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Atlai Tavan Bogd National Park

Atlai Tavan Bogd National Park

Discover Altai Tavan Bogd national Park.


The Altai Mountain high range is a treasure to behold with snow-capped picks, torrents and glaciers. From the backdrop spreading from the Russian border all the way down to the Altai-Gobi province in the south. This beautiful park starts from the western border where the Mongolian Altai mountain range straddles Mongolia, China, and Russia with its beautiful snow-capped peaks.

Tavan Bogd means “five Saints”, whom the five main peaks are named after. The highest peak is Huiten 4374m above the borders of three nations. The peak Nairamdal “friendship” is divided by three countries and this is the second highest peak.

The park stretches from the high peaks to rich green valleys, and includes the three stunning lakes of Khoton Nuur, Khurgan Nuur and Dayan Nuur. All three lakes are the source of the Khovd Gol river, which eventually flows into Khar Us Nuur in Khovd aimag “province”.

What our Customer say About Atlai Tavan Bogd National Park

Essential Information

There are many archeological sites in the region, which has been a rich source of prehistoric fossils for a century. Scientists believe that this part of Mongolia still has undiscovered historical worth, and some archeological sites date back thousands of years. According to local evidence shows that first humans might have existed right in this part of the world.

The ancient remains of Balbal “Turkic stone statue”, Buguun chuluu “Deer carved stone”, ancient burial sites, tombs, and petroglyphs can be found in this national park. The age of these artifacts generally range from the 6th century, but some may go thirty-thousand years back

The wild animals as well as domestic animals coexist with humans. In fact, there are 7x more horses and 30x more sheep than people in Mongolia. The wild animals like Ibex’s, Argali cheap, marmot, wolf, fox and many species of birds visible with the naked eye.

During the summer season local nomads like the Kazakhs, Tuvan, and Urianhai peoples spend their summers here, right in the heart of the park.

These nomadic peoples kept their unique culture and hospitality pure through the centuries. Still now they living like their ancestors, who have lived here thousands of years ago. It’s impossible on the way to go past these nomad families, without being offered a cup of tea and food. Once you enter a Ger “nomad’s tent”, the host meets you with a warm welcome and typical conversations between the host and guest ensure for both parties to get to know each other. Women will set the table then will start pouring a cup of tea for everyone seated.

This stunning and wild region with the highest peaks of the nation and permanently covered with large glaciers (Potanii Glacier, the longest in Mongolia), together with the unique traditions and warm hospitality of the people, attracts the attention of everyone who comes to Mongolia, and leaves an impression on guests for a lifetime.

Altai Tavan Bogd National Park Iterinary

Fly in to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital city. At the airport, you’ll be met by your guide and taken to the hotel. After a rest, your guide will take you on a city tour.

Ulaanbaatar is the heart of Mongolia, boasting more than half the country’s population. This city is famed for it’s sightseeing spots such as the National Historical Museum, the Choijin Lam Temple, and the Zaisan Monument, with an outstanding view overlooking the metropolis.

Bayan-Olgiy means “fertile cradle”. This great valley where nomadic people spend their summers is situated at the base of Tsengel-Hairkhan Mountain (3800m). This aimag (province) is a stunning spot for photography, hiking, cycling, and horse riding. In addition, it is here that you will see the authentic lifestyle of the Kazakh people.

After breakfast, you’ll gather your things and go to the UB airport for the three-hour flight west to Olgiy. Your tour crew, a guide, a cook, and a driver, will meet you at the Olgiy airport. Today we’ll drive an hours to the eagle hunters valley, where our friend, an eagle hunter, spends his winter with family. Our hunter will show us his gorgeous bird. You’ll be invited into the hunter’s home and treated to a traditional Kazakh dastarhan, or spread of food, and milk tea.

Overnight in a house near to the family.

The Turgen Uul is the initial stage of the snowcapped chain ofmountains in the Altai Range. This particular mountain is famed for its waterfall, which begins its trickle at the mountain peaks. Here, historical remains have been found from both the Bronze and the Iron ages. As archaeologists search deeper, they discover new things in the history of mankind.

Today, we’ll drive toward the southwest. Through the windows of our car you’ll see the great Altai Mountain Range spread out. Driving on the banks of Black and Khurgan Lakes, crossing rivers, passing ancient archaeological sites, surrounded by mountains, stunning lake views, and lurch tree forests, this is the area where you’ll spend two nights.

We’ll have lunch by the shore of the lakes and on the tops of mountains when we hike.

Overnight in a tent.

Shiveet Khairkhan Mountain is one of the sacred mountains of the Altai Mountain range. For thousands of years, this mountain has been a home for men and for wild animals. Shiveet Khairkhan Mountian is rich with archaeological remains from the Bronze and Iron ages. It is estimated that 400 ibex live here.

The tremendous valley called Tsagaan Gol (White River) Valley is connected to Shiveet Khairkhan Mountain from the west. The local Tuvan nomadic people have their winter shelters by the foot of the mountain, but during the summers, they move up where the Tsagaan Gol begins as melt water from the glaciers.

Tuvans are a Mongolian ethnic group and have lived in this area for centuries. They practice shamanism and this is the only place where you will see these nomadic Tuvan people living close to each other. The population of Tuvans in Bayan-Ulgii is about 3000.

Today we’ll drive to Tsagaan Gol Valley, which will take about five hours. On the way, we’ll drive through Snake Valley, where some Kazakh nomads move just before the animal-breeding season during the spring. We’ll stop to see ancient burial sites, standing statues, and a local nomadic cemetery, the source of some local legends. You’ll have the opportunity to take as many photos as you’d like along the way.

In Tsagaan Gol Valley, we’ll camp by the river and meet our camel guy, who will be responsible for transporting our supplies for the next days. Close to evening, you’ll enjoy the sunset and observe some Tuvan herding and milking processes.

The base camp offers of view of the Tavan Bogd glacier. Tavan Bogd means “Holy Five”, named after the five high, snow-caped peaks of the mountain: Olgiy, Naran, Malchin, Nairamdal, and Huiten. Some of these peaks are divided between nations: Russia, China, and Mongolia.

The Nairamdal or “Friendship” peak is divided between all three and is the second highest. The highest peak of Tavan Bogd is Huiten, “Cold”, at 4374 meters. Of the Altai peaks, the Malchin peak is the only one where climbing equipment is not required. The ridge of this peak is where the Mongolian and Russian border was drawn.

As the sun rises on our camp, the morning dew will glisten. After breakfast, it will be time to return to the river valley. We’ll head back to our driver and the cars but take a different route than on Day 5, following the White River valley through a local nomad family’s summer spot.

The rest of the staff will keep the main trail back to the cars and will be waiting for us at the campsite. We’ll overnight in tents.

There will be a full day of driving via Tsengel and Ulaanhus soums. Along the way, you’ll enjoy the frequently changing views of the mountain colors. Upon return, we’ll check in at the Tsambagarav Hotel in Olgiy.

With the rest of your day, it will be possible to walk into town to visit the local museum or wool and felt craft shops. Some of the most beautiful pieces of Kazakh handicraft are the wall hangings made
by Kazakh women for the walls of gers. Overnight at the hotel.

In the morning hours, we’ll take a city tour of Olgiy. After lunch at a local restaurant, we will set out toward Tsambagarav Uul (4200 meters). This snow-capped mountain is on the border of three western aimags: Khovd, Uvs, and Bayan-Olgiy. Tonight, we will sleep at the foot of this grand mountain.

Here, our eagle hunter friend lives here with his family. This spot at the base of the Tsambagarav is a main summer pasture and will be crowded with Kazakh and Uriankhai nomadic families
for three months. Overnight in a tent.

The city of Khovd was once a small farming community on the edge of the Buyant River and later became a center for trade with Russia. Now, it is the major industrial center of Western Mongolia. It was one of the last cities to be liberated from Chinese rule in 1912 by Mongolian commanders.

Starting our drive from the foot of the Tsambagarav Mountain, we’ll drive for six hours through Bayan-Olgiy’s rich red mountains to Khovd city.

Once in Khovd, we’ll drive you to the airport to be registered fro the flight to Ulaanbaatar. The flight from Khovd to UB will take three hours and once in Ulaanbaatar, a guide will meet you and transport you to a hotel. Dinner will be at the hotel restaurant.

Transfer to the international airport.

Additional information and recommendations

  • The weather condition
    Mongolia is an acutely continental climatic country. Summers are hot and dry, sometimes with occasional rain, the temperature can fluctuate as much 18 degrees centigrade between day and night. Sometimes severe weather can occur in mountain areas. We are surely ready for any weather condition
  • What to take along – Waterproof clothes, long underwear for travel in the high mountains, sunscreen, a hat, gloves, comfortable footwear, lip balm, sanitary hand wipes, sunglasses, prescription medications, binoculars, a flashlight.
  • Transport – 4×4 drive car with an experienced driver will follow all the way. The tour supplies and gear will be loaded to vehicle.
  • Staff – The most of our tour will be guided by Erlan and an assistant guide. Erlan have been leading these kind of tours for 10 years and he speaks English-Russian Mongolian and Kazakh. Also cook will follow with assistant cook.
  • Food & Meal – Our cooks are excellent at preparing meals. There always will be vegetables available. For vegetarians, our cooks can make food with advanced notice. Every day you will have fresh hot meals for breakfast and dinner. The exception will be lunch, while we are riding. Lunch will be prepared in boxes with snacks and taken with us.
  • Includes
    English speaking guide, food(3 times per day), cook, overnights in gers and tents, camping equipment and all local transport /ULN-ULG-ULN flights /, Border, National park and fishing permits.
  • Excludes – Alcohol, single hotel rooms, international flight tickets.

The Gobi

The Gobi Desert, one of the biggest deserts in the world, covers a third of Mongolia’s territory. It differs from typical deserts, mountain ranges, forests, lakes and swamps occur in this area. This is an important agricultural region of the country. From the top of Aj Bogd, one of the highest mountains in the Gobi, hundreds of kilometers of flat land can be seen in haze.

The biggest lake is-Uvs. Numerous oases occur in the western side of the Gobi. Interesting creatures inhabit the Gobi that can quench thirst from its fat, turning protein into water, penetrating dews into the body, sucking moisture from the air by its skin, and drinking only vegetation juice.

Because vegetation grown in salty soil is very fertile, Gobi animals meat and milk are so tasty. Once the Gobi climate has very low humidity, the air heats up to 50 degrees, and frosts at night. Annual precipitation is one of the lowest on earth and is about 100 mm. But seldom rains cause flooding frequently. Winter in Gobi is very cold and harsh. Gobi wind-storms are very harsh. Strong storms cover the area, dimming the sun-light and creating total darkness all over.

It looks from a distance like a huge fortress and seems like a mythical beast hanging from the clouds, dancing. Sand is surely dominant in the Gobi Desert. Local people sell sands of different colors in small cases. Hongor Sand Dunes (Whistling Sands) in Umnugovi province covers an area of 92.5 and 185 km long, 20 km wide. The Whistling Sands amazes everyone.

It creates such strange sounds as whistling, squeaking, roaring, rattling, growling and rumbling when people walk on it. These sounds can be used” as musical instruments. But anyone can hardly play this kind of instrument, as this is followed by very low tune, thus mostly creates a scary feeling. Sand generally sounds like fiddle strings or jet engines in the wind. The Gobi is rich in mineral resources and the local people are looking forward to a promising future.

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Drive through Altai Tavan Bogd National Park

The Altai Mountains are a beautiful mixture of rough mountain peaks and sweeping valleys; for people who seek adventure, it is both a challenging and romantic landscape.

Here in the mountains, Tuvan, Mongolian, and Kazakh nomads live together with livestock and wild animals alike. Ibex, snow leopards, rock ptarmigans, Altai snow-cocks, and Argali sheep, some of which are endangered, all call these mountains home.

Great numbers of archeological remains, such as petro glyphs, and Turkish monuments, and deer stones all reveal a story of how spiritual this place is. Go farther into this wild landscape each day as you drift into the new adventures and experiences of nomadic life.

Essential Information

Altai Tavan Bogd Complex covering an area of 636 ha of land is a special protected area which was established in order to protect the king peaks of Altai such as Altai Tavan Bogd, Turgenii mountains, Rashaan Dungurukh, Songino, Yolt mountains and Khoton, Khurgan, Dayan mountain ranges and where wild animals like snow leopards, fallow-deers, altai snowcocks, beech martens, wild sheep and ibexes. The Altai Tavan Bogd Mountain is located in 185 km from Olgiy city.

The highest peak in the most western part of Altai Tavan Bogd is the Khuiten peak that is 4,374m high. Also, Altai Tavan Bogd has such permanent snow peaks as Nairamdal, Malchin, Burged, Naran and Huiten. Altai Tavan Bogd is also famous with its glaciers. The Potanin’s glacier is 20 km long, 5 km wide, and there are Grane and Alexander glaciers as well.

In Tavan Bogd, one has an opportunity to ride a horse, go for hiking and get acquainted with the lifestyle of Kazakhs and Tuvans. Many foreign and domestic tourists come here to climb to the peaks of Altai Tavan Bogd. Although tourists come here throughout the year, the most favorable months are July to September.

During this period, the weather is mild and the gorges at the glaciers can be properly seen.