Turgen Mountain Trekking

12
Age 3+
Jun, Jul
Availability 15

Kharkhiraa & Turgen mountain massif in northwestern Mongolia is a spectacular region of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, torrential rivers, saline, and freshwater lakes. It has a unique variety of animal and plant life. The 8 days trek route of just over 120km runs across alpine meadows, rugged mountainsides, and 3000m high passes from the top of which there are open panoramic views of the whole of the mountain range. Ethnic Durvud people will accompany you throughout the trek with their camels laden with your luggage and camping equipment. Except for just one, all trek days are suitable for trekkers of an average level of fitness. Mountain weather is changeable and requires bringing four-season clothing and gear, even though it is summer.

Highlights:

  • Unplug yourself from modern life
  • Find yourself in the tranquility of Kharkhiraa and Turgen mountains
  • Soak in the beauty of pristine nature
  • See wildflower carpets
  • Meet Durvud and Khoton ethnic group, nomads
  • Experience a way of life that hasn’t changed for a few hundred years
  • Feel the atmosphere of modern Ulaanbaatar

Day 1. Arrival to Ulaanbaatar, Guided City Tour

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar (UB), the capital of Mongolia and transfer to a centrally located 4-star hotel. Afternoon guided city tour will introduce you to the highlights of the city: the Gandan Temple – city’s main Buddhist center, the central city square with a grand statue of Genghis Khan and the Zaisan Memorial, an elevated hill on the city’s edge providing a panoramic view of UB. Then choose to visit one or two museums from the following: National Museum introducing Mongolia’s history from early humans to the modern era, Dinosaur Museum with a unique collection of dinosaur fossils, Choijin Lama or State Oracle Residence-museum displaying best samples of Buddhist artwork and religious masks. Winter Palace of Bogd Khan showcasing rare statues of Buddhist deities and items of personal use of the last theocratic ruler of Mongolia is also worth considering. An evening folk show of music, throat singing and contortion will be followed by a welcome dinner. (Dinner, hotel)

Day 2. Ulaangom & trekking camp

Flight to Ulaangom town and car transfer to Uliastai valley Morning transfer to UB to the airport for a 3 hours flight to Ulaangom town located in just 40km from lake Uvs, largest in Mongolia. Your guide will accompany you on board. Upon arrival, we take a one-hour car transfer to Uliastai valley, the starting point of the trek. Here we establish our first tented camp and finalize arrangements with local camel herders who will accompany us with their beasts of burden during the trekking adventure ahead. Overnight in tents. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

Day 3. Trek to Blue Lake

We start trekking by ascending the Uliastai pass (2410m) which will bring in to our view a freshwater alpine lake called the Blue Lake. Beyond the lake, you will see rugged foothills of Kharkhiraa & Turgen peaks and their snowcapped tops. After a picnic lunch, we descend to the lake and trek along its shoreline until arriving at our campsite at 1795m above sea level. Our camel caravan will catch up with us soon after lunch and continue on to prepare camp and dinner. Such will be the routine for each trekking day. Tented overnight by the Blue Lake. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

Day 4. Trek to Confluence of Kharkhiraa & Turgen Rivers

We curve around the lake, trek to the valley of Kharkhiraa river and continue along the riverside to its confluence with Turgen river. Both torrential rivers take the source from vast glaciers of their namesake peaks. Each day we will need to cross Mountain Rivers and smaller streams. Across the deeper and faster ones, you will be shuttled on horseback assisted by our camel drivers. Tonight we camp at Turgen river bank at 1860m above sea level. 50-meter high red rock cliffs on the opposite bank make an impressive backdrop to the campsite view. Tented overnight. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

Day 5. Trek to Dund Khoroo MТ

It is an all-day-long ascent along the Kharkhiraa river at the end of which we will have gained almost 800 meters. The impressive red rock wall will continue alongside across the river. The rocky but well-established trail steadily climbs upbringing more snowcapped peaks into our site. A noticeable temperature drop can also be felt. Our camel caravan will be struggling harder to catch up with us. Tented overnight at 2330m above sea level. Time permitting we will visit one of the local herding families that graze their large flocks of sheep, goats and horses on the abundant alpine pastures. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

Day 6. Trek to Kharkhiraa Pass

We continue trekking upstream along the Kharkhiraa River until arriving at its headspring. This is also the bottom of the main water dividing ridge. Several small streams are to be negotiated on foot. Tented overnight. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

Day 7. Exploration of Alpine Lakes

Although staying in the same campsite we have a somewhat challenging exploration excursion to several alpine lakes nestled at the southern foothill of the Turgen massif. Those wishing can rest at the camp or take some smaller hikes in the area. Tented overnight. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

Day 8. Cross Kharkhiraa Pass

Trek to Ereesen valley in Olon Nuur valley. The most challenging trekking day. We first ascend 2944meter high Kharkhiraa pass which is a small plateau surrounded by glaciers. Views of the Turgen and Kharkhiraa peaks aligned north to the south open from the top. We then descend to Ereesen valley in Olon Nuur valley, literally meaning “valley of many lakes” and trek along its edges to keep on drier trails and camp at an altitude of 2688m above sea level. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

Day 9. Cross Yamaat Pass

We will cross the Olon nuur valley, typical highland tundra with permafrost not deep below the surface and therefore an abundance of water and marshes. We exit the Olon Nuur valley by ascending the 2959m Black Goat pass which marks the entrance to the Black Goat valley which is formed by two parallel ridges that extend from the Turgen peak. The lower slopes on both sides are densely forested. This is a home to the elusive Snow Leopard and wild mountain goat the former’s main prey. We descend into the valley and trek for a good half-day till reaching our campsite. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

Day 10. Trek along with the goat valley

Throughout the day we trek downstream along a swift mountain river that flows through the Black Goat valley with wooded slopes on one side and rugged mountainsides on the other. This is a relatively easy day with a gentle incline throughout the way. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

Day 11. Last Trekking (15km) Day and Transfer to Ulgii Town

We trek down the Black Goat valley after 15km the trek finishes. Here we part with our local guides and take car transfer (4-5 hours) to Ulgii town, home to the largest Muslim community of Mongolia. Dinner and overnight in a cosy local hotel. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, hotel)

Day 12. Return Flight to Ulaanbaatar

This morning we catch a return flight to UB. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. Free afternoon for shopping and else. Farewell dinner. (Breakfast, dinner, hotel)

Day 13. Departure

Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
Starting dateFinish dateStatusAvailable
13 Jun 202225 Jun 2022Open
28 June 202210 Jul 2022Open+Naadam festival available
09 Aug 202221 Aug 2022Open

Tour price

Pax based price ($)
#PaxPer person $
2-3pax
4-5pax
6-7pax
8-9pax
10-11pax
12-13pax
14-15pax
Single supplement

INCLUDED:

  • All accommodation: hotel (3 nights), tent (8 nights)
  • Sleeping mattresses
  • All visits, sightseeing, national park and permit fees
  • Domestic airfare and airport transfers
  • Expedition cook(s)
  • Pack animals
  • Complete camping & cooking equipment
  • Indicated meals & drinking water
  • Overland transport
  • English speaking guide
  • Local guides (pack animal drivers)
  • Satellite phone for emergencies

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Travel insurance
  • Sleeping bags
  • Drinks & Alcohol
  • Excess baggage fee on domestic air travel
  • Meals not indicated
  • Gratuities

Tour map

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