Altai Mountains Ride

Siberia Siberia: (PG-TP15)

Siberia Siberia
Horseback Expedition & Rafting

Twenty-five hundred miles east of Moscow lies a Russia that even Russians hardly know about. Its inhabitants may seem poor to us, but they have everything they need for survival and for maintaining an enviable zest for life. Perhaps their ability for happiness is based to some extent at least in their living in the exhilarating scenery of the Altai Mountains.

Your horse will take you through thick forests, across boulder-strewn meadows, across high mountain passes, and through grasslands with grass so high above your head that it swallows you until you emerge safely on the other side. Perhaps you’ll even meet Mongolian hunters as they follow their prey high into the mountains. Your local hosts still know the true meaning of hospitality, and their food is outstanding. Entire feasts are prepared in the middle of the wilderness, spiced whenever possible with freshly gathered mushrooms and herbs. The program includes exciting river rafting on the Siberian-Chinese river Katune. Several times along the way you’ll spend several nights at one location for more thorough explorations. 


This is a progressive ride, so nights will be spent in different locations.

When staying overnight in towns you will be lodged in “Tourist Class” hotels.  During the ride you overnight in tents for two people. During the tour, 2-5 guides, plus cook will accompanying the guests.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1 & 14: Mangerok Lodge
Night 2: Yurt Camp
Night 3 & 4: Camp
Night 5 & 6: Camp by the lake
Night 7, 8, & 9: Camp
Night 10, 11, & 12: Cabin on the shores of Lake Telezker
Night 13 & 14: Lodge

These are wilderness trips, camping out at night in tents, sleeping on the ground, cooking over wood fires. The stream is the bathhouse and the toilets are a discrete rock or tree. Guests help with the tents.

During the ride we provide three meals per day. 
Beside coffee and tea the only drinks that are available is the water from the streams. We recommend bringing a small supply of Vodka (if you wish) for the evenings.

Meals will be basic and plentiful with many dishes familiar to us and others as odd in appearance as they are strange in taste.

Dietary Restrictions
Vegetarians have joined us on all our rides but must discuss their dietary needs with our office well before the trip. Depending on your degree of vegetarianism, you may need to bring supplemental food in the form of freeze dried or dehydrated meals.


Suitable even for beginning riders since the pace rarely goes beyond the walk, and since there will be resting days along the way. You will be riding 2 to 7 hours per day on the riding days.  Total distance on horseback is 110 km.

Your horse will be an Altai breed--sturdy, surefooted, and very willing. Pack horses will carry all material. You will be riding horses that are 14.5 to 15 hands and are a Mongolian stock raised in Siberia.

During the trip you will be accompanied by 3 to 6 local guides and support people.


Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Day 1 (Friday): Arrival
Transfer from Barnaul (4-hour transfer) or Gorno-Altaisk (45-minute transfer) by van. The cabin is located approximately 160 miles from the Mongolian border and directly by the Katun River. You have time to relax. In the afternoon there is the possibility of a hike in the surrounding mountains and a sauna visit. At dinner you will meet the team.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Cabin by Katun River

Day 2 (Saturday): Transfer to the Altai
At noon drive to the yurt camp (about 2 hours), from where the ride starts. On the way you can get a first impression of the Altaic Mountains. At the camp, all the big streets end and the adventure begins! For dinner, there are traditional Altaic dishes and you will hear the typical Altaic throat singing.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in Yurt Camp

Day 3-9 (Sunday to Saturday): Horse Ride through the Altai
We start the ride in a valley and push higher up into the mountains every day. Our ride for the most part is through untouched nature of breathtaking beauty. Every now and then we will meet a group of horsemen or hikers - often hunters or shepherds. The stages are different in length, depending on the difficulty of the terrain, weather conditions and the condition of the horses and riders. Shorter riding days allow us to adapt to the altitude and the temperature differences. All our gear and materials are transported with the horses. In the evening we'll camp and have camp fire. We often spend 2 days camping in the same place, so we can ride without luggage during the day. We pass forests with pine trees, cedars and birches, grassy tundra, barren mountain landscapes, and numerous streams. On the horizon there are always snow-capped mountain peaks. The route runs across the mountain chain Sumultinski. We'll cross mountain passes up to 2,350 meters. Above we'll sometimes see circling countless birds of prey and with a little luck we can see maralry, wild boar, and sable, or even a bear. Each group is accompanied by a 5-member team: tour guides, interpreters, grooms, and cooks. The team takes care of everything, but your help is appreciated!
On the evening of the 9th day, the horseback tour ends at the horses' pastures. We say goodbye to our horses and continue our tour to another side of the Altai.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping

Day 10-12 (Sunday to Tuesday): Lake Telezker
We'll take the minibus to the river Chulyschmann to go "back to civilization". The area along the river has developed into a popular holiday destination for Siberians in the last few years with numerous outdoor activities. You have the opportunity to explore the Altai State Nature Reserve and spend the day on the shores of Lake Telezker. In addition you can visit a traditional Siberian village where you can get an insight into the life of the local people. After a soothing sauna we'll be served with dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in Cabin near Lake Telezker

Day 13 (Wednesday): Altai National Museum
Today you have the opportunity to visit the Altai National Museum and a handicraft shop.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in a Lodge

Day 14 (Thursday): Rafting
Today we will go rafting downstream in temperate white water (duration of the rafting is strongly dependent on the weather and water level) and then head back to the lodge. After a relaxing sauna we'll have our last dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in a Lodge

Day 15 (Friday): Departure
Return to Gorno-Altaisk or Barnaul.
Meals included: Breakfast

We reserve the right to make changes in the course of the tour! Please note that this tour is a wilderness ride and the route and daytime stages are strongly dependent on the weather conditions, the group etc. and therefore can vary. Also the length of the rafting is variable, since here the current water level of the river is decisive.

Rates and Dates for Altai Mountains Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals, 7 riding days + 1 day rafting (when possible) & Transfers from/to Gorno-Altaysk.
German and English-speaking guides available

Packages and Options

  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    202015 day trip, AP (high)€1735$1965
  • B
    202015 day trip, AP (low)€1535$1735
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.13

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:

2020 Transfer from Barnaul airport not included -- by arrangement only, please inquire for rate
2020 Transfer from Gorno-Altaisk included

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 07/24 - 08/07 15d / 14n 15 day trip, AP (high) 2 /8 Expired
A 2020 08/07 - 08/21 15d / 14n 15 day trip, AP (high) 2 /8 Expired
B 2020 08/21 - 09/04 15d / 14n 15 day trip, AP (low) 2 /8 Expired

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Alcoholic beverages, Transfers from Barnaul airport & Gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Gorno-Altaysk
Airport: Gorno-Altaysk
Transfer: Gorno-Altaysk

                                            Gorno-Altaysk area














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Source: NOAA

The weather and climate in the Altai is as diverse as its nature. We only operate this tour during the summer.

Generally, the summer starts in May-June and finishes in September. During that time it's quite warm during the daytime (about 20 - 25 Celsius) and cool in the night (about 5-10 Celsius), so it's better to be prepared. During June and July there may be quite a few rains, but August and September are the sunniest months (more than 60% of the time there's no rain at all). In the summer the snow is left only on the heights of 2600 meters and higher. The winds in the valleys are not very strong. The best time for traveling in the Altai is Summer (July, August, and first half of September) as it is warm, sunny in the day and there are no mosquitoes.

We anticipate warm days while riding in Siberia.  As in all mountain travel, there is the daily possibility of thunder showers during the afternoon. The nights are clear and cold. There is always a chance of precipitation. During the riding portion of the trip we carry our rain gear on the horses at all times (rain suit or long duster) and synthetic pile or wool garments that dry quickly and keep you warm while wet.

What To Bring:


Large blue saddlebags are provided and must hold all your belongings (including your sleeping bag).

1. Rubber Boots that you use for working in the garden  – not riding rubber boots ….
2. Duffle Bags are provided locally – they are not watertight – therefore you should bring Watertight bags that you can buy at any Outdoor Store – and some smaller regular plastic bags for personal stuff like dirty underwear etc. 
3. Ground mats are provided – but not high quality ones – get a good quality one and bring your own for added comfort … not everyone is used to sleeping on the ground ….

Weather can be a real factor and since you are in a very remote area  you want to come prepared for rain !!!  There is nothing worse than being on a trip and getting wet !!

Useful items
Small binoculars, travel alarm clock, earplugs, journal and pen, pocket knife (put in checked luggage, not allowed as carry‑on), lightweight snacks like granola bars, fruit bark, jerky, trail mix, nuts, tea bags that you can't start the day without, vitamins, water purification tablets, Russian phrasebook.
Please, bring some small amount of money in the local currency. 

This list is only a guideline for you


Travel documents and Voucher

Flight tickets


Visa (check with your consulate)



Riding pants or Jodhpurs (used if possible!)

Riding boots (well broken in) or ankle-high riding shoes meant for endurance rides or ‘ride & ties’. These work especially well when worn with a pair of ‘half chaps’ (knee-high leather gaitors). They have a riding heel, but are comfortable enough to be used for your city and village footwear too.  (1.)

Rubber overboots, especially if your riding boots have leather soles.

Riding gloves

Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection

Good rain gear: parka and rain pants or “duster” (no ponchos)



Pile jacket or down vest

Wool sweater or wool shirt

Warm gloves

wool cap or other warm hat

Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts



Underwear and socks

Long underwear for cold nights (polypropelene or capilene)

Women: Jogbra or other suitable sporty support


Bag for dirty clothes

Comfortable footwear for city and village walking (sturdy walking shoes or tennis shoes or lightweight hiking boots well broken in)


Bandana or scarf


For Camping trips:

Sturdy large duffel bag – can be provided

Sleeping bag (four‑season)

Thermorest pad (inflatable comfort and insulation for sleeping) – offered locally (3.)



Personal Toiletries

Insect protection

Personal medications

Sore cream (for the emergency)

small towel

Camera and enough extra films and batteries

Belt pack

Sun glasses with strap

Sun tan lotion and lip balm 

Biodegradable campsuds

Minimum 1 liter water bottle (leather bota bags work great for riding)

Flashlight with change of batteries

Toilet paper

Extra baggage tags ("collecting" tags is popular with baggage handlers in Asia)

5 large trash bags to line duffel and sleeping bag stuff sack (2.)

6 small & medium zip loc bags for trash disposal

Luggage padlocks

25 feet of nylon parachute cord (useful for tying raingear and saddle bags behind saddle)