Khan Khentii Mountains Horse Riding Expedition

Adventure Tour
From$4,200

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    Stone Horse Expeditions

    We offer guided horseback riding expeditions through the cultural and wilderness landscapes of two of Mongolia’s premier parks, Gobi desert tours, hiking trips and herder family ger (yurt) stays. Our team of experienced trip leaders and guides is made up of Mongolian and international personnel who have worked in conservation, tourism and wilderness travel.

    • 14 Days
    • Group Size6 guests
    • Mongolia

    The Khentii Mountains Wilderness

    Challenge your spirit of adventure. Enter the Khan Khentii, steeped in the spiritual history of Mongolia. Its wildness will reward you with magnificent scenery, and the solitude of the Northern forest. Follow ancient horse trails to the sources of the rivers. Encounter wildlife. Make a high mountain passage with our pack horses. Stop at alpine lakes. Enjoy camping comforts in the wild. Bond with your horse – and listen to the silence..

    Khentii Mountains Horse Riding – A True Wilderness Ride

    Our Khentii mountains horse riding expedition is a longer trek going into the remote wilderness to enjoy the Khentii Mountains and  their stunning scenery. 14 days in country, 12 days of riding.

    This trip takes more preparation and is a true expedition into the wilds of Mongolia. It is for people who are serious about back country horse riding and wilderness travel. Since we may spend longer days in the saddle in fairly rugged country, participants should have a moderate to higher level of fitness and outdoor experience, or a keen sense of adventure. Talk to us to see whether this is the right expedition for you.

    Price includes all in-country ground transportation, hotel accommodation with breakfast, permits, all camping equipment, horse gear, food and accommodation (tent/gear) while in the back country.

    Dates

    September 3 – 16, 2021, fully booked
    September 3 – 16, 2022, open

    The Khentii Mountains

    A Wilderness to Protect

    Our horse riding tours bring guests to some of the wildest places in Mongolia, the Khentii Mountains. Much of the area we ride in has special designations – as “Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area”, “Gorkhi Terelj National Park” and as the Ulaanbaatar City “Green Zone.” The Khentii Mountains remain the largest roadless area in Mongolia. This wilderness is home to bear, wolf, deer, and moose populations and a rich bird life. Though wildlife populations have been declining significantly nationwide, the Khentii today still provides ample habitat for these populations to recover and grow. Our Khentii mountains horseback tours are deep wilderness expeditions. We leave behind the picturesque cultural landscapes of pastures and hay fields, dotted with herders’ gers (yurts) and herds of grazing livestock.

    On horseback, we cross over a high pass, to enter the wild Khentii Mountains. We reach a true wilderness landscape of dense forests, boulder strewn rivers, rushing streams and quiet lakes, of alpine mountain tops, towering cliffs and snow fields. In autumn, the valleys glow in red and orange hues..

    The Khentii Mountains Wilderness – Intrinsic Values and Ecosystem Services

    The Khentii mountains wilderness is hauntingly beautiful. Deep in the Khentii Mountains, only the call of a raven – distant, high in the sky – may break the silence. Here, the Tuul river is only a small stream. The Khentii mountains also hold the most significant cultural and historical sites of the country. It is the homeland of Temujiin, the boy who grew up to become Chinggis Khan.

    Yet there is much more than these intrinsic values of the Khentii. This area is the main watershed for the rapidly expanding city of Ulaanbaatar, now home to about half the nation’s population.  The Khentii is in urgent need of continued and effective protection to maintain these important ecosystem services. With climate change impacts on forest and water resources, conservation in the Khentii has become even more important. Though wildlife populations have been declining significantly nationwide, the Khentii today still provides ample habitat for these populations to recover and grow. It is our wish at Stone Horse that it should forever remain this way.

    About the Khentii Mountains

    Much of the area we ride in has special designations – as “Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area”, “Gorkhi Terelj National Park” and as the Ulaanbaatar City “Green Zone.” The Khentii Mountains remain the largest roadless area in Mongolia. This wilderness is home to bear, wolf, deer, and moose populations and a rich bird life. Though wildlife populations have been declining significantly nationwide, the Khentii today still provides ample habitat for these populations to recover and grow. Our Khentii mountains horseback tours are deep wilderness expeditions. We leave behind the picturesque cultural landscapes of pastures and hay fields, dotted with herders’ gers (yurts) and herds of grazing livestock.

    On horseback, we cross over a high pass, to enter the wild Khentii Mountains. We reach a true wilderness landscape of dense forests, boulder strewn rivers, rushing streams and quiet lakes, of alpine mountain tops, towering cliffs and snow fields. In autumn, the valleys glow in red and orange hues.

    The Khentii mountains wilderness is hauntingly beautiful. Deep in the Khentii Mountains, only the call of a raven – distant, high in the sky – may break the silence. Here, the Tuul river is only a small stream. The Khentii mountains also hold the most significant cultural and historical sites of the country. It is the homeland of Temujiin, the boy who grew up to become Chinggis Khan.

    Itinerary

    Day 1

    You’ll be picked up at the airport, train station and we’ll get you checked into the hotel to freshen up and rest after a long flight. You’ll have to time if you get in early  to see a bit of Ulaanbaatar before beginning the next days ride and start of the expedition.

    Day 2

    This is the first day of the expedition. After breakfast drive to the Darkhid Valley and our staging area where you’ll meet the herders with whom we work. After some preliminary instructions, gear changes and adjustments, we saddle up and begin our journey. We set out from the Darkhid Valley and travel up through forest, crossing two mountain passes and descending into the upper Terelj River Valley for the 1st night’s tented camp.

    Day 3

    We move down the Terelj River through open meadows, crossing the river and streams, passing several herder winter shelters and over a couple of low passes for our second night’s camp in high hay pastures.

    Day 4

     From here we descend into the Tuul River Valley and make our way upriver passing herder summer camps and large, open, park like meadows. We camp along the Tuul river for the night.

    Day 5

    Moving up the Tuul River, we begin to see changes in the terrain. We pass the confluence of the Khongor and Tuul rivers, leaving herder camps and the cultured landscape behind and entering the wilder upper Tuul River Valley where we’ll camp.

    Day 6

    From our riverside camp we move further along the upper Tuul river where the scenery begins to change dramatically as we leave civilization behind..

    Day 7

    On this day we may leave the pack horses in camp and explore further into the mountains, ascending to alpine lakes and into moose and bear habitat and returning to our previous nights camp.

    Day 8

    Leaving the Tuul River we move further northwest into the mountains, exploring as we go, camping near a small crystal clear river in a beautiful valley for the night.

    Day 9

    This is a longer but very interesting day. We ascend a pass and move down to Hagiin Khar Nuur (lake). We have lunch here then move down the Khongor River and over another small pass before making camp.

    Day 10

    On this day we ascend a high and steep pass below Altan Ulgii Uul (mountain) and descend into the Baruunbayangiin Gol Valley passing fantastic rock formations and meadows of wildflowers before camping for the night.

    Day 11

    From this camp we leave the pack horses and ride into the secluded and well hidden Gunjin Sum temple (the ruin of Princess Temple), returning to previous nights camp area.

    Day 12

    We begin our return to Darkhid Valley, moving through open valleys and over a small pass. We camp not far from the Terelj River at Big Larch Meadow.

    Day 13

    From the Big Larch Meadow we cross the Terelj River, ride over a mountain pass and return to the Darkhid Valley and our staging area about mid afternoon. Here we’ll unpack the horses and enjoy some refreshment before heading down the valley to the hotel and a hot shower.

    Day 14

    Transfer to airport, train station or hotel.

    Map

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