Visit Guide to Khuvsgul Nuur National Park

Hidden away in the north of the country is Mongolia’s most famous lake, the magnificent Khuvsgul Nuur. Stretching 136km deep into the Siberian taiga, the ‘Blue Pearl of Mongolia’ is the nation’s largest freshwater lake, and the world’s 14th-largest source of fresh water. And backed by majestic mountains, this world-renowned national park is a superb place for camping, hiking, fishing and kayaking.

Getting There

The quickest way to get here is to take a flight from Ulaanbaatar to Mörön, north Mongolia’s main transport hub. Otherwise it’s a 15 hour bus ride from the capital. Whatever way you arrive, from Mörön both minivans and 4WDs regularly make the trip to Khatgal (one hour), which is the main entry point to the park.

What to Expect

On Khuvsgul Nuur’s southern shore you’ll find the lake’s largest town of Khatgal, a popular base for those seeking budget accommodation and arranging trips for onward travels into the national park. On its western shore you’ll be treated to superb lake views from its ger camps and provides a good base for those here to trek its mountain trails. The lesser-visited eastern shore is likewise breathtaking but the poor roads make it one more for intrepid travellers.

As well as outstanding lakeside trails and mountains treks, in Khatgal you can organise a horse riding expedition to take you around the lake, but you’ll need to allow 10 to 15 days to complete the full circuit.

Otherwise ger camps can arrange day trips for those short on time. Also don’t miss the opportunity to get out on to the lake itself, and here you’ll find some wonderful kayaking operators offering trips to paddle out to visit its coves and islands. Motorboats are another possibility, and good option for here to fish for the dozen or so species here.


Khuvsgul is, is thought to be approximately two to five million years old, and is one of only 20 ancient lakes on earth.

Facilities Available

The southern town of Khatgal has ATMs, wi-fi and a decent range of accommodation.

Elsewhere around the lake you’ll find tourist ger (Mongolian tent) camps offering a bed and meals but not much else in the way of amenities.

If you have all the equipment you can pitch a tent to camp anywhere along the shore.