Featured image for Gorkhi-Terelj National Park

Gorkhi-Terelj National Park

Quick Navigation

Gorkhi-Terelj National Park is located in the northern central part of of Mongolia not far from the border.  The national park covers an area of 1,127 square miles (2,920 sq km).  Although it extends across such a large area, it is only the 14th largest national park in Mongolia.

The Terelj River flows across the park, which much of the protected zone located to the north of the river.  The Terelj settlement is located along the river and this region provides visitors with opportunities to shop and dine.  This tourist area also provides opportunities to rent horses or camels for doing a more adventureous exploration of the area.

Some of the attractions are challenging to experience because of their remoteness and the lack of park development.  The park sits at an average altitude of 5,249 feet (1,600 m), with Avkhan Mountain serving as the highest point at 8,740 feet (2,664 m).

The forested park is home to an abundance of wildlife with some of the most popular including brown bear, boar, red deer, roe deer, foxes, and wolves.  There are several types of predator bird species as well.

The national park also provides cultural and historical experiences with the Ariyabal Meditation Temple which was constructed between 1998 and 2004.  The design follows the shape of an elephant with the 108 staircase leading to the temple representing the elephant's trunk.


Many people look to the Terelj settlement as the highlight because it gives them a chance to eat and shop while being out in the wilderness.  The other highlights tend to be more remote.

Rock Formations

There are numerous rock formations spreadout across the park.  Two of the more famous rock croppings include Turtle Rock and the Praying Lama Rock.  Of course, the renowned Turtle Rock looks like a turtle with its head sticking up leading the way.

The Praying Lama Rock is also known as the Old Man Reading a Book rock formation.  The surrounding landscapes make both of these rock formations quite photogenic.

Remote Attractions

Khagiin Khar Lake is a beautiful lake that is located in the remote part of the park which has not been developed well for tourism.  The lake is 65 feeet (20 m) deep and is situated about 49.7 miles (80 km) away from the camps.  You can travel another 11.15 miles (18 km) upstream to experience the Yestii Hot Springs.

Ariyabal Meditation Temple

The Ariyabal Meditation Temple is located near the Turtle Rock formation and provides a cultural experience along with the views of the landscapes.  Completed in 2004, the temple was modeled after an elphant's head.  There are 108 steps traveling up to the temple that represent the trunk of the elpehant.

Things To Do:

The Terelj settlement is a developed tourist area that provides visitors with a chance to shop and eat at the local restaurants. 

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is available for all levels of experience.  Horse tours range from hours to days depending on the adventure and experience visitors want to engage.

Yak Cart Tour

A yak or ox and cart tour is accessible in the Terelj settlement area.  This is a simple way to roam about and experience some of the wilderness and landscapes.


You can explore a raft tour that will take you down the Terelj River or the Tuul River.  These are not known as strong rapids but it is a great way to see some of the wilderness and scenery of the park.

Gorkhi-Terelj National Park Trails

There are boutiful places to explore and trek across the national park.  Hiking is one of the more popular activities whether it is exploring outside the settlement area or discovering some of the more remote areas.

Park Protection

Gorkhi Terelj National Park was created to preserve the pristine wilderness as a wonderful escape into nature for locals.  The park was further created to protect the habitat of the deer, bear, and other species that live in the area.

Gorkhi-Terelj Highlights

  • Turtle Rock
  • Khagiin Khar Lake
  • Ariyabal Meditation Temple

Park Map