Open Steppe

Area descriptions

Gun Galuut

The Gun Galuut area (130km from Ulaanbaatar) is 1 1/2 hours further on from the turnoff to Terelj National Park. Visitors who take make the extra effort in travelling further from the city are rewarded with a single tourist ger camp that sits by the Tuul River, and surrounded by hills on all sides. The camp has a range of sporting equipment available to rent, including: mountain bikes, tennis, basketball / volleyball courts.

Gun Galuut is a protected area for the conservation of globally threatened species, and is home to 63 mammal and 3 amphibian species, including a number of rare creatures, such as the Argali Wild Mountain Sheep. The Ikh-Gun and Ayaga Lakes, together with the Kherlen River (the longest river of Mongolia) and the Tsengiin Burd wetland, make it home to 38 fish species, and a paradise for 81 bird species.

Visitors wishing to spend two or three days on the open steppe are well served by the Gun Galuut area, or they may wish to combine Gun Galuut and Terelj National Park. With more time, more adventures overland trips into Central Mongolia become an option; for those wishing to minimise the driving time and maximise the opportunities to hike, horse ride, or simply relax in the wide open spaces of the open steppe, Gun Galuut is a fantastic option.

Inside a ger of local herders in Terelj National Park, Mongolia

Terelj National Park

Terelj National Park is located 65km east-southeast of Ulaanbaatar. The landscape is stunning, especially in May and September when the valley is awash with spring and autumn color, contrasting against the rocky outcrops that sit among the rolling hills. It is getting busier and more built up in terms of the construction of camps and hotels in the main tourist area of the valley. Though most of the park remains undeveloped, access is difficult. Around the main area of the valley, the hiking possibilities are endless, and it only takes a short hike to be over a ridge and away from the bulk of ger camps that stretch along the valley. One or two nights in Terelj provides for a fantastic experience, with visitors typically combining hiking and horse-riding with a visit to a nomad family ger.

Tour programs

Feel free to insert or substitute tour programs into any itinerary with a stopover in Mongolia, adding or subtracting days to coordinate with your interests and budget. Take a look at the Trains and Schedules for the specific details regarding onward travel.

1-night Terelj National Park Open Steppe tour (TNP-1)

Available: year round

Day 1: Meet your guide and driver at guesthouse or hotel after breakfast. Travel east of UB (approx. 60km) to Terelj National Park, with a side-trip to the Chinggis Khan monument. Arrive at the ger camp and settle in, staying 2 nights. Explore the valley with your guide, visiting a local nomad family, and hiking to the Aryabala meditation temple (or alternative area) offering a view of Terelj valley. Your guide and driver will return to UB in the evening

Day 2: Breakfast. Your driver will pick you up for the return transfer to Ulaanbaatar.

Program includes: Return transfers: central UB-Terelj National Park, English speaking guide (1 day), National Park entrance, 1 night’s accommodation: Terelj National Park tourist ger camp, meals at camp, Chinggis Khan monument (incl. museum entrance).

Excludes: horse riding to be arranged and paid for locally.

Ger, Open Steppe, Mongolia

2-night Terelj National Park Open Steppe tour (TNP-2)

Available: year round

Day 1: Meet your guide and driver at guesthouse or hotel after breakfast. Travel east of UB (approx. 60km) to Terelj National Park, with a side-trip to the Chinggis Khan monument. Arrive at the ger camp and settle in, staying 2 nights. Explore the valley with your guide, visiting a local nomad family, and hiking to the Aryabala meditation temple (or alternative area) offering a view of Terelj valley. Your guide and driver will return to UB in the evening

Day 2: Free day in Terelj National Park to enjoy at your leisure.

Day 3: Breakfast. Your driver will pick you up for the return transfer to Ulaanbaatar.

Program includes: Return transfers: central UB-Terelj National Park, English speaking guide (1 day), National Park entrance, 2 night’s accommodation: Terelj National Park tourist ger camp, meals at camp, Chinggis Khan monument (incl. museum entrance).

Excludes: horse riding to be arranged and paid for locally.

Deconstructing a ger in Mongolia

2-night Gun Galuut Open Steppe tour (2GG)

Available: year round

Day 1: Meet your guide at guesthouse or hotel after breakfast. Travel east of UB (approx. 120km) to the Gun Galuut area on the open steppe. Visit the Chinggis Khan monument on the way. Arrive at tourist ger camp and settle into your comfortable Mongolian ger before lunch. In the afternoon, choose from a range of optional excursions and activities: kayaking on the Tuul River, hiking, or visiting a local nomadic family. Horse riding can be arranged with the local herdsman. You can also take advantage of the camp’s many sporting facilities for rent (mountain bikes, tennis, volleyball and basketball court). Dinner at ger camp restaurant.

Day 2: You have the entire day to explore the open steppe with your guide, choosing from a wide range of excursions and activities. All meals are taken at the camp restaurant, or your guide can arrange a picnic lunch.

Day 3: Breakfast and free time at the camp before your return to Ulaanbaatar. Short guided city tour, including: Gandan Monastery, Sukhbaatar Square and National History Museum.

Program includes: All transfers, English speaking guide (2 1/2 days), 2 night’s accommodation: Gun-Gulaat tourist ger camp, all meals at camp (or picnic lunch), Chinggis Khan monument (incl. museum entrance), kayak rental, guided city tour.

Excludes: horse riding to be arranged and paid for locally; sporting equipment rental at tourist ger camp.

3-night Gun Galuut and Terelj National Park Open Steppe tour (2GG + TNP-1)

Available: year round

Day 1: Meet your guide at guesthouse or hotel after breakfast. Short guided city tour, including: Gandan Monastery, Sukhbaatar Square and National History Museum. Travel east of UB (approx. 120km) to the Gun Galuut area on the open steppe. Visit the Chinggis Khan monument on the way. Arrive at tourist ger camp and settle into your comfortable Mongolian ger before lunch. In the afternoon, choose from a range of optional excursions and activities: kayaking on the Tuul River, hiking, or visiting a local nomadic family. Horse riding can be arranged with the local herdsman. You can also take advantage of the camp’s many sporting facilities for rent (mountain bikes, tennis, volleyball and basketball court). Dinner at ger camp restaurant.

Day 2: You have the entire day to explore the open steppe with your guide, choosing from a wide range of excursions and activities. All meals are taken at the camp restaurant, or your guide can arrange a picnic lunch.

Day 3: Breakfast before travelling to Terelj National Park (approx. 70km). Settle into ger camp and have lunch at camp restaurant. Explore the valley with your guide, hiking to the Aryabala meditation temple (or alternative area) to enjoy the view of Terelj valley. Your driver and guide will return to UB in the evening.

Day 4: Breakfast. Your driver will pick you up for the return transfer to Ulaanbaatar.

Program includes: All transfers, English speaking guide (3 days), National Park entrance, 3 night’s accommodation: 2 Gun-Gulaat tourist ger + 1 Terelj National Park tourist ger, all meals at camps (or picnic lunch), Chinggis Khan monument (incl. museum entrance), kayak rental, guided city tour.

Excludes: horse riding to be arranged and paid for locally; sporting equipment rental at tourist ger camp.

4-night Gun Galuut and Terelj National Park Open Steppe tour (2GG + TNP-2)

Available: year round

Day 1: Meet your guide at guesthouse or hotel after breakfast. Short guided city tour, including: Gandan Monastery, Sukhbaatar Square and National History Museum. Travel east of UB (approx. 120km) to the Gun Galuut area on the open steppe. Visit the Chinggis Khan monument on the way. Arrive at tourist ger camp and settle into your comfortable Mongolian ger before lunch. In the afternoon, choose from a range of optional excursions and activities: kayaking on the Tuul River, hiking, or visiting a local nomadic family. Horse riding can be arranged with the local herdsman. You can also take advantage of the camp’s many sporting facilities for rent (mountain bikes, tennis, volleyball and basketball court). Dinner at ger camp restaurant.

Day 2: You have the entire day to explore the open steppe with your guide, choosing from a wide range of excursions and activities. All meals are taken at the camp restaurant, or your guide can arrange a picnic lunch.

Day 3: Breakfast before travelling to Terelj National Park (approx. 70km). Settle into ger camp and have lunch at camp restaurant. Explore the valley with your guide, hiking to the Aryabala meditation temple (or alternative area) to enjoy the view of Terelj valley. Your driver and guide will return to UB in the evening.

Day 4: Free day in Terelj National Park to enjoy at your leisure.

Day 5: Breakfast. Your driver will pick you up for the return transfer to Ulaanbaatar.

Program includes: All transfers, English speaking guide (3 days), National Park entrance, 4 night’s accommodation: 2 Gun-Gulaat tourist ger + 2 Terelj National Park tourist ger, all meals at camps (or picnic lunch), Chinggis Khan monument (incl. museum entrance), kayak rental, guided city tour.

Excludes: horse riding to be arranged and paid for locally; sporting equipment rental at tourist ger camp.