Altai Tavan Bogd National Park is located on the Western most point of Mongolia in Bayan-Ulgii Province. This vast mountainous park borders China and Russia with views of Kazakhstan from the highest peak in Mongolia.
Altai Tavan Bogd has some of the most stunning scenery in all of Mongolia with towering white mountains, glaciers, deep lush valleys, and large lakes. The park is divided into 2 regions, the Tavan Bogd Mountains in the northwest and the Lakes Region to the southeast.
The snow-capped Kuiten Uul mountain, 4374 m (14,201 ft), is the highest of the five peaks of Tavan Bogd Mountains (literally ‘5 Saints’) that gives the park its name. It covers an area of 630,000 hectarce and is home to three large freshwater lakes and 34 glaciers, plus several waterfalls. The largest, Pontuninii Glacier, covers 23 sq km. This stunning region stretches south from Tavan Bogd and includes the twin lakes of Khoton Nuur and Khurgan Nuur and Dayan Nuur. The park stretches along the Chinese border from the Russian border to 200 km south following the Altai Mountains, which form the borders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia. Tavan Bogd Mountains are considered sacred to local Kazakhs, Tuvans, and Mongolians. 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.
The people living inside the park are one of the main draws. Kazakhs and Tuvan nomadic herders live inside the park and visiting them is part of most tours. The Kazakhs are the most numerous and the ones that do eagle hunting. They are known for their colorful large ger with rich embroidered wall hangings and their warm hospitality. Tuvans occupy the Tsagaan Gol valley and have different clothes, food, and language than Mongols. Tuvan men sing deep eerie long-songs using throat-singing, though very few Tuvans in this isolated pocket have mastered the art. Kazakhs live around the lake, as well as Tsagaan Salaa and Takhiltyn Havtsal (and most of the rest of the park). Those living inside the park have retained their traditional culture to a greater degree than probably any Kazakh in Central Asia. They have preserved their arts and music, and have practiced the ancient sport of eagle hunting continuously throughout the Soviet era when it was suppressed elsewhere.
White River Valley (Tsagaan gol) is place where the 4 season of the weather in one hour, where the mountains are meeting the sky and friendly Tuvan nomads showing you unexpected hospitality. This heaven located in very western part of Mongolia where Russian, Chinese and Mongolian Altai mountains are joining and Mongolian side of the mountains lasting with long Potanin glacier. But, the White River coming from that glacier and coming across all way through western Mongolia and ending at Black lake in Hovd province.
Located in the northern part of the Altai mountain range, near the Chinese border, in Bayan-Ölgii, the westernmost of the provinces of Mongolia, Khurgan and Khoton are 2 lakes situated at an elevation of more than 2.000m. The road to the lakes, located in Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, is gravel. It’s narrow, steep, and impassable in winters. Do not travel this pass in severe weather conditions. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. From October the surface of the lakes starts to freeze, creating then 1.3-1.6 m ice thickness.
The Tsagaan Salaa River flows into the Baga Oigor in the far western region of Bayan Olgiy aimag in the Mongolian Altay Mountains. As the joint Mongolian, American, Russian project “Altay” which began in 1994 determined, along the lower Tsagaan Salaa and upper Baga Oigor, is “one of the largest rock art complexes in North and Central Asia, and the richest in terms of chronological age, quantity, and quality of imagery” There are images of various animal species, hunting scenes, and scenes depicting aspects of human life in the region.
There are many glaciers in Mongolia on Altai range. Biggest glacier in Mongolia is Potanin Glacier on Altai Tavan Bogd national park. It’s 20 km long, and it hase huge ice rivers on it! Activities with glacier are: You can walk on the glacier with expert tour guide, take photos, experience it, camp just next to glacier! (sunset on Glacier)
In Altai Tavan Bogd National Park located very easy accessible waterfall in Baga Durgen valley around Khoton and Khurgan Nuur area. This waterfall formed from small glaciers up the Altai range mountain and flows through local Kazakh nomads. This is very beautiful spot with gorges mountains and different lifestyles around. As easy to get there it is very good for short hiking through local Kazakh nomads meet their everyday activity, visit the waterfall, enjoy the perfect landscapes and even swim under that waterfall.
Bear Valley is most amazing and spectacular place with fantastic landscapes, surrounded with green snow caped mountains with several waterfalls and crystal clear lakes that located in southwest of Altai Tavan bogd national park. This place is non accessible by any jeeps or transports as there are no special road to there. But during the early nomadic years people were using this valley as a short cut between their winter place and summer places when they are migrating with packed camels and all livestock
The lake borders the north-western side of the Öndör Khairkhan Mountain range. Lakeside small areas of deciduous forest. From the lake originate a tributary of the Khovd River. The lake sits 2,232 meters above sea level, covering an area of 67 km2. Best destination area for fishing.