Popular images

This months top pick

21 Mar 13 - 11 Apr 13
22-day expedition to A...
A unique overland expedition to the “hill tribe land” that borders China, Vietnam and Laos. Despite political disputes and ever-changing borders in this region, a large number of local people have kept their ancient tradition... (+)
From 2000.00$

Latest news

Sign up for the latest travel news & views from Culture Scapes!!!

Contact Us

Chingeltei Duureg 5th Khoroo, 6th Khoroolol bldg. 17, door 39. Ulaanbaatar 211238 Mongolia.

Phone : +976 11 330 351

Fax : +976 11 330 350

Trekking the Eight Lakes National Park

A 14 days introductory Mongolia trekking trip

Throughout history, from prehistoric times until the beginning of the last century, the Orkhon Valley has been a major center of life for Mongolians. Capital cities have risen and fallen, monks have meditated here, kings have been buried and nomads have settled their felt tents next to the water of the Orkhon River. We will be following the river past ancient monasteries, waterfalls, and the “Eight Lakes” National Park. While trekking, yak carts carry our luggage.

Related Travel Guides



Day 1. Arrival in Ulaanbaatar (D)

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar and transfer to our hotel. Depending on the time of arrival, we may go on a short sight-seeing tour of the city. In the evening we enjoy a welcome dinner. Overnight in our 4-star hotel.


Day 2. Ulaanbaatar/ Mongol Nomads/ Elsiin Tasarkhai (B,L,D)

After breakfast at the hotel, we board our 4×4 vehicles. Today we drive back in time, to a place that recreates the lives of Mongolian nomads during the beginning of the 20th century, the time when Mongolia has gained its independence from the Qing Dynasty, and established itself as a reemerging nation, under the reign of a living-god king. We shall attend a demonstration of the way the nomads have lived their lives during this era, as well as stunning performance of Mongolian horsemanship. After lunch, we head out west. Marking the northern edge of the great Gobi Desert, Elsiin Tasarkhai is a sand dune that stretches for more than 130 km northwards into the heart of central Mongolia. After having lunch at a ger camp, we visit a family who make a living from herding Bactrian (two-humped) camels. In the afternoon we go for a hike along the sand dune, and, if the weather permits, we will enjoy a beautiful sunset over the dune. Overnight in the ger camp.


Day 3. Elsiin Tasarhai/ Tuvkhon Monastery/ Orkhon Valley (B,L,D)

Leaving the sand dune, we reach the Mongolian steppes. Here there is a great variety of birds of prey, including eagles and falcons, constantly on the watch for a meal. Our first stop is for a 2½- hour trek (the first hour being uphill) to Tuvkhon Monastery, established during the 1650s by Zanabazar, one of Mongolia’s most respected religious leaders. The monastery’s wooden buildings are integrated into a natural system of caves near a hilltop, from which you have beautiful views of the Orkhon Valley and the surrounding pine forests. With its unique natural features, this was a perfect location in which the great religious leader could meditate. Continuing south, we reach the Orkhon Valley. Overnight in a ger camp.


Day 4.  Orkhon Valley/ Red Waterfall/ Khangai Mountain Range (B,L,D)

Leaving our camp, we take an hour's drive to the beautiful volcanic canyon through which the Orkhon River flows. Here we will take an easy hike along the canyon floor, and end up at the pool at the bottom of the Red Waterfall. For the brave at heart, a cool swim awaits! From here we go on to visit with a nomadic family who have a base on fertile land beside the Orkhon River, spend some time with them, and learn about their unique traditions and way of life. In the afternoon we leave our hosts and drive deeper into the Khangai Mountain Range to camp for the night. Overnight in our camp.


Day 5. Hiking to Huis Lake (B,L,D)

Early in the morning we meet our support team for our forthcoming trek. We pack our luggage on the yaks that will carry it during our hike, and start climbing up into the Eight Lakes Protected Area. The steep climb takes us through lush green pine forests and on through the Bodingiin Davaa (mountain pass), to Huis Lake, the first and one of the biggest lakes in the Protected Area. Overnight in our camp on the lake shore.

Start (elevation): 2074 m/ 6805 feet above sea level

End (elevation): 2209 m/ 7247 feet above sea level

Highest point of the day: 2411 m/ 7910 feet above sea level

Approx. 13 km


Day 6. Hiking to Shireet Lake (B,L,D)

Today we cross the Eight Lakes Protected Area, lying at some 2500 meters above sea level. On the way we walk past several small lakes and in the afternoon we reach Shireet Lake, probably the most beautiful of all the lakes in this nature reserve. Overnight in our camp on the lake shore.

Start: 2209 m/ 7247 feet above sea level

End: 2446 m/ 8025 feet above sea level

Highest point of the day: 2446 m/ 8025 feet above sea level

Approx. 11 km


Day 7. Hiking to the White Stallion Valley (B,L,D)

This is our last day of trekking in the nature reserve. During the morning, we explore the surroundings of Shireet Lake, and climb up to an observation point for a panoramic view over the lake and its surroundings. We then walk to Duruu Lake, on the western edge of the nature reserve. We then leave the Eight Lakes Protected Area, and descend into the White Stallion Valley, with its dramatic walls hemming us in. Overnight in our camp on the shore of a small creek in the valley.

Start: 2446 m/ 8025 feet above sea level

End: 2137 m/ 7011 above sea level

Highest point of the day: 2446 m/ 8025 feet above sea level

Approx. 28 km


Day 8. Hiking to Amgalan Lake (B,L,D)

We begin the day walking along the White Stallion Valley. We then emerge from the valley into the vast plains of the Khangai mountains, where nomadic families graze their herds beside clear blue streams in the lush green steppes. In the afternoon we arrive at Amgalan Lake. Overnight in our camp beside the lake.

Start: 2137 m/ 7011 feet above sea level

End: 2050 m/ 6726 feet above sea level

Highest point of the day: 2137 m/ 7011feet above sea level

Approx. 16 km


Day 9. Hiking to Uliastai River (B,L,D)

Today we cross a low range on our way to the Uliastai River. On reaching the river, we cross it and then walk along it to the point where it flows into the Orkhon River. Overnight in our camp on the river bank.

Start: 2050 m/ 6727 feet above sea level

End: 1894 m/ 6214 feet above sea level

Highest point of the day: 2228 m/ 7310 feet above sea level

Approx. 16 km


Day 10. Uliastai River/ Gyalaan Valley/ Tsenkher Hot Springs (B,L,D)

In the morning we board our 4X4 vehicles, and head north, crossing the Khangai Nuruu Mountains through a series of passes until we reach the area Mongolians call ‘the paradise of the horse herders’ because of its lush grass and open valleys. We drive to the Tsenkher hot springs, where water flows out of the ground at 82° C and where we can enjoy a relaxing soak. Overnight in a ger camp.


Day 11. Tsenkher Hot Springs/ Kharkhorin/ Hustaiin Nuruu Strictly Protected Area (B,L,D)

Built by Chinggis Khan about 800 years ago, Kharkhorin, better known as Karakorum, was famed throughout Asia as the capital of the Mongol Empire. Within the walls of this spectacular city kings were chosen, laws made and the fate of the next city to be conquered were determined. We will visit the ruins of the old city, the Erdene Zuu monastery and other historical monuments in the area. After lunch we head back eastwards. At late afternoon we arrive at Hustaiin Nuruu Strictly Protected Area (SPA). The SPA was established as part of a unique project to reintroduce the world’s last surviving wild horses back to their natural environment. On the brink of extinction during the last century, only a very few Takhi or Przewalski’s horse were left in zoos around Europe. This graceful steppe horse was returned to Mongolia, and today, thanks to this special project, two herds again roam the Mongolian steppes. Overnight in a ger camp.

Day 12. Hustaiin Nuruu/ Terelj (B,L,D)

We leave Hustaiin Nuruu, and head towards Terelj National Park. The park features unique rock formations, scenic valleys, a winding river, and restful groves of trees. Many nomads live in the park itself, where they find good grazing for their animals. As we arrive at the park, we take an easy hike to the famous Turtle Rock, a symbol of wisdom and longevity to the Mongolian people. We then continue hiking to Ariabal Temple. The temple has been recently reconstructed, after the original temple had been destroyed during the communist purges of the 1930’s. A great site of tranquility, it functions today as a meditation center to Buddhist monks. After lunch we take a horse riding trip through the vast meadows of the park. Overnight in a ger camp.

Day 13. Terelj/ Ulaanbaatar (B,L,D)

After breakfast at the park, we drive back to Ulaanbaatar. We begin the day with a few hours exploring the Black Market. This huge market contains every single item a Mongolian might need, whether they are nomads or urban apartment dwellers. Goods brought from all corners of Mongolia are here for sale. A visit to the market is a colorful experience which gives the visitor an insight to the everyday life of the people of Ulaanbaatar. After lunch we visit the National History Museum, which has a permanent exhibition on the different civilizations that have risen and declined in the territory of Mongolia from prehistoric times to the present day. The exhibition includes a significant display of objects from the era of the Great Mongol Empire. There will be free time for shopping in the afternoon. Mongolia is world renowned for its fine cashmere and you will find this and many other souvenir items in the city. In the evening we enjoy a farewell dinner, followed by a visit to Zaisan Hill for a view over the city at night. Overnight in our 4-star hotel in Ulaanbaatar.


Day 14. Departure from Ulaanbaatar (B)

After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Chinggis Khan International Airport for our departure flight.

Below you'll be able to find a list of available dates and their pricing. Once you'll find a date which suits your needs, please click the "Book It" button on the right.

  • A 2% discount shall apply for any payment done by either wire transfer or cash.
  • In trips eligible for children under 14 years old, a 10% discount shall apply to any participant under 12 years old.
  • In trips which are not eligible for children, you cannot book a person which is under 14 years old.
  • The below listed rates are based on tier pricing. While booking, the price shown in your booking summary will be based on the number of people you have booked on this trip. The final price will however be determined and sent to you in an invoice about 30 days prior to the trip’s first day of service, and would depend on the total number of people that have booked this particular trip.


Terms and Conditions

1. Culture Scapes Co. Ltd. gives notice that some services provided in connection with its itineraries, including transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurants, and other services, are purchased from independent suppliers who are not affiliated with Culture Scapes Co. Ltd. in any way. Although we endeavor to choose the best suppliers available, Culture Scapes Co. Ltd. Does not control their operations and therefore makes all travel arrangements upon the express condition that Mongolian Ways Co., Ltd., and its own agents and employees, shall not be liable for any delay, mishap, inconvenience, expense, irregularity, bodily injury or death to person, or damage to property occasioned through the conduct or default of any company or individual engaged in providing these services. Culture Scapes Co. Ltd. shall not be liable for: (a) expenses such as additional hotel nights and meals not specified in the individual trip itineraries that may be required either en route, prior to, or following a trip, when caused by individual clients' travel arrangements, by airline scheduling or airline schedule changes, canceled flights, missed flight connections, or by other factors not under Culture Scapes Co. Ltd. control; (b) expenses incurred in recovering luggage lost by airlines, belongings left behind on a trip, or in shipping purchases or other goods home from abroad; (c) bodily injury or property damage for any reason, including but not limited to acts of God, weather, quarantines, strikes, civil disturbance, theft, default, detention, annoyance, changes in government regulations, terrorism, war, or failure of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, etc., over which it (Culture Scapes Co. ,Ltd.) has no control.

2. Culture Scapes Co. Ltd. reserves the right to take photographic or film records of any of our trips, and may use any such records for promotional and/or commercial purposes.

3. Culture Scapes Co. Ltd. reserves the right to substitute trip leaders, departure dates and hotels from those listed in the catalog without notice.

4. Culture Scapes Co. Ltd. reserves the right to decline any applicant, and to exclude from further participation any person it judges: (a) does not meet the physical or other requirements of participating in the trip or activities envisaged; (b) acts or behaves in a manner that impedes trip operation or the rights, well being, or enjoyment of other trip members; (c) acts or behaves in a way damaging to Mongolia’s natural, cultural, or environmental resources after being duly informed of trip guidelines and local customs and traditions. A refund based on cost of unused land services is the limit of Culture Scapes Co. ,Ltd. responsibility in such a case.

5. Trip members have the responsibility to select a trip appropriate to their abilities and interests. In order to assist you we grade each trip with a Trip Rating. We are also happy to discuss the trip with you, as well as provide you with names of past participants who can discuss their experience with you. Trip members are responsible for being sufficiently fit and in good health to undertake the trip. Trip members are responsible for preparing for the trip by studying the itinerary and pre-departure information packets sent by Culture Scapes Co. Ltd. and for bringing the appropriate clothing and equipment as advised therein.

6. Trip members are responsible for the proper care and use of any equipment and gear provided for their use by Culture Scapes Co. Ltd. for the entire duration of the trip. This includes but is not limited to tents, sleeping pads or mattresses, saddles, folding chairs and tables, shower and toilet equipment. Trip members will examine equipment assigned to them and will immediately inform Culture Scapes staff if any equipment appears to be damaged or otherwise not in good working condition. Trip members acknowledge responsibility for the condition of the equipment and agree to be charged for the replacement value of the equipment or costs of repair if not returned in working order at the end of the trip, excluding normal wear and tear.