Blessed with exceptional scenic beauty, a diverse landscape as well as friendly locals, Mongolia is one of the planets premier trekking destinations.
From the vast expanse of the desolate Gobi desert in the south, the snow capped peaks of the Altai Mountains in the west or the rolling hills of the central region; Mongolia has numerous, varied expeditions on offer throughout its vast landscape.
The local people themselves are nomadic by nature but more than willing to support these trekking adventures, often going out of their way to show the traditional Mongolian lifestyle.
Unlike in most other countries, trekking in Mongolia is not only limited to walking. Numerous guided horse adventures can also be undertaken.
The advantages are countless, one can cover more distance, carry more supplies or equipment and perhaps more fortunately, horses can do more of the work, although a certain fitness level is required.
Stonehorse Trekking Tours
With over 30 years in wilderness guided touring, Stonehorse offer a large selection of horsetour packages throughout Mongolia. Their team consists of both Mongolian and international staff, all with extensive knowledge of each region in which routes are staged. Tours take place for anything from 6 to 14 days.
Khentii Mountain Wilderness - 12 or 14 Days
A long trek deep into the wilderness area around the Khentii mountains not only offers true horse trekking, but the opportunity to discover the wilds of Mongolia. Be warned, you should be fairly fit to undertake this trek while having some riding experience. As this tour takes place in extremely anunforgiving country, interested prospective participants will be interviewed to gauge their suitability.
The trek itself takes in the splendour of the Terelj and Tull river valleys, the Darkhid valley, the Hagiin Har Nuur lake, meadows, mountain passes, local temples as well as the Khentii mountains themselves. Overnight stays are in tented camps.
Gorkhi Terelj National Park - 8 Days
Situated in the north-eastern part of the country, Gorkhi Terelj is home to large herds of Mongolian horses along with their handlers. The park is used as a base to bulk up their animals before the long winter months set in. The trek itself takes place in the valleys of the Terelj and Tull Rivers, often right along these water sources themselves. Expect to meet with both horse and yak herders along the way. Perhaps they will offer you some traditional Mongolian yak milk tea. Travel through vast meadows and beautiful valleys, all on horseback, although small hikes can be undertaken at overnight tent camps.
Gobi Desert - 6 Days
As this is a desert region, camels are the preferred means of transport although a lot of this tour incorporates vehicle transport to cover the large distances. This trek gives participants a feel for life as a nomadic herder in an area where these local people have lived for centuries. The nomads of the Gobi live as well as thrive off the land despite its sparseness and limited resources.
Roam far into the desert itself over the course of six days, discovering its hidden beauty including ancient indigenous rock art, the stunning "Flaming Cliffs", monasteries, temples and the wildlife of Bag Gazriin Chuluu nature reserve.
Stonehorse tours have many other packages throughout Mongolia.
Blue Mongolia Tours
Blue Mongolia offer a variety of tours throughout the country, often combining vehicle travel and horseback journeys together with traditional trekking. Guides, who are able to speak many foreign languages, are locals with extensive knowledge of the land.
Khangai Nuuru National Park Trekking - 11 Days
Most of the tour takes place in the scenic Khangai Nuuru National Park, a vast expanse of over 897 hectares. The park is home to a large number of diverse ecosystems, habitats as well as bountiful wildlife, incorporating many bird species in addition to herds of takhi or wild horses.
The tour itself takes in over 900km by vehicle, over 100 km of trekking by foot coupled with some short horse riding stints. Travel through various areas of the park, visiting Khara Khorum, a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site. This town documents the rise of the Mongols under Ghengis Kahn. It was once the capital of that great empire. Other attractions are the Buddhist temple at Tovkhon, hiking up Mandukhai peak, a visit to the Orkhon waterfall and spending time with local yak herders.
Note, a relatively good level of fitness is needed to participate in this trek as up to 21 kilometres are covered on some days.
This adventure can be undertaken as a solo adventurer or in groups up to 20 people.