Adventure vacations in Mongolia

Mongolian Classic Trek


This horse riding trek in Mongolia combines the lush beauty of the Blue Khentii Mountain and the austere landscape of the Gobi Desert.

The mountains of Gorkhi-Terelj National Park are breathtaking; lush green forests, crystal-clear lakes, mountain streams, waterfalls and spectacular mountain scenery. The wild flowers, which carpet the meadows and hillsides in profusion are quite beautiful and occasionally one glimpses elusive wildlife including mountain elk, wildcat, bears, Argali sheep, foxes and wolves.

Then fly south to explore the historical, cultural and natural sights of the Gobi Desert which are enthralling but rarely visited. This dramatic and varied landscape has attracted several generations of explorers and adventurers from around the world.

There is a Mongolian Classic with Naadam Festival scheduled in conjunction with the Naadam Festival in early July. The itinerary is the same at the mountain camp and in the Gobi Desert, with additional days in Ulaanbaatar for the festival.

Accommodations range from a 4 star hotel in the city, standard twin-share ger accommodations in countryside, tented accommodation while on riding.

In general, the food will be simple and healthy to ensure a balanced diet. Most of the provisions will be locally produced and the menus will be based on the best possible harvest available.

  • Overview:
    The horses used are supplied by local nomad horseman, and although small are tough and responsive. They are adept at negotiating sand dunes, open steppes and rocky mountains. Their owners have no objection to impromptu races, and you will be surprised at the speed and agility of these tough little horses. Mongolian horses are usually unshod except in very rocky areas of the country. Mongolian tack generally comprises a head collar (halter) and lead rope, which is never removed from the horse, a bridle with a simple steel snaffle, hobbles and either a Russian steel- framed or an Australian Stock saddle.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Mongolian horses
  • Trip Pace:
  • Tack:
    English, Mongolian, Russian
  • Weight limit:
    200 lbs

Non-riders can be accommodated, typically more successfully on bespoke trekking, walking, fishing and camping holidays, which we can arrange on request.

Quick reference for itinerary without the Naadam festival: Day 1 Arrive Ulaanbaatar, sightseeing. Day 2 Fly to Gobi. Day 3 Khongor sand dunes. Day 4 Gobi – Yolyn Am. Day 5 Eagle Valley, Return to Ulaanbaatar. Days 6-10 Riding in the Khentii Mountains. Day 11 Depart Mongolia.


Trip Itinerary

Day 1

On arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.  There will be a visit to Gandan Monastery, the Bogd Khan Winter Palace (home to the last religious king of Mongolia), and the Fine Arts Museum.  Lunch will be at the hotel and dinner at a ger restaurant with traditional Mongolian food and entertainment.

Day 2

Today you will be take flight to the South Gobi aimag, either in the morning or in the afternoon depending on domestic schedule.  The flight from Ulaanbaatar to the capital of the South Gobi takes one and half hours, and you will be accompanied by your guide.  On arrival at the airstrip in the Gobi you will be met by a driver and jeep and taken to the ger camp close to Bayanzag, which means ‘rich in saxaul shrubs.’  This area, also called the ‘Flaming Cliffs,’ was first excavated in 1922 by the paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews.  It is a place of atmospheric beauty famous worldwide for the number of dinosaur bones and eggs found in the area. You will then visit Moltseg Els (sand dunes).  Overnight at Three Camel Lodge.

Day 3

Today you drive west along the Altai Mountain range until you reach Khongoriin Els. Reaching heights of 800m, these are Mongolia’s largest sand dunes.  Locally they are called the ‘singing dunes’ because of the tons of sand which shift in the wind, making a strange sound similar to that of distant aircraft.  The drive is about 4 hours long.  During this stay in the Gobi you will have the opportunity to use a different type of transport. You will be riding on camels today to explore these massive sand dunes.

The two-humped camels are very comfortable to ride, as they walk slowly and gently and you will be well supported by the humps, sitting comfortably between them.  The camel man will take you to the sand dunes. Overnight in a ger camp close to the dunes.

Day 4

After relaxed breakfast, drive towards Yolyn Am, or Eagle Valley.  This is about 220 km from your ger camp.  The valley is about 10km long and is completely shaded from the sun in some parts by the high cliff walls.  It is possible to walk through the valley and out the other side.  You may be lucky enough to spot wild sheep and goats grazing high on the cliff walls.  The valley is also full of soaring eagles hunting for prey.  At the opening of the valley is a local Natural History Museum displaying interesting information about the animals of the area.  The best time spotting wildlife is at dawn or dusk.

Day 5

This morning, enjoy an early hike through the Eagle Valley or relax at the camp.  Return flight is scheduled late in the afternoon.  At Ulaanbaatar, you may take a well-deserved shower and enjoy dinner with the group at a local restaurant.

Day 6

You depart on the morning of the 6th day for the Khentii Mountains, where you will stay until Day 10.  En-route, you will see nomadic families and their gers, and will go through the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park where you will meet up with the local horsemen.  After lunch your journey continues–either on horseback or on a yak cart–into the Baga Khentii Mountains, the smaller sisters of the Khentii Mountains to the north.  You will spend four nights in tents at a base camp in the mountains. There will be a ger for meals and social time in the evenings.  In the daytime your activities include horse riding, yak cart riding, hiking and visiting the ruins of Gunjin Monastery.  The river which flows past your camp is deep enough for a dip in the cool waters, or you can try your hand at fishing with the locals.  If you like wildlife, this area is perfect.  There are musk deer, moose, brown bears, roe and elk.  Birds spotted in the area include whooper swans, spoonbills, great white egrets and a variety of birds of prey.  On Day 10, you visit the ger of local horseman and sample some traditional Mongolian food.  You will return to Ulaanbaatar by vehicle.  Tonight there will be a farewell dinner at a local restaurant and overnight in the hotel.

Day 11

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport in time for departure.

Itinerary Addendum

This itinerary is flexible and changes may occur at the guides' discretion due to unforeseen circumstances. Flight schedules are subject to alteration with little or no advance notice. The guide will make every effort to provide the itinerary as presented, but your patience and understanding are appreciated if the itinerary should change.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

The NAADAM FESTIVAL takes place on a separate itinerary that runs from JULY 5-17.
Additional Pricing Information:
Deposit amount is $1,300 for this ride. Ride price is set, guaranteed and final at the time deposit is paid.

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Preferred Trip Dates

Mongolian Classic Trek
April 23, 2024
January 1, 1970
January 1, 1970

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The Spirit of the Reindeer Herders Ride was our 5th Equitours trip overseas and they have all been amazing! This year in Mongolia was so far our most exotic adventure and once again far exceeded our expectations. Equitours does a great job of contracting with excellent tour companies and makes it so... Read more  

Jeannie Bunt, 2012