Altai Tavan Bogd mountain
Located at the western most point of Mongolia, this park on the border of both Russia and China has views of Kazakhstan from the highest peak of Tavan Bogd Mountains (“Five Sacred” in Mongolian). At the northwest end of this 630,000 hectare park, the Tavan Bogd Mountains contains the 5 highest mountain peaks in Mongolia, with the highest, Khuiten Uul (“Cold Peak’) at 4374 M (14,201 ft). The mountains are considered sacred to local Tuva and Kazakhs. In the shadows of the Tavan Bogd are the Potanin Glacier (covering 23 square kilometers) and 34 other smaller glaciers, plus several large lakes and a 10 M waterfall to the south and many archeological sites, which form the Petroglyph Complexes of the Mongolian Altai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park contains the full spectrum of archeology in Bayan-Ulgii with petroglyphs, standing stones, burial mounds, and Kazakh cemeteries. This biggest concentration of petroglyphs with over 10,000, which is the Tsagaan Sala site, is situated along a 15 km river valley. Another popular region of the park is the lakes region, which is renowned for its natural beauty
Many eagle hunters live inside the park to hunt the plentiful wildlife during the winter months like Corsac foxes and rabbits. There are many endangered species inside the park including argali sheep, ibex, grey wolves, red deer, black vulture, elk, snow leopards, Altai snowcock, golden eagles, and many others.
The Altai Tavan Bogd National Park is the most visited park in western Mongolia with a wide variety of activities. Mountain climbing is best during late summer when weather is warmest. Four of the peaks require mountaineering equipment and experience climbers, though the shortest, Malchin orgil (“Herder Peak”) at 4025 M, can be hiked by novices. Near the mountains it is possible to hike Pontuninii Glacier. Hiking, fishing, mountain biking, horse and camel riding, and whitewater rafting is popular throughout the summer and autumn, with tour packages of several days or weeks available. The best area to hike is around the lakes and to the Tavan Bogd Base Camp at 3092 M elevation.
Fishing is permitted in the park from mid June to April. Everything except mountain climbing and rafting is available through the winter.
Backcountry skiing has become increasingly popular on the Tavan Bogd Mountains during April and May when the snow is deep and fresh, though the numbers are still small.