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North - Western Mongolia (Uvs Province) Trekking Tour

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 13 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 12 people
Destination(s): Mongolia  
Specialty Categories: Hiking & Trekking   Cultural Journey  
Season: May - September
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 1798 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2810 US Dollar (USD)

2017 Tour Departures:

Available: August 3-15

Overview:

Kharkhiraa and Turgen mountain massif in north western 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 120 km runs across alpine meadows, rugged mountain sides and 3000 m high passes from 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 our camp and luggage. Except for just one all trek days are suitable for trekkers of average level of fitness. Mountain weather is changeable and requires bringing four season clothing and gear, even though it is summer.

Day 1: Arrival to Ulaanbaatar, guided city tour. 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 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. The 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: Flight to Ulaangom town and car transfer to Uliastai valley. Morning transfer to UB to airport for a 3 hours flight to Ulaangom town located in just 40 km from lake Uvs, largest in Mongolia. Your guide will accompany you on board. Upon arrival we take 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 (2410 m) which will bring in to our view a fresh water alpine lake called the Blue Lake. Beyond the lake you will see rugged foothills of Kharkhiraa & Turgen peaks and their snow capped tops. After a picnic lunch we descend to the lake and trek along its shoreline until arriving to our camp site at 1795 m 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 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 1860 m 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. Rocky but well established trail steadily climbs up bringing more snow capped peaks into our sight. A noticeable temperature drop can also be felt. Our camel caravan will be struggling harder to catch up with us. Tented overnight at 2330 m 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 to 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 2944 meter high Kharkhiraa pass which is a small plateau surrounded by glaciers. Views of the Turgen and Kharkhiraa peaks aligned north to 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 2688 m above sea level. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

Day 9: Cross Yamaat pass. We cross the Olon nuur valley, typical highland tundra with permafrost not deep below the surface and therefore abundance of water and marshes. We exit the Olon Nuur valley by ascending the 2959 m 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 in to the valley and trek for a good half day till reaching our campsite. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

Day 10: Last trekking (15 km) day and transfer to Ulgii town. We trek down the Black Goat valley After 15 km 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 cozy local hotel. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, hotel)

Day 11: 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 12: Leisure day in Ulaanbaatar. This is a spare day to spend for shopping and rest. (Breakfast, hotel)

Day 13: Departure. Transfer to airport for your return flight home. (Breakfast)

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- All accommodation: hotel (4 nights), tent (8 nights)
- Complete camping & cooking equipment
- Sleeping mattresses
- Indicated meals & drinking water
- All visits, sightseeing, national park and permit fees
- Overland transport
- Domestic airfare and airport transfers
- English speaking guide
- Expedition cook(s)
- Local guides (pack animal drivers)
- Pack animals
- Satellite phone for emergencies

Price Excludes:
- Travel insurance
- Excess baggage fee on domestic air travel
- Sleeping bags
- Meals not indicated
- Drinks & Alcohol
- Gratuities.