Gorkhi-Terelj Overview

Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, established in 1993, is one of Mongolia’s most popular and accessible natural areas, located approximately 55 kilometers northeast of the capital city, Ulaanbaatar. The park extends over an area of about 2,864 square kilometers (about 1,106 square miles), offering a spectacular landscape of alpine scenery, unique rock formations, and lush river valleys. Its relatively close proximity to Ulaanbaatar makes it a favorite destination for both tourists and locals looking to escape the city and immerse themselves in Mongolia’s breathtaking natural beauty.

The park’s terrain is characterized by dramatic granite tors sculpted by the elements over millennia, the most famous of which is Turtle Rock, or “Melkhii Khad” in Mongolian, named for its resemblance to a turtle. Another notable feature is the Aryabal Meditation Temple, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and serves as a place of peace and reflection.

Gorkhi-Terelj National Park is also a haven for wildlife, including diverse bird species, red deer, Siberian roe deer, and the elusive grey wolf. The lush valleys and forests are teeming with wildflowers in the spring and summer, adding vibrant colors to the already picturesque setting.

Outdoor activities abound in the park, with options for hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, and even river rafting. The park’s varied landscape provides trails suitable for all levels of hikers, from gentle walks along the Terelj River to more challenging treks up its rugged hillsides. In the winter, the park transforms into a snowy wonderland, offering opportunities for cross-country skiing and ice skating.

Gorkhi-Terelj National Park also offers a unique cultural experience, with many ger camps throughout the area where visitors can stay and live like nomads, learning about traditional Mongolian customs and lifestyles. This combination of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and cultural immersion makes Gorkhi-Terelj National Park a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Mongolia.

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Park Map
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Gorkhi-Terelj National Park Pictures

Engaging Gorkhi-Terelj National Park

Explore the park’s stunning landscapes on scenic hiking trails, offering breathtaking views of rugged mountains, lush forests, and rolling grasslands. Choose from a variety of trails ranging from easy walks to more challenging treks, providing opportunities to connect with nature and discover the park’s diverse flora and fauna.

Discover the park’s natural beauty on horseback riding excursions, allowing you to traverse vast grasslands, meander along tranquil rivers, and explore hidden valleys. Guided horseback rides cater to riders of all levels, from beginners to experienced equestrians, offering a unique perspective of Gorkhi-Terelj National Park’s landscapes and wildlife.

Marvel at the iconic rock formations of Turtle Rock, one of the park’s most recognizable landmarks. Embark on a short hike to reach this towering rock formation, shaped like a giant turtle, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes from its elevated vantage point.


1. What is Gorkhi-Terelj National Park known for?

Gorkhi-Terelj National Park in Mongolia is known for its stunning natural landscapes, including vast grasslands, rugged mountains, and pristine rivers.

Apart from pandas, the park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including endangered species such as the Siberian ibex and argali sheep.

Visitors can explore the park’s scenic beauty through activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and camping, immersing themselves in the tranquility of Mongolia’s wilderness.

2. When is the best time to visit Gorkhi-Terelj National Park?

The best time to visit Gorkhi-Terelj National Park is during the summer months, from June to August. Average temperatures during this time range from 60°F to 80°F (15°C to 27°C) during the day, providing comfortable conditions for outdoor activities.

Additionally, the summer season offers longer daylight hours and lush green landscapes, making it ideal for hiking, camping, and exploring the park’s natural attractions. Visitors can also enjoy cultural experiences and traditional Mongolian festivals during this time, adding to the overall appeal of Gorkhi-Terelj National Park.

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  • Discover Mongolia, 4 Reasons you should visit Korkhi-Terelj National Park ,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Lonely Planet, Gorkhi-Terelj National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • The Outbound, 7 Ways to Explore Mongolia's Terelj National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • View Mongolia, Gorkhi Terelj National Park,, retrieved April 2024;