Autumn Riding Camp in Mongolia
Autumn Riding Camp in Mongolia – experience great riding and the lifestyle of nomadic herders firsthand
Autumn Riding Camp in Mongolia offers great riding in scenic autumn landscapes At the same time, you are immersed in a cultural experience, staying amongst nomadic livestock herders. And you enjoy the comforts of heated accommodation in gers, the traditional dwelling of Mongolia’s nomadic herders.
We ran our first Autumn Riding Camp in Mongolia in 2023, and it was much liked by our guests. It’s a great way to experience daily life of nomadic herder families firsthand. Our Autumn Riding Camp in Mongolia is set up at the autumn camp site of our local horseman, amidst a community of families spending autumn here before each family moves to their winter camp site. At the camp, heated gers are available for sleeping, and one ger serves as a cozy place for mealtimes.
Autumn Riding Camp in Mongolia is a great way to experience horseback riding in the beautiful landscapes of Gorkhi Terelj National Park while enjoying autumn colors and weather knowing you return to heated accommodations at the end of the day.
Autumn Riding Camp in Mongolia also is as authentic an experience as you can have if you want to learn about daily life of nomadic herder families. You can get up early and help milking cows or join in other chores. In the autumn camping area and on our rides we will see herds of cattle, sheep and goats, and yak. We encounter herds of free roaming horses as we pass with our trek.
Autumn Riding Camp in Mongolia – Schedule and Your Options
Autumn Riding Camp takes place from October 6 – 15. You have several options to participate.
Option 1 8 Day trek including 4 days Autumn Camp in Gers
You can take the whole 8 day ride. It starts like all our treks from our staging area, and reaches the Autumn Camp area after a 2 day ride. The first night is spent in a tented camp, carried by our pack horses. Sleeping is in dome tents, a heated tipi tent is used for meal times. Once we reach the Autumn Camp, sleeping and mealtimes are in heated gers. A heated shower tent is available, too. For the next 4 days (Day 3 – 6) we take day rides from the Autumn camp, exploring the high ridges, scenic rock formations, forest trails, and the Tuul valley. We ride back to our staging area on Day 7 and 8, via a different route than Day 1 and 2.
Option 2 Join the Autumn Camp in Mongolia for 2,3 or 4 days
If you are not sure you want to spend a night in tents this late in the season, you have the option to travel by car to the Autumn Camp. There, spend the nights in heated gers and enjoy day rides to scenic destinations.
Option 3 Autumn Camp Day Rides (2,3,4 day) plus 2 days Ride-In or Ride-out
You can also take the 2 day ride into Autumn Camp, then take day rides and go out by car. Or, you come in by car, take day rides and the 2-day ride back to our staging area.
Contact us to discuss your options
Autumn Riding Camp in Mongolia – Itinerary
Autumn Riding Camp in Mongolia takes place from October 6 – 15. October 6 is arrival day in Mongolia. The trek (for those taking the ride from the beginning) starts on October 7 and reaches Autumn Riding Camp on October 8. From October 9 – 12, four day rides out of the Autumn Riding Camp are organized. On October 13, you can leave the camp by vehicle to travel back to the city, or ride back to the staging area in 2 days, arriving on October 14, and transferring to hotel in the city the same evening. October 15 is departure day from Mongolia.
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 We set out from our staging area after an early lunch. For about an hour we ride through rural settlements, before we make our way up the first pass. We give our horses a rest on top of the pass, while enjoying the view into the valleys below. The pass is about 2000 meters (6500 ft) high. We descend into the Terelj Valley, and camp near the Terelj river or in a valley of one of its tributaries.
Day 2 Today we ride over two forested passes, stopping for a long lunch break between the passes, in high grass near a small creek. In the afternoon, we ride down a big open valley; the ground is now clear, as herders have cut hay for winter feed. Along the foot of the mountains are the winter camps, where hay has been stored. It is likely that we ride pass numerous herds of livestock, yak, cattle and horses. By late afternoon, we reach the Tuul valley and turn North, up into the Baruun Bayn Gol Valley, where we reach our Autumn Camp after a short ride. Heated gers await us here, set up next to our horseman’s ger and amidst he gers of other herder families. We add our kitchen and shower tent to this Autumn camp set up.
Day 3 Today’s day ride is to the high ridges to the East of the valley where we are camped. Riding up the valley, we pass bronze age burial sites of ancient horse cultures. Where a monument to a late local park ranger sits on a promontory we turn into the hills and reach the ridge tops – for those who like great opportunities for a canter a gallop. We spend the morning following the ridge tops, among granite rock formations and with fantastic views onto the grasslands below. We stop for a lunch a nice look out point where there is also plenty grass for the horses. In the afternoon, we ride back in a loop, down a valley where we can do an easy trot to reach the Autumn Camp valley.
Day 4 We follow the Baruun Bayn Gol valley northwards, with the high plateaus of the Baga Khentii Mountains ahead in the distance. At this time of year, there tops may already have a dusting of snow. The wide valley bottom gives advanced riders opportunity to canter, or move along in our favorite way – the signature fast trot of our Mongolian horses. After the river crossing, we soon turn off the track to make our way up to spectacular rock formations, where we take a rest. We continue North and eventually follow a gentle ridge up to where a Stupa (Buddhist shrine) and an Ovoo (stone cairns dedicated to the spirits of the area and markers of boundaries) invite to stop for a panoramic view. Across rolling grasslands and passed a herders winter camp we enter a canyon and reach our lunch spot near a high rock wall. In the afternoon, we take a ride along massive rock formations before reaching our valley again and riding back to camp.
Day 5 The ride today leads us over a small pass into the valley of the Tuul River. Having descended into the valley, we take a break at the banks of the river, before we follow its course upstream. We turn into the park like landscape of the river flats of the Tuul, with beautiful cottonwood trees and take our picnic lunch above the banks of the Tuul. On return, we can make good distance, riding in the open valley, crossing over one pass before we reach the Barunn Bayn Gol in its lower reach and stop for a last break. From here it’s an easy ride up the valley to our camp.
Day 6 Today we explore a beautiful forest trail. Turning West from our campsite, we enter a valley with several winter camps of herder families. Passing the last camp, the trail leads into forest and where the valley narrows and the trail disappears our horses find their way ascending through the autumn forest to a beautiful spot where we can oversee the long valley we came up. We take lunch at this forest lookout and in the afternoon make our way down through the forest until we reach the valley and trail again. Once at the valley bottom, we follow the track back to our camp.
Day 7 The return ride begins for those partaking in the whole trek and those who chose to ride out on horseback. Our van(s) will also be there to pick up guests from our Autumn Camp and transport them back to the city. Expect approximately a 3 hour ride. The riders will leave with the trek of packhorses who carry all we need for one night camping on the way back. Riding down the Baruun Bayn Gol Valley we soon turn West to begin our ride up an open valley, over one pass and down into the Terelj valley. This stretch invites for a nice trot, with the whole trek of saddle and pack horses, to our last rest spot in the forest near a Terele river tributary. From here, we ride up the valley, where now herders have set up their gers. Passing the gers and livestock herds, we cross the small river and reach our campsite. Tonight we sleep in tents, equipped with warm, triple layer sleeping bags, with hot water bottles upon request, and after dinner in a heated tipi tent.
Day 8 Today the horses will be keen to go; first thing we cross a big open area until we reach the Terelj river crossing, the first for the day. We follow the upper Terelj valley upstream, riding in open grasslands as well as in park like forest landscapes. We cross the Terelj two more times, taking lunch near the last crossing. The afternoon sees us traveling up the last pass of our autumn trekking adventure. From the pass, its another hours ride back to our staging area, the cabins in the Darkhid Valley. Vehicles, with your luggage, will be waiting to bring you back to the city after refreshments and re-packing. The drive back to the city is between 1.5 and 2.5 hours depending on city traffic.
Autumn Riding Camp in Mongolia – Pricing
The price for the whole 10 day tour, including 8 days of horse riding, is $ 4,000.
The price for joining the riding camp for two, three, or four days is $ 400/day.
A fee of $ 100 applies for travel between Ulaanbaatar city and the Autumn Riding Camp, and vice versa.
Inquire about discounts for two or more riders coming as a group joining the whole trek or Autumn Riding Camp in Mongolia.