If you yearn for a connection to the wild, you will find it here. Hovsgol is the northernmost of Mongolia’s 21 provinces, shadowing Russia’s border and sharing the great Siberian taiga (subarctic coniferous forest). Lichens in bright greens and oranges color 10,000-foot passes, while sacred rivers, rumored to never freeze, feed lakes framed by snow-tipped mountains.
Hovsgol is just now opening its arms to travelers who come to catch and release taimen, giant salmonid “river wolves” that stalk Hovsgol’s waterways. Others come to ride Mongolian ponies in search of the Tsaatan, small bands of nomadic reindeer herders (above) who live in encampments and follow shamanistic beliefs.