Trekking and Climbing in Western Mongolia

Trekking in the Munkhhairhan National Park & Ascension of the Munkhhairhan Mountain (4326m)

The western part of Mongolia is known for its varied landscapes, its glacier-washed mountains, its shimmering salt lakes and its strong cultural identity, rooted in ancient traditions and a rich history. On this trip we will meet the proud nomads of the West, and also test ourselves. Or rather, we will be tested by the slopes of second highest mountain of Mongolia, the Munkhhairhan, with its more than 4300 meters of altitude. In 2006, the region around the mountain was declared a national park to protect endangered species such as snow leopards, ibex and Argali sheep.



Group tour: Trekking and climbing in Western Mongolia
Preis: 2.890 EUR
/ 3.290 USD

Date: 22. June-13. July 2020
with Nadaam-Festival
Status: CLOSED


As personalized trip you can choose the date that better fits you

Best travel time: June to September
1-3 people: price upon request
4-6 people: 3.090 EUR/person / 3.550 USD/person
5-7 people: 2.890 EUR/person / 3.290 USD/person
8+ people: price upon request


Photo: Roland Amon


The nomads of Mongolia are a proud people. The steppe is a harsh and lonely place: here you have to be tough, but also generous in giving. Hospitality is essential and is a cornerstone of the Mongolian-nomadic culture. Anybody living in such remote isolation is also dependent on the helpfulness of the people, faraway neighbors and strangers alike. This is a culture built on the principle of reciprocity, which should not be exploited.

Not only the nomads, but also the country is special. Wide landscapes, lush steppes and especially in the west also high, sacred mountains. Here dwell local deities, who watch over the world of the common people. You treat nature with respect, carefully. And such respect is also expected from guests and travelers. The rules are basic, and apply to both gers and sacred mountains: don’t be loud, and don’t rush, pay attention, take your time to appreciate the opportunity you’ve been given. The Munkhhairhan, second highest mountain in Mongolia, is not technically difficult, but its 4326 meters of altitude make it a demanding ascent. We will climb it with humility and in the end take a moment to draw in the majestic scenery and thank the gods for their goodwill, before returning to the nomads and enjoy their (very unusual for our palates) culinary delights.

At the end of the group trip, we will also be allowed to participate in the biggest annual spectacle of Mongolia – the Nadaam Festival.




Day 1
Flight from home
… and into the wide open

Day 2
The capital Ulaan Baatar
Welcome to Mongolia! Our team will greet you at the airport and show you where to change money (bringing Mongolian currency into the country is not allowed). Then you will be taken to the hotel, where you can get some rest after such a long journey. Finally, it is time to explore the Mongolian capital, a city halfway between the old ways and modernity. It’s a funny wild mix that hits us here: Soviet architecture meets capitalism meets Buddhism meets nomadic tradition. Here everything is crammed together in a confined space: steel skyscrapers breaching up through a low sea of traditional yurts (Mongolian: Ger), just a few meters from old socialist buildings that almost share walls with renovated Buddhist monasteries. In the evening we take Mongolia in, literally, by enjoying a traditional meal J Overnight stay in the hotel. BF,L,D

Day 3
Ulgii & Khukh Serkh
After a three-hour flight from Ulaanbaatar to Ulgii in western Mongolia, we get in our vehicles and cover about 100-150 km in a good 4-5 hours-long drive. We spend the night in tents near the Khuh Serkh Mountain. BF,L,D

The program includes wonderful and memorable visits to the nomads. Photo: Roland Amon

Day 4
The lake Seruun
We continue our journey to Lake Seruun. On the way we stop at the village of Bulgan, where our feet get properly introduced to Mongolia with a 2-hours-long hike. BF,L,D

Day 5
Trek to Gurt
Today’s hike take us about 6 to 7 hours and leads to the river Gurt through a landscape of lush green pastures surrounded by majestic mountains. We camp near the river and listen to the birds. On our way there we will visit some nomadic families of the Uriankhai ethnic minority and taste traditional shepherd dairy products. The way of life of the Uriankhai is very similar to the Mongolian nomadic peoples in the East, but they speak a different dialect. They rarely meet foreign guests and are looking forward to the novelty of a visit. Overnight stay in tents (at about 2350 meters of altitude). BF,L,D

Like the nomads, we move through the country building up our camps at the most beautiful places.

Day 6
As preparation for the slowly approaching 4000 ascent, we start today with a walk up the relatively smaller Khoogiin Mountain, which summit stands about 3750 m high. The hike will take us about 8 hours. Overnight stay in a tent. BF,L,D

Day 7
To the lake Tsunkel
Today we hike through a mountain valley and along the Tsunkhel River all the way to Lake Tsunkhel. There we will set up our tents in a place with a wonderful view of the water. This freshwater lake covers four square kilometers and is located at 2400 m above sea level. Also there, with luck, we will have another opportunity to visit an Uriankhai family and learn more about their customs and traditions. / Approx. 6 hours / Overnight stay in tents. BF,L,D

The lakes of West Mongolia are a pleasure to look at. Photo: Roland Amon

Days 8+9
Ikh Turgen Valley
We walk into the Ikh Turgen valley and spend the night on the banks of the homonymous lake. The hike is about 5 hours long. The second day we rest (or go for another hike if resting proves too hard!). Overnight stay in the tent. Sleeping height: approx. 2800m. BF,L,D

The secret of happiness? Riding the endless steppe on the back of a horse. Photo: Roland Amon

Days 10+11
Khuk Nuur
Today we cross the Ikh Turgen pass (3450 m) and then walk past beautiful hills and through mountain valleys. The trek takes us to Khukh Nuur (Mongolian: Blue Lake), near the foothills of the holy Jamaat Mountain. Known for its very clear and clean water, Khukh Nuur is a great place to relax. Also on this day we will meet nomads on the way and learn more about their legendary hospitality and unique culture. On the second day we hike up the holy Jamaat and reach an altitude of 3100 meters. Walking time: 6-7h. Overnight stay at the same place in tents. Sleeping height: approx. 2.800m. BF,L,D

Day 12
Shuurkhhai Valley
Today’s trek takes us to the Shuurkhhai River. We’ll walk for about 6 hours through luxuriant grass meadows surrounded by majestic mountains. Overnight stay in tents. Sleeping height: approx. 2.800m. BF,L,D

Day 13
Doloon Nuur Valley
Today we hike to the Doloon Nuur Valley near the foothills of the Munkhhairhan Mountain. Doloon Nuur (Mongolian: Seven Lakes) consists of seven small lakes with clear water, and is a great place to relax and/or explore. We cross the Shuurkhai pass at 3400m. There are some very steep stretches in this stage, and the loose pebbles on the ground make it a tricky walk, requiring a lot of concentration. Overnight stay in tents. Sleeping height: about 2500m. BF,L,D

The breathtaking experience of sleeping under a sky full of stars. Photo: Roland Amon

Day 14
Acclimatization hike
Today’s program: an acclimatization hike. The valley of Doloon Nuur with its seven small lakes provides an ideal setting for a long acclimatization walk in preparation for climbing the second highest peak in Mongolia. Overnight stay in tents. BF,L,D

Day 15
Summit day
We start in the early morning the ascent to Munkkhairkhan, the second highest peak of Mongolia. The round trip is about 9 hours. Mount Munkhhairkhan is located at 4362 meters above sea level and is easily accessible from the north side. There is a lot of snow and ice, so you will need crampons, an ice pick and a rope, but the climb itself is not technically difficult. The summit is locally known as Tavan Khumst. Afterwards we go back to the base camp, where we spend the night in our tents. BF,L,D

The ascent is not technically difficult, but walking on crampons and roped to the others is probably necessary.

Day 16
Hotgor Valley
Today we begin the hike to the Hotgor Valley. A journey of about 4-5 hours through the fertile steppe and under the watch of its majestic mountains. Overnight stay in tents. Sleeping height: approx. 2.800m. BF,L,D

Day 17
A day to rest
Time for a stop, and a happy one at that. Once again we visit a local family and observe them in their daily tasks. In the evening we enjoy a real Mongolian festive meal called Khorkhog, specially prepared for us! Overnight stay in tents. Sleeping height: approx. 2.800m. BF,L,D

The nomadic way of life is typical of Mongolia. Hospitality is an important attribute of the nomadic culture. Photo: Roland Amon

Day 18
Khoid Tsenkher
Today we drive about 100 km to the world famous cave of Khoid Tsenkher. The place, inhabited by Stone Age people about 15-20000 years ago, contains elaborate rock engravings. The cave is 20m deep and lies on the banks of the North Tsenkher River. In the area there are also tombs from the time of the Hunnu Empire. Overnight stay in the tent. BF,L,D

Day 19
Back to Khovd
After breakfast we drive to Khovd, situated about 110 km away, and explore the city and the local museum. Overnight stay at the local hotel. BF,L,D

Day 20
Flight to Ulaan Baatar
We fly back to the starting point of the journey, where we are transferred to the hotel. BF,L,-

Lastly, we take part in the Naadam festival.

Day 21
It's Naadam Time
The Naadam Festival is one of the most important festivals in Mongolia and at the same time an excellent opportunity to experience the culture of the country and its people. The full name is Eriin Gurwan Naadam (эрийн гурван наадам; The Three Male Games). During the two-days-long Naadam Festival, the three major national sports are celebrated: horse racing, wrestling and archery. And not only in Ulaanbaatar but in the whole country. Around the sports activities there is food, music, crafts and a lot of local culture to witness and experience. Here you can fully immerse yourself in the bustle with the Mongols. The most important Naadam festival takes place on the national holidays in July 11th and 12th, but there are different smaller Naadam festivals at different dates in other parts of the country. Overnight stay at the local hotel. BF,-,D

Day 22
Flight home

Prices and dates

Basic info for the tour “Trekking and Mountain Climbing in Western Mongolia” as a group trip:

Dates: 22nd Juni to 13th July 2020
Group size (min/max): 5/10 people
Price: 2.890 EUR/person / 3.290 USD/person
Single Room Supplement: 280 EUR / 325 USD


Basic info for the tour “Trekking and Mountain Climbing in Western Mongolia” as a personalized trip:

Best travel time: June to September
Less than 4 people: price upon request
4-6 people: 3.090 EUR/person / 3.550 USD/person
5-7 people: 2.890 EUR/person / 3.290 USD/person
8+ people: price upon request

Single Room Supplement: 280 EUR / 325 USD



Services included

  • Hotel in Ulaanbaatar (3 nights)
  • Local hotel (1 night)
  • Overnight at tent (16 nights)
  • Local German speaking tour guide
  • Field cook
  • Drinking water (boiled water)
  • Flights Ulaanbaatar-Khovd-Ulaanbaatar
  • Beasts of burden for the transport of luggage
  • Camping equipment
  • Sightseeing costs and admissions to national parks
  • Ropes for the ascent
  • All transfers by bus / mini bus in the city and Russian minivan in the countryside
  • Meals according to detailed program


Not included

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Crampons, pimples, gaiters, carabiners
  • Mineral water (bottled) and alcoholic beverages
  • Sleeping back
  • Making the laundry
  • Individual personal costs
  • Tips
  • Excess baggage for domestic flights (one carry-on luggage up to 15kg is free of charge on domestic flights; each kilogram after that costs an additional 1.5 EUR)


As personalized Trip

The date choice is up to you, but we are happy to help you find the best time to travel.

Of course you can also have the trip adapted to your needs: lengthen, shorten or change the program! We are open for (almost) everything.

We can also offer the trip to single travelers. However, we kindly ask for your understanding: it is possible that we have to abstain from this during high season and at peak times.





Further infos about Mongolia
You can find further informations about Mongolia here:


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A photographic journey through Mongolia

All photos: Roland Amon