Travel to Mongolia: when to go and what to see

© wsj.com, Marcus Westberg

Mongolia is one of the most sparsely populated states. Iran, a country with the same area, has 48 inhabitants per square kilometer. There are only two in Mongolia. You can plow the steppes for several days and not meet anyone, and a decent level of service is only in large cities. Because of this, tourists are afraid to go here, but if they are properly prepared for the trip, the impressions of the trip will remain for a long time.
Our guide was prepared on the basis of a lecture by Alexander Cherekaev, head of the outdoor tour operator Teamhike. He was in Mongolia six times, twice crossed the country and knows almost everything about it.

When to go
The country has several climatic zones and the landscape often changes. The mountains pass into the steppe, and the steppe into the desert. In different seasons, the temperature can vary significantly. In summer, snow will be at altitude, and in the Gobi you can melt from the heat.
In winter, there are few tourists in Mongolia. The average temperature in January is minus 16 ° C and a strong wind constantly blows. Due to the large amount of snow it is impossible to get to some areas. In the north of the country, even the local population is cut off from civilization and lives autonomously. The only reason to go to Mongolia in February is to ride on the ice of Lake Hubsugul.
In the spring, all directions are interesting. Since late March, the weather is comfortable during the day, but the nights are still cold. When the sun is shining, the air warms up to 20-25 ° C, and after sunset, the temperature often drops to 10 degrees below zero. If the group does not have the experience of spending the night in minus and the corresponding equipment, it is better to stop for a vacation in hotels or at bases. In March, due to heavy snowmelt in Mongolia, a lot of water. Where in the dry season they drive by car, in spring you can stumble upon a wide river. From April to mid-June, the temperature evens out and the steppes bloom.
In summer – from June to the end of August – in the desert regions there is sweltering heat, strong winds blow, and rivers and springs dry out. But in the highlands – beauty. You can go trekking and swim in the cold lakes.
In the fall – in September and October – the perfect season for traveling. Already not hot, but not frosty yet. You can go in any direction and spend the night in tents. The main thing is to have time to complete the trip by November – before the arrival of winter colds.

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