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Lake Khövsgöl is the largest freshwater lake in Mongolia by volume. It is near the northern border of Mongolia, about 200 km (124 mi) west of the southern end of Lake Baikal.

The park is home to a variety of wildlife such as ibex, argali, elk, wolf, wolverine, musk deer, brown bear, Siberian moose, and sable.


Lake Khövsgöl
During March at Lake Khövsgöl there is huge Ice Festival

It is 1,645 m (5,397 ft) above sea level, 136 km (85 mi) long and 262 m (860 ft) deep. It is the second-most voluminous freshwater lake in Asia, and holds almost 70% of Mongolia's freshwater reserves and 0.4% of all the freshwater in the world.

It is called Хөвсгөл нуур (Khövsgöl núr) in Mongolian, and is also referred to as Хөвсгөл далай (Hövsgöl dalai) ("Ocean Khövsgöl") or Далай ээж Dalai éj ("Ocean Mother"). Lake Khövsgöl's watershed is relatively small, and it has only small tributaries. It is drained at the southern end by the Egiin Gol, which connects to the Selenge and ultimately flows into Lake Baikal. Between the two lakes, its waters travel more than 1,000 km (621 mi), and fall 1,169 metres (3,835 feet), although the line-of-sight distance is only about 200 km (124 mi). Its location in northern Mongolia forms one part of the southern border of the great Siberian taiga forest, where the dominant tree is the Siberian larch (Larix sibirica).

The Hövsgöl (Khövsgöl) Long-term Ecological Research Site (LTERS) was established in 1997 and an extensive research program began soon thereafter. Now part of an international network of long-term study sites, the Hövsgöl LTERS provides a stage for nurturing Mongolia's scientific and environmental infrastructures, studying climate change, and developing sustainable responses to some of environmental challenges facing the lake and its watershed.

Get in[edit]

There is a large reindeer farming ethnic minority live in Khovsgol area called Tsaatan people which consists of over 15,000 people
Horse tour

By car: From Ulaanbaatar city a daily domestic long-distance bus leaves for Khatgal which is the most southern village at the lake and the ticket costs 57,000 tugrik (Jan 2024) per person for one way. The bus travel lasts around for 15 hrs.

By plane: From Ulaanbaatar there is small 50-seater domestic plane flights to Khatgal during high tourist traffic season from June to late August. But some years the flight service does not work. The flight from Ulaanbaatar to Khatgal takes around 1.5 hrs.

Combined: From Ulaanbaatar take plane flight (twice per week two airlines organize total 4 flights) to Mörön city which is provincial capital for 1.5 hrs of flight (ticket for one way costs 281,000 tugrik and for 2 ways costs 555,000 tugrik as of Jan 2024) and from Moron city to Khatgal find various private taxi cars which price ranges from 30,000 tugrik to 50,000 tugrik. Car rides from Moron to Khatgal take 2-6 hrs depending on car type. Ulaanbaatar to Moron flight is year round. Plane ticket customer service from MIAT airlines is +976 11 333999. Aero Mongolia airlines flight service usually takes between May to September their customer service phone is +976 70103030, email:,,

Local air ticket agents:

Agents speak moderate to advanced English.

  • Air trans: Phone: +976-11-313131, +976-11-323232, +976-11-323232, +976-11-333333, +976-11-303030, +976-11-330101, +976-11-331390. Email:
  • Air market: Phone: +976-70105050. Email:
  • Air link: Phone: +976–18001818, +976–70141818, +976–70131818, +976-11-311818, +976–70121818, +976–70161818, +976–70151818, +976-70101818 . Fax: +976-11-322350. Email:
  • Mon Air tour: Phone: +976-11-311001, +976-11-311002, +976-11-311193, +976-70141001, +976-70113313. Email:
  • Air expert: Phone: +976-11-320910, +976-11-310910. Fax: +976-11-330910
  • Air express travel[dead link]: Phone: +976-77114466. Email:



Most camps have boating services from which tourists can sail to nearby attractions at the lake beaches and nearby islands. Also horse riding and yak riding can be bought by hourly rates that ranges from 5000 - 10,000 tugrik per hour. Sometime reindeer riding can be found but this is rare.

The lake is fully surrounded with heavy forest areas and any hiking tour or horse tour is ideal.


At lake docks many small souvenir stands sell various handcrafted items from all price ranges. Some stone, wood and bone crafts can be especially interesting. Also various locally designed clothes can be bought from the stands.


In Khatgal there are many small canteens offer mainly local dishes for tourists.



Most camps speak partial or full English.

Bringing your own tent and sleeping almost anywhere around the lake area is possible.

Stay safe[edit]

The lake is located in the big permafrost zone. Swimming is mostly impossible. Perhaps, with insulated diving suit, one can swim and dive.

Go next[edit]

Go to Tsagaannuur to see reindeer.

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