Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Group

Adventure Trekking in the Altai Mountains (11 days)

Nomadic Expeditions

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia To Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


Day 1
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatar None

The contrast between ancient traditions and a 21st-century democracy is most visible in Ulaanbaatar, where traditional gers and Buddhist monasteries sit side by side with modern high-rises. Upon arrival at the airport you are welcomed by your Mongolian guide and transferred to your centrally located hotel within walking distance of various museums and shops.

Day 2
Bayan, Mongolia
Tent Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Transfer to the airport for the ight to Ulgii (3 hours), capital of Bayan-Ulgii, Mongolia’s westernmost province. Ninety percent of the population of Bayan-Ulgii is Kazakh, and there will be ample opportunity to meet local families and discover the unique Kazakh culture. The language and traditions of the Kazakhs have been preserved for generations in this isolated region, which features some of the most spectacular scenery in Mongolia

Upon arrival in Ulgii, drive through stunning mountain valleys, following the Hovd River and arriving at the Khatuugin Mountain valley and the forested banks of the Khatuugin River. Explore the surrounding area on foot, including granite hillsides bearing petroglyphs from the early-Bronze Age and late-Neolithic periods depicting ibex, Argali mountain sheep, and other animals.

During the trip, your guide will set up a comfortable tent camp each day out tted with sleeping bags and mats. We set up our camps with large three-person tents for every two people to provide ample space. Today’s campsite is situated on the banks of the Khatuugin, a river that winds through a beautiful valley. Overnight in tents.

Day 3
Bayan, Mongolia
Tent Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Today you will take a 5-6 hour drive toward the permanently snow- capped Tsambagarav Mountain (13,783 ft.) and the Namarjin Valley. Take a break along the way and make a visit to a Turkic stone monument dating back to 7-9 A.D.

Namarjiin Valley is the summer home of the Uuld. The Uuld are Mongol-speaking people who are part of the Oirat ehtnic group. They typically settle in this valley from mid-June through the end of August and rely on animals solely for transporation. Uulds are very proud of their rich history, which includes Amarsanaa Khan, the Uuld king who led the rebellion against the Qin Dynasty’s invation of Mongolia. Overnight in tents. Average altitude is 6,000 ft. Please note that weather-related changes are possible to this itinerary due to rivers over owing in the region.

Day 4
Bayan, Mongolia
Tent Campmong Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


After breakfast, meet the Uuld horsemen and begin the fully animal-supported trek along the northwest side of Tsambagarav Mountain, continuing for 5-7 hours via Hoh Sair Spring and Huren Asga Pass (9,000 feet.) Following a strenuous hike up through Huren Asga Pass, camp in the nearby Tavan Belchir Gorge. Overnight in tents. (Terrain: dry, grassy, mostly at, some portions have undulating hills and steep hikes; it is necessary to cross two springs using horses or pass through large boulders; average altitude is 8,000 feet.)

Day 5
Bayan, Mongolia
Tent Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


After breakfast begin the gradually ascending trek to Tavan Belchir Pass, stopping along the way to visit a local Kazakh family. After 5-7 hours of trekking, you will camp at the high plateau of Har Asga Valley. The snow-capped peaks of mountains such as Kharkhiraa and Turgen will be visible from the campsite. Overnight in tents. (Terrain: dry, grassy, mostly at, some portions have steep downward hikes; it is necessary to cross one spring using horses; average altitude is 9,000 feet.)

Day 6
Bayan, Mongolia
Tent Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Trek today through the foothills of Tsambagarav Mountain, covered with glacier, boulders, and grassy hills. After 5-7 hours of

trekking, you will camp in the foothills of Maraat Pass. The fertile Maraat Valley is one of the only forested areas in the province. (Terrain: dry, rocky, some portions have steep downward hikes; it is necessary to cross one spring using horses or pass through large boulders; average altitude is 8,000 feet.)

Day 7
Bayan, Mongolia
Tent Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Begin the last day of trekking by passing over Maraat Pass and hiking down to Bayangol Zuslan. Following 3-5 hours of trekking, you will be met by vehicles and will camp near the Had Uzuur Bridge. (Terrain: dry, rocky, some portions have steep downward hikes; average altitude is 8,000 feet.)

Day 8
Bayan, Mongolia
Tent Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Drive to crystal-clear Tolbo Lake, which mirrors the dramatic Khunguin Mountains. This saline lake attracts numerous birds such as swans and gulls, and is home to over eight different types of sh. Spend the day trekking along the eastern shore of the lake, visiting Kazakh families along the way.

Many Kazakhs still hunt with trained golden eagles in the winter months, a tradition passed down from their Turkic ancestors.

Female eagles are preferred for their aggression and size; weighing as much as fifteen pounds, the females are nearly one-third heavier than the males. During your travels there will be opportunities to see these magnificent birds, whose vision is eight times more acute than a human’s. There will also be a chance to visit a traditional Muslim burial tomb, a walled compound built from adobe and stone, and for an optional visit to an Uriankhai family. The Uriankhai are famous for their archery skills. Overnight in tents on a lakeshore.

Day 9
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatar Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


In the morning drive from Tolbo Lake back to Ulgii. Today, y back to Ulaanbaatar (4 hours) and transfer to the hotel. In the evening enjoy dinner at a fine local restaurant.

Day 10
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatarmo Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Begin the day with a visit to Gandan Monastery, the seat of Buddhism in Mongolia. Strolling through the monastery grounds, hear the low tones of the horns used to call the lamas to the temple and observe daily rituals including the reading of sutras and the teachings of the Buddha. Visit the Chenrezi and Kalachakra Temples, as well as the magni cent statue of Migjid Janraisig, “the lord who looks in every direction.” This 82-foot high gilded statue is clothed in silk and precious stones and completely lls one of Gandan’s temples.

Next, visit the National History Museum for an excellent overview of Mongolia’s history and culture. The newly remodeled museum displays traditional implements of daily nomadic life, including Stone and Bronze Age artifacts, historical costumes of Mongolia’s minority tribes, sacred religious relics, and agricultural, shing, and hunting equipment.

In the afternoon, drive to Zaisan Memorial, built by the former Soviet Union to commemorate fallen World War II soldiers. Those who climb the 300 steps are rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view of the capital city and the Tuul River as it meanders through the valley below. In the evening, enjoy a performance featuring traditional Mongolian dancers and khoomi throat singers, followed by a farewell dinner at a ne local restaurant.

Day 11
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
None Breakfast

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure.

Tour Features


  • Adventure
  • Walking & Biking
  • Wildlife & Nature


One of the last truly unspoiled wilderness areas of Asia, the dramatic beauty of the Altai Mountains - Mongolia’s highest with several peaks reaching upwards of 14,000 feet - will be the backdrop for this extraordinary adventure. The backcountry of western Mongolia is still relatively unexplored and this trek offers a remarkable experience for active travelers.

A highlight of any trip to the Altai is the chance to interact with local nomadic families and learn about the unique cultures that have been preserved in this remote region. Among these is that of the Kazakhs, famous for their tradition of hunting with golden eagles and renowned for producing colorful textiles.

About Us

Nomadic Expeditions is an award-winning tour operator that has been crafting trips of a lifetime to Mongolia, Bhutan, Tibet, Nepal, China, Myanmar, Siberia, Sri Lanka, and India for 25 years. Founded by Mongolian-American Jalsa Urubshurow, Nomadic Expeditions pioneered luxury adventure travel to Mongolia shortly after its democratization in 1990. As developers and owners of the Three Camel Lodge, Nomadic Expeditions continues its commitment to providing exceptional experiences coupled with sustainability in this hidden corner of the world.

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Terms & Conditions

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be submitted in writing to Nomadic Expeditions. Cancellation charges are based on the number of days from the date we receive the written cancellation notice until the main trip departure date.

Cancellation charges:

  • 90 days or more Full Deposit
  • 89-60 days 25% of land
  • 59-30 days 50% of land
  • 29-0 days No refund
  • After trip departs - No refund

In addition, any unrecoverable charges or fees imposed by suppliers or vendors on advance payments will be assessed. Airfares are refundable in accordance with the policy of the airline carrier being used, subject to a $50 handling charge. If full payment is not received 90 days prior to departure, Nomadic Expeditions reserves the right to consider this a cancellation. A Late Payment Fee will apply to all payments made less than 90 days prior to departure. Nomadic Expeditions reserves the right to cancel or postpone any travel services prior to departure for any reason, including insufficient number of participants. In the event that a trip cannot depart on the dates specified due to unforeseeable events that render the itinerary inoperable or inadvisable, Nomadic Expeditions reserves the right to postpone services until such time as it is deemed appropriate by Nomadic Expeditions. Trip payments will be held by Nomadic Expeditions, and subject to the same conditions as for the original scheduled trip. Nomadic Expeditions is not responsible for any unrecoverable expenses incurred by trip participants due to trip cancellation or postponement, including non-refundable airline tickets, medical expenses and visa fees, or additional arrangements, made either through Nomadic Expeditions or another provider, purchased to coincide with this scheduled departure. This trip is subject to the cancellation, refund, and other policies set forth on our Departure Guide. We urge you to read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions.

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Highly Recommended

By: CW

Reviewed on: 02 May 2014

The tour group offered helpful advice about Mongolia and organized a VIP immigration service on arrival in Ulaanbaatar. The guide was experienced and very friendly and worked hard to get me to see all the sights I wanted to see (quite a feat as I tend to want to see everything).
Travel Advisor:  Ilana Valo