Tour from the Gobi Desert to the Lake Khovsgol
Epic Road trip from the Gobi Desert to the Lake Khovsgol for 18 days
The epic road trip is one of our classic tours for people who want to experience, discover, and feel Mongolia. With few paved roads and no GPS to speak of, there are infinite opportunities to take the route less traveled. So, let’s experience wild camping under the clear sky with millions of stars and staying with nomadic families to get back to basics as they do. This trip covers the Gobi Desert, Central, and North of Mongolia. So, our 18- day epic road guided tour let you experience the landscape contrast from the Gobi Desert to the forested mountains in central and north of Mongolia. Many people join this combined destination tour every summer because there are many reasons to make them choose this itinerary. Because the price is affordable and maximizes your travel, and it’s perfectly planned by our expert adviser to suit your time and desire.
Epic road tour details
Total distance: 3500km
Tour length: 17 nights, 18 days
Route: Ulan Bator – Baga Gazaryn Chuluu – Tsagaan Suvraga – Yoliin Am /Ice field/ – Khongoryn Els – Bayanzag flaming cliffs – Ongi temple ruin – Orkhon valley – Tsenkher hot spring – Great White lake & Khorgo volcano – Zuunnuur – Lake Khovsgol – Khutag Undur – Amarbayasgalant temple – Ulan Bator
Camel riding upon guest’s request for an hour or a day or horseback riding for a day. You will also be trying the typical Mongolian barbeque called “khorkhog”. Delicious! Visit with a local family, camp, hike, and trek. We’ll visit the Erdenezuu temple museum and Kharkhorin archaeology museum, and visiting temples and ruins as mentioned in the itinerary, and we’ll stay a night with a Nomadic family.
What to bring:
Wind breaker or waterproof jacket, T-shirt, swimsuits /optional/, sweatpants, sweatshirt, long sleeves shirts, cap, personal toiletries, head or touch lamp, sunglasses, mosquito repellent if you travel between June to August. For detailed information please click here
What we provide: mattresses, tents, camping shower and sleeping bags.
- English speaking tour guide/cook
- National park entrance fees
- Camel riding for an hour
- Horse riding for a day
- Accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary
- 1.5L drinking water a day per person
- Full board(17 breakfast, 18 lunch, 17 dinner)
- Sleeping bags
- Accommodation in UB
- Travel insurance
- Personal toiletries
- Tips for the driver and the guide
- Visa fee
- Travel insurance
- Alcohol drinks
The Gobi Desert part of the epic road tour
Our tour starts from the Gobi Desert.
Day 1: Ulan Bator – Baga Gazaryn Chuluu
An epic road trip starts with a full day driving to the Baga Gazariin Chuluu Ruins (1768 m high granite stone mountain in the territory of Adaatsag soum, Dundgobi province. There some old temple ruins related to the 17th century. Also, we’ll be able to see a deep narrow hole with water in it which locals believe in that the water could treat ocular illnesses. We’ll spend the night in a family’s spare yurt.
Day 2: Baga Gazaryn Chuluu – Tsagaan Suvraga
Our epic road trip will continue driving to the scarp of Tsagaan Suvarga which is in Ulziit, Dundgobi province and it is interesting to see the sheer slope, facing east, which from a cliff is 30 meters high and 100 meters wide. Over thousands of years, the wind has created this amazing structure. Stay in a family’s spare yurt.
Day 3: Tsagaan Suvraga – Yoliin am/ Ice valley
We’ll drive to a yurt camp which is located close to Yol valley and it is in Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National park which is the biggest strictly protected area in Mongolia. The mountains here are the highest in the Gobi Desert and the rocky scenery is quite interesting, especially until mid-July while the ice in a gorge remains. Spend the night in a yurt camp.
Day 4: Yoliin Am/Ice valley – Khongoryn Els sand dunes
In the morning, we’ll drive to Yoliin Am for 30 km then we’ll walk 3km in the narrow valley, then 3 km back to the minivans. And then we’ll have lunch at the open air. After that, we’ll drive to Khongoryn Els Sand Dunes (195km). The Khongoryn Els is some of the largest and most spectacular sand dunes in Mongolia. We’ll spend the night in a family’s spare yurt.
Day 5: No driving.
Climb the sand dunes and ride camels for a couple of hours or a day.
Day 6: Khongoryn Els – Banayzag flaming cliffs
Start driving to Bayan-Zag(150km) in the morning. When we arrive at Bayan-Zag, spend the night in tents. Bayan-Zag means “rich in Saxaul Shrubs” is more commonly known as the “Flaming Cliffs” of Bayan-Zag, famous for the discovery of dinosaur fossils.
Day 7: Bayanzag flaming Cliffs – Ongi temple ruin
This morning we’ll drive to Ongi temple, which are ruins of two monasteries that face each other across Ongi river in Saikhan-Ovoo, Dundgobi province, Mongolia. Founded in 1660, it was one of the largest monasteries in Mongolia and housed over 1000 monks at its height. And both complexes of Ongi Monastery were destroyed in 1939 during anti-religious purges carried out under Choibalsan Kh, the leader of the Communist Party of Mongolia. Over 200 monks were killed, and many surviving monks were imprisoned or forcibly elasticized and conscripted into the Communist-controlled army. We’ll spend the night in a yurt camp.
Central Mongolia part of the epic road tour starts from the 8th day.
Day 8: Ongi temple ruin – Orkhon valley
Actually, our Gobi Desert part in behind on this day, so we head to beautiful central Mongolia. And you’ll see steppes are greener and you won’t see dancing mirages on your way.
We drive to a waterfall, which is a great place for taking photos and go hiking through the gorge. Overnight in a family’s spare yurt.
Day 9: No driving.
Go horseback riding for a day in the area. Spend the night in the same family’s spare yurt. Actually, we are halfway through the Epic Road Tour.
Day 10: Orkhon valley – Tsenkher hot spring
On this day, we drive to Tsenkher hot spring. We’ll have a relaxed evening taking a hot bath in the natural hot spring water. Stay in the yurt tourist camp there.
Day 11: Tsenkher hot spring – Great White lake / Terkhiin Tsagaan nuur/
Today we’ll drive to the Great White Lake. Khorgo Uul is a dead volcano, which lies on the edge of the lake of Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur in Arkhangai province. The mountain Khorgo is covered with basalts. The National park covers 28 square kilometers including Togoo Uul 2.240 meters above sea level and the Hill of the lake Terkhiin Tsagaan. It has been protected since 1965. We’ll stay in a local Nomad family’s spare yurt.
Day 12: No driving. Hiking day.
Go hiking from Great White lake to Khorgo volcano for a day. We’ll enjoy the fantastic scenery from the top of the volcano. We’ll stay in the same family’s spare yurt for guests. And it’s our last day of traveling in Central Mongolia.
Now we're heading to the Northern part of Mongolia and it's last part of our tour.
Day 13: Great White Lake – Zuunnuur lake
Head to the lake Khovsgol but we’ll sleep in tents near Zuunnuur in order to avoid long driving on the way. Also, you’ll have experience of camping. The sunset here is beautiful.
Day 14: Zuunnuur lake- lake Khovsgol
Today we’ll rich a beautiful lake Khovsgol. Khovsgol National park covers 8.381 square kilometers including Lake Khovsgol and its watershed, the Lake Basin, and parts of Zunii Saran Mountain. It has been protected since 1992. The Taiga forest has Euro Asian otter, beaver, moose, reindeer, argali, Siberian ibex, snow leopard, red deer, Siberian roe deer, and many other wild animals. We’ll stay in a family spare yurt.
Day 15: No driving.
Go hiking for a day by the lakeshore and enjoy a magnificent view of the area. Spend the night in the same family’s spare yurt.
Day 16: Lake Khovsgol – Khutag Undur
Continue driving and find a nice spot to camp near Khutag-Undur county. You’ll enjoy forest scenery while you’re driving, and you’ll be able to stop for photo shooting as many times as you want.
Day 17: Khutag-Undur – Amarbayasgalant temple
Start driving to Amarbayasgalant temple which is one of the interesting Buddhist temples in Mongolia. The monastery is located in the Iven Valley near the Selenge River, at the foot of Mount Büren-Khaan in Baruunbüren county of Selenge Province, Mongolia Overnight in a yurt tourist camp. More information about the monastery please visit https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5947/
Day 18: Amarbayasgalant temple – Ulan bator
It’s your last day of the trip. So, we drive back to Ulan Bator. Arrive between 5-6 pm and drop you off at your hotel.
Tour prices and dates
Note: All prices are per person.
You can join the group for Epic road tour on fixed dates as shown on the following table. The advantage of this tour is you’ll meet many people from different parts of the world and make friends with them. Also, you’ll be able to have the best price for the tour.