9-days self-sufficient horseride in the Gorkhi-Terelj and Khan Khentii national parks !!!
So close from Ulan Bator and so beautiful, so close from civilization and so remote... The Gorkhi-Terelj National Park and the strictly protected area of Khentii offer the richest landscapes of Mongolia : rocky formations sculpted by erosion, mountains tree-filled with pines, plains scattered with wild flowers and edelweisses, rivers and lakes… This is the perfect place to let oneself be led by the horse and follow the rhythm of the animals carrying the equipment in these wild areas.
Day 1Arrival and visit of Ulan Bator
Arrival at the airport, meeting with our driver. Transfer to your hotel, settling in, and rest.
Appointment at 12 o'clock at your hotel with your guide. He will take you in the restaurant of your choice.
Let's immerse ourselves in the heart of the Mongolian history, in the wonderful National History Museum. Three floors of a rich, glorious, violent and noble past, from prehistory to Soviet period, including the creation of the great Mongolian Empire by Genghis Khan.
At 18 o' clock, Mongolian traditional show at Tumen Ekh: folkloric dances, contortion, and of course khoomi, the overtone singing.
Day 2Among nomads in Terelj
Ulan Bator - Terelj Village
Journey to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, a real gorgeous green setting at the gates of the capital : rocky formations sculpted by erosion, mountains tree-filled with pines, plains scattered with wild flowers and edelweiss, rivers and lakes.
We drive deeper in the Northern part of the park where we join breeders who settled their camp on the banks of the Terelj River, in a small corner of paradise. Discovery of nomadism and walk in the surroundings of the camp.
Day 3 - 4In the saddle to start the ride
Terelj Village - Terelj national park
We start our pony trek along the banks of the Terelj River to reach the Tuul River. We ride across a large zone of pastures where several breeders have settled with their herd. You may have the good luck to share a cup of tea with milk with them. It's also the occasion to gallop for the first time in the Mongolian steppe.
Terelj national park - Terelj national park
Little by little, the steppe gives way to more mountainous landscapes. We still can gallop but soon, it won't be possible anymore. We leave the main path to go deeper in the Khan Khentii, a wild zone with very few inhabitants. It's getting more and more rare to meet people, but some yurts can still be seen. We ride across the neighbouring forests and cross some arms of river. Mongolian horses being rather small, your boot may get soaked if the water level is high.
- 3, 4
Day 5Horseride in the Khan Khentii Mountains
Terelj national park - Khar Usan Tokhoin
Steppe is part of the past now. Today, we cross Khavirga Hill to reach the pastures of Khar Usan Tokhoi. We ride among high grass and multicoloured flowers. On the hillside, we can see below the river and its rocks. Once arrived on the hilltop, we'll enjoy a splendid view on the neighbouring and the mountains around with their eternal snow.
Be careful ! In the last metres before the camp, there's a hard sheer slope !
Day 6A large black lake in the heart of the mountains
Khar Usan Tokhoin - Black lake
Today we ride towards Lake Khagiin Khar, the "black lake". First, we cross plains scattered with heathers and enjoy a beautiful view on the neighbouring snow-covered peaks. Then we ride again among tall grass that sometimes hide the way. Grass is at the same time green and purple, which makes the plain seem two-coloured.
We reach the black lake in the early afternoon. The lake formed in a period of glaciation thousands of years ago. It's located at the hilltop and is surrounded with odoriferous herbs. Many perches live in its waters. You can fish and the bravest can swim.
Careful ! If it's raining, the path gets slippery and very tough !
Day 7 - 8Between steppe and mountains
Black lake - Khagiin Khar pasture
Ride on the hillside towards our next camp place. After crossing a stream, we arrive at the top of Khavirgiin Hill, from where we'll enjoy a wonderful view on the whole valley and the several colours of the landscape. Then we'll have to cross two forests and to ride among a real greenery sea, before reaching our camp for tonight ; we'll get settled on a small plateau.
Khagiin Khar pasture - Terelj national park
This is a hard day. We ride across the mountains and encounter an important difference in height ; we must climb on a stony, unstable ground.
After this chaotique course, we stop a few moments in a pasture where multicoloured flowers abound. We take advantage of the break to pray near the local ovoo.
The slope is hard, so you can walk instead of riding, holding your horse with the lead. The path is in a shady forest and will be also very pleasant if crossed on foot.
We have lunch in a clearing forest, where cool springs gush. Then we'll have only a little way left to ride before reaching the place of our camp, by the river. We get back to vast expanses where we can ride full tilt.
- 7, 8
Day 9The monastery of a princess
Today, we ride towards the ruins of Gunj Monastery. We get back to the steppe and discover strange rocky formations. Some rocks seem to be in equilibrium on the hilltop. We can see winter houses of the Mongolian breeders, small wooden houses where they can spend winter and shelter herds and hay stocks. Then we arrive at the monastery.
Day 10Back to the steppe
Gunj monastery - Terelj national park
Today, we reach the Baruunbayan River, that we ride along all day long, before setting up our camp by its banks. We will take a hard path between the mountains, then a stony slope where we'll walk. Little by little, the mountain landscapes give way to the steppe, and we can ride full tilt across these postcard landscapes.
Day 11End of the pony trek and back to Ulan Bator
Terelj national park - Terelj Village
We ride back to the camp of the breeders, staying along the Terelj River. We'll ride in the steppe, so you can gallop, but it will be short-lived.
In the afternoon, we rest by the river or share some good moments with our hosts.
Terelj Village - Ulan Bator
Back to Ulan-Bator. Last herds of wild horses crossing the road outside our dumbfounded eyes, last yurts smoking far away, the steppe will be with us until the last moment.
Arrival in town and settling in at your hotel, where you can rest a few moments.
Rest of the day free. With our guide, you can go shopping in the centre of the city.