Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, “the five sacred mounts of Altai”, extends on 662 square kilometres at the extreme southwest of Mongolia, and has borders with China and Russia. Khuiten Mount is the highest peak of the range and also of Mongolia, with its altitude of 4374 metres (2,72 miles). It was climbed up for the first time by a Mongolian expedition in 1956.
Altain Tavan Bogd is a high mountains area where we can find many glaciers. 96 % of the glacial rivers of Mongolia are located in the Altai Tavan Bogd. The most accessible glacier is Potanine, that we can climb up after a trek in the park. Climbing is not technical, but physical. The persons who are very keen on alpinism will also be very glad to climb up Malchin Mount, “breeder’s mount” (4037 metres, 2,51 miles), Nairamdal Mount, “friendship’s mount” (4082 metres, 2,54 miles), and Khuiten Mount, ”cold mount” (4374 metres, 2,72 miles). The two other summits that compose the Tavan Bogd are Burged (4068 metres, 2,53 miles) and Ölgii (4050 mètres, 2,51 miles).
At the south of these high mountains, the park extends on a medium mountains area, located between 2000 and 3000 metres (1,24 – 1,86 miles) above sea level, where the hikers and trekkers who’re in good condition and who’re accustomed to walking in the mountains can go. We can find here some Siberian pines and larches forests and many lakes : Khoton, Khurgan, Dayan, Khovd, Khar Salaa, Tsagaan Salaa, Songinot, or Yolt. The national park provides a habitat for many species of animals, like argalis, Siberian ibex, red deers, beech martens, black grouses, or golden eagles.
The Mongolian Altai’s petroglyphs are also located in the National Park. They’re inscribed on UNESCO world heritage list. There are three sites, composed of many thousands of rock paintings, included Tsagaan Salaa rock paintings, where we can see more than 10000 paintings in a valley that is 15 km (9,32 miles) long.
From Ölgii, you must reckon on it taking about six hours riding on a hard track, to enter the National Park. For any hike or trek in the park, it’s necessary to be self-sufficient and autonomous because there are no refuges in the park. We organize self-sufficient treks lasting nine days, with caravans of camels following the hikers. The best period for hiking or trekking in the park is from the beginning of June to the end of August.