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Horse Tour to the Ukok Plateau

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Horse riding
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Rating in Russia
Tour details
Destinations: Barnaul
Type of adventure: icon-19.png Horse riding
Guide language: English
Price: min $ 2025
Group size: min 5 — max 10
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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Price
  • Important Info
Cities and locations: Barnaul - Katun river - Ukok Plateau
Tour description

The Ukok Plateau is considered to be one of the most beautiful and interesting areas in the Altai mountains. Some peaks offer an overview of 30-50 kilometers around: waves of stone sea, frozen under the blue and white ice caps, steep slopes, gorges, eternal snows and glaciers. Peaks of South Chuysky mountain ridge are around 3000-3700 m above sea level. This is a part of the highest stage in the Altai.

During the trip travelers visit the most mysterious region of Altai, covered with legends - the Ukok Plateau. The Ukok Plateau (2,150 m above sea level) is the area famous for its unique archaeological finds. Here, at an altitude of 2000 m extends an oasis. The extensive valley is located almost in the center of the vast mountainous country. From all sides it is blocked by inaccessible rocky mountains, that’s why it is not so easy to reach the Plateau. Only wild passes connect it to the outside world. Plateau belongs to the few areas of the Southern Altai, which are less subjected to changes since ancient times, and therefore the landscape structure of glacial epoch is preserved here.

Towering giant Tabyn-Bogdo-Ola fascinate. It is the biggest spot of mountain glaciation in Siberia, much bigger then even Belukha. Here are the largest glaciers of the Altai. On top the borders of three countries meet: Russia, Mongolia and China. In the massif there are five major peaks. Chief among them is the mount Nairamdal (Kiytyn 4374m), it’s the second highest peak in the Altai (after Belukha). Tabyn-Bogdo-Ola in translation sounds like "five sacred mountains" - according to a legend the name was given by Genghis Khan, admiring by the grandeur of the sun shining ice peaks.

Hundreds of archaeological sites were opened on the Plateau, including burial, religious, settlement complexes, petroglyphs, stone geometric constructions, Old Turkic steles and statues. The most interesting site, discovered and studied on the Ukok, are perhaps the mounds of Pazyryk culture. They remained great unique items of plastic, decorative and applied arts, made of wood, felt, textile and leather, whose age is 2.5 thousand years. The findings were exhibited in the best museums of the world.

The Ukok Plateau has not shared all its secrets: even new treasures are waiting to be discovered in permafrost alpine tundra.

Category

Excursion tours / Horse tours / Tours in groups

Briefly about tour

Total duration: 16 days/15 nights

Season: July-August

Tour mileage: 1800 km by bus, 200 km by horse (20-35 km, 5-7 hours a day)

Number of people in a group: 5-10 pax

Age: 16+

Level of physical training: The Route is of the 3d difficulty level (over-middle) with some dangerous areas (swamps, rocky ledges, fords), is recommended for people who have experience in horse riding and good physical form. People in need of constant medical supervision are not recommended to choose this route.

Day 1. Meeting in Barnaul, airport or railway station.
Accommodation in the Barnaul hotel in the city center. Rest.
Excursion around the central and historical parts of Barnaul.
Visit to Altai State Local History Museum.
Return to the hotel.

Full day program

Arrival to Barnaul. Morning meeting at the airport at 7 am, near the arrival hall, at 8 am in the railway station close to the arrival/departure desk.

Accommodation in the Barnaul hotel in twin rooms. Rest.
Meeting with the guides in the hotel lobby.

Tour in the central and historical part of Barnaul. A visit to the Altai State Museum. Currently the museum collection has more than 150 thousand items, including the world's only model steam engine invented in Barnaul in 1763 by Polzunov. Particular interest have archaeological findings, telling the story of the ancient Altai; household items, reflecting the ethnic, social class of Altai population, as well as historical and technical (including war relics), numismatic, mineralogical collections, natural science collections representing the biodiversity and natural resources of the Altai.

Accommodation in the Barnaul hotel 3*

Breakfast in the hotel

20 km by bus

Lunch and dinner independent

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Day 2. Departure from Barnaul along the ancient trade route – Chuysky Tract.
Driving through the pass Seminsky (1739 m asl) and the picturesque serpentine pass Chike-Taman (1295 m asl).
Visit the rock complex Kalbak-Tash to see old rock paintings petroglyphs.
Accommodation in Mongolian yurts near the village Chibit.

Full day program

Meeting in the hotel lobby at 08:00.

Transfer by minibus along the ancient trade route – Chuysky Tract. Stop for a lunch* and registration formalities at the camp Manzherok (2-3 hours).

Continue driving through the pass Seminsky (1739 m asl) and the picturesque serpentine pass Chike-Taman (1295 m asl) to the village Chibit.

On the way visit the rock complex Kalbak-Tash with many petroglyphs.

Arrival to the Eco Tourist Camp Nomad at around 21:00, accommodation in 4-bed Mongolian yurts or houses. A visit to banya.

Accommodation at the tourist camp Nomad in yurts

Breakfast in the hotel, dinner at the camp

610 km by bus

Lunch independent

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Day 3. Driving towards the Mongolian border along Chuysky Tract - from Chibit village to Dzhazator village.
Landmarks there are very picturesque. One side of Dzhazator village is framed by the spurs of the South-Chuysky ridge (3936 m).
On the opposite side the mysterious and amazing plateau Ukok is located.
To the west there is a small steppe Samaha, and then the Katunsky mountain ridge and the crowning pinnacle Belukha (4506 m).

Full day program

Driving towards the Mongolian border along Chuysky Tract.
In the village Aktash stop for clearance of border formalities. Moving up to Kosh-Agach village, clearance of environmental formalities.

The end point of our bus journey is the most remote village of Altai - Dzhazator.
Landmarks of the village are very picturesque. One side of the village is framed by the spurs of the South-Chuysky ridge. In good weather you can see here gleaming sharp black-and-white triangular peak Iiktu - the main summit of the South-Chuysky ridge (3936 m).
On the opposite side, hidden among mountain ridges, the mysterious and amazing plateau Ukok is located.
To the west of the village there is a small and beautiful steppe Samaha, and then the Katunsky mountain ridge and the crowning pinnacle Belukha (4506 m).
At night visit to the banya*

Accommodation in tents on the territory of a guest house

Breakfast at the camp, lunch in a cafe, dinner on the fire

290 km by bus

Not included

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Day 4. Meeting with local guides and horses.
The first horseback riding through the picturesque valley of the river Dzhazator to the mouth of the river Sudobay.

Full day program

Meeting with local guides and horses. Distribution of total luggage.

The first horseback riding through the picturesque valley of the river Dzhazator. Leaving the village Dzhazator, we cross the river over a bridge and move along the river on a path to the mouth of the river Sudobay. Haying glades alternate with thickets of willow, shrubby cinquefoil, a variety of shrubs, and the edge of the valley is pleasing to the eye with its green coniferous vegetation.
Next, we move along a steep path to the right bank of the river Sudobay to its headwaters.

Accommodation in tents

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

17 km ahorse

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Day 5. Horse riding from the river Sudobay till the river Akkol.
In good weather the pass Kara-Bulak (2800 m) offers a panoramic view on the South Chuysky and Katunsky ridges, gorges of rivers Argut and Kara Alakha, as well as view on the Tabyn-Bogdo-Ola peak (4374 m).
On the way we pass also waterfalls and lakes.

Full day program

Horse riding from the river Sudobay till the river Akkol.

Along the river Sudobay we move up to the pass Kara-Bulak (2800 m). In good weather the pass offers a panoramic view on the South Chuysky and Katunsky ridges, gorges of rivers Argut and Kara Alakha, as well as view on the Tabyn-Bogdo-Ola peak (4374 m).
Descent to the picturesque lake, which amaze with its unusual shape and water color. The lakes are a source of the river Kara-Bulak. We go down along the river valley to its confluence with the river Ak-Alakha. The trail runs along the mountain spur, similar to an amphitheater. There are very scenic waterfalls and lakes.

Accommodation in tents

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

26 km ahorse

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Day 6. Horse riding from the river Akkol to the lake Kaldzhin-Kol, long and intense trip.
From a pass travelers will see again in all its glory the Ukok Plateau with its numerous lakes, mountain massif Tabyn-Bogdo-Ola.
Arriving a place with about 120 rock paintings.
The highlight of the day is observation of the excavation site, where the Altai Princess was found

Full day program

Horse riding from the river Akkol to the lake Kaldzhin-Kol, long and intense trip.

The day starts with a rising to the pass, from which travelers will see again in all its glory the Ukok Plateau with its numerous lakes, mountain massif Tabyn-Bogdo-Ola.

Further descent into Kyzyltas area, there are Bertekskie petroglyphs here, which presents more than 120 images.

After that we move to the excavation site, gained prominence after the publication of the findings of a unique artifact - perfectly preserved mummy of a young woman who lived in this area about 2500 years ago, known as the Altai Princess.

The further path runs past the frontier to the extraordinarily beautiful lake Kaldzhin-Kol, a little higher there is the second lake – Kaldzhin-Kol-Bas ("bass" means "upper"), they are connected with a small channel.

Accommodation in tents

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

24 km ahorse

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Day 7. Crossing the river Ak-Alakha to the river Muzdybulak.
Muzdybulak lake is one of the largest and most beautiful lakes in the Plateau Ukok.
The river Muzdybulak is not high-water, but very fishery.

Full day program

Crossing the river Ak-Alakha to the river Muzdybulak.

In the valley of the river Muzdybulak there is a eponymous lake, which has a distinctive triangular shape, it is one of the largest and most beautiful lakes in the Plateau Ukok. The river Muzdybulak is not high-water, but very fishery.

Accommodation in tents

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

28 km ahorse

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Day 8. Relaxing day.
Fishing is possible.
Hiking trip to the lake Muzdybulak.

Full day program

Relaxing day.
Fishing is possible.
Hiking trip to the lake Muzdybulak.

Accommodation in tents

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

1 km on foot

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Day 9. Horse riding to the river Argamdzhy-1.
Picturesque view on the peak Tabyn-Bogdo-Ola.

Full day program

Horse riding to the river Argamdzhy-1.

Picturesque view on the peak Tabyn-Bogdo-Ola. 

Accommodation in tents

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

20 km ahorse

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Day 10. Horse riding to the river Kalguty.
It offers panoramic views of the plateau Ukok.
Opportunities for fishing for grayling.

Full day program

Horse riding to the river Kalguty.

It offers panoramic views of the plateau Ukok.

Opportunities for fishing for grayling.

Accommodation in tents

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

20 km ahorse

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Day 11. Horse riding through the passes Karsulu and Bugymuiz (2843 m) to the place where the river Kalguty meets the river Ildegem.

Full day program

Horse riding through the passes Karsulu and Bugymuiz (2843 m) to the place where the river Kalguty meets the river Ildegem.

Accommodation in tents

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

28 km ahorse

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Day 12. Horse riding to the place where the river Kalguty meets the river Sudobay.

Full day program

Horse riding to the place where the river Kalguty meets the river Sudobay. 

Accommodation in tents

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

22 km ahorse

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Day 13. The horse riding trip is over.
With every kilometer alpine landscape with its vegetation give way to pine forests, meadows and pastures.
Return to the village Dzhazator.

Full day program

The horse riding trip is over.

With every kilometer alpine landscape with its vegetation give way to pine forests, meadows and pastures.

Return to the village Dzhazator. Visit banya.

Accommodation in tents on the territory of a guest house

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

17 km ahorse

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Day 14. Today we return from the village Dzhazator to the village Chibit.
Overnight again in Mongolian yurts.
Rest.

Full day program

Today we return from the village Dzhazator to the village Chibit.

Arrival to the Eco Tourist Camp "Nomad", accommodation in 4-bed Mongolian yurts or houses.

A visit to banya.

Accommodation at the tourist camp Nomad in yurts

Breakfast on fire, lunch snack, dinner at the camp

290 km by bus

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Day 15. Return from the village Chibit to Barnaul.
Stop at a healing mineral spring Arzhaan-Suu.
Near the spring there is a large market with souvenirs, where you can buy maps, books, art objects, items of cedar.
Arrival to the hotel Barnaul.

Full day program

Return from the village Chibit to Barnaul.

Stop at a mineral spring Arzhaan-Suu. Water in the spring is filled with silver, copper and other mineral impurities, that's why it is stored for a long time and, most importantly, has beneficial effect on the metabolic processes in the body.

Near the spring there is a large market with souvenirs, where you can buy maps, books, art objects, items of cedar.

Arrival to the hotel Barnaul at 19.00.

Accommodation in the Barnaul hotel 3*

Breakfast at the camp

610 km by bus

Lunch and dinner independent

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Day 16. Transfer to the airport.
The tour is over.

Full day program

Transfer to the airport.
The tour is over.

Breakfast buffet in the hotel or packed to the airport

25 km by bus

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Download tour program in PDF

Tour price per person
1650 € Price includes:
  • meeting/seeing off in the airport/railway station of Barnaul
  • transport service (comfortable minibus)
  • accommodation in tents (10 nights), in the comfortable hotel (2 nights), at a yurt camp – no WC/shower (2 nights)
  • staff: 1-2 guides (Russian and English/German speaking), 1 driver, 2 horsemen
  • insurance
  • riding and pack horses
  • excursions per program
  • equipment rental
  • border formalities
  • permission to enter the protected area
  • visiting banya as per program
Price does not include:
  • air or train tickets to Barnaul and back
  • cook service
  • some meals (lunch and dinner on day 1, lunch on day 2, lunch and dinner on day 15)
  • alcohol drinks
  • souvenirs
For extra charge:
  • a double room in the Barnaul hotel (big-size bed), 2 nights +30 €/person
  • a single room in the Barnaul hotel, 2 nights +35 €/person

    The Route is of the 3d difficulty level (over-middle) with some dangerous areas (swamps, rocky ledges, fords), is recommended for people who have experience in horse riding and good physical form.

    The route is a closed ring. In difficult places riders dismount and lead the horse.

    The weather conditions in the mountains are changing enough often. On the Plateau Ukok frequent winds are usual. Raining and snowing are possible. The daytime temperature +5 till + 30 C, night temperature from -5 till +10 C.

    We travel 20-35 km, 5-7 hours a day. For luggage transportation we use special bags for horses. The program may be changed due to weather conditions. The decision to change the route is taken by your guide. We recommend to have a vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis.

    Equipment:
    1. Provided by the Tour Operator:
    frame tents, awnings; sleeping bags (upon request), sleeping pads(on request), camp fire kit, luggage bags  (for horse part), first aid kit.
    2. The necessary personal equipment:
    sleeping bag (suitable temperature -10), sleeping pad; a bag for personal items.
    Comfortable clothes: not rustling, not to frighten the horses; trousers, T-shirts, light waterproof jacket with hood, a hat with a visor.
    At camping place you need: long sleeve shirt, sweater, warm trousers and jacket, woolen hat, rain-coat, wool socks 2 pairs, simple socks 3 - 4 pairs, change of underwear;
    Shoes: any boots or shoes that cover the ankle + second pair;
    Personal items: individual utensils (spoon, cup, soup plate, knife) - can be provided on request; sunglasses, flashlight with spare batteries, sunscreen and after-sun care, a small polyurethane mat for sitting with a rubber band, personal hygiene; personal first aid kit.
    Documents: Passport !!!

    All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Sayan ring
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