Trek to the peak of the Hentii Mountain Range known as Asralt Khairkhan, though a challenging trekking route that involves up to 23 kilometers a day of hiking and trekking, it is truly an unforgettable way to experience nomadic culture in the semi-mountainous region without having to travel across the country. Much of the landscapes are unspoiled, scenic and remarkable – while you are trekking, you will learn the techniques in managing your own pack yak as well as enjoy some horseback riding along the way.
(Notes: 1. Distance may indeed vary, shorter on some days and longer on others 2. Travelers will pay directly on bus 3. Travelers will pay for local park fees when required)
Day One – Visit nomads and herd livestock (L, D – Overnight in Ger): You will depart Ulaanbaatar and will take a 2 hour bus ride to the Terelj National Park – one of Mongolia’s travel destination highlights. Upon arrival at Terelj Village, a nomad guide will take you across the Terelj River by ox cart northwards for one kilometer to their home where they will prepare and serve you a hot nomadic lunch and tea. After lunch, you will have plenty of time to abosorb the breath-taking landscapes, refresh your mind to the natural sounds of the flowing river nearby as well as spend some quality time with the family learning techniques of livestock herding and milking cows before your evening dinner.
Day Two – Day trek to Salhit mountainside (B, L, D – Overnight in Tent): After an enjoyable nomadic breakfast, you can assist in the packing of luggage on the ox cart (useful to learn the ways from the beginning) – and start your 22 kilometer trek to Salhit Mountain. Do be sure to pull out the camera from time to time as you will be venturing through truly picturesque mountain valley landscapes along Terelj River. While you are trekking 20 kilometers a day (appox.), the ox cart will carry all camping equipments, personal items and kitchen supplies. Along the way, you will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy outdoor picnic lunches with prestine views of the surrounding valleys carpeted with wildflowers, green ocean-like meadows as well as spotting the abundance of bird and wildlife in the region.
The Zaan River starts from the eastern face of Asralt Khairkhan and flows 50 kilometers southwest into the Terelj River. There is an ancient legend associated with the region – they say Mrs. Dondogdulam, wife of Bogd Khan, used this location to care and feed her Elephants that were honorifically bestowed to her from foreign dignitaries. This evening we will be camping on ancient royal grounds where you could image king and his queen, with dignitaries would roam the valleys with their spectacular gifts in the lush mountain river valleys.
Day Three – Trek to Suv mountainside (B, L, D – Overnight in Tent): After breakfast you will trek for 20 kilometers to the Mountainside of Suv – along the way you will have a picnic lunch. Upon arrival at the camp site, a hot dinner and tea will be prepared and served before retiring for the night in your tent. Keep in mind that you will want to rest early in order to keep up your stamina for the following days.
Day Four – Trek to Tugul forest (B, L, D – Overnight in Tent): After your morning meal, you will continue your trek for 23 kilometers to the Tugul Forest through some truly picturesque landscapes – along the way you will have a picnic lunch. Upon arrival at the camp site, dinner will be prepared and served with hot traditional tea before getting some much-needed rest.
Day Five – Trek to Asralt Khairkhan, highest peak within the Khentii Mountain Range (B, L, D – Overnight in Tent): After breakfast, you will begin the 25 kilometers trek to Asralt Khairkhan Mountain that is measured 2800 meters above sea level. There are alpine trees, cliffs, and a glacial face that can be seen from a distance as well as tributaries of the Zaan and Nemekh rivers that flow from the eastern and southern slopes of Asralt Khairkhan Uul. On the way, you will have a picnic lunch before arriving on the sunny side of Asralt Khairkhan Mountain where you will have your much deserved hot dinner and tea before retiring for the night.
Day Six – Trek Asralt Khairkhan Mountain (B, L, D – Overnight in Tent): Soon after breakfast, you and the local nomadic guide will start the trek up Asralt Khairkhan. Today you won’t need to pack everything, instead you will only take day packs but make sure that you have plenty of water, some snacks, warm layers as well as your camera and other small items you may require. The entire round trip will average at 22 kilometers – this is a great time to enjoy the beauty of this mountain with a packed lunch at its summit before returning to the camp site for the evening. This is the moment that you have been waiting for – the day that you can enjoy the stunning beauty of the region from this vantage point – do not forget to capture it on film!
Day Seven – Trek to Zuun Mod “Hundreds of Trees” (B, L, D – Overnight in Tent): Today is going to be a good trek of 25 kilometers after breakfast to Zuun Mod – On the way you will be served by picnic lunch. Upon arrival at the camping site you will be served a hot dinner and tea before retiring for the night.
Day Eight – Trek to traditional Naadam preparation location (B, L, D – Overnight in Tent): After having a hearty breakfast, you will continue trekking for 18 kilometers to the location locally renown for its rocks that are used as training tools for wrestlers to build their strength (the old style) before going to the National Naadam. As you continue trekking, you will have an outdoor picnic lunch before reaching your overnight camp site where you will have a hot dinner and tea.
Day Nine – Trek to North Saihan Mountain (B, L, D – Overnight in Tent): After breakfast, you will continue your trek for 21 kilometers to North Saihan Mountain – along the way a picnic lunch will be prepared and served after crossing Zaan River. Upon arriving at the camp-site, your dinner and hot tea will be prepared and served before retiring for the night.
Day Ten – Trek to a Local Nomadic Family (B, L, D): Early in the morning after breakfast, you will trek for 14 kilometers to of Mr. Enhee’s family where you will have a farewell lunch with his family. This is a great time to have some rest or just pull out the camera and immerse yourself in nomadic culture. Mrs. Urnaa will show how to make dried curds during your free time before the local guide will take you for one to two kilometers by ox cart or horse to Terelj were you will depart by bus at 1900.