Mongolia – Kharkhiraa Turgen Valley Trek
Kharkhiraa Turgen Mountains region is named after the prominent twin peaks of Kharkhiraa (4037m) and Turgen (3965m, also known as Deglii Tsagaan). The twin peaks, separated by a valley, is part of the Altai Mountain Range. Located in Uvs Aimag, in the north-western province of Mongolia, bordered to the north by Russia (100km), Kharkhiraa Turgen Mountain region is a spectacular area of alpine lakes, swift mountain streams, towering snow peaks and vast glaciers. From mountain ridges and passes, there are open magnificent panoramas of glaciers, desert landscapes, large lake basins and expansive grasslands. The area accounts for 20 per cent of the glaciated area of Mongolia and offers an excellent combination of unspoiled trekking possibilities and a glimpse into the traditional Mongolian nomadic life of the Ethnic Durvud people.
Apart from seeing the vast tracts of unspoiled nature and undisturbed wild life, it is also an opportunity to contemplate and connect with mother nature. Ethnic Durvud people who inhabit the area will accompany you carrying your camp and food on 2 humped Bactrian camels. Living off large herds of domesticated yaks, sheep, goats and horses, they lead a lifestyle that has seemingly not changed for a few hundred years.
About The Trek
The domestic flight from Ulaanbaatar to Ulaangom (north-western Mongolia) takes about 3hrs. Upon arrival, meet with a support team of driver(s), cook(s) and head towards the starting point of the trek in Uliastai valley where the first night's camp is set up. Here, meet the local herders whose camels and horses will carry and transport your home for the next few days.
The trek starts with an ascend over the Uliastai pass (2410m) where Blue Lake comes into view. Camp along its shores. On Day 2 of the trek, continue along its curve and trek over some meadows to the Kharkhiraa river valley. One of the highlights of this trek is the opportunity to cross some mountain rivers and streams along the trek everyday. Across the deeper and faster ones, you will be shuttled on horseback assisted by the herders. Day 3 continue along the river on rocky but well-established trail that steadily climbs up, bringing more snow-capped peaks into sight. If luck has it, you may be able to visit one of the local herding families that graze their large flocks of sheep, goats and horses on the abundant alpine pastures. Day 4 is another day-long ascent, tracing the river to its source, getting closer to the snow-capped peaks. Day 5 of the trek is the most challenging and yet most rewarding, starting with a steep ascent on rocky path to the 2944m Kharkhiraa pass, which is a small plateau surrounded by glaciers. Cross the plateau with magnificent views of the Turgen and Kharkhiraa peaks, and descend into the valley of lakes. The last day of trek takes you over undulating ridges, hopping over peat bog and exploring lakes big and small. Meet the vehicle(s) for a 4 hour drive to the town of Ulgii, where you will stay the night in a hotel.
Experience in multi-day treks & sleeping in tents are an advantage though not necessary. Anyone with a good level of fitness can complete this trek. This trek does not go beyond 3000m hence is well suited for those who are prone to altitude sickness. You will be trekking for 6 days with an average distance of 14km daily with a 5-6kg backpack load.
Equipment and Gear
You can wear a lightweight base layer or a quick dry t-shirt and long trekking pants for the trek. An outer shell is essential to protect from the weather elements. When at camp after sundown, a base layer of thermal and fleece jacket are needed to keep warm.
A packing list will be provided for all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to read about the layering system to be better prepared and choose the right gear/equipment for your trek.
- Dates listed are for open international group
- Package fee is based on a group size of 11-12 people
Other group size package fee:
2 people: $3800 per person
3-4 people: $3420 per person
5-6 people: $3000 per person
7-8 people: $2880 per person
9-10 people: $2820 per person
You can also form a private group for this trek. For enquiry, send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Day||Description||Meals||Altitude at Rest Point|
|Day 1||Arrive in Ulaanbaatar. Afternoon city tour. Welcome dinner.||-/-/D||1350m|
|Day 2||Flight to Ulaangom. Transfer to Uliastai Valley.||B/L/D||1820m|
|Day 3-8||For the next 6 days, trek the Kharkhiraa Turgen valley. Day 8 drive to Ulgii for overnight.||B/L/D||Blue Lake-2000m
Kharkhiraa river source-2630m
|Day 9||Flight to Ulaanbaatar.||B/L/D||1350m|
|Day 10||Depart Ulaanbaatar.||B/-/-|
- Return airport transfers in Ulaan Baatar (UB) / Ulaangom / Ulgi
- Return domestic airfare UB-Ulaangom and Ulgi-UB & airline taxes & fuel surcharge (maximum 15kg luggage allowance / pax)
- All land transfers as indicated in itinerary
- Meals as indicated in itinerary
- Twin/Trip sharing accommodation in Ulaan Baatar and Ulgi
- Camping equipment: sleeping tent (twin sharing), mess tent, shower & toilet tent
- Trek support: trekking guide(s) and kitchen crew, porterage services by camels
- Boiled water during trek
- Permits & fees: Conservation, National Park fees, trek permit
- Satellite phone for emergencies
- International air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
- Excess luggage on domestic flight (if exceeding 15kg)
- Visa Fee (if any).
- Single Supplement
- Meals not indicated in itinerary
- All tipping
- Personal porters
- Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover trekking up to 3000m)
- Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
- Personal travel & trekking gear – warm clothing, shoes, backpacks, sleeping bag/mat, etc
- Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (eg: climbing/trekking gear and equipment, cameras and any valuable items, etc)
- Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
- Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay
1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Training guideline kit
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)
Our Local Trek Operator
We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local trek operator to ensure safe participation by everyone.
Our local trekking guides have extensive experience in guiding treks in all regions in Mongolia, possess intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture. They carry a comprehensive first aid kit for emergency purpose.
Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a trekking or mountain climbing trip.
Pure cardiovascular fitness is NOT enough.
Focus your training effort in the following areas, assuming that you are in good health and injury-free:
- Climbing conditioning – stairs and load training.
- Cardio training - Jogging/running and interval training like CrossFit or HIIT.
- Strength training for the lower body, shoulder, back and core
- Flexibility training - eg: Yoga and stretching exercises
A good three months of training would be a good preparation for this trek.
A recommended training guide specific to the trek or climb will be given to you upon signing up.
Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trek.
Refer to our Training Guide for tips on trekking and mountain climbing training.