The snow-capped Kuiten Uul mountain,4374 m (14,201 ft), is the highest of the five peaks of Tavan Bogd Mountains (literally ‘5 Saints’) that gives the park its name. It covers an area of 630,000 hectarce and is home to three large freshwater lakes and 34 glaciers, plus several waterfalls. The largest, Pontuninii Glacier, covers 23 sq km. Tavan Bogd Mountains are considered sacred to local Kazakhs, Tuvans, and Mongolians. The park stretches from Russia along the Chinese border, following the Altai Mountain Range that divides China, Russia, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan, for over 200 km. Ancient tribes have left many artifacts, using the region for religious ceremonies. Today, tens of thousands of petroglyphs in the park are part of a World Heritage Site. In addition there are numerous Turkic Stone Men and stone burial mounds. Official Tourism Website.
The busy season is from June to October when temperatures are warmer, snow has melted, and tour camps and shuttles are operating. The busiest time is August and September when the weather is best for mountain climbing. Also around the eagle festivals when tourist add a trip to the countryside. Though the park is still accessible year round with activities like snow skiing and eagle hunting during the cold winter months.
The Altai Mountains have been inhabited for around 12,000 years. The oldest images in the park are from 11,000 to 6,000 BC with hunting large mammals and ancient cultures. Thousands of years of petroglyphs show the transition from hunter-gatherer to pastoralism and later to the current semi-nomadic that developed over the last 3,000 to 4,000 years. Around 4,000 years ago, the use of horses and domestication of animals led to the rise of the Blue Turks (whose language is the root of Kazakh and Turkish). These successful warriors left upright carved stone statues known as Turkic Stone Men spread over the Altai Mountains.
Later in 700 BC, a group of horse-riding warrior nomads known as the Scythians starting from the Altai Mountains to conquer a region stretching to the Black Sea. They faded after being defeated by Alexander the Great in modern day Turkmenistan in 329BC, but not before leaving many stone burial mounds in the Altai. These mounds, or Khirigsuur, were designed to preserve bodies in frozen ground with horses, weapons, armor, and food for the afterlife. On such mound was discovered to contain a Scythian warrior in full battle regalia in a 2005 research expedition. In 100 AD, the Huns migrated through the region from the steppes of Mongolia to wreck havoc on Europe around 400 AD. Around this same time, Reindeer herding tribes from Siberia, called Tuvans, began expanding south into the mountains.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Chinggis Khaan International Airport|
|DEPARTURE TIME||07:20 AM|
Altai Tavan Bogd has some of the most stunning scenery in all of Mongolia with towering white mountains, glaciers, deep lush valleys, and large lakes. The park is divided into 2 regions, the Tavan Bogd Mountains in the northwest and the Lakes Region to the southeast. The park stretches along the Chinese border from the Russian border to 200 km south following the Altai Mountains, which form the borders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia. Glacial melt and annual snow fall supplies 3 large lakes inside the park that form the head waters of the Hovd River.
Tavan Bogd Mountains are the highest mountains in Mongolia, with Khuiten Uul (‘Cold Peak’) at 4374 m (14,201 ft) being the highest. These permanently snow capped mountains form a bowl around the Pontuninii Glacier, which covers 23 square km. The other peaks are Nairamdal (‘Friendship’, 4180 m), Malchin (‘herder’, 4050 m), Bürged (‘Eagle’, 4068 m) and Olgii (‘Craddle’, 4050 m). From the peak of Kuiten Uul, it is possible to see Kazakhstan 30 km away on a clear day. Khuiten Uul was renamed Ikh Mongol (‘Great Mongol’) by President Enkhbayar when he climbed it in 2006, though this is widely ignored and possibly reversed by the new government. There is still a monument at the base commemorating the accomplishment.
One group : 4-12 people
Day 1: Departure
- pick-up Chinggis khaan airport
- Place in the Hotel
- Traveled in the Ulaanbaatar city.
- As a socio-economic, political and cultural center of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar welcomes you with various destinations and attractions.
- Either you are visiting Ulaanbaatar (its different spelling), for business or pleasure, you should definitely have sometime out exploring its history, arts, and natural museums that can give you ample understanding about not only the country itself, but its connections, roles and influences in the region and the whole world, in a broader sense.
- We make sure to take you to the most popular museums and other highlighting spots in UB during this tour.
Day 16: Return
Lake Khar is located West from the Khangai range, 1980 metres (6496,06 metres) above sea level. It’s located 80 kilometres (49,71 miles) Northeast from the sum of Erdenekhairkhan, in the province of Zavkhan, and 110 kilometres (68,35 miles) from Uliastai.
This turquoise-blue lake offers an astonishing spectacle. It’s surrounded by the sand dunes of Bor Khyar that litterally dive into its waters. The Tudevtei mountains at North, Burkhantolgoi and Burgast ones at East, Tovkhosh ones at Southwest, perfectly complete the landscape. Lake Khar is 48 metres (157,48 feet) deep, it stretches on 30 kilometres (18,64 miles) long and 5 to 10 kilometres (3,11 – 6,22 miles) wide. On the lake, you can see two islands: Ikh, “big”, and Baga, “small”, Avkhash. This fish-rich lake will delight the fishermen/women, while the birds lovers will watch thirteen endemic species.
Otgon Tenger Uul is the highest peak of the Khanaai Nuruu range. Its height is today considered to be 3905m, but in some older topographic maps the hight is marked with 4021m. Othgon Tenger is the only mountain of the Khangaii range that is capped with a glacier. The south face of Otgon Tenger Uul is the biggest granite wall in Mongolia.
Otgon Tenger Uul is one of three most sacred mountains in Mongolia; Khan Khentii Uul, and Bogd Khan Uul are the other two. Otgon Tenger, Khan Khentii, and Bogd Khan are actually state-worshipped mountains in Mongolia. Worshipping at these mountains began during Khunnu times by the first governing state of Mongolia, and this tradition continues to the present day. Chingis Khan (Genghis Khan) first identified these three mountains as sacred mountains in the thirteenth century, and they were worshipped by his empire. Khentii Khan is the birthplace of Chingis Khan, and history says that Genghis Khan’s funeral procession travelled from Tangad state to Otgon Tenger holy mountain.
Many sacred mountains in Mongolia are said to have ferocious deities. The deity of Otgon Tenger Uul is Ochirvaani. These ferocious deities emerged after Buddhism was introduced in Mongolia. Otgon Tenger translates as ‘Young son of the sky’.
The “Teeme Tower”, a granite rock wall in the Otgon Tenger Uul protected area has first been climbed by an American Team (Heather Baer, Jackie Carroll, Shaun Chartrand, Steve Schneider, Mike Strassman).
Nariinii gol river
Altai 5 bogd
Visiting nomadic families inside the park is an obligatory part of any visit, and is possible both summer and winter. Even if you have visited families elsewhere in Mongolia, it is worth seeing Kazakh and Tuvan families. You can stop by for milky tea or a meal while on a trek, or stay the night. Some of the Kazakhs are eagle hunters, and you can ask to hold the eagles or watch their training during the summer months. Or you can watch the daily routine of a real nomad of herding animals, milking goats and horses, gathering dung, cooking, and cleaning. Depending on time of year, you get to see them move camp (which takes a day to break, move, and set up camp). The generous hospitality of locals has long been a draw to the park, though you should be prepared to give gifts of money or household goods. They are hosting tourists throughout the summer so they can’t be too generous. Both Kazakhs and Tuvans speak different languages, that most Mongol tour guides don’t understand.
Achit Lake (Mongolian: Ачит Нуур) is the largest freshwater lake in the Uvs Aimag (province) of Mongolia, in the west of the country. At an elevation of 1,435 m above sea level it covers an area of 290 km². It is 28 km long, 16 km wide, and 10 m deep. The coast is covered with steppes, mostly hilly but swampy on the northwest and northeast. Several rivers flow into the lake.