Olgii – Tsagaan River
Altai Tavan Bogd is 636,161 hectares of pristine landscape along the border of the western part of Ulaan Khus, Tsengel, Sagsai and Altai soums of Bayan-Olgii aimag. It was placed under protection in 1996. The national park with its amazing beauty embodies the special characteristics of high mountains, icy crystal rivers, mountain valleys, steppe landscapes and ecosystems. Also, it is a habitat and last refuge for mammals like argali, ibex, maral and deer, and bird species like snowcock, eagle and lammergeyer. The national park includes very high peaks, with eternal snow and glaciers in the far west of Mongolia. The highest point is the peak of Khuiten Uul on the mountain of Altai Tavan Bogd, reaches 4374 meters above sea level. Tavan Bogd Mountains are considered sacred to local Kazaks, Tuvans and Mongolians. The park stretches from Russia along the Chinese border, following the Altai Mountain Range that divides China, Russia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan, for over 200 km. Ancient tribes have left many artifacts, using the region for religious ceremonies. Today, tens of thousands of petroglyphs in the park are part of a World Heritage Site. In addition, there are numerous Turkic Stone Men and stone burial mounds.
Today we will take a 7 to 5-hour drive through the foothills of the mountains to reach the Tsagaan River Valley in the early afternoon. This is a common place for nomadic place to make camp in summertime and where Tuvan people live, practicing their Shaman religion. Here we will meet our camel guide to prepare for the next days’ hike.
We will start trekking along the White River. The White River is one of the many rivers that find its sources in the melting ice of the Tavan Bogd glaciers.
The White River valley is covered with many flowers. If you are lucky you might see a Mongolian wild goat named Ibex.
(Tented Camp B, L, D)