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Mongolia Horse Trek

Explore Magnificent Bhukhan Valley by Horseback

 

On this extraordinary adventure through the "Land of Blue Skies," explore the immense, silent wilderness that was once a pivotal point on the ancient Silk Road. Discover Mongolia's nomadic culture in the company of renowned photographer Thomas Kelly, who has fostered an intimate relationship with Bhukhan Valley nomads over 15 years! Saddle up and travel across vast rolling steppes on horseback, sleep in white-felt gers that dot the landscape, take part in an exciting local festival, and join a Buddhist ceremony on a sacred mountaintop. Practice your archery skill, take optional photo classes, try yoga and meditation, and experience an authentic Nadaam festival. This journey takes in Hustai National Park with its wild Przewalski horses and the magnificent Bhukhan Valley.

  • Experience Mongol culture and meet nomads, witness a Naadam festival, and overnight in traditional gers

  • Spend unforgettable days horseback riding across endless rolling steppes

  • Attend a Buddhist ceremony at a ceremonial cairn atop Mandal Mountain

Contact an Expert

Arrive:

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Depart:

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Price: from $7,695

Duration:

14 Days

Departures:

See Dates

Group Size:

8-16 Guests

Min Age:

9 yrs

Activity:

Level 3

You will be riding horseback on multiple days on this trip. No previous horseback riding experience is required but it is helpful to practice and be in good physical condition for this trip.
Learn more here.

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

  • Arrive in Mongolia

    Day 1

    Welcome to the energetic Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar! Upon arrival at Chinggis Khaan International Airport, meet an MT Sobek representative and transfer to the hotel. In the late afternoon, gather for orientation and trip briefing followed by a welcome Mongolian feast at a traditional restaurant.

    Accommodation: Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel

    Right at the heart of Ulaanbaatar, this five-star hotel is a stone's throw away from the city's landmark attractions and sights. Contemporary rooms and suites showcase spectacular views of the city skyline, and on-site facilities are extensive - from three restaurants, a 25th-floor lounge bar, and a spa with two saunas, a Jacuzzi, and massage treatments with bamboo and hot stones.

    Meals: Dinner

  • See Wild Horses in Hustai National Park

    Day 2

    Visit the 19th-century Gandan (Gandantegchinlen) Monastery, one of the country's few Buddhist structures that survived destruction by the Communists in the 1930s. After a ceremonial butter lamp offering, set off for the 3-hour drive to Hustai National Park. Arrive in time for lunch, settle into gers, and head out to explore this area famous for the endangered Przewalski's horse, locally called the takhi. Drive to the Neolithic graves of Ongut, take in the Tuul River and its willows and red-footed falcons, and look out for roaming herds of wild horses.

    Accommodation: Gachuurt Reserve Park Ger Camp

    Tonight's ger camp occupies a beautiful location in Hustai National Park, with its sweeping views, roaming Takhi horses and Ongut statues. The gers are clean, comfortable and the camp's architecture is authentically Mongolian. Guests can enjoy supreme views and feel part of the natural environment at this favorably located reserve park.

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Khogno Khan Reserve & Arrive in Karakorum

    Day 3

    Today journey west across vast grasslands, stopping for lunch at Eden Camp nestled into the sacred Khogno Khan Mountain. The arid terrain and rocky landscape of this remote, 46,900-hectare nature reserve is almost surreal. Continue on to Karakorum, a 4-hour drive from Hustai. With a little luck, ride a camel in Elsen Tasarkhai sand dune, also known as "Little Gobi." In late afternoon, arrive in Karakorum, once the legendary capital of the Mongolian Empire, established by Genghis Khan and his son in the 13th century.

    Accommodation: Urguu Gher Camp

    Located 4 miles from Kharkhorum, this unique camp is noted for its spacious gers and kind service. Notably, it has the biggest restaurant on a campsite in the entire country, which makes for a fun mealtime experience! Other onsite amenities include a special Mongolian movie viewing room, and space to play the country's popular ankle bone game.

    Transportation: 4-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Visit Erdene Zuu Khiid Monastery & Arrive in the Bhukhan Valley

    Day 4

    Today explore Karakorum, once a vibrant place that served as the political, cultural and economic capital of Mongolia for 400 years. Little of the original Karakorum remains, except Erdene Zuu Khiid, a Tibetan-style monastery built in 1586. Wander around the monastery grounds and, schedule permitting, meet with Khambo Lama to learn about the concept of Hiimu (windhorse). After lunch at a local restaurant, continue on to Tsetserleg, "the Garden City," ringed by stone mountains. Stop here for tea and move on to Lapis Sky Camp in the Bhukhan Valley.

    Accommodation: Lapis Sky Camp

    A rustic eco-camp in Mongolia's spectacular Bunkhan Valley, also known as the "Valley of the Ancestors," Lapis Sky Camp has a majestic setting near the Tamir River, with remarkable views of mountains. At this family-style wilderness camp, staff comes from the local nomadic community, meals are homemade and served in the dining tent, and each ger comes with its own wood-burning stove.

    Transportation: 5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Do Yoga, Take a Photography Class & Go Horseback Riding

    Day 5

    Today choose to join an (optional) yoga session or join a photography class by professional photographer, Thomas Kelly, with a visit to a nearby nomad camp. Witness nomad neighbors milk yaks and horse mares, brush up on your horseback riding skills, and head out for a warm-up ride in the spectacular Bhukhan Valley. This evening, enjoy dinner and wonderful storytelling by local nomads.

    Accommodation: Lapis Sky Camp

    A rustic eco-camp in Mongolia's spectacular Bunkhan Valley, also known as the "Valley of the Ancestors," Lapis Sky Camp has a majestic setting near the Tamir River, with remarkable views of mountains. At this family-style wilderness camp, staff comes from the local nomadic community, meals are homemade and served in the dining tent, and each ger comes with its own wood-burning stove.

    Activity: Yoga session, photography class, 3.5-4 hours horseback riding

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Bhukhan Valley

    Day 6

    Take an (optional) yoga session, and then join professional photographer Thomas Kelly for a photo walk , to heighten photographic skills and capture images of the dazzling countryside and nomadic way of life. Go fishing for grayling and lenok trout or practice your aim with a bow and arrow. In the afternoon, mount a horse and pay a visit to nomads camped nearby, to spend time in their gers and learn about their everyday life. In the evening, gather for a feast of traditional Mongolian barbecue.

    Accommodation: Lapis Sky Camp

    A rustic eco-camp in Mongolia's spectacular Bunkhan Valley, also known as the "Valley of the Ancestors," Lapis Sky Camp has a majestic setting near the Tamir River, with remarkable views of mountains. At this family-style wilderness camp, staff comes from the local nomadic community, meals are homemade and served in the dining tent, and each ger comes with its own wood-burning stove.

    Activity: Yoga session, photography class, fly-fishing, archery

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Trek to Vulture Mountain on Horseback

    Day 7

    This morning head out for a birdwatching walk, a fishing activity, or a yoga session - choose what suits you. After lunch at the camp, saddle up and set out on a horseback riding adventure across the sweeping steppes. Ride for 3 hours to Vulture Mountain and camp in a lovely meadow setting.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp – Mongolia

    Enjoy one of our most unique wilderness camping experiences in a truly remote setting. Two guests will share spacious three person tents, which come with thick sleeping pads and blankets to ensure a level of coziness and comfort in this wild environment. The camp is also conveniently equipped with a dining tent and three bathroom tents.

    Transportation: 3.5-4 hours horseback riding

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Journey to Mandal Mountain by Horseback

    Day 8

    Today set out on horseback for an invigorating 5-hour ride over majestic mountain passes, along the way circling Buddhist ovoos, ceremonial cairns set in high places. In the afternoon, camp at the base of Mandal Mountain, a sacred ancestral place for Mongolians.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp – Mongolia

    Enjoy one of our most unique wilderness camping experiences in a truly remote setting. Two guests will share spacious three person tents, which come with thick sleeping pads and blankets to ensure a level of coziness and comfort in this wild environment. The camp is also conveniently equipped with a dining tent and three bathroom tents.

    Activity: 3.5-4 hours horseback riding

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Attend a Buddhist ceremony atop Mandal Mountain

    Day 9

    This morning set out for a silent walk up to Mandal Mountain and attend a Buddhist ceremony at a sacred ovoo at the mountaintop. Spend the rest of the day exploring Bhukhan Valley - head out for a walk, go fishing, or take an optional horseback ride to a nearby nomad settlement. In the evening, enjoy a feast of traditional Mongolian barbecue and singing around a bonfire.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp – Mongolia

    Enjoy one of our most unique wilderness camping experiences in a truly remote setting. Two guests will share spacious three person tents, which come with thick sleeping pads and blankets to ensure a level of coziness and comfort in this wild environment. The camp is also conveniently equipped with a dining tent and three bathroom tents.

    Activity: 3.5-4 hours horseback riding (optional) or 1.5 - 2 hour RT hike/600' elevation gain/loss (optional)

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Return on horseback to Lapis Sky Camp

    Day 10

    Today ride back across the steppe to Bhukhan Valley ; alternatively, return by jeep. Settle into your ger at Lapis Sky Camp and enjoy free time to unwind before gathering for a shaman performance, followed by a hearty dinner in the camp's dining ger.

    Accommodation: Lapis Sky Camp

    A rustic eco-camp in Mongolia's spectacular Bunkhan Valley, also known as the "Valley of the Ancestors," Lapis Sky Camp has a majestic setting near the Tamir River, with remarkable views of mountains. At this family-style wilderness camp, staff comes from the local nomadic community, meals are homemade and served in the dining tent, and each ger comes with its own wood-burning stove.

    Activity: 3.5-4 hours horseback riding

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Experience a Local Naadam Festival

    Day 11

    Today take part in an exciting local Naadam festival. Naadam (short for Eriyn Gurvan Naadam) means "Three Manly Games" - bareback horse racing, wrestling, and archery. These festivals take place every summer, and young men train all year to compete. Watch the races, mingle with locals, meet the winners, take photos, and sample delicious local food.

    Accommodation: Lapis Sky Camp

    A rustic eco-camp in Mongolia's spectacular Bunkhan Valley, also known as the "Valley of the Ancestors," Lapis Sky Camp has a majestic setting near the Tamir River, with remarkable views of mountains. At this family-style wilderness camp, staff comes from the local nomadic community, meals are homemade and served in the dining tent, and each ger comes with its own wood-burning stove.

    Activity: Cultural festival

    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

  • Enjoy a Day of Leisure at Lapis Sky Camp

    Day 12

    Today enjoy a day of leisure to soak up the serene surroundings of Lapis Sky Camp. Choose among several activities. Set out on horseback to visit the nomads' winter camp, head out for a hike, go on a fishing expedition to the Tamir River, practice yoga or archery, or just relax at the camp. This evening, listen to a traditional morinkhuur, a horse-head fiddle concert, as you sit around the camp's bonfire and bid farewell to the nomad horsemen and hosts.

    Accommodation: Lapis Sky Camp

    A rustic eco-camp in Mongolia's spectacular Bunkhan Valley, also known as the "Valley of the Ancestors," Lapis Sky Camp has a majestic setting near the Tamir River, with remarkable views of mountains. At this family-style wilderness camp, staff comes from the local nomadic community, meals are homemade and served in the dining tent, and each ger comes with its own wood-burning stove.

    Activity: Horseback riding, fishing, hiking, yoga, archery (all optional)

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Journey back to Ulaanbaatar

    Day 13

    After breakfast, journey back to Ulaanbaatar by bus, while enjoying a movie about the history of the Mongol Empire. Stop along the way for lunch at Altan Tul. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner with the group at Namaste restaurant.

    Accommodation: Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel

    Right at the heart of Ulaanbaatar, this five-star hotel is a stone's throw away from the city's landmark attractions and sights. Contemporary rooms and suites showcase spectacular views of the city skyline, and on-site facilities are extensive - from three restaurants, a 25th-floor lounge bar, and a spa with two saunas, a Jacuzzi, and massage treatments with bamboo and hot stones.

    Transportation: 9-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart from Ulaanbaatar

    Day 14

    Bid farewell to Mongolia and transfer to the airport for your homeward-bound or onward flight.

    Meals: Breakfast

Mongolia Horse Trek

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

MT Sobek has traveled deep into the heart of Mongolia for over 30 years, guiding guests through a rugged, expansive landscape.

Reason #02

Our expert team of local guides offer an immersive discovery journey, nurturing genuine encounters with nomadic cultures.

Reason #03

Experience a remote ger camp with local horseman, nomadic neighbors and a county Naadam!

Meet your guides

Thomas Kelly

Thomas Kelly

Thomas began his world travel as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, 1978. He has worked photo-activist documenting the struggles of marginalized people and disappearing cultural traditions around the world. Thomas has shared his nuanced worldview through work that has appeared in National Geographic, BBC, New York Times, Time, Newsweek, and more. Having worked 15 years in Mongolia, he possesses strong leadership skills to complement a deep level of cultural knowledge, and is excited to share Mongolia with MT Sobek travelers.

Stephanie Miller

Stephanie Miller

Stephanie grew up on the back of a horse. She worked for Stonebrook Farm in Virginia for over 10 years training and taking care of horses for international competition. In addition to being a competition rider she also developed a therapeutic riding program for local children and adults. In 2018 she co-led her first international equestrian expedition with National Geographic in Mongolia. Her passion for leadership in the outdoors pushed her to earn her Wilderness EMT and Wilderness Medicine Certification from the University of Colorado Denver. She is trained to teach several different styles of yoga including Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin and Senior Yoga. She is an avid rock climber, ice climber, skier, kayaker and several other sports that allow her to experience the brilliance of the wild places in the world. But what gives her the most joy is the opportunity to share her love for the outdoors with others.

Carroll Dunham

Carroll Dunham

Medical anthropologist Carroll Dunham has spent the past 16 summers living among the nomads of the Khangai mountains of Mongolia. Passionate about the incredible history of the steppes, nomadic traditions, way of life and spiritual practices, it is the profound relationship Mongolian nomads have sustained with their animal herds and particularly the horse that keeps her returning to learn more. Author of five books, she has worked on over a dozen films for PBS, BBC, and National Geographic, but is happiest on the back of a horse.

Activities

Horseback riding (3.5 - 4 hours per day), visits to nomad camps, cultural touring, as well as optional hikes, fishing trips, yoga, archery, and photography class.

Lodging

Traditional and comfortable ger camps, as well as the first and last night in a modern city hotel.

Climate

Daytime temperatures range from 70-85°F; nighttime temperatures are cooler and can drop to the 40°Fs. Brief, gentle showers can be expected in the summer.

FAQ

Who will meet me on arrival?

You will be met by our MT Sobek representative.

Do I need a visa to visit Mongolia?

If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need a visa for Mongolia. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please check with the Mongolian Embassy for your requirements.

Is there a weight limit for this trip?

Yes, we have a weight limit of 195 lbs. for this trip as the Mongolian horses are small and cannot accommodate heavier riders.

Will I be able to see the Naadam Festival if I don't go on the July departure?

Yes, you will. We attend a regional Naadam and have the chance to see this on all 4 departures.

Will I have Wi-Fi on the trip?

You will have wi-fi only at the Best Western Tuushin Hotel, the museum at Karakorum and Fairfield's, a bakery we stop at in Tsetserleg on the way to Lapis Sky Camp.

2022

Scheduled Dates

  • Jun 14 - 27, 2022
    $7,695 price per person dbl occ
    +$600 single supplement
    Wait List
  • Jul 10 - 23, 2022
    $7,695 price per person dbl occ
    +$600 single supplement
    Available
  • Jul 20 - Aug 02, 2022
    $7,695 price per person dbl occ
    +$600 single supplement
    Available
  • Aug 10 - 23, 2022
    $7,695 price per person dbl occ
    +$600 single supplement
    Available

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

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Go Private

Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private Trip.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

Private Trip Pricing:

2021 Pricing

6 to 7 guests from $8,495 per person double occupancy

8 to 9 guests from $7,995 per person double occupancy

10 guests from $7,695 per person double occupancy

	

Take Over One of These Dates

Make Your Own Dates in These Months

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.