Orkhon Falls

Waterfall in Orkhon Valley

After a strong rain the magnificent seasonal Orkhon Falls is one of the best sights in central Mongolia. About 250m downstream from the waterfall you can climb down to the bottom of the gorge; it’s 22m deep and dotted with pine trees.

Ask your tour operator about the status of the falls. The water doesn’t run all year and will only start to flow after the first good summer rain. Late July and August are the best times to see it, although it's still a very attractive spot in autumn. If you arrive when the waterfall is not in flow, take solace in the fact that the region is still gorgeous, and a fine area for swimming, camping and horse riding.

There are a few different ways to approach the waterfall; all of them involve rough travel in parts, on very rocky roads. Coming directly from Ulaanbaatar, most traffic will go on the road via Khujirt (around 35km from the falls). You'll pass a lovely viewpoint (GPS: N 46°53.465' E 102°22.762') on this track, as the river skirts a cliff face it helped carve into the steppe. One or two kilometres further along you'll pass a remarkable collection of large, Bronze-Age square graves (GPS: N 46°53.465' E 102°22.762') on your left. The road from Kharkhorin is longer, but by taking this route you can stop at Tövkhön Khiid on the way. From Arvaikheer, it’s possible to take a remote backcountry road via Züünbayan-Ulaan and Bat-Ölzii; but you’ll need an experienced driver and a very sturdy 4WD to attempt it.