Gobi desert

Overview

Gobi desert is the semi-desert region of central Asia and also the fifth largest desert on Earth spanning across China and Mongolia. It is covered mostly in bare rock instead of sand like others due to the high winds whipping across the plateau.

Hot summers (i.e. can rise up to 122 degrees F in July) and cold winters (i.e. can drop to -40 degrees F in January) are the distinct weather here.

The Saxaul tree, wild onions, Saltwort, desert grass and shrubbery are its dominant floras and this place is also a home of snow leopards, marbled polecats, Bactrian camels, black-tailed gazelles, sand plovers and brown bears.

Despite the significant severe conditions, it has been a home of many people, animals and plants for more than 2,000 years. Many cities in this desert used to be the rest stops of traders while traveling on the Silk Road between Europe and China.

Highlight Attractions

Yol Valley

Yol Valley, also known as the Eagle Valley. It is located in the eastern part of Gurvan Saikhan Mountain and surrounded by sheer rock walls rising over 2600m above sea level. Yol Valley is originally established to conserve the birdlife in the region but famous for its dramatic scenery. The picturesque valley is an amazing natural creation where it has meters thick ice almost year around. There is great hiking opportunity from the parking areas to the glacier following the stream. In winter time glacier is up to 10m high and remains frozen for all year around. You might see wild ibex or argali sheep up in the mountain if you hike early in the morning

Camel Riding Around Khongor Sand Dunes

Khongor Sand Dunes (Khongoryn Els) is a largest and most beautiful sand dune in Mongolia, which reaches a height of 800 meter, 12 km wide and 100 km long. The Sand dune lies at the northwest corner of the Gurvan Saikhan Mountain range. It is located 180km from the Dalanzadgad city, provincial capital. The sound of masses of wind-blown sand can be heard from the long distance. This sound is so melodic and 200m high sand dunes called as "Singing Dunes". There is an oasis called Khongor river with stunning greenery in the summer. It is a great place to ride two humped Bacterian camel named by locals "Prince of Gobi" and see camel breeder's everyday life. This dramatic scenery features many colours of nature as white sand dune, the light green grass, red-blue mountains and the eternal blue sky.

Bayanzag

Bayanzag, also known as the Flaming Cliffs to the world. This is a picturesque sexual forest that is world famous for dinosaur remain ancient red rock creation. Bayanzag formed 60-70 million years ago and it was named Flaming Cliffs by Roy Andrew Chapman, an American explorer who visited Mongolia in 1920s. This area is like real Jurassic Park, and classic desert of rock, red sands, shrub and wide open emptiness.

Hustai National Park

This is the site of a unique re-introduction scheme of Przewalskii's horse (Equus przewalskii), by Mongolian's called Takhi. The Takhi became extinct in the wild in the 1960s, and has since 1992 been successfully re-introduced to Hustain and other parts of Mongolia, from zoos around the world. Hustain Nuruu (Birch Mountains) is relatively close to Ulaanbaatar and it is a conservation success story with numerous Marmots and the Red Deer population has increased to thousands, which have benefited a dense population of wolves. There are visible remains of Neolithic graves. Species that are in Hustai but usually not seen are Lynx, Argali Sheep and Roe Deer.

Sometimes herds of Mongolian Gazelle are seen. Here you can enjoy wildlife watching. Overnight in the Khaadiin zam tourist camp.