Edge of Eternity

Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the rivers, lakes, and mountains of the far west of Mongolia. Hike across the peaks of the Altai Mountain range, looking out across the stunning landscape of snow-capped mountains with green meadows at their bases. Meet Kazakh eagle hunters and their families. Dare yourself to pick your way across the 20km long Potanin glacier, before returning to Mongolia’s capital city for a day of sightseeing and cultural activities.

This trekking trip will revitalize you, as you hike daily – sometimes for 15 km – by the Khovd and Rashaant rivers, stopping at ancient burial sites and rock paintings en route. Hike by the lakes of Khurgan and Khoton, through lush meadows, larch forests, through mountain gorges and by a glacier. Climb a peak of your choice in the mountain range and bathe in the medicinal Altai hot springs. At night you will be sleeping in tents by rivers and lakes with an unparalleled view of the clear heavens above.

Many Kazakhs live in this part of Mongolia and are renowned as hunters with eagles. You will be able to visit some families, experience their hospitality and see them with their eagles.

Back in Ulaanbaatar there will be a day for sightseeing, shopping and a performance of Mongolian song and folk dance.

Day 1 Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

On arrival you will be met and transferred to a 4-star hotel for rest. After lunch at the hotel restaurant you can do afternoon sightseeing in the city, including the Bogd Khan Winter Palace Museum where Mongolia’s last king and religious leader resided. There will be some time for shopping before a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight stay at the hotel.

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Day 2 Fly to Ulgii – Khurgan and Khoton Lake

After an early breakfast you will be taken to the airport for the morning flight to Ulgii. Ulgii is the center of Bayan Ulgii Province, which is situated in the far west of the country. This province is populated by the Kazakh minority of Mongolia, which are of Muslim origin. The flight takes about 4 hours including a stopover on the way for refueling. Our guide will accompany you on the flight. On arrival at the local airport our staff will meet you and drive you out of town for lunch. After lunch we will drive until we reach the Khurgan and Khoton lakes. We set up our camp at the edge of Lake Khoton at a place called Zagastain River. The lakes have crystal-clear water and are fed by many rivers and streams originating in the Altai Mountains. The landscape around the lakes is very beautiful and picturesque with the snow-capped mountains surrounding them, green meadows at their foothills and larch forests in the middle. Overnight in tents.


Day 3 Hike to Lake Aral Tolgoi – 15km

Today we start our linear hike along the mountainous valley. The terrain of today’s hike is quite easy with a lot of flat areas and valleys. Along the way there are some ancient burial sites to explore, and rock paintings to see. Today we hike about 15kms having lunch on the way. Our vehicles will drive ahead and set up camp at Aral Tolgoi Hill alongside a small river.


Days 4-5 2 days hiking – Tsagaan Us Valley – visit Kazakh families

Today we will continue our linear hike. The vehicles will again drive ahead and set up camp in Tsagaan Usny river (White Water) Valley in the Altai Mountains, and await our arrival. The next morning we will hike in the forested hills through a mountainous gorge before returning to camp for lunch. In the afternoon we will visit Kazakh families living around the lakes and have the opportunity to explore their lifestyle. We will meet Kazakh eagle hunters. The eagles are kept near the Kazakh gers in the summer months and then taken out to catch small animals in the early winter, when the first snow covers the ground. The eagles are trained from a young age or caught when they are older having already developed the hunting instinct. When they are 10-15 years of age they are released back into the wild. We will see the birds outside the gers and watch the Kazakh men with them. In the afternoon we will return to the previous night’s camp for dinner and the night.


Day 6 Hiking – Zuun Salaani Am Valley – 15-18km

Today we continue hiking along the Zuun Salaani Am Valley for about 15-18kms through a mountainous valley. Today’s hiking terrain becomes rocky and gradually steeper. This morning we will pack up our food and equipment on horses/camels as the mountainous terrain does not allow the vehicles to follow us. Therefore, the vehicles will drive around the Valley towards Shiveet Khairkhan Mountain, where we can get more food supplies so we can continue hiking to Tavan Bogd. We will carry only our daily backpacks. We will camp at the beginning of Zuun Salaani Am Valley.


Day 7 Takhilt Mt. Khar Salaani Valley - visit Kazakh & Tuva families - 20 km

Today we continue hiking for roughly 20km. The path rises and becomes more difficult and rocky until we go over Takhilt Mountain. There is an Ovoo on top of the mountain, which is a symbol of the shaman worship of nature. As we descend, we hike along Khar Salaani Valley. In this valley some Kazakh and Tuvan families live, herding their livestock, so our surroundings will come to life and we will visit some of the families. Our route continues through more uneven and rocky mountainous valleys alongside the Khar Salaani River, a white water river flowing from the Potanin glacier down to the lakes. This is a very remote and uninhabited area where there are no nomadic families living, and only border guards and hunters travel through the land. We set up camp for the night at the beginning of Khar Salaani Valley.


Day 8 Shiveet Khairkhan Mountain

We will continue hiking around Shiveet Khairkhan Mountain. From here we can view the peaks of the Altai Mountains, and Potanin’s Glacier, where our vehicles will be waiting for us. We will camp tonight at the banks of Tsagaan River.


Day 9 Tavan Bogd – Potanin Glacier

Today is the last day of linear hiking. We will hike until we reach Tavan Bogd, the highest range of the Altai Mountains. The highest peak is Khuiten, which is at an elevation of 4370m above sea level. Potanin’s Glacier lies alongside the mountains, which will be covered in snow. The glacier is about 20kms long. At the other side of the glacier there is a green meadow. We will set up camp in the foothills of Malchin Peak, at an elevation of 2900m.


Day 10 Day trip to Malchin Peak

After breakfast we'll hike in Malchin Peak. The Malchin Peak is one of five peaks of the Tavan Bogd Mountain on the Mongolia-Russian Border. The peak towers at the elevation of 4,050m. It is only peak that can be climbed without specialized mountain climbing equipment.


Days 11 Hike along Potanin Glacier – Khonog Tolgoi – 9km

Today we put our crampons on and, armed with ice axes, hike along Potanin’s Glacier, an ice river flowing out from the permanent snow peaks. We will leave our animals behind and become totally self-sufficient. We reach a place called Khonog Tolgoi where we will start preparing for the next morning’s ascent. Hiking distance 9km


Day 12,13 Climb peak chosen by the group

Today we will choose which peak to climb, setting off very early in the morning. After descending, we will hike straight to the camp at foot of Malchin, where the horseman will be waiting.


Day 14 Hike back to camp at Shiveet Khairkhan

Today we pack our horses/camels again and hike back to Shiveet Khairkhan to meet our drivers and vehicles. They will be waiting for us at the camp with a big Mongolian feast prepared for our dinner. This is the last day of the hiking and climbing part of the trip. Camp at Shiveet Khairkhan for the night.


Day 15 Drive towards Ulgii 

Today we will drive towards Ulgii via Sagsai soum. We will stay at local ger camp for the night.


Day 16 Return to Ulaanbaatar

Drive to Ulgii and fly back to Ulaanbaatar. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel for dinner and the night.

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Day 17 Sightseeing in Ulaanbaatar

A day of sightseeing in the city including Gandan Monastery and the National History Museum. After lunch at the hotel, visit the Fine Art’s Museum and do some cashmere and art shopping. The evening program will be a folklore show followed by dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.

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Day 18 Departure

Transfer to the airport for international departures.

Departure codes and dates:
NTM-004, 2-19 Aug, 2017

Price per person for a group more than 9 people: USD3.924

Single supplement: USD270
Prices include the following

2 domestic flights, transportation within Mongolia, twin accommodation in a 4-star hotel. Single accommodation can be arranged at an additional cost. Tented accommodation while on trek, three meals a day, English-speaking guide, transfers, camel or horse hire where specified, support staff including drivers, horse/camel men and camp assistants.


Prices do not include

International transportation, travel insurance, visas, departure tax, alcoholic drinks, gratuities, items of a personal nature.

It is the responsibility of the client to be fully covered with travel and medical insurance while traveling in Mongolia.

Please note

Upon request, single supplement in the countryside can be provided at the additional cost. In case single accommodation in ger camps was not provided the amount would be calculated based on the missing nights and reimbursed.

Nomads cannot be held responsible for over bookings, as long as the company can prove with sufficient documentation that overbooking has been the error of the third party.

Should circumstances beyond our control, such as the imposition of quarantine restrictions, any changes of domestic flight or train schedules, require a change of itinerary, we will inform your agent and propose an equivalent itinerary. Again, Nomads cannot take over the responsibility for the Airlines or the National Train Company. The traveler is responsible for having proper travel documents, such as a valid passport, proper visa and the necessary passport pictures.

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