Altai Mountains

The Altai Mountains are a mountain range in Central and East Asia, where Russia, China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan come together. This region is renowned for its diverse wildlife and stunning, varied landscapes ranging from vast glaciers and rugged mountains to dense forests and wide grasslands.

The Altai Mountains are particularly significant both ecologically and culturally. They are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for their natural beauty and the preservation of traditional nomadic cultures. The area is also rich in biodiversity, housing many species that are rare or endangered.

These mountains are popular for various outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain climbing, and exploring remote natural areas. They are also a key area for archaeological and ethnographic studies due to the preservation of ancient burial sites, petroglyphs, and artifacts.

Altai Mountain in Mongolian Side

If you are lucky enough to visit Mongolia, add the Altai Mountains to your list of places to see. This mountain is absolutely stunning, and its history is just as fascinating. The Mongolian Altai is the largest mountain system in the country.

What can you see in Mongolian side

If you are in the Mongolian side of the Altai Mountains, there’s a lot to see and do. This region is rich in natural beauty, cultural heritage, and outdoor activities. Here are some highlights:

  1. Tavan Bogd National Park: This park houses the highest peaks in Mongolia, including the towering Khüiten Peak. The area is known for its stunning glaciers and deep valleys. It’s a fantastic spot for trekking and mountain climbing.
  2. Petroglyphic Complexes: The Mongolian Altai is home to numerous petroglyphs, which are rock carvings created by ancient peoples. These artworks provide a fascinating glimpse into the history and beliefs of the region’s early inhabitants.
  3. Eagle Hunting: The practice of hunting with golden eagles is a significant part of the traditional culture in the Altai region. Visitors can witness this ancient tradition, where Kazakh eagle hunters demonstrate their skills in a partnership with these magnificent birds.
  4. Nomadic Culture: Experience the traditional nomadic lifestyle by staying in a ger (yurt), tasting local dishes like airag (fermented mare’s milk), and observing daily activities of herding and horsemanship.
  5. Lake Khoton and Lake Khurgan: These beautiful lakes in the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park are surrounded by stunning landscapes and are great for fishing, hiking, and simply enjoying the tranquility of nature.
  6. Wildlife Watching: The area is rich in wildlife, including argali sheep, ibex, red deer, and snow leopards. Bird watchers can also spot a variety of species, particularly near the lakes and rivers.
  7. Archaeological Sites: Explore archaeological sites where ancient artifacts and burial mounds have been discovered, providing insights into the histories of the various peoples who have inhabited the region.

The Altai Mountains in Mongolia offer a deeply enriching experience for those interested in nature, history, and traditional cultures. Whether you’re an adventurer, a nature lover, or a cultural enthusiast, there’s something captivating to discover.

Tavan Bogd Mountain is located in the Tavan Bogd National Park and is a dream travel destination for trekkers, mountaineers, wild nature lovers, and nature lovers. Not only nature, but the surrounding area is also home to various ethnic groups and historical sites. So here are few interesting facts about the Tavan Bogd Mountain

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#Fact 1 – Location of Altai Tavan Bogd National Park

The Altai Tavan Bogd National Park (Altai five saints nature complex) is a national park in Bayan-Ölgii Province, Mongolia. The park encompasses the Mongolian side of the Tavan Bogd massif, which is split by the Altai Mountains’ three boundary lines with Russia and China.

Altai mountas

The quickest way to get from Ulaanbaatar to the national park is by plane, but if you want to see more of the countryside and have a more adventure, then driving is the better option.

You can either drive all the way there (1920 km), or fly to Ulgii town first and then drive 270 km from there. Keep in mind that the roads between Ulgii town and Altai Tavan Bogd Mountain are rough so it will take longer (560 km on both ways).

#Fact 2 – 5 Saint peaks of Altai Tavan Bogd Mountain

The Golden Mountains Tavan Bogd massif has five main peaks, which are considered as the five sacred peaks “Five Saints”. They are:

  • the Khuiten peak (Mongolia’s highest point at 4374 meters above the sea level) The highest peak of Altai Mountain.
  • Nairamdal or Friendship peak the second highest point (4082 meters)
  • Malchin peak or Herder peak (4037 meters above sea level)
  • Burged or Eagle peak (4068 meters )
  • Ulgii peak (4050 meters)
Altain tavan bogd scaled

The Local People have nicknamed these five summits “Bogd” to show their reverence and hence the name Altai Tavan (Five) Bogd. The word Bogd signifies someone with extensive knowledge or great compassion, which is why it translates to English as “Saint”. So we called it Altai Tavan Bogd Uul.

#Fact 3 – Climate of the Altai Tavan Bogd Mountain/ Why you can see the biggest glacier there?

It usually snows from October until the end of May, with the rainiest season being in July and August. The average temperature during summer days is 16-25°C, while nights are 7-13°C on average.

Altai tavan bogd horses

The Tavan Bogd massif is home to the largest glacier system in Mongolia (and possibly Central Asia), which is called the Potanin Glacier. It stretches about 14 kilometres and located through in the Altai Tavan Bogd mountain in Altai Mountain range. The glacier is named after explorer Grigory Potanin.

Unfortunately, like with other glaciers around the world, the Potanin Glacier is gradually shrinking. It shrank by about 90 meters in a 6-year period of monitoring.

#Fact 4 – Things you can do in Altai Tavan Bogd

  • Many tourists come to Altai Tavan Bogd Mountain for the famous Potanin Glacier and Khuiten peak- the tallest mountain in Mongolia. If you’re an experienced adventurer looking for a new challenge, you may attempt to may peaks of Altai tavan bogd. If a 36-37 kilometer trek doesn’t seem like your cup of tea, don’t worry! Horseback riding is one of the best way to explore deep in this large park instead. The views of the snowcapped mountains in Mongolia, Russia, and China will be sure to take your breath away.
  • Another fascinating sight is the Shiveet Khairkhan rock drawing in the Altai Tavan Bogd Mountain. The rock carvings cover a wide range of styles, with some dating back to the Bronze Age and others from the Turkic period of V to VIII AD. UNESCO has included the Shiveet Khairkan rock drawing in its list of World Heritage Site.
  • The area is home to creatures like the Altai Argali sheep, Ibex, Red deer, Beech marten, Moose, Snow cock and Golden eagle. With a touch of luck clients might catch glimpse of wild sheep , ibex and snow leopard on our trekking tour . On other hand , during special interest tours one can observe wide variety of wildlife in their natural surroundings. Additionally, the golden eagles, endangered species of snow leopards are rare animals.
  • On your way from Ulgii town to Altai Tavan Bogd Mountain, you will see the Tsagaan Gol/White River. These Mountain Rivers, is the main valley flowing from the Tavan Bogd Mountains to Tsengel village and the center section of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The inhabitants of the valley are Tuvan, a Mongol tribe renowned for their throat singing and unique arts.

Bonus Fact

The Altai Tavan Bogd National Park serves as the primary setting of Chorh-Gom Prison in the Kung Fu Panda franchise. In the DreamWorks Animation film, the park is depicted as an inescapable prison.

However, in actuality, the Tavan Bogd National Park is a popular tourist destination and one of the most beautiful places in Mongolia. So next time you watch Kung Fu panda, take note of the amazing scenery in the background!

Hi, I’m Bayanbat. I grew up in Mongolia and have been living there my whole life. I create Correctmongolia web that helps people understand Mongolia better.

Do you have any questions or comments about the Altai Mountains? Let us know in the comments below!

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