern face of Mt. Khuiten. On the summit day, when on the top of Khuiten, you will be able to glance into Russia and China. The local Tuvan herders acting as your camel caravan handlers and as porters will make an unforgettable company and share their culture and traditions with you.
Trek through the dramatic steppe valley along the river that drains from the Altai Tavanbogd massif, creating a series of beautiful lakes. The lake is 22 km in length and 4 km in width. This is a fresh water lake and its deepest point is 58m. It is surrounded by trees on the Mountains on the right side where out trekking trail is.
Day 1, Jul 10th - Arrive in Ulaanbaatar
You will be met at the Chinggis Khan International airport by our guide and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in hotel.
Day 2, July 11th - Naadam Opening Day
Today you will enjoy the opening ceremony of Naadam Festival at the central stadium of UB. Opening ceremony starts at around 10am-11 am. Then wrestling in the afternoon. Overnight in hotel. (B)
Day 3, July 12th - Naadam Day 2
Today we will drive out of UB to enjoy horse racing. Then traditional concert and music shows in the evening. Overnight in hotel. (B)
Day 4, Jul 13th, Fly to Ulgii and Drive towards Altai Tavan Bogd
Take an early morning flisht to Ulgii. Upon arrival in Ulgii you will be met by your local guide and driver at the airport. Take a tea break and head to Tavan Bogd Mountains. Driving will take 6-8 hours by Russian Van. Lunch break on the way. Upon arrival at the south gate overnight in tents where Tuvan people live. Tuvan language is a Turkic language and their religious practice is more like shaman. Overnight in camping tents.
Day 5, Jul 14th, Hiking towards Tavan Bogd Base Camp
After breakfast at the south gate, we will meet a local herdsmen with his camel(s) and horse(s) who would support us till the base camp. Hike for 13-15 km toward the base camp of the snow-capped Tavanbogd massif. our food, camping tents and luggage will be uploaded to camel(s). Set up camp next to the 20km long Potanina glacier – the biggest of the twenty glaciers in Mongolian Altai. (B, L, D)
Day 6 , Jul 15th - Climbing Malchin
Today we do a non-technical climbing to the top of Malchin peak. But, climbing to the top of Malchin is not promised as it depends on the weather conditions. If the weather is fine with clear sky, we proceed with the climbing. Overnight at the same spot at the base camp. (B, L, D)
Day 7, Jul 16th - Black Valley
Packing the tents and start trekking towards Shiveet Khairkhan (Sacred) Mountain. Trek down to Shiveet Hairhan Mountain where you see the biggest petroglyphs/rock painting in that area and man stones from Turkic period and burial mounds, deer stones. Here we will now be able to view one of the biggest petrolgyphs (approx 3000BC-5000 BC). There are almost 1000 paintings counted by archeological studies around Tavan Bogd and Baga Oigor’s territory and they were registered by UNESCO as a world heritage in 1994. This is a sacred mountain of local Tuvans where Wild goats live on. Lunch break on the way. Overnight in Black Valley where Tuvan people live before the Takilbai Pass. (B, L, D)
Day 8, Jul 17th - Trekking along Bear Valley
Today, we continue our trek into Bear Valley and will cross the Altai at the highest elevation of some 3600m. We will be near the peak of Tsagaan Hairhan Uul (3662m) have broad views across the Altai and enter Bear Valley. (B, L, D)
Day 9, Jul 18th, Trekking-/Out of Bear Valley/
Packing the tents and start trekking for another 6 to 8 hours. We will be out of the Valley. (B, L, D)
Day 10, Jul 19th - Trekking along Khoton Lake
Trekking towards and along Khoton Lake. The lake is 22 km in length and 4 km in width. This is a fresh water lake and its deepest point is 58m. It is surrounded by trees on the Mountains on the right side where out trekking trail is. Visit one or two herder families along the lake. Overnight in tents by the Lake. (B,L,D)
Day 11, Jul 20th - Trekking Zagastai
Trekking along the lake, visit nomad families who live along the lake. Overnight in camping tent. (B,L,D)
Day 12 , Jul 21st, Waterfall
Trekking upwards to a mountain where you see beautiful waterfall. There are berries grow on this mountain and the other side of the mountain is Chinese territory.
Arrive at Sirgali bridge for dinner and overnight in tents. Overnight in tents. (B,L,D)
Day 13, Jul 22nd- Drive back to Ulgii
Early morning breakfast and pack up camping tents and drive back to Ulgii. Visit an Eagle Hunter's family on the way to Ulgii. Farewell dinner at West Mongolia ger camp and stay overnight.
Day 14, Jul 23rd - Fly back to Ulaanbaatar
Fly back to Ulaanbaatar. You will be met by our representative in UB and transferred to your hotel.
Day 15, July 24th, International departure
Our driver will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport for international departure.
Roundtrip domestic flights.
A local guide who speaks English, Kazakh and Mongolian and a cook will accompany you at all times. In addition, the services of the local herdsmen will be hired along with their animals. Mountain guide and porters. All of our stuff will be loaded on a camel or a horse depending on size.
Tents for everyone
Hiring a car (4WD+Russian Jeep for carrying the stuff /Drivers).
All national park entries and permission fees
What to bring
- Warm hat and gloves,
- Long underwear for travel in the high mountains, comfortable footwear,
- Prescription medications,(if needed),
- Money belt and small padlocks
- Small first-aid kit
- Daypack for use on day or overnight excursions
- Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
- Electrical adapter plug
- Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes
- Insect repellent
- Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
- Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
- Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
- 2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain)
- Refillable water bottle
- Phrase book
- Warm clothes - when travelling in cooler climates
- Wind and waterproof jacket
- Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
- Camera and spare film (or recharge for digital cameras)
Stay in UB
Excess luggage fees on internal flights,
Meals not indicated above in the itinerary
Personal climbing equipment
Sleeping bags and pads
Although the Mongolian summers are hot and dry with occasional rain, the temperature can fluctuate as much 20 degrees centigrade between day and night. So be prepared for all weather conditions.
Western Mongolian families frequently move from one pasture to the other using camels. The services of some herdsmen will be hired by the expedition, and they will support us with their animals.
A local guide who speaks English and Kazakh, Mongolian will accompany the group at all times. A cook will follow, with an assistant. In addition, the services of the local herdsmen will be hired along with their animals. The horsemen follow a traditional lifestyle in the areas where we will be riding.
Our cook will prepare the meals. We pride ourselves in having cooks adapt to both western and Mongolian cooking on our trips. There are always vegetables available, and we have no problem accommodating vegetarians on our trips. For breakfast we can buy fresh yogurt from the herdsmen in the local area sometimes.