western mongolia

Western Mongolia. This zone covers the three western provinces of Mongolia-Uvs, Bayan-Olgii, Hovd. The impressive Altai Mountain Range and great lakes depression make this region one of the most attractive place of the country. The diversity of ethnic groups residing in these regions is the great opportunity for cultural discoveries. Popular ones are Kazakh ethnic groups, who are residing in Bayan-Olgii province. The Kazakhs have a rich culture, close extended families, and many traditions that are still practiced today that are centuries old.

Places to visit: Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, Potanin Glacier, Mongolia’s largest lake Uvs Lake, Snow capped mountains Tsambagarav and Sutai, Tsenkher caves with ancient rock paintings, Khar Us Lake National Park, Turgen waterfall, and many more.

Activities: Mountain climbing, trekking, horse riding, rafting, camping in the wild, experiencing diversity ethnic group’s tradition and culture, as well as Eagle hunting experience, photo tour.

 

Altai Tavan Bogd National Park

Altai Tavan Bogd National Park is in Bayan-Ulgii province and covers area of 636,200 hectares. From Ulgii center to Altai Tavan Bogd National Park is 180km. The Tavan Bogd (Five Saints) chain includes the highest peak in Mongolia, Khuiten Uul (4,353m), which overlooks the frontiers with China and Russia. This National Park includes very high peaks, with eternal snow and glaciers in the far west of Mongolia. Altai Tavan Bogd is protected since 1996.

 

Potanin Glacier

The Mongolian Altai Mountain Range stretches across the south and west of Mongolia. Its highest point is the Tavan Bogd peak at an altitude of 4370m, in the far west, where China, Russia and Mongolia share a common border. The climb is challenging for any experienced climber, due to its technical nature. The 19 km long and up to 2.5 km wide Potanin Glacier lies at the foot of the mountains.

 

Uvs Lake

Uvs Nuur is the largest lake (3350 sq.m.) in Mongolia and is 84 km across at its widest point. It is located only 759 meters above sea level. Visitors must be prepared for mosquitoes in the summer. It is a salt water lake which is not easy to get to. Compared to similar altitudes, it has the coldest, warmest and driest conditions on Earth. Temperatures of 40 degrees centigrade below freezing are common in winter, the record being -58 degrees. In the summer +40 degrees is not uncommon.

Tsambagarav and Sutai, Tsenkher caves

The sacred, snow covered Tsambagarav Mountain at 4208 m on the border of Bayan-Olgii and Hovd provinces, towers over the 110,960 hectares of Tsambagarav Uul National Park. The park contains many glaciers, rocky gorges, glacial lakes, and a 7 meter waterfall, in addition to deer stones, and Kazakh and Uriankhai nomads.

Tsenkher Cave is located in Khovd province and it is one of the largest caves in Mongolia, with a main chamber at least eighty-five feet high. A rock fall in 1995 blocked off one long extension in the cave, but several smaller galleries leading off from the main chamber still remain.

It was reportedly inhabited by Stone Age people during the Upper Paleolithic, 10,000 to 40,000 years old. The cave is famous for its rock paintings, which have been dated to 17,000–22,000 years ago. Done with light pink and red-brown ochre pigments, the paintings depict Paleolithic fauna such as mammoths and ostriches which are no longer found in the area, as well as camels, ibex, deer, and other more familiar animals.

 

Khar Us Lake

The main lakes are Khar Us Lake, Khar Lake and Dorgon Lake. The national park was established in 1997, and then designated as a Ramsar (wetland of international significance) site in 1999. The lakes have the largest reed beds in Central Asia. Surrounded by desert landscapes, it is surprising to find that rare wild boars can survive in the reeds.

 

Turgen waterfall

Located in the Mongol Altai mountain range, the 36meter high Baga Turgenii Khurkhree waterfall is segmented in two-stage. The first part is 23meters and the second one is 13meters. The Turgen River originates from the glacial snowmelt.