I would like to visit Mongolia next year and organize a trek with my girlfriend. We are skilled trekkers and we would prefer to avoid to hire a guide. We both experienced treks with guide in Nepal, India and Tanzania and although we tried to decide where to stop and sleep, the guide had always a good argument to go in the lodge he picked up. This was sometimes quite frustrating.

During the last trek we did together, without guide and porter, we could really enjoyed to go from lodge to lodge by ourselves and to decide where to sleep, eat and what to change our itinerary if necessary.

Is it realistic to plan a 10 to 12 days trek in Mongolia without porter or guide? Can we expect as in Nepal to trek from village to village and find lodges? What region would be suitable for such a trip? We are not looking especially for peak or high pass.

  • 3
    A friend of mine hiked in Mongolia without a guide. In fact, he hiked (and partially cycled) all the way from France to Mongolia without a guide. They had a tent, but also tried to enjoy the hospitality of private people, who often invited them into their homes (which could be a yurt).
    – gerrit
    Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 9:41
  • you may get more joy posting this question on travel.stackexchange.com
    – user2766
    Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 16:43
  • @Liam: I personally do not agree, no offence. It is very likely that this question may get an answer (it at all) here than at travel.stackexchange.com
    – WedaPashi
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 8:16
  • @WedaPashi, it's been here for 5 months and no one has answered.
    – user2766
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 8:35
  • @Liam: Agree, but it is really unlikely to get an answer there as well.
    – WedaPashi
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 8:59

2 Answers 2


I've been to Mongolia many years ago (2001), so I'm not sure that my answer can help you much. I was there for almost two month, did some treks without a guide and also horse-riding and motor-cycles journey with a local guide.

Mongolia is a huge country, mostly a high plateau with moderate hills/mountains. When I was there and I guess that it didn't changed much since then, most of its population was around the capital Ullan Bator. Therefore, trekking form lodge to lodge is not suitable to Mongolia since even in popular areas like Khövsgöl Nuur in the north or around Kharkhorin since there are some tourist camps but with more then a day walking distance. You can trek without a guide, and count on the local for food supplement, but you need to carry your own tent and cooking equipment.

We had our own 4-seasons tent and cooking equipment. We managed to buy food on the villages but we needed to carry food for 2-3 days because the sparsity of the villages and tourist camps. The people that we met on our way were kind and gave us good and helpful hospitality, including clothing, food, a warm place to sleep (in their yurt), and also motorcycles to drive on a snow storm, but you can't rely on finding habitats yurts each day.

In summary, we tried all different ways of travelling and due to the terrain in Mongolia and the sparsity of the population we preferred mostly travelling by horses (or cycling) and combined a day or two of hiking/trekking in areas of mountains. You can either buy horses but then you need to know to take care of them or take a guide with you (like we did).


It is from what I hear. Best to hire a guide. They have a union kind of. To just hire a local they often get beat. With out a guide you get robbed. That is only what I hear. I do live in Asia. So good sources but not first hand.

  • I'm not the downvoter but that's counter to everything I've ever hear about Mongolia. I've heard it's a very safe country and very welcoming people. Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 0:00

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