If you’re an avid adventurer headed for Mongolia, you should be excited to hear that there are a slew of outdoor activities and exciting excursions for you to take part in while you’re there.
Whether you’re into mountains, deserts, or water sports, you certainly won’t be bored on a trip to Russia’s southern neighbour!
You might not know a lot about your options for exploring during your travels to this country, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to find the best 5 adventurous things to do in Mongolia.
Here, you’ll find an array of attractions that will turn your experience into a memorable one. Read on for some helpful suggestions for adventuring through Mongolia!
Go Horse Trekking
Let’s just jump right in with something unique and exciting. Horse trekking through the country is easily one of the most adventurous things to do in Mongolia.
You can go for one day or, since you are here because you like adventure, venture on an excursion that lasts anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
From atop your horse, you can traverse Mongolia’s many national parks and enjoy scenic views of mountains, lakes, and local wildlife.
Some popular routes are through scenic Gorkhi Terelj National park, accessible from Ulaanbaatar. Or, trek up north to visit some of the last reindeer herders in the world, the Tsaatan nomads.
No matter where your horse takes you, you’ll be glad for this unique form of transport that gives you closer interactions with the land and the people of Mongolia.
Climb Mongolia’s Highest Mountain
For mountain climbers, Mongolia has a special treat just for you! Standing 4,374 meters tall, Mount Khuiten is the country’s highest peak.
It’s a popular attraction for hikers, though you wouldn’t know it during your climb. You’ll hardly see a soul on the trails, save for any of western Mongolia’s nomads that happen to be moving through the area.
And situated on the border with China, Mount Khuiten looks out for vast kilometers over the land below, including the magnificent Altai Mountain Range.
With so few people around and so many miles of landscape to take in, your ascent will be a very unique and fulfilling experience.
Scaling Mount Khuiten is generally categorized as a moderate climb. While it’s no Everest, you’ll benefit from prior mountaineering experience and some conditioning. And once you’ve stocked up on all the appropriate gear, you’ll be ready to take off!
Not only is taking on Mount Khuiten one of the most adventurous things to do in Mongolia, but it’ll also set you apart from your fellow climbers. Who else do you know that can say they scaled the highest mountain in Mongolia?
Camel Trek Through the Desert
Let’s go from high, cold mountain passes to low sandy dunes. Camel trekking through the Gobi Desert is another fun and adventurous thing to do in Mongolia.
The continent's second biggest desert boasts over a million square kilometers of rocky, dry terrain, along with a host of popular sites to see.
While riding your camel, listen for the singing sands at the Khongoryn Els sand dunes or scavenge for dinosaur fossils at the Bayanzag Flaming Cliffs. The latter attraction is also known for its reddish hues, a gorgeous shade for travelers to photograph.
With so many attractions in the Gobi Desert, you’ll be grateful for your unique form of transportation.
Riding a camel adds and extra layer to your journey through the desert, and it gives you the freedom to breathe in the open air and stop when and where you please.
You can just take a day trip on a camel, but a multi day excursion would probably be best in order to ensure you hit all the marks along the way.
Stay overnight in a traditional Mongolian ger camp and wake up every morning to hop on your camel and trek out into the desert. It’s a soothing, unique way to travel around one of Mongolia’s most cherished places.
White Water Rafting
If fresh water sports are more your thing, then you’ll be happy to know that one of the most adventurous things to do in Mongolia happens to be white water rafting.
You can enjoy a few hours journey down the Tuul River in a raft, navigating through tough rapids and taking in the views on the occasional calm stretches.
White water rafting is an exhilarating and adrenaline pumping experience, especially on Mongolia’s picturesque Tuul River.
The Tuul River is easily accessible by Ulaanbaatar, meaning you can plan to base yourself in Mongolia’s capital city for this portion of your trip.
Once you find your way over and book your experience, you’ll likely have to go through a briefing with information on the activity.
White water rafting is one of those attractions that comes with grades of difficulty, but the Tuul River should be navigable without prior rafting experience. And when you’ve finished this excursion, you could also unwind with some kayaking or canoeing in Tuul River.
Hiking Around Khuvsgul Lake
Situated close to Russia in Mongolia’s northern reaches, Khuvsgul Lake is a wonderful destination for hikers to explore.
Its name happens to mean “blue water lake,” a translation that will definitely make sense when you witness the freshwater firsthand.
A piercing shade of blue, the translucent waters hold many species of fish, not to mention millions of years of ancient history.
As one of the oldest lakes in the world, Khuvsgul Lake is a must visit in Mongolia, especially for hikers.
The surrounding area contains trails for hikers to traverse. As you are hiking, you’ll be able to take in not only the gorgeous lake, but also the many nearby mountains and unique local wildlife.
The quaint town of Khatgal is a popular jetting off point for hikers, so you can plan to start and end your journey there. It will take several days to complete, so make sure you’re physically and mentally prepared for the experience. It’s a trip you’ll never forget!
With so many adventurous things to do in Mongolia, this country is easily a paradise for travelers who are inclined to go off the map.
Your thirst for adventure will be quenched by your time hiking, trekking, and white water rafting in this remote corner of the world. We hope these ideas were inspiring as you plan your Mongolia travels!