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Trails of the Altai

FromUS$ 2,880
FromUS$ 2,880
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The purchase of travel services offered by Tour Mongolia constitutes a contractual arrangement between the person making the booking and Tour Mongolia, and represents acceptance of Tour Mongolia’s Terms and Conditions described here.  They form the basis on which bookings are accepted by Tour Mongolia and it is important that you read them carefully.


This adventure 12-day trekking expedition is our ultimate adventure tour. Venture to the remote mountains in the Tavan Bogd National Park in western Mongolia, meet the Kazakh and Tuvan nomads, explore ancient deer stones and petroglyphs and catch a glimpse of the elusive wildlife that inhabits the area, including ibex and birds of prey. Trek over the mountain passes and glaciers, climb Mt. Malchin (4000m), walk on Potanin glacier and camp overnight in the wilderness with the pack camels carrying supplies, provisions, and equipment on this exhilarating trek. 


Tour Departures:

Jun 17, Jul 5, Aug 9, Sep 6


12 Days

Group Size:

3-12 Pax


Fly to Ulgii - Altai Mountains - Tavanbogd National Park - Potanin Glacier Walk - Mt. Malchin Summit - 10 Days Trekking Expedition - Tuvan Nomads - Kazakh Eagle Hunters - Ancient Petroglyphs and Rock Paintings - Takhlit Pass - Khoton Lake

Fitness Level

- STRENUOUS: This tour involves multi-day, non-technical trekking in high altitudes.

Meeting point

Good news! You can be picked up from your hotel, just email us the details. Don't worry if you haven't booked the accommodation yet, you can email it to us later.

Services included

Domestic airfares - Transport by a 4WD Russian van - Local guide - Local cook - All meals as listed - Quality tents and all camping equipment - All entrance fees - All attractions as listed - Pack animal rental

Services not included

Travel insurance - Visas - Snacks & alcohol - Items of personal nature



A day-by-day plan to guide your journey.

DAY 8-9
DAY 10
DAY 11
DAY 12

Today you will fly to Ulgii, the capital of the western-most province of Mongolia located over 1000 miles from Ulaanbaatar and nested in the spectacular Altai Mountains. Meet our driver at your hotel or another Ulaanbaatar location of your choice and transfer to the airport. Upon arrival, our local guide will meet you at arrivals and there will be time to explore the town and have lunch. Ulgii has heavy Kazakh influence and the majority of the population are ethnic Kazakhs. In the afternoon, board the Russian off-road van for a 4 hour (100km) drive out west into the wild, towards the Tavan Bogd National Park. You will camp tonight among the scenic Altai Mountains, around the mid-point to the park’s boundary.

Overnight camping in tents. Lunch and dinner are included.

After a hearty camp-prepared breakfast, continue the drive to the Altai Tavanbogd National Park. The drive today will be 5 hours long (150km) but the scenery is fantastic and there will be stops for photography and also a diversion to explore an interesting area featuring ancient rock paintings. Upon arrival to the National Park, the camp will be set up next to the gers of ethnic Tuvan people, who will provide camels for the trek tomorrow. There will be an opportunity to visit them in their gers, learn about their traditions and the nomadic way of life.

Overnight camp in tents. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.

Once the camels are loaded with provisions and equipment, start trekking with the local guides up the Altai Mountains amid the wonderful sceneries of the Tavan Bogd National Park. The area is considered sacred to local Kazakhs, Tuvans, and Mongolians. Today’s trek will be 16km long, which is usually covered in four hours, depending on your individual pace. Arrive at the Potanii, the largest glacier in Mongolia, have lunch and venture out for a walk on the ice. From there, enjoy stunning views of Mt. Malchin, which we will conquer tomorrow. Then return to the campsite which will be set up just off the glacier’s edge and settle into your tents for the night.

Overnight camping in tents. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be prepared by our cook.

After freshly cooked breakfast set off for a scenic climb of Mount Malchin. The 6-mile hike is not difficult and the trail is suitable for a reasonably fit person, however, it will take a good 4-5 hours to reach the summit as the altitude is 4037m, which means the oxygen levels are a bit lower! At the top enjoy panoramic views of the Altai Mountains, have picnic lunch and return to the campsite in time for dinner.

Overnight camping in tents. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be prepared by our cook.

Today’s 20km trek will be less demanding and should take no longer than 5 hours, but it doesn’t mean it will less scenic! Many wild animals roam these mountains and you may get a glimpse of ibex or see eagles. In the early afternoon arrive at the foothills of the Shiveet Khairkhan Mountain, which is considered sacred by the local nomads. In the valley below there are usually a number of Tuvan nomadic families of herders encamped in their gers, and tonight the camp will be pitched next to one of them. In the evening you will have an opportunity to enter the family ger and learn about their customs and daily life. Camp nearby to the family encampment at the altitude of 2,500m.

Overnight camping in tents. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be prepared by our cook – but the local nomads may also offer food for dinner.

After a hot breakfast and coffee, we will continue the trek, after 10km passing first Khar Saraa Valley which is a UNESCO listed heritage site and a treasure trove full of ancient rock engravings, monuments and deer stones dating all the way to Paleolithic. After exploring the site and having lunch, trek for another two hours to reach the campsite in the afternoon, situated near smaller lakes at the altitude of 2450m above sea level.

Overnight camping in tents. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be prepared by our cook.

Start the trek today a bit later, after staying with the family for a while, observing them tending to animals, milking cows or producing felts. Then fold down the tents and trek to the high pass of Takhilt at 3600m – the 7km hike up will be more demanding than in the last days, and most of it will be on snow. Have lunch near the high pass and in the afternoon trek downhill for 10km to the scenic Baavgait Valley, where you will spend the night.

Overnight camping in tents. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be prepared by our cook.

On these two days, the trek will be less challenging, mostly amid the green valleys and small glacial lakes that dot the area. You will pass through larch forest on the way to Khoton Lake, and the total distance covered in two days will be just over 30km. Arrive at Lake Khoton in the early afternoon on the second day.

Overnight camping in tents. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be prepared by our cook.

Lake Khoton is where Kazakh nomads encamp in their gers during summers and in the morning hike a short distance to visit one of the Kazakh families. You will notice that Kazakh gers are larger and different inside than those of Mongolians or Tuva people. Enter the ger and socialize with your nomadic hosts, learning more about the tradition of eagle hunting. In the evening, you will have the opportunity to learn traditional Mongolian cooking lesson in the beautiful campsite setting with your cook – learn how to make Buuz (steamed dumplings) or Huushuur (fried meat-filled pastry) or other Mongolian favorites!

Overnight camping in tents. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be prepared by our cook.

Today you will meet with your driver, and return by vehicle to Ulgii. On the way there will be a stop for lunch, perhaps also one by ancient monuments and deer stones. The long and bumpy drive is very scenic and you will pass a few nomadic Kazakh and Tuva gers, perhaps stopping to take a look at the textiles and accessories for sale. Arrive in Ulgii ger camp in the late afternoon, take shower and enjoy dinner in the camp’s restaurant.

Overnight in a ger camp in Ulgii. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.

In the morning drive to the local airport and return by air to Ulaanbaatar. The flight departs at 11 am and lands around 3 pm, stopping en route. After arriving, our driver will await you at the Ulaanbaatar airport and will transfer you to your hotel or an address of your choice.

Breakfast is included.



Tour Price Per Person: $2880 €2515
Single Supplement: $195 €175


Private tour: This trip is available as a private tour too, and you can book it on any day of your choice for you and your family or friends. Just email us with your proposed dates and your group size for pricing.

Occupancy: you can stay in a single, twin or double room/ger/tent (where applicable). Single occupancy may not be possible during the Naadam festival (July 5th -15th) at ger camps. At community-based camps and ger homestays, single occupancy is subject to availability. Single and twin/double occupancy at ger camps require an extra supplement as shown in the above table.

Discounts*: Our clients can take an opportunity to get following discount options:

  • Early bird discount of 10% is applicable for bookings made 6 months in advance.
  • Children up to 2 years old travel free, 3-8 years old get 40% off and 9-12 years old get 20% off. Age as on the last day of the tour.
  • 10% off if 3 or more friends book the trip together

*Discounts are not cumulative, only one discount is available per client/group.

Travel arrangements: We are happy to book your international or domestic flight/train tickets or accommodation in Ulaanbaatar at discount prices, please contact us for availability.

More information: info@tourmongolia.com