Posted by Selena Travel / 11 30, 2023
After the Gobi Desert, I’d say Lake Khuvsgul is next on the “Must See List” for Mongolia--it’s beautiful, crystalline blue waters are stunning! It’s in the opposite direction from Ulaanbaatar and will also require some decisions about travel. The best time of year to visit is summer--June, July or August--with July being usually the warmest. August is the beginning of fall in Mongolia and can sometimes mean more rain than a visitor wants to contend with. You can visit before and after those three months but many camps do shut down for a part of fall, all of winter, and the start of spring.
I recommend flying from UB to Moron, capital of the Khuvsgul Aimag (province). If you are visiting outside of the peak tourist season be sure to check about flight availability. Then you will need to hire a driver to take you the three hours to Khatgal, the village on the lake, and then to the camp or resort of your choosing. Before you leave Moron, I recommend visiting a lovely place about 20 km outside that has these amazing deer stones to visit.
On the drive from Moron to Khatgal you’ll probably have the opportunity to pull off and see some reindeer. This can be a nice photo opportunity but it is not exactly the famous “reindeer people” or Tsaatans which you may have read or heard about. That group lives in a far more remote location. Also, in the village of Khatgal there is a little Visitor’s Center that shares information about the lake and its flora and fauna.
Once at Lake Khuvsgul and settled in at your place of accommodation, now the fun begins. I highly recommend swimming (if the weather is warm enough)! It reminded me of my childhood in Michigan and felt similar to swimming in Lake Superior (the deepest and coldest of the five Great Lakes). Beyond that there is hiking, horseback riding, some boating or sailing opportunities, as well as the chance to spot wildlife.
A note about accommodations--there are a number of options from a rustic ger camp with pit toilets to more luxurious ger camps with restaurants and other amenities. Speak with your guide or tour company to share what is important for you in accommodations. I found that 2-4 days is about the right amount of time to spend at the Lake. I confess it was nice my first day at the lake but then it rained the whole next day so we journeyed on to Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur.
Photo Credits to Heather Caveney