Hövsgöl Lake

Hövsgöl is the twin lake to Lake Baikal and is located completely within the taiga lifezone of northern Mongolia. Hövsgöl is the second largest lake in the country, after Uvs Nuur. It lies in a narrow basin of alpine peaks which soar over a mile above its clear surface waters at 1645 meters above sea level (1200 meters higher elevation than nearby Lake Baikal).

Hövsgöl is extremely transparent and so pure you can actually drink it. Normally you can see to a depth of 16-18 meters and even to 25 meters (82 ft). The lake is the deepest in Mongolia (262 m/860 ft). It is nearly 640 km long (400 miles) about 200km away from Lake Baikal. Both lakes were created by the same geological movements of the Baikal rift some 5 million years ago. Seals were locked into Lake Baikal, but do not exist at Lake Hövsgöl.  For Europeans it is a remarkable experience to hike around this large body of water. No wonder Lake Hövsgöl was declared Mongolia’s first ever national park.

Over the last ten years there has been massive development of ger camps along the western shore of the lake. Most visitors go to these camps, or to the village of Hatgal, on the southern tip of the lake.

How to travel there:

Lake Hövsgöl is reachable by plane (1½ hours flight). Mostly to Mörön, which has one of the five tarmac airfields in the country.  The transfer time by jeep to Hatgal is 2 hours by a new tarmac road.  There is a new tarmac road making the drive possible in 12-14 hours, which translates into two days of travel or overnight train to Erdenet and then a full day drive from there.

The classical trip to Lake Hövsgöl is 4d/3n nights at a ger camp on the secluded Ardavhar Peninsula.  We offer also winter trips to the annual Ice Festival in February.