Ten Reasons You Should Trek Mongolia
You should trek Mongolia at least once in your lifetime. See why a Mongolia horse trek & hike deserves a top spot on your bucket list now.
Tusker’s Mongolia Nomad Trek is a 15-day adventure across 68 miles or 110 km. It’s one of our most exciting, award-winning treks because explorers get to:
1. Experience a Region with Rich World History
History buffs take note: our Mongolia Nomad Trek explores a region with some of the richest history of all our treks. The local Kazakh eagle hunters and Tuvan herders are descended from ancient Turkic tribes that have occupied this sprawling, magical land for over 12,000 years. Here’s the best part: thanks to Mongolia’s cold climate, awe-inspiring relics of history are still intact. You’ll discover fascinating petroglyphs and “Deer Stones” that have hardly changed in thousands of years.
Watch: Tusker Video Series Episode #2 • “A Trek Through Time”
2. Discover “the Drink of the Gods” at the Perfect Time of the Year
Summer is Tusker’s trekking season in the Mongolian Altai, and it’s the best season for hiking and horseback riding. With temperatures ranging from 28°F (-2°C) at higher elevations during the night to 90°F (32°C) when the sun’s out, you’ll score comfortable weather and mostly picture-perfect trekking.
You’ll cross broad valleys, traverse mountain passes, and experience lush tundra underfoot. The grasses will be a verdant green, and flowers will be in full bloom. We purposely schedule our trek during the summer because the abundant plant life causes the vistas to literally explode in color.
National Geographic narrator Will Lyman describes this area as “the land of eternal blue sky,” saying:
“A blue sky that crowns a breathtaking patchwork of lakes surrounded by glacial peaks, their melting snows feeding rivers light with silt — the drink of the gods.”
Watch: Tusker Video Series Episode #1 • “A Hidden World”
3. Step Off the Beaten Travel Path and Into a World of Inner Discovery
Kilimanjaro, Machu Picchu, the Wonders of the World – these phenomenal sights make everyone’s adventure bucket list, and for good reasons. But if you’re seeking a new or unusual set of challenges, let Mongolia surprise you.
Instead of packs of tourists, you’ll journey to a hidden, rarely seen world with nomads for companions, hike breathtaking ancient trails, and sleep beneath a mesmerizing canopy of stars.
We believe filling your bucket list thrusts you on a path of self-awareness. And trips like our Mongolia Nomad Trek allow you to take a journey on the outside and on the inside, so you can truly live life to the fullest.
4. Accomplish a Challenging Trek (Sans High Altitude Worries)
While there are no altitude challenges on a Mongolia Trek, the journey is demanding. You’ll face new hurdles to overcome along the ancient nomadic trails through the Altai Mountains.
Daily hikes last between five to eight hours, depending on the distance. You’ll be hiking on foot or riding a horse over broken ground, up and down steep inclines between the altitudes of 6,400 ft. to 10,500 ft (1,950 m – 3,200 m).
So you need to be in excellent physical condition to take on this challenge. All the sweat will be worth it when you find yourself in awe of Mongolia’s incredible natural beauty.
5. Soak Up Mongolia’s Stunning Biodiversity
Adventurers who’ve been on our Mongolia Nomad Trek often describe it as a transformative experience. And we think this area’s natural wonders have a lot to do with that.
Exploring a wilderness area of 386,000 square miles – encompassing three mountain ranges and two of the largest river basins in the world – is enough adventure for even the most accomplished travelers. So let’s talk about the scenery:
The Altai Mountains. Hike over broad river valleys, mountain passes, and along rushing rivers and glaciers seemingly created for trekkers. You’ll be blown away by the beauty of this spectacular mountainside.
Altai Tavan Bogd National Park. Tusker is one of very few outfits that trek the entire length of the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park. The flora found on this route is absolutely phenomenal. And the fauna?
Well, have you ever felt the power of a mighty golden eagle on your arm?
Mongolian Kazakh eagle hunters are only found in this region of western Mongolia. They scale dangerous cliffs to capture young Golden Eagles and use them for hunting before returning them to the wild a few years later. And you’ll meet one, eye to eye.
6. Ride Like a Nomad
Capture the magic of ancient nomadic life in Mongolia by challenging yourself to ride like a nomad on horseback. There’s nothing like riding with nomadic guides who have been traversing the ancient central Asian steppe on horseback for almost 3,000 years.
Every Mongolia trekker receives their own horse. Regardless of your riding skills, you’ll have a horse that complements your ability. Eddie says, “We also match people’s personalities to each horse,” so you’re sure to bond. You’ll have a secure, comfortable Australian saddle suited for the rugged terrain too.
Never been riding before? No sweat! You can transform yourself into a confident, experienced rider with Eddie’s almost daily lessons. He leads a riding class almost every day throughout the trek. You’ll be riding like a nomad in no time.
Still don’t want to get on a horse? Not a problem. Once you join Eddie’s hands-on no-nonsense riding clinic, you will really take to life on horseback. Trekking through the eyes of a nomad makes this an adventure you’ll never forget. However, you can opt to hike on your own two feet as well.
7. Camp Like a Pro
Embarking on a rugged trek across the ancient trail of the nomads does not mean sacrificing basic comforts during your journey. Camping on our Mongolia Trek includes:
A traditional Mongolian Ger Camp. The town of Bayan Ulgii is the start and end point of our trek. Here you’ll stay in a traditional Mongolian Ger Camp, and inviting place for us to stay on our way to and from the Altai Mountains.
So what is a Ger? It’s a round dwelling used by nomads for the last 3,000 years. Traditionally, an entire family lives inside a single Ger. They’re portable, easy to put up, and can resist extreme winds and temperatures way below zero.
Aside from the Ger, you’ll spend every night in Tusker Trail’s signature expedition camp within view of an extraordinary glacial lake or rushing river. On your final night, you’ll camp near the Potanin Glacier, lying at the foot of Mongolia’s tallest peaks.
Your camp will become a refuge from the day’s demanding hike and horse ride – a place to retreat and replenish your strength. Relax and recount your day’s adventures with your fellow trekkers, stoking the fires of friendship and togetherness. Singing and dancing around the campsite have been known to occur.
And for those private moments, you’ll appreciate our special bush toilets – a welcome addition to any camp.
8. Awaken Your Dormant Taste Buds with Local Flair
Don’t expect your basic camp food on this trek. Tusker believes meals should thrill your taste buds, honor local ingredients, and nourish your soul.
That’s why we fly Alex Minja, our head Kilimanjaro chef, to Mongolia each year. Alex knows how to fire up your culinary passion on the adventure of your lifetime. Trained by the Culinary Institute of America, his meals aren’t just about tantalizing your taste buds, they’re engineered to keep you well-fueled for long, challenging days on the trail.
You’ll enjoy your Mongolian meals seated around a dining table in a specially designed tent that stays warm in the cold and cool in the heat.
9. Forget About Humping Heavy Gear
Though you’ll travel on foot and on horseback, camels will be hauling gear, the entire camp, and all our supplies along our journey.
Eddie Frank, Tusker Trail's founding guide, leads this exciting trek with a local Kazakh guide. Then there are also six to ten additional horse and camel guides with six camp assistants. These local nomads look after the 12 camels and 30 horses that accompany us along the way. It’s stress-free trekking at its best!
10. Gain New Skills and Inner Confidence with Our Experienced Crew
Born and raised in the Altai Mountains, Tusker’s Mongolia Nomad Trek guides have been working with Eddie and Amy Frank since 2006. They bring a lifetime of knowledge to fully challenge you on an adventure that will transform you for the rest of your life. You’re sure to pick up a few tips to level up your trekking.
Hiking in a pristine, remote world or riding a horse alongside the nomads is so culturally enriching and soul-revitalizing that many Tusker travelers have completed our Mongolia Nomad Trek more than once.
So fire up your passion and feast on the excitement of a whole new challenge this year. We’re sure our trek will transform you in ways you can only imagine. You’ll leave this wonderful trek feeling empowered to accomplish things you never dreamed possible.
Check out the full 15-day Mongolia Nomad Trek Route and Itinerary next! Or if you’re ready, secure your spot and book your trek now!
Only a few spots left this summer!
"A wonderful trip. Well organized, good food, an opportunity to meet and begin to understand the nomadic people of Western Mongolia. Loved the horse riding, would go back in a heartbeat. -- The whole trip was very special, but trying to describe it to family and friends is a challenge. The photographs help, but it is difficult to explain just how remote the area is." - 5-Star review by "Linda G."
ABOUT THE TREK
Life on the Mongolia Trek