If you like back country and wilderness travel and want an experience in a place where life was defined by the horse for thousands of years, "Stone Horse" trips are for you. Whether you are an seasoned rider or new to the exhilarating feeling of moving across a magnificent landscape by horseback, you can choose a "Stone Horse" trip that will suit your interests, level of fitness and appetite for adventure.
We specialize in small group size, low impact, high quality horse travel that will give our guests a unique wilderness horse riding experience. Horseback travel in Mongolia is a way of life and one of the best ways to really see the country.
Our pack trips and trail rides are in two of the premier parks in Mongolia, protected for their natural, cultural and historical values. They bring you into the heartland of Mongolia - through forest steppes grazed by herds of nomadic families, and into the forest and mountain wilderness of the "Khan Khentii", revered in Mongolia as the ancient homeland of Ghengis Khan.
The staging area for all our trips is the Darkhid Valley, ideally located at the edge of the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park yet only an hours drive from the capital city Ulaanbaatar. You won't waste time with lengthy car travel to start your backcountry adventure. Accessible on horseback from here is
the largest roadless area in Mongolia and some of the most outstanding and remote natural scenery in the country.
8 Day - Gorkhi-Terelj National Park Expedition (10 days in country)
Riding into the Terelj and Tuul River Valleys in the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, you will travel through meadows of wildflowers, cross rivers and mountain passes, visit historical and cultural sites and experience fantastic riding country. Accommodation in tented camps and in yurts ("Ger" in Mongolian language)
12 Day Khentii Mountains Expedition (14 days in country)
This expedition will take you deep into the Khentii Mountain wilderness, where you will experience its wild beauty, history and ancient mystical nature. A moderate to high level of fitness and wilderness experience is needed for this trip. Accommodation in tented camps.
Day Riding with Home Stay in the Darkhid Valley .
Choose a home stay in the traditional ger (felt tent) of a Mongolian host family or in the Darkhid Valley. See or take part in activities of traditional livestock husbandry. Ride with the herder. Explore the area on horseback, or on foot.
In the Darkhid Valley, we work with the local community on ecological restoration and to help improve household livelihoods. "Stone Horse Expeditions & Travel" personnel have a long history of working with local communities throughout Mongolia on conservation and rural development, and continue to do so.
On our pack trips, we will be a team of riders, saddle horses and pack horses. Our staff includes Mongolian translators and horsemen.
A typical day on a backcountry trip starts early for the staff - rounding up, saddling and packing the horses. Coffee and tea awaits you when you get up from your tent and after breakfast we set out on the day's ride. You are accompanied by the trip leader and other staff members. We carry snacks and personal gear in saddle bags. We move along at a steady pace, but take time to enjoy the scenery, to take photos, or stop to watch wildlife. We make a lunch stop for about an hour at a place that the whole team enjoys - where the horses have grass and water and the riders may have shade and a scenic view. On a long day on the trail we take other short stops to let the horses graze and stretch our legs. In forest and on high country trails, our usual speed is a fast walk. In open steppe country, our horses like to fall into a trot - an opportunity to make some distance and enjoy the landscape at a steady speed. We reach the agreed campsite where the advance crew has made camp, prepared a hot or cold drink and will make dinner. You'll have time to relax. We'll unpack and put the horses out to pasture for the rest of the day and arrange for their nights grazing. Each rider is assigned their horse for the trip and you can choose to just enjoy the day's ride with him, or you may want to help with wrangling tasks, lead him to the creek for water, and put him to pasture for the night.
On the longer pack trips, you will have spent 6-7 hours in the saddle. We give our horses enough time for grazing in the morning and evening, and we also often take a nice long lunch break at scenic spots - near a river or high up near rock formations with sweeping views of the forest steppe landscape. In camp you will also have time to relax and rest and enjoy our meals. .
Age range, type of group
The age range of our guests vary widely. Kids coming with their parents should be at least 12 years of age providing they have some horse riding experience. We welcome family groups, groups of friends booking together (see below for group discounts) or travelers who find fellow travelers to make a group trip. Our groups are small, maximum 6 people. We have single and double tents, and can accommodate couples. Please discuss with us if you are interested in a trip for one couple or a smaller group only.
Sleeping and meals
Upon arrival in Mongolia the first nights hotel accommodation is in a traditional "Ger" with modern en suite facility. The resort is 30 minutes drive from the staging area of the Darkhid Valley. Should you opt for day rides and the "herders experience" you may stay in the guest ger of the Mongolian host family. It will be furnished with traditional beds, table and chairs. On cool mornings, your hosts will light the fire in the traditional stove in the early morning. Your meals at the home stay will be traditional Mongolian food, with Western elements (bread and jam, coffee) if you like. The Mongolian menu will include typical meat and pasta dishes, milk tea, curds, yoghurt and mare's milk if you like. For vegetarians, the dishes are adjusted.
On the trips, we serve a choice of breakfast foods including cereals, muesli, eggs, panbread/pancakes, coffee, tea, jam, cheese. Lunches are typically breads with a selection of salami and cheeses, fruit and snacks. Candy bars and energy bars are always in your saddle bags for snacking, and you'll have your own daily drinking water supply. Dinners are a variety of international dishes with hearty meals such as chillies, steak, bean tortillas, rice dishes, mash potatoes, fresh salads, lentil soups, chowder, and more. We improvise, use locally sourced food as much as possible, but supplement to make for a diverse menu. Let us know about any preferences you may have that we can accommodate.
For camping on our pack trips, we use a variety of quality single and double occupancy tents (including high "ceiling" tents one can stand in). We provide air mats and sleeping bags. Meals are cooked on gas stoves with campfires for barbecued steak and conversation; We have simple camp seating and tables with portable washing/shower and sanitary facilities at the campsites.
Park rules, and seasonal fire regulations, may prohibit or strongly advice against smoking. Fire is a very serious hazard in Mongolia's dry climate. We will provide you with an introduction to the parks and their regulations, and to our code of practice for low impact back country travel and camping.
Weight of the Rider
Mongolian horses are smaller than those in the Americas and Europe and can carry safely about a third of their average weight of about 600 pounds. Please note that the maximum weight we can allow for a rider is 220 pounds or 100 kilograms
Gorkhi Terelj National Park Expedition - 8 Days Riding (10 days in-country)
$2,750.00 USD per person (includes all in-country transportation, hotel accommodation with dinner and breakfast, park permits, all camping equipment, horse gear and accommodation in tent/ger while in the back country)
Khentii Mountain Expedition - 12 Days Riding (14 days in-country)
$3,750.00 USD per person (includes all in-country ground transportation, hotel accommodation with dinner and breakfast, park permits, all camping equipment, horse and gear, food and accommodation �" tent/ger �" while in the back country)
Ger (Yurt) Stay with Mongolian family - 40,000 Mongolian Tugriks (about 30 USD) per person per night. Includes meals.
Air and train travel to Mongolia - Book early !
Summer is the high tourist season in Mongolia. You will want to book your air or train travel to Mongolia as early as possible to ensure a confirmed seat. Check with your travel agent or contact us for travel information.
Travel and Evacuation Insurance
We require all clients traveling with Stone Horse to have current and valid travel and evacuation insurance with a recognized international insurance provider. If you don’t already have one, you can find international travel insurance providers online as well as a policy that suits your needs that can be purchased with a credit card. Compare prices and find what’s best for you.
If you don’t have travel and evacuation insurance, we can arrange through our insurance provider to purchase international travel and evacuation insurance for the days you are visiting Mongolia.
We also highly recommend trip cancellation insurance as part of any travel insurance package.
Bring sufficient supplies of all special medicines you require, such as inhalers, for your stay in Mongolia.
Passport and Visa
Passport and Visas for Mongolia (and other countries you must pass through to get here)
Your passport should be valid for at least six months past the date of your leaving Mongolia. Citizens of most countries can get a one-month tourist visa upon application with the Mongolian Embassy or Consulate in their country. The visa can be extended in-country. U.S citizens can get a 90-day tourist visa upon arrival. Check with the Mongolian Embassy or Consulate in your country for the current regulations that pertain to your visa requirements. If you need further assistance, let us know, and we willl do what we can to make sure you have the proper visa information.
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We offer Group Discounts if you book in advance as a group, or make arrangements with our office as a group. Please inquire with us about discounts.