Horse Trekking to Taiga Mountain with Salt Lick for Reindeer

Many animals regularly visit mineral licks to consume clay, supplementing their diet with nutrients and minerals. Reindeers in the Mongolian Taiga Mountains require the minerals not just for nutrition, but also to ward off the effects of secondary compounds that are included in the arsenal of plant defenses against herbivory. Unfortunately, there is a scarcity of the minerals they need in the high-elevation mountain pastures, so many reindeer face health issues due to the lack of those minerals. Local reindeer herders provide artificial salt licks for their animals by bringing in salt blocks, but it is difficult for them to transport the heavy blocks to their remote valley. Part of the cost of this trip will be spent buying salt for mineral licks for the reindeer herders in this region. This salt will make the reindeer healthier and happier, and it will take a great load off of the Tsaatan (reindeer herder) people. You will see how excited the reindeer get when we bring tasty and beneficial minerals!


Duration: 9 days, 8 nights
Type: Adventure and Cultural
Level: Challenging (Up to 6 hours horseback riding in the forest)
Total Km or Miles: 700km (435 miles)
Meals: 25 Meals – 8 breakfast, 9 lunches, 8 dinners

Highlights: Visit spectacular natural locations such as Khuvsgul Lake and the Taiga. Meet the yak herder family and milk yak at Tsagaan Nuur. Have fun with Tsaatan (reindeer herders) and Darkhad people. Build and stay in “Urts,” a traditional teepee-like dwelling. Play a traditional game called “shagai.” Ride horses and reindeer.

Accommodation: Ger camp or Guest House Ger. Ger (yurt) is a Mongolian traditional dwelling and made with wooden frames and linen layers on the ceiling. Ger camp has about 30 gers for guests, and restaurant, bathroom facilities are located separately, it’s about 10m (30 foot) from the actual ger that you stay. Each individual ger has a stove in the center to keep the ger warm, and a small table, chairs, beds with mattresses and extra blankets. 1 night at the ger camp, 2 nights at ger guest house, 4 nights at teepee, 1 night in a local hotel

Activities: 4WD, Camping, Domestic flight, Excursion, Ger (Yurt), Ger camp, Hiking, Historical site, Horse riding, Local food, Nomadic family, Reindeer, Sightseeing, Teepee, Traditional game

Price:

3-15 person $2300 USD 
2 person $2850 USD 
1 person $3900 USD
(15person)+1 Free 

Price includes:
• All ground transportation
• Ger-camp, guest house, teepee accommodations
• Roundtrip domestic flight
• All meals on itinerary
• All area entrance fee
• English speaking tour guide
• Local tour guide
• Vehicle with driver
• Horseback riding
• Airport pick up and drop off services
• Snacks and water
• Sleeping bag and foot protector

Price excludes:
• All personal expenses
• Travel insurance
• Additional tours to places out of the itinerary
• Extra horseback riding and kayaking
• Alcoholic beverages
• Hotel in Ulaanbaatar 

Day 1: Domestic flight from Ulaanbaatar to Murun Province

Our tour guide will pick you up from your hotel and drive to the airport. We will fly to the town of Murun in Khuvsgul province. A local driver will meet us at the airport and drive us 100 km to the village of Khatgal on the south end of the lake. We will either stay in Khatgal in a guest house or drive a little further to stay in a ger camp on the edge of the lake. On the way, we can stop by the Deer Stone ruins that are dated sometime between 1500 BC and 500 AD. Khuvsgul Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Central Asia. The landscape around the lake is unique and inimitable in its beauty.
Accommodation: Ger camp
Meals: L, D

Day 2: Visitation of local herders in Tsagaan Nuur /350 km/

After breakfast, we will climb to the top of the mountain to see all of  Khuvsgul Lake. We will drive to Tsagaan Nuur town and on the way, we can see local herders, yaks, goats, cows, sheep, and horses. We will eat our lunch on the way. That night we will stay in a ger guest house in Tsagaan Nuur. We will have dinner at the hotel. Both lunch and dinner will be served in a local camping style.
Accommodation: Ger guest house
Meals: BF, L, D

Day 3: Introduction to the Reindeer People

We will have breakfast in the morning and then begin a full day of hiking and riding in the mountains of  Taiga, totaling almost 20 km. We will visit a reindeer family who lives in the Darkhad valley in the summer. It is called Darkhad valley because only members of the Darkhad tribe are allowed to live there. The family will prepare horses for us. We will only be riding horses during this part of the trip because they are best suited to the terrain. Extra horses will carry our luggage. We will go through the thick forest on the high mountains and arrive in a village of reindeer people. As we travel through thick forest, rapids, and streams, these local horses will amaze you with their ability to handle a variety of terrain. After traveling for 3-4 hours, we will rest and build our tent next to the reindeer family's Urts. We will spend some time with the family, have dinner, and rest.
Accommodation: Teepee
Meals: BF, L, D

Day 4-6: Donation of  Salt and minerals to Reindeer families

During these days we will follow these reindeer herders from sunrise to sunset to experience their lifestyle. These people have been fishing, hunting, gathering fruit and herding reindeer for hundreds of years. Their main religion is shamanism and they worship the mountain Savdag or spirit. We will take in the scenery of the Taiga Mountains and lake on horseback and on foot. We will see how reindeer people make a living buying and selling goods and how they manage to provide their children with educational opportunities in this difficult way of life. We will go among the nearby families and donate the salt and minerals that we brought. These materials are difficult to come by in this area and are essential to the lifestyle of reindeer herders. We will continue to enjoy interacting with the community and enjoying the serene, remote landscape of the Taiga. Meals will be served camp style and accommodations will be in tents.
Accommodation: Teepee
Meals: BF, L, D

Day 7: Taiga to Tsagaan Nuur

After breakfast, we will give thanks to our reindeer family and leave on horseback. We will meet up with our driver and go back to Tsagaan Nuur. We will stay in a little town hotel and have dinner there.
Accommodation: Ger guest house
Meals: BF, L, D

Day 8: Tsagaan Nuur Lake o Murun City

After breakfast, we will drive back to Murun. The drive will take about 10 hours. We will stay in a hotel in Murun.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: BF, L, D

Day 9: Fly back to Ulaanbaatar city

After breakfast, we will fly back to Ulaanbaatar. Once we arrive in Ulaanbaatar we will take you to your hotel.
Meals: BF, L

Number of days: 9
Covered regions:
Central Mongolia
Gobi Desert
Western Mongolia
Northern Mongolia
Eastern Mongolia
Included services:
Guide
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Accommodation (Hotel/Guesthouse)
Accommodation (Homestay)
Entrance tickets (e.g. museums, parks etc.)
Beverages (non-alcoholic)
Car (with driver)
Fuel, Petrol
Bus/Train tickets
Domestic flight tickets
Not included: Hotel in Ulaanbaatar
What to bring: Hiking boots, sun glasses, water bottle, warm clothes, sun block and/or hat
Transport: SUV 4x4
Tour season:
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Tour categories:
Private tours
Cultural tours
Adventure tours
Offroad tours
Sightseeing tours
Winter tours
Special Event tours
Wildlife tours
Highlight tours
Photo tours
Hiking tours
Horseback riding tours
Circle tours
Short tours
Budget tours
Languages:
English
German
French
Spanish
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Russian
Other
Payment Method

For a confirmed booking, a deposit of (10%) is required. Deposit is paid by credit card (secure payment via Stripe, no credit card fees). The remaining balance can be paid in cash upon start of the trip - unless Host & Traveler agree on different payment methods.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations can be made free of charge up to 30 days prior to the beginning of the booked service. The deposit (10%) is only refundable if the booking is canceled at least 30 days in advance.