Khurgan-Khoton Lakes: a truly outstanding 4x4 adventure
Located in the northern part of the Altai mountain range, near the Chinese border, in Bayan-Ölgii, the westernmost of the provinces of Mongolia, Khurgan and Khoton are two lakes situated at an elevation of more than 2.000m.
The road to the lakes, located in Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, is unpaved. It’s narrow, steep, and impassable in winters. Do not travel this pass in severe weather conditions. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. From October the surface of the lakes starts to freeze, creating then 1.3-1.6 m ice thickness.
Khurgan Lake lies at an elevation of 2,072m above the sea level, and Khoton Lake at 2,084m. It has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards, and driving under these conditions, can be extremely challenging. One of the most challenging parts of the route is a small wooden bridge over the lake, with a length of 100m, the Khurgan and Khoton Lakes Bridge. This bridge tests the skill, and courage, of any driver. It’s definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo and there’s little room for error on this section.