Riding beside the Khoridol Saridag mountains in the north of the country, this tour passes through some of the most spectacular scenery that Mongolia has to offer. After a one and a half hour flight to Moron, capital of Khovsgol province, the circular route begins northwards through the Darkhad Depression. Views of the high peaks are fabulous and there are unusual historical and geographical features in the area. Some people of minority ethnic groups live here. Follow river valleys and cross over a high pass to arrive at the beautiful Khovsgol Lake, a fresh water inland sea.
This is quite a tough itinerary, suitable for riders with some experience. It is classed as 98% off road, with some sections on rough jeep tracks and others on horse trails. The highest point is Jankhai Pass at 1700 meters, and there are several technical downhill stretches. Daily cycling distance varies up to a maximum of 85km. Outside Ulaanbaatar all nights will be spent camping in Western-style tents. This itinerary is suitable for cyclist with a reasonable level of fitness and off-road experience.
Circular route starting from Ulaanbaatar and fly to Moron in Khovsgol Province then cycle a big loop to finish at Lake Khovsgol. Mongolia is a great place for a mountain biking tour, but it is only suitable for confident riders with off-road experience. The routes are too remote and the terrain too rough. Sometimes we will stay in traditional ger camps, but in parts of the country there are no facilities for tourists so we camp in the wilderness.
Arrive in 'Ulaanbaatar' and go to hotel. Evening meet the tour leader and rest of group for Technical Briefing. The meeting talks about day by day itinerary and safety issues. Overnight in hotel.
Fly to Moron in Khovsgol province. Meet support crew, assemble bikes and start riding. See ancient 'Deer Stone' sculptures. These grave markers are one of the best examples of Central Asian nomadic sculpture and probably date from the Bronze Age, around 1000 BC. Overnight camping.
Continue riding northwards. The scenery is beautiful and remote. Nomadic herders continue living the traditional lifestyle, moving frequently with their herds of animals. Cycling is a very good way to be able to observe their way of life close up. Overnight camping.
Pass through Arbulag and ride on towards 'Bayanzurkh'. The mountainous scenery is amazing and the riding quite challenging sometimes. The rivers in this area are great for fishing and huge taimen fish live in the rocky waters. We ride along a path known as "Road of Genghis Khan's Chariots" which is associated with the Mongol Imperial conquests. Overnight camping.
Arrive Bayanzurkh near to a dramatic river canyon. Some of the local people are Darkhad, an ethnic minority group who engage in fishing, gathering and breeding 'Reindeer'. The name "Darkhad" was given to the local population in the 17th Century by the Bogd Gegeen, the religious leader of Mongolian. Overnight camping.
Ride eastwards along the Beltas river valley. The area is very remote and hardly travelled by tourists. The road may be marshy depending on how much rainfall there has been, so it can be difficult. Overnight camping.
Wonderful riding over a long pass and continue eastwards towards 'Lake Khovsgol' which is the largest freshwater lake in Mongolia. It is known as the "Blue Pearl" because of its crystal clear water. The waters flow out of the lake into the "Egiin Gol" river and finally reach Lake Baikal in Siberia, which is actually only 250km away. Overnight camping.
Continue riding into the National Park to reach Khatgal, the small port on the tip of Lake Khovsgol. The village itself has grown over the years and is no longer so shabby, though it is still disappointing that one can't get a good view of the lake without going round the corner to the shore. Overnight guest house.
Ride into the Khoridol Saridag mountains which stretch the full length of the lake. The rocky track and dry river bed crossings are tough, but rewarded by the first fantastic view of Lake Khovsgol from the top of a mountain pass. continue riding along the lake shore to reach the traditional ger camp at 'Jankhai'. Overnight enjoy the relative luxury of beds, hot showers and a restaurant meal overlooking the lake.
Enjoy the morning relaxing by the lakeside. Afternoon take the drive back to Moron town, a 3 hour journey, to complete the circular route. Overnight local hotel.
Transfer to the airport outside 'Moron' town and fly back to Ulaanbaatar (Note: it is not yet known what time of day the flight will be). Evening enjoy the shops, restaurants and sights of Ulaanbaatar city. Overnight hotel.
Circular route starting from Ulaanbaatar and fly to Moron in Khovsgol Province then cycle a big loop to finish at Lake Khovsgol. The routes are very remote and the terrain rough.
Mongolia is a great place for a mountain biking tour; you can enjoy the flowers and plants, the pure air, sights and smells, as well as meeting nomadic families as you ride pass.
Khovsgol mountain biking trail description:
The following items are included in the price of the tour:
The following items will be in addition to the price of the tour:
The places you will see along the way:
Lake Khovsgol is 136 km long and over 100 meters deep. It is the largest source of fresh water in the country. Known as the "Blue Pearl" it lies near Mongolia's northern border with Russia. The Eg river drains the lake, eventually running into Lake Baikal in Siberia.
Moron is the administrative centre of the northern province of Khovsgol. The town lies at an altitude of 1710 meters and is located 100 km south of Lake Khovsgol. During winter months the temperature falls as low as minus 50 degrees celcius.
Deer Stones nearby the town of Moron are a fine example of Central Asian nomadic sculpture. The standing stones are covered in engravings of running deer with large antlers. They date from 7th to 3rd century BC and marked the site of gatherings.
This is quite a tough itinerary, suitable for riders with some experience. It is classed as 98% off road, with some sections on rough jeep tracks and others on horse trails. The highest point is Jankhai Pass at 1700 meters, and there are several technical downhill stretches. Daily cycling distance varies up to a maximum of 85km. Outside Ulaanbaatar most nights will be spent camping in Western-style tents. This tour is for cyclists who have some off-road experience and stamina.
"Thanks very much for looking after us and our arrangements in Mongolia. We enjoyed the tour immensely and loved the sites, scenery and sense of solitude this country gives you. It was a lovely adventure, thanks again"