Imagine a trekking trip in prehistoric ocean canyons that are over 65 million years old and the ancient stomping grounds to herds of TREXs. Yes, this is the desert trekking route that cannot be missed if you are an avid explorer with the taste for adventure and an active imagination. These ancient ocean canyons span the distance of 65 kilometers long and 45 kilometers wide and is truly a geologist and boulders paradise as its densely packed rock formations literally takes you back in time. On this truly stunning Gobi Desert Adventure, unlike any other in Mongolia, you will travel overland to the Provincial Center of Dundgovi where you will 4×4 through vast and awe inspiring desert landscapes to experience the lifestyle of desert nomads. Along their route, you will travel between families by horses, camels as well as have opportunities for trekking and even some bouldering for the more experienced. Ih Gazriin Chuluu (Strictly Protected Area) is truly an unparalleled location in Mongolia by its own right and is considered to be a MUST visit location at our highest recommendation. It exceeds any preconceived notions, do make sure that you have your camera ready with plenty of batteries as upon arrival in the Noble Rock Fortress (seeing is believing) this paradise is a photographers dream come true, travelers will enjoy hours of trekking and brilliant opportunities for creative photography as you will discover via your lens that these monolithic rock formations even take on formations of animals, people and even Chingis Khan himself!
In addition to being a spectacular geographic wonder of the Gobi Desert, it is also consider to be the origin of Mongolia’s traditional long song and the birth place of Mrs. Norovbanzad, one of Mongolia’s most notable Long Song singers. So in theme with regions musical importance, our nomadic families will also teach you some traditional Mongolian songs and how to play traditional instrument such as the horse head fiddle, etc. In addition to trekking, you will also have some opportunities for horseback riding too!
Day One – Travel to Mongolia’s Gobi Desert region (L, D): You will depart Ulaanbaatar City by rural bus and will start your southern journey overland to Mandagovi (the Provincial Center of the Middle Gobi) and as you travel you will witness the transforming power of the Gobi Desert. Upon arrival in Mandalgovi you will be welcomed a lunch and milk tea at Mrs. Mendamar’s family who is talented person to make embroidery art. You may have an opportunity to experience the traditional embroidery art and learn the basic techniques. Then you will begin the 70-kilometer desert jeep ride to Mr. Enhjargal’s family where upon arrival they will prepare and serve you with dinner. Along this portion of the travel, you will begin to see Ih Gazriin Chuluu immerge in the distant horizon, it’s an amazing site and exceeds all expectations; from this point onwards you are nearing one of Mongolia’s truly unique ‘off the path’ destinations. If you made good travel time, this is the point to capture some brilliant wide angle or fish eye lens shots of Ih Gazriin Chuluu as you will be travel adjacent to it as the soft sunset rays will provide a brilliant luminance for some truly classic evening landscape shots.
Day Two – Camel riding or Horse cart riding to Nomad family (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger): After breakfast, you will begin your camel trekking trip to Mr. Gundsamba’s family for about 15kms. Upon arrival they will prepare and serve you with a nomadic lunch and tea. This afternoon you will have an opportunity to test your intellect with some Mongolia wood puzzles before Mrs. Altai will shows you how to make ‘uya’ a homemade nomadic rope that is used for constructing Mongolian Gers. In the early evening or late afternoon, you will continue your journey to Mr. Sugarbaatar’s family for 11 kilometers by horse cart. In the evening you will enjoy having dinner with family members before retire to your Ger.
Note: the nomad will determine method of travel
Day Three – Trekking through Mongolia’s monolithic Ih Gazriin Chuluu “Ocean Canyons” (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger): Today is the day that you have been eagerly been anticipating, after your breakfast Mr. Sugarbaatar will now start the unforgettable 12-kilometer trek through Ih Gazriin Chuluu; you will be truly over taken by the massiveness of this location. Like a National Geographic documentary, let your imagination free, 65 million years ago these were ocean canyons and before that it was the stomping grounds of herds of TREXs. South East of Ih Gazriin Chuluu it herds of TREXs has been reported to be found. As you trek, you will have opportunities to capture some of the most amazing rock formations. Once you arrive at Mr. Gundsambuu, they will begin to prepare and serve you with hot nomadic tea and dinner. While you are having your dinner, this is a great chance to relax and spend some quality time with your nomadic hosts and try to get to know the family. Before you retire to your Ger for the night, and if you brought a ball along, this is a great opportunity to play some volleyball or even go out for a light trek and take some wonderful landscape shots with the kids as they are playing or evening singing songs.
Day Four – Nomadic carvings and trekking through Mongolia’s Monolithic Ih Gazriin Chuluu (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger): After breakfast you will begin your horse riding for 12kms through the most amazing rock formations i.e. Hanan hets, Senjit, Twin’s Cave. This afternoon you will have a picnic lunch on the way. Upon arrival at Mr. Jig’s family, you can chill out having some drinks and homemade dairy products. Then you continue exploring rock formations by feet such as Tangad rock, Chinggis Khan Rock, Khur khartsag’s memorial place and monument as well as visit the Open Air Theatre that is home to the annual horse head fiddle and long song concert. Imagine this location filled with Mongolian performers located not only at the stage but also all around on the rocks providing a natural surround sound acoustics that rivals any home theatre systems. This is truly the time to make sure that you have your camera completely charged with back up batteries as from personal experience, from morning till late at night, you will be shooting and capture some of the most remote and truly spectacular images that are unique to Mongolia. In the early evening you will return at Mr. Jig’s family for a hot nomadic dinner and traditional Mongolian tea.
Day Five – More desert trekking and departure (B): Being your last day, before breakfast it a great time to go out for a light trek in the area and capture some brilliant early light silhouettes. After breakfast, you will have more opportunities for trekking and evening a little bouldering (for the more advanced) around the location and visit the surrounding caves as well as the monument erected in memory of Mongolia’s most famous long singer, Mrs. Norovbanzad. On the way you will stop at the local “Ovoo” (stone mound of Shamanistic culture, it believes that local deities listens to the people’s wishes and fulfills them) and put small stones. Around 1000 our local driver will arrive and you will begin your 85-kilometer journey back to Mandalgovi by Russian jeep; once you reach Mandalgovi, you will catch a bus Ulaanbaatar at 1400.