Gorkhi Terelj National Park Ride

About the Experience

Ride through the sweeping landscapes of Gorkhi Terelj National Park, travelling through open grasslands, crossing rivers and traversing the wilderness of the forested alpine mountains.

Visit the ancient ruins in the countryside and stay in Ger Camps, where you’ll experience the nomadic herder lifestyle, a highlight of any trip to Mongolia. We’ll explore the hills and rest below rock formations arising from the steppe.

Our ride will cover some spectacular terrain, intriguing ancient and historical sites, with exposure to the local culture and how they live.

Connect with your horse in nature on an other-worldly adventure.

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Gorkhi Terelj National Park Ride

About the Experience

Ride through the sweeping landscapes of Gorkhi Terelj National Park, travelling through open grasslands, crossing rivers and traversing the wilderness of the forested alpine mountains.

Visit the ancient ruins in the countryside and stay in Ger Camps, where you’ll experience the nomadic herder lifestyle, a highlight of any trip to Mongolia. We’ll explore the hills and rest below rock formations arising from the steppe.

Our ride will cover some spectacular terrain, intriguing ancient and historical sites, with exposure to the local culture and how they live.

Connect with your horse in nature on an other-worldly adventure.

DAY ONE: WELCOME TO MONGOLIA

Arrive at Chinggis Khaan National Airport (or at train station via Trans-Siberian Railway). We’ll transfer to the hotel in Ulaanbaatar City. Meet your wild women guide and group at noon for an orientation. We’ll have lunch and in the afternoon have free time to explore the city center.

Tonight, dinner with the group at The Ayanchin Restaurant near the hotel with Mongolian and International cuisine.

 

DAY TWO: TERELJ RIVER VALLEY

This morning we’ll travel by vehicle to the horse trek staging area in the Darkhid Valley approx 1.5 hours travelling northeast of the City (via a rough countryside track for the last 30 – 45 minutes.) There, we will re-pack for horse trekking, matching horses and rider, and conduct familiarization with horses and tack.

After lunch, we depart on our horse trek adventure! About an hour ride through this rural area, before reaching the high pass and entering Gorkhi Terelj National Park, descending into the Terelj River valley.

We set up camp near the Terelj river or one of its tributaries a little downstream, depending on water levels and on how fast we are moving. This day’s ride is about 15 km and mostly walking.

  • Driving: 1.5 hr
  • Riding: 4 hrs
  • Accommodation: Tented camp

 

DAY THREE: THE HIGHLANDS

After breakfast, we set out for today’s ride traversing the high mountain tops to reach the scenic setting of the Princess Camp. Having traversed a forested ridge, we make our way up the mountain. If the weather is conducive, we ascend to a small high plateau at 2300 m altitude for a great view of the Khentii mountains, and the area we will explore on horseback over the next 6 days. The highlands are covered in forest, interspersed with rocky outcrops and high altitude ponds that we need to make our way around. This is an area still rich in wildlife that is rarely visited! Bear, elk and capercaillie are among the species we have encountered here.

This area may involve a bit of bushwhacking with no trail (except wildlife trails) and is a true wilderness experience. The descend at the other side is down a forested slope where we pick a good route for pack and saddle horses. Once down, it’s a short ride out of the forest, grassland valleys open and the Princess Camp is close. We’ll discover it hidden behind a towering rock formation.

Our ger camp is comfortable, and the owners are careful to operate eco-friendly. Solar water heaters make for great hot showers, and the whole camp team is friendly. They will be looking out for our horse trek to ride in!

  • Riding: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Princess Ger Camp

 

DAY FOUR: DAY RIDE AT PRINCESS CAMP

We’ll stay at Princess Camp and go out for a day ride. The landscape here offers great opportunities for rides and hikes, a bit of bouldering, or to simply take in the view from one of the highpoints formed by granite rock formations, the hallmark of Gorkhi Terelj National Park.

Along the valleys, the gers of herder camps can be seen as small white spots from the heights. We’ll choose a route according to the weather and to fit the riders’ abilities. We’ll visit a herder family along the ride.

  • Riding: 5-6 hours
  • Accommodation: Return to Princess Camp

 

DAY FIVE: RIDE TO THE RUINS

Today the pack team and riders split. The packers take the pack horses to the campsite via a shorter route, while the riders head out for a visit to the ruins of the Princess Temple, and then take a ride across the hills before hitting the main trail again.

This day is a bit longer, and the riding is varied – following a track to the ruins deep in the forest, later riding up to highpoints, exploring canyons, and resting in the shade of the rock walls. The final stretch is faster riding, for those who wish.

  • Riding: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tented camp

 

DAY SIX: HIGH PASS

The first day of two at a campsite that’s a favourite amongst the horses and the guests! Set back into the forest for shade and shelter, surrounded by meadows of wildflowers with a view onto forest-clad slopes, the rock formations rise and the high mountains are our backdrop.

After yesterday’s long ride, we take it easy today. Breakfast is a bit later and longer before we take a day ride in the area – either back into the wild forests, up to the high pass to catch a glimpse of the Khentii Mountain ranges from the barren tops. Alternatively, we may drop over a small pass and explore the undulating grasslands and rock formations, and see the hidden winter camps of the nomadic families and herders.

  • Riding: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tented camp

 

DAY SEVEN:  TUUL RIVER VALLEY

The camp is packed up again, and the day’s ride is down towards the valley of the Tuul River, through a true park-like landscape of grasslands with larch forests.

We take a lunch break near a rock formation, or in a shady forest, and the afternoon sees us crossing over the hills again. We’ll ride down a winding valley until we reach the course of a river on the bank of which we set up camp. The river is nice for a refreshing bath, and it’s a good spot for our tents, with lots of grazing for the herd.

  • Riding: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tented camp

 

DAY EIGHT: FORESTS AND GRASSLANDS

Today you can ride for a faster pace if you wish – trotting or cantering up a broad valley, at times through forest, often in open grasslands.

In the afternoon, the trek makes its way over two small passes, before the final drop into the valley where we camped the first night of the trip. Our campsite in this valley is near a nice creek and below shady trees.

Tonight we have a relaxing dinner as its the last one together on our trek!

  • Riding: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tented camp

 

DAY NINE: EASY RIDER

Today’s ride will take us into the upper valley of the Terelj River. Easy riding along well-established tracks and in mostly even terrain, with several river crossings. The last picnic lunch will be near the river under old larch trees before we head up to cross one more pass. From the top of this pass, marked by a colourful traditional ovoo, adorned with many “hadags”, the ceremonial, blue silk scarfs, it is only about an hour ride to the Darkhid valley, home of the herd, and the location of the cabins where snacks and drinks will be waiting.

While the packhorses are unpacked and all gear gets sorted out by the crew, we’ll gather and receive our left-behind luggage and re-pack our belongings. The horses, after a quick check-up, are set loose –down the valley to join the rest of the herd that stayed behind. It is always amazing to watch them roll around and take off for their week’s break. Once we finish some farewell drinks and light refreshments, our transport will be ready for us. Arrival back to the hotel in the city is typically between 8 and 9 pm, in time for dinner.

  • Riding: 5 hours
  • Driving: 1.5
  • Accommodation: Hotel

 

DAY TEN: DEPARTURE

Transfer to Chinggis Khaan International Airport, or for those who have another day in the city you may explore guided tours or visits to museums, sites and souvenir shops. Breakfast is included.

 

 

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