An easy hike just outside the capital, a welcome break from the hustle and bustle.
Buses are frequent and easy to use in Ulaanbataar, there is a flat fare of 300 tugrik (approx 20 US cents) so you don’t need to worry about a language problem. From Peace avenue you can catch the number 7, 12, 32 or 43, and get off the bus at the first left turn after the river (you will see a supermarket at the junction). After the hike a bus can be caught back to peace avenue from this location (on the other side of the road). There are no timetables but you rarely wait more than 15-20 minutes for a bus.
Once off the bus, return to the junction and turn left
After ¼ mile you will see break in the fences on your right hand side with a trail leading up the hill.
Once on the hill ridge turn right
You will see a number of Oovos which are stone mounds/cairns that are decorated with offerings, scarves, flags and other items. It is traditional in Mongolia to circle an Oovo three times (clockwise), on each time round you throw a stone onto the pile, adding to it. this is to ask the spirits of the land for good lock on your journey.
The furthermost oovo is one of the most impressive, you need to scramble up some rocks to reach it but you get a wonderful view of Ulaanbataar from here, this is the tip of Symbol Hill, named for the fact that the Mongolian national crest is carved into the north face (unfortunately not visable from this point, keep an eye out on the bus for it)
Double back to the point that you arrived on the ridge then continue, following the ridge in the other direction where you will pass more oovos.
The last Oovo is another big one, and is atop a rather steep hill.
From here, continue to follow the ridge (southwards), you are now acending the Bogd Khaan Mountain. Keep your eyes peeled for flag offerings tied to the trees.
You will come across a large rock formation, at the rear of this you will find more offerings (some perhaps very recent), the terrain after this point becomes more difficult.
Continue on your heading until you reach the peak.
When you want to return, follow your route back to the path that brought you to the ridge and then back down the path to the road and bus stop.
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Moderate | 5 hours | 5 milesA charming hike and climb, for total immersion in the wilderness.