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Gorkhi-Terelj National Park is one of the national parks of Mongolia. The Park is situated at 80Km. north east of Ulaan Baatar, and is a very popular area both with the locals on a week end and with foreign tourists. It took us nearly two hours to drive from the capital as the roads were pretty bad. The park lies at 1600 metres high and offers great opportunities for hiking, horse-riding, rafting and rock climbing.
The parks is over 1.2 million acres large. The landscape is looking a little bit like the alps. It is a national park which started to developed in the 1960 and officially was classified as a National Park in 1994. It is almost uninhabited by humans, only by a few nomads and farmers. Inside the park, there are ranges of protected animals such as birds (250 species), moose, and bears.
As it become developed for tourism, some of the Ger camps have concrete car parks and electricity. Camps are not at the same place depending of the season, there are summer camps, and winter camps which are open mostly all year long.
A small southern portion of the park is developed for tourists, with restaurants, souvenir shops, horses and camels for rent, and tourist ger camps, many of them run by the Juulchin corporation, the former state tourism company. However, most of the park is undeveloped and difficult to access. Attractions include Khagiin Khar Lake, a 20m deep glacial lake 80 km upstream from the tourist camps, and Yestii Hot Water Springs, natural hot springs 18 km further upstream. The park also has a Buddhist monastery that is open to visitors. Park wildlife includes brown bears and over 250 species of birds. The Tuul River flows through the park.
The park has many rock formations for rock climbers, and includes two famous formations named for things they resemble: Turtle Rock (Mongolian: Melkhii Khad) and the Old Man Reading a Book (Praying Lama Rock).