You wouldn’t necessarily think of dog sledding in Mongolia. The traditional breed of Mongolian dog (bankhar) has always played an important part of the way of life in rural Mongolia but their role was one of protection. However, although dog sledding is not a native sport to Mongolia and huskies are not a native breed, it is a combination that provides an incredible adventure in the heart of the Mongolian winter.
Dog sledding in Mongolia’s Gorkhi-Terelj National Park is a trip where the power of nature dominates – from the wolf tracks you’ll come across in the snow to the sound of the ice moving on the frozen Tuul and Terelj Rivers. Yes, the word adventure is fashionable and overused in the tourism industry but this really is a true adventure – living together with your team of dogs, meeting herding families that make their home in the area, the feeling of freedom. And you will be deeply affected by the solitude and space. Of that there is no doubt.
True. It is a challenge. All the dogs love to run. They’re working dogs and this is what they are bred for. They truly love running the trail. At the start of the day the dogs will be excited and they’ll take off with a rush, so hold on for a fast and thrilling ride! There is a lot of power when a team of 5-6 dogs takes off running. But at the end of each day there’s the option for helping out with the upkeep of the dogs (feeding time!) and this gives a different perspective as you learn a little about the care given to your remarkable and loyal team of dogs.
Trail and weather conditions change. Most of the travel is along smooth, frozen river but you’ll encounter hard pack ice, snow-covered ice, puddles of water, cracks, undulations, objects frozen into the ice and overhanging vegetation. Expect tumbles and to be outside of your comfort zone at times – whether that be with the temperature, the trail conditions or the speed of the sledge.
But if you’re looking to embrace a new way of travel then really do consider dog sledding in Mongolia. Pack your thermals (we provide a detailed packing list) and come to Mongolia this winter and do something a little out of the ordinary. Come and allow the winter landscapes to dominate as you try a remarkable experience that really makes you feel truly alive.
Even better, Mongolia is known as the ‘Land of the Eternal Blue Sky.’ A majority of its 260 days of blue sky occur in the winter so you’ll be slicing slice through cold, fresh air underneath crisp blue skies.
For further details, look at my Winter Tours Mongolia page. I look forward to hearing from you!
Jess @ Eternal Landscapes.