Trek White Lake region is a true representation of the extreme beauty that exists within a geologically diverse location, where the legendary White Lake lies adjacent to Khorgo, the famous inactive Volcano that is surrounded by a petrified (still very present) volcanic forest. This is a true highlight destination in Mongolia – we strongly recommend travelers to incorporate this within their travel plans if you are already planning to visit the region and/or planning to travel to Khuvsgul and/or Western Mongolia. Imagine yourself surrounded by mountain like hills, listening to the wave cresting on the lake’s shoreline as the refreshing winds elevate your senses.
Local Legend of While Lake: Locals say that once upon a time, elder man and woman lived with their granddaughter. However grandma always warned to her daughter to cover the well completely but a daughter forgot to cover the well one day and that morning, they exclaimed “Oh my goodness, look at all the water” – it was from this event that “Terhiin” (all that water) Lake was formed. Legend says that a locally famous wrestler was called in to cut the top off one of the nearby mountain to use as lid to plug the well water from continuing to flood out. It is from the tip of this ‘legendary lid’, which became today’s vantage point that we use to see the panoramic view of lake. Locals renamed the lake to Terhiin White Lake because of the white waves. This renowned lake draws in local visitors from nearby regions to pay their respects to the Lake annually by celebrating a rural Naadam Festival at the end of June.
Day One – Arrive in Tsetserleg Town (D – Overnight at Guesthouse): Welcome to Mongolia! Today you will start your overland expedition by public bus that will depart at 0800 and along the way you will see Mongolia’s vast nomadic pastures, the Ancient Capital City of the Mongol Empire “Karakorum”, and more. Once you arrive in Tsetserleg town around 1800, our local driver will meet you at the rural bus station and you be will guided to the local guesthouse.
Day Two – Setup a Mongolian Ger (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger): Up early today for breakfast prior to the long 180 kilometer overland trip towards Mr. Lhagvadondov’s where you will part-take in nomadic activities. Upon your arrival at family, you ‘may’ have an opportunity to erect a traditional Mongolian dwelling known as a “Ger” with the assistant of his family members. After lunch, you can enjoy trekking along the Chuluut River Canyon and admire the natural beauty of the location before evening’s nomadic dinner and hot traditional tea followed by a well-earned rest in the nomadic families extra Ger.
Day Three – Trekking to an inactive Volcanic mountain (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger): In the morning you can participate in the milking of the family’s livestock as well as assist in the preparation of the nomadic breakfast with the family. After breakfast, the host family will drive you to the next family Mr. Ganbat where you will begin the 10-kilometer roundtrip hiking to Khorgo Volcano; from the summit at 2100 meters above sea level there is a splendid panoramic view of the whole lake and region. As you continue your journey, you will also visit the famous Yellow Dog’s cave (a local legend stated that a compassionate monk kept a sick dog in this cave in order to protect it from being killed) and have a picnic lunch. In the evening, you will return to the family where you ‘may’ have an opportunity to participate in making a traditional nomadic dinner or milking animals with the family. After dinner, you will have plenty of time to relax and even get an early nights rest in the family’s extra nomadic Ger.
Day Four – Visit to Mr. Battulga’s family and walk along the White Lake’s scenic shoreline (B, L, D – Overnight in Ger): After breakfast, you will walk to the next nomadic family along the astonishingly beautiful White Lake; the lake is about 20 kilometers long and 16 kilometers wide, it supports Pike and other fish as well as rare birds’ species. In the afternoon you will be served a picnic lunch along the shoreline before returning to the family where you ‘may’ learn the basics of nomadic dairy products; how to boil milk to make “urum” a creamy spread used to eat on bread and in Mongolia teas. In the evening, you will be welcomed to a farewell dinner with hot traditional milk tea before retiring to your Ger for your last night among Mongolia’s nomads.
Day Five – Departure (B): After your breakfast, our driver will pick you up from the family and you will begin the 200-kilometer journey towards Tsetserleg where you will depart on the 1400 public bus to Ulaanbaatar; or, you can stay overnight for additional night at your own expense and depart the next morning.