The Gobi Desert
There is truly something magical about the sprawling lands of Mongolia, Gobi desert tour. From soaring white granite formations, to rolling velvet smooth sand dunes, the Mongolian landscape is a patchwork of mind blowing natural beauty.
Footprints in Mongolian Gobi
The clay from the former shores, hills, and soil of the Cretaceous period look like they are on fire during sunrise and sunset. You may feel like you are on a different planet. Really though, you’re in the Mongolian Gobi Desert. Dinosaur fossils from millions of years ago still remain here. Most are small and often hidden by Saxaul forests, which are ubiquitous with the Gobi, so you may pass them by without noticing. Desert plants, dry but capable of coming to life in an overnight rain, are also unique to the Gobi. Though the golden sand won’t remember your steps once the wind blows, the footprint of the Gobi desert will stay in your heart forever.
Nature’s Song of Sand — Khongor sand dune
The Khongor sand dunes lie from northwest to southeast. It is one of the top Gobi desert tourist attractions in Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park. The dunes are 27 km at its widest covering 965 square km in total reaching 200 meters (650 feet) in height. While the southern part of the dunes is rocky and mountainous, the central part is barren with no plants and northern part has several oases. The contrast is amazing. On a windy day, the sand will rise up in a storm and you won’t see anything around you, but on a calm and sunny day it glows magnificently in the sun.
It’s truly one of Mother Nature’s wondrous creations. The widest section of the Khongor is nicknamed the singing dunes, because when you climb them (which is a challenging hike), the sand will squeak under your feet making a singing-like noise. If you lie down in this part of the dunes, you will hear the sound close to that of a plane that is the sound of hot sand scrolling in the wind. The Mongolian Gobi is the only place in the world where the Gobi bear (mazaalai) lives.
Flaming Cliffs – Bayanzag
This is the place that made the Gobi desert famous all over the world. During the 1920s, a research expedition led by American explorer Roy Chapman Andrews found dinosaur eggs, a rhino-like huge dinosaur skeleton, and a parrot-nosed dinosaur.
Famously the explorer happened upon the find when he fell down a cliff. Bayanzag spreads across 8 km in a valley of the Arts Bogd mountain range. When the sun sets, Bayanzag’s cliffs are breathtaking in their beauty with red clay almost glowing. One might say only gasp, “it’s flaming” – which is how it gets its name.
Gobi Waterfall - Tsagaan Suvarga
Tsagaan Suvarga is a natural formation that looks like ancient city ruins, located in Luus soum of Dundgobi province. Its highest point is 30 meters, and its length is 400 meters. During downpour water flows from its vertical walls, and it looks like a huge waterfall.
Yolyn Am - Ice Valley
Yolyn Am Valley is situated in the Eastern Mountain range of the Three Beauties in southern Mongolia. It was started to be protected as a national reservation since 1965 and became part of the national park in 1993. The Yolyn Am Valley is one of the Nine Wonders in Umnugovi province. It is 56 kms from the central town of Umnugovi to reach the valley. Yolyn Am Valley goes through between high rocky mountain massifs of the Eastern Beauty, which is formation of Paleozoic gabbros.
As you head to the Flaming Cliffs from the Khongor Sand dunes or in the opposite way, you can visit this petroglyphs. The Khavtsgait is a small sized mountain part of the Gurvan Saikhan Mountain range and located 30km away from Bulgan soum of Umnugovi province. Specialists believe that the Gurvan Saikhan mountain range and Khavtsgait mountain were created around 400-500 million years ago. They also consider the mountains quite young.
Dragons Grave — Nemegt Mountain
Nemegt mountain, Altan mountain, Tugrugiin Shiree, Ukhaa Tolgod, and Khermen Tsav are well known places in the global palaeontology science, often hosting international research expeditions. Nemegt mountain located 400 km from Dalanzadgad, the capital of South Gobi province, has a flat top from which you can see endless canyons.
The main canyon is divided into three sections, all of which will make you feel like you are in another world. Like Bayanzag, this mountain consists of clay. In the 1960s and 70s, Mongolian, Soviet, and Polish scientists conducted research expeditions here and discovered number of world famous findings. Nemegtzaurus, a predatory dinosaur, was discovered and named after this place. Nemegt valley and Nemegt mountain are called “Dragon’s Grave” by palaeontologists.
Algui Ulaan Tsav - Amazing Dinosaurs' Cemetery
As you may know, the Gobi Desert of Mongolia is a paradise for paleontological researchers and experts. There are many different formations which reserve numerous species of different time periods throughout the Gobi Desert. Algui Red Crack (the meaning is Algui Ulaan Tsav in Mongolian) is the paleontological site where you can see dinosaur skeletons and crystalized eggs in their natural states hiding under the ground. Algui Red Crack is located in the territory of Mandal-Ovoo soum, Umnugobi province.
Forest of Giant Rocks- Ikh and Baga Gazriin Chuluu
One of the top Gobi desert tourist attraction is Ikh gazriin chuluu, a unique rock formation with a sharp top,and baga gazriin chuluu, a formation that looks like apile of rocks stretching for 300 square meters, are two beauties of the dundgobi, these sites are amazing places with shimmering mirages and herds of grazing livestocks.
Ongii Khiid Monastery Ruins
The last but not least Ongi Khiid is a tourist attraction situated in between the Gobi and Central Mongolia. It is located on the bank of Ongi River in distance of 18km from Mandal-Ovoo soum of Dundgovi province. The Basin of Ongi River streams through 437 kms, covering territories of 5 soums of Uvurkhangai province, 2 soums of Umnugovi province and Saikhan-Ovoo soum of Dundgovi province. The Ongi Monastery was built on the pediments in front of Sant Mountain, where its soil is semiarid and composed of sandstones and screes.
Good to Know
Best Months to visit
May through October
Hiking, trekking, camel riding, jeep safari, wildlife
Gobi Bear - Mazaalai
Flora & Fauna
saxual shrubs and goyo plants
Tours to the Gobi Desert from Ulaanbaatar
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