Yeroo River-Taiga Adventure (12 Days) -Canoeing Mongolia´s wildest river
The name Yeroo actually a bit of a misnomer for this river. Unfortunately he changes names three times (Chuluut, Yestii, Hongin, Yeroo) so we settled on Yeroo, when the river is already one of the biggest in Mongolia. Although the river starts no more than 100 km northwest of Ulaanbaatar this is easily the most remote major river of Mongolia. The river basin lies in the middle of Khan-Khentii national park. There are no permanent settlements in the area and the road leading to the river is among the worst in this country of bad roads.
This is real wilderness. Narrow canyons, dense forest, rocky peaks but also patches of steppe and lush meadows. If you drift down quietly in the early morning you might see deer, gazelles, wild boars and maybe even wolves and bears. This river has to our knowledge never been traveled except by us. The river is very fast and there are many rapids. Most of them are easy but depending on the water level there are at least three places where we will have to get out and line the canoe along the banks. Towards the end of our journey - when the river turns into the Yeroo - we come into a wide, almost treeless river valley where we will see Nomads again. You should have some knowledge of canoeing or kayaking when undertaking this trip, be in good physical condition and don´t mind getting wet.
Min. group 2; Max. group 6; Min. price per person:1737$; Max. Price 1799$
All accommodation (twin shared), internal transportation, arrival & departure transfers, meals as indicated (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner), sightseeing & environmental fees, camping equipment, dry sacks and life vests, English speaking canoeing guide,
Travel insurance, departure taxes, excess luggage fees on internal flights, items of personal nature, meals not indicated, gratuities.
Day 1: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar
You will be picked up from the airport and transferred to a cozy hotel within easy walking distance of downtown. After a short briefing we explore the vibrant city of Ulaanbaatar, the Palace of the Last Mongolian Buddhist King followed by an hour of Folk Dance and Song performance. (L,D)
Day 2: We leave at 9 o´clock in the morning and start on our 180 Km drive. First we pass through outskirts of Ulaanbaatar and then over the first mountains of the Khan-Khentii range. Finally we get to the "gate" of Khan Khentii National Park. There we change to a ZIL 131 a Soviet military truck with 6 wheel drive. (B,L,D)
It is a monster of a vehicle and will go practically anywhere. In the summer heat the gasoline engine has to be cooled at regular intervals which will give us ample opportunity to take photos of the vista opening before us: A wide valley, with steep, rocky mountains and a clear deep, fast flowing creek. This creek has as yet not enough water for our canoes and we keep driving along one of the worst roads you have ever experienced. But the views are stunning.
Finally we get to the "amphitheater" or the "five star camp ground" as we call the area. A big grassy patch below majestic Siberian cedar trees right beside our creek which is now joined by yet another creek and thus becomes the Chuluut. Like on the staging area of an amphitheater on all sides we are surrounded by steep rocky mountainsides.(B,L,D)
Day 3: After passing through the ruins of a bridge we come to our first major rapid which we will most likely have to pass by lining the canoe. After that the valley gets more narrow with hardly any sun penetrating and we arrive in another world. Birch trees with dangling moss, cedar forest with soft, springy ground which in August is covered with cranberries and mushrooms. This is a piece of the Siberian Taiga. (B,L,D)
Day 4: We are still in dense forest for the most part but where ever the valley opens up and the strong Mongolian sun comes through and dries out the land we see less wooded slopes and here and there even small steppe-like areas. (B,L,D)
Day 5: The Yestii comes in and although it is a smaller river than the Chuluut, from here the river changes his name to Yestii. Now we come to our second great rapid. In low water we might be able to negotiate it but more we likely we will have to line the canoe along the riverbank. Shortly afterwards there is yet another rapid which we likewise might have to line.
The valley is now much more open although the mountains around us are still steep. We pass numerous rapids. (B,L,D)
Day 6: A well deserved rest day. We can fish, climb one of the hills and mountains around us or simply relax and go for a swim. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Towards the evening the river valley gets wider and wider and with another river coming in our river changes its name to Hongin. Although the landscape has by now become much more "Mongolian" with steppe and meadows in the valley still there no nomads. The mountains around us are to difficult to get over. The Canoeing is by now easy. There are no more rapids. (B,L,D)
Day 8: In the morning we come to the confluence with the Sharlan river and now we are on the "Yeroo". We are inhabited territory. A German scientific station is nearby and there are horses and cows and sheep. We are now in a wide, wide valley. After two hours though the valley narrows and steep hillsides on both sides of the river come close. After lunch we paddle for another two hours and finally the valley opens up again. We have come to our end point. (B,L,D)
Day 9: After breakfast we drive back to UB (6 hours) where you check into your hotel. In the evening we meet for a farewell dinner in an international restaurant. (B,L,D)
Day 11: Leisure day in Ulaanbaatar
This is a spare day to be spend for shopping and self-exploration. You may refer to recommendations of our team in order to make most out of it. (B).
Day 12: Departure
Transfer to airport for your return flight home. (B).