Lake Hovsgol, Mongolia


Mongolia’s northernmost province, Hovsgol is also, without doubt, one of its most beautiful.

Mongolia’s northernmost province, Hovsgol is also, without doubt, one of its most beautiful. Wooded hills give way to valleys covered with wildflowers which in turn lead to the clearest crystal rivers and freshwater lakes, filled with fish such as taimen and lenok as well as being home to an abundance of birdlife.

Located in the far north of the country close to the border with Siberian Russia and surrounded by mountains, the terrain is home to a variety of wildlife including ibex, wolf, argali sheep and moose.

Sayan Mountains and Lake Hovsgol, Mongolia
Sayan Mountains and Lake Hovsgol, Mongolia

A little bit more about Hovsgol

At its centre lies Lake Hovsgol. Over two million years old it is known to the nomads who live near her shores as mother and sometimes referred to as the sea. The lake is the largest freshwater lake in the country and the primary source of drinking water.

Sitting at an altitude of 1,645 metres above sea level the surface of the lake freezes over completely in winter with the beautiful clear blue ice reaching over one metre in thickness. Hovsgol is also home, not only to Mongolian nomads but to the reindeer herders of the Darkhat Valley who live in yurts, which are similar in design to the American Indian tepee. Central to this group is the Shaman Lady, a tribal elder who dispenses wisdom and medicine to her clan.


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View of Erdenet, Mongolia

Erdenet Copper Mine

Visit the city of Erdenet, home to one of the largest copper mines in the world.

Ice fishing on Lake Hovsgol in winter, Hovsgol, Mongolia

Winter Lake Adventure

Wrap up warm for a winter adventure on Khovsgol Lake when the water freezes and people take to the ice for sledging and ice fishing fun.

Woman sat on the shores of Lake Hovsgol in Mongolia

Lake Khovsgol Adventure

Explore the lakeside, surrounding hills and extinct volcanoes on foot, horseback or bicycle. Alternatively, take to the water by canoe or kayak.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Paul, our Mongolian expert, joined Steppes Travel in 1994 and has visited Mongolia numerous times. His most recent adventure was with his son when they experienced a yak trek, staying in yurts as they travelled, as well as visiting a nature reserve where they found eagles and argali sheep.

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Clare Higginson

It was my passion for languages that first encouraged me to leave the UK behind and grab my rucksack. Since then, it’s been a mixture of intriguing cultures, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonder of seeing animals in their natural habitat that sees me continuously extending my travel wish list.

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  • 1 800 571 2985

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