Altai Tavan Bogd Mountain National Park
The Altai Tavan Bogd National Park follows Mongolia’s western border with China and Russia and is the greatest attraction in the west of the country.
Every nation has the lowest and highest points of altitude. Mongolia’s highest point is the peak of Altai Mountains, the Khuiten peak. Although not the highest peak of Altai Mountains, it is the highest peak of Mongolian side, towering 4374 meters above the sea level. There are five other peaks, with similar heights around it: Khuiten or Cold Peak 4374 meters, Nairamdal or Friendship peak 4082 meters, Malchin or Herder peak 4037 meters, Burged or Eagle peak 4068 meters and Ulgii peak 4050 meters. Mongolians call it Bogd, to express their respect to these great mountains, hence the name Altai Tavan (Five) Bogd. The word Bogd is used to title someone with great knowledge.
Khoton, Khurgan, Dayan, Khovd, Khar Salaa, Tsagaan Salaa, Songinot and Yolt river basins lies in the area of Altai mountain range. 96 percent of the glaciers in Mongolia is located around Altai Mountains. Longest glacier in Mongolia, the Potanin glacier continues over 20 kilometers from Tsagaan river. Named after the explorer Grigory Potanin, it ranges over 24 square kilometers. The lowest point of Altai mountains is the Khurgan Lake with 1800 meters above sea level.
Altai mountains consists of black, brown and marshy soil as well as rocky terrain. There are over 1200 types of plants growing on the mountain range, 131 of which are conifers and 889 types of grass. Small parts of the mountain range are covered with larch forest. Rare animals in Mongolian Red Book, such as snow leopard, Eurasian otter, Altai Argali or wild sheep, ibex and red deer lives in these mountains. Petroglyphs, lapidary inscription of symbols and characters which dates back to 2500 to 3000 years are common.