Gobi-the Southern Mongolia
One of the most famous and exotic areas in the world, the Gobi Desert region has a history of adventures and explorers. Known to be one of the harshest environments on the planet, with extreme temperature and seasonal changes, the Gobi is surprisingly full of wildlife, such as gazelle, wild ass or Hulan, wild camel or Havtgai, antelopes and the endangered Gobi bear or Mazaalai. The Gobi desert was the site of some of the most famous dinosaur fossil discoveries, including the worlds first dinosaur egg nests, some of which can be seen in Ulaanbaatar,s Natural History Museum. The majority of Mongolia’s population of Bactrian camel’s lives in this region and visitors can take a camel trek and see the Flaming Cliffs, the huge sand dunes of the Hongor Els or the remarkable gorge at Yolyn Am (Lammergier Valley).
The Gobi Desert is a vast zone of desert and desert steppe covering almost 30 percent of the Mongolian territory. The area is often imagined as a lifeless desert like in many other parts of the world. In reality, most part of the Gobi Desert is a land of steppes and it is the home for camel breeders rich with wildlife and vegetation. Wild asses, camels, snow leopards, mountain sheep and gazelles flourish here, as do different types of flora. Dinosaur skeletons and their petrified eggs have been preserved here to the present day. Mongolians consider that there are 33 different Gobi, where sandy desert occupies only 3 percent of the total territory. Climate is extreme with 40 degrees Celsius in summer and severe winter. The Great Gobi Reservation established in 1975 was designated by the United Nations as the fourth largest Biosphere Reserve in the world in 1991. One and a half hour's travel by plane. Located 600 km from Ulaanbaatar, in foothills of the Altai Mountains at an altitude of 1521 meters above sea level. Two areas have been set aparlin the reserve. One, spreading over 44/9 hectares, claims the largest part of the Trans-Altai Gobi, the other, covering 881000 hectares is within the Dungar Gobi
Zorgol Khairkhan mountain
Zorgol khairkhan mountain is in Bayab-onjuul soum in Tuv aimag. The mountain is composed of granite rock, being in the granite belt of Mongolia. The mountain has an elevation of 1.686 meters above sea level, and was mentioned as Zorgol Khan in the “Secret History of Mongolia”. Zorgol Khairkhan uul and the inscribed rock of Duut.
Baga gazriin chuluu
Baga Gazarin Chuluu mountain range. Many have likened the skyline created by these mountains to a modern cityscape.
Gurvansaikhan Natural Park.
Stretching from the border with Bayan-khongor almost to Dalanzadgad, the 2.7 million hectare Gurvansaikhan National Park is the highlight of the aimag, and the overwhelming reason why any tourist comes here. Unlike other national parks in the Gobi, the Gurvansaikhan does contain a few attractions, and its facilities - ger camps and roads - are reasonably good. Gurvansaikhan, which means the 'three beauties' and refers to its three ridges (though there are four), contains mountains, dinosaur fossils, sand dunes, rock formations and a valley which, incredibly, has ice for most of the year. The park also contains over 200 species of birds, including the Mongolian desert finch, cinereous vulture, desert warbler and houbara bustard. Spring brings further waves of migratory birds. The park also has maybe 600 or more types of plants (a lot of which only bloom after very infrequent heavy rain). The sparse vegetation does manage to support numerous types of animals, such as the black-tailed gazelle, Kozlov's pygmy jer-boa and wild ass, and endangered species of wild camel, snow leopard, and ibex and argali sheep. In 2000, the park was expanded by over half a million hectares, stretching into Bayankhongor aimag.
Yol (Yol Lammergier) Valley is the narrow canyon of a river that flows Zuun Saikhan Mountain (2,816m above sea level). The gorge has sheep rock walls with a height of 200 m in the central part of the gorge. It has been protected since 1965 and has an area of 70 square kilometer’s of strictly protected area. A spring two or three kilometer’s long for winds its way through the defile along for a distance. During the rainy season, rain falls at the summit of the mountain and flows down into the sheep canyon, forming waterfalls. Only two people can pass through the narrowest part at the same time and you will see only a blue line of sky. Argali and Ibex are local inhabitants of this place. A small museum marks the entrance to the zone and provides information on the petrified trees, fauna and flora of the Gobi.
Yol Valley museum
The small nature museum at the gate on the main road to Yolyn Am has a collection of dinosaur eggs and bones, stuffed birds and a snow leopard. There is also an ethnography museum in a ger, which is worth a visit. Look out for the remarkable petrified wood lying by the roadside. The ranger office and museum sell some good souvenirs, including landscape paintings and, amaz-ingly, one of the best collections of Mongolian stamps in the country.
Bayanzag, which means 'rich in saxaul shrubs', is more commonly known as the 'Flaming Cliffs', penned by the paleontologist, Roy Chapman Andrews. First excavated in 1922, it is renowned worldwide for the number of dinosaur bones and eggs found in the area, which you can see in the Museum of Natural History in Ulaanbaatar or, mostly, in other museums around the world. Even if you are not a 'dinothere', the eerie beauty of the surrounding landscape is a good reason to visit. It's a classic desert of rock, red sands, scrub, sun and awesome emptiness. There's not much to do once you're here except explore the cliffs. Dinosaur skeletons and eggs / The Flaming Cliffs / Bayanzag is located in Bulgan sum, and archaeological finds of the Paleolithic Era, which are displayed in Natural History Museum in Ulaanbaatar, were found here. In the west the site is better known as the Flaming Cliffs, so named by explorer Roy Chapman Andrews. In the same area he discovered petrified forests, remains of mammals and in particular the skeleton of a hornless rhinoceros, the largest known mammal in the world. Other finds in this location were complete dinosaur skeletons, eggs with a diameter of 10-15 cm and hatchings from the Cretaceous Period.
The Khongoryn Els are some of the largest and most spectacular sand dunes in Mongolia. Hongor Els sand dunes stretch for an extraordinary 180 km and are 15-20 m wide and high. The 800-meter high sand dunes in Sevrei soum, South aimag, are called Khonguryn Els. Also known as the duut mankhan (singing dunes), they are up to 800m high, 12km wide and about 100km long. The largest dunes are at the north-west corner of the range. The views of the desert from the top are wonderful. This is why the dunes have been given the name “The Singing Sands” or “Duut Manhan”. Near the Hongor Gol at the northern edge of the sand dunes is an oasis. There is an information ger near the parking area at the base of the dunes. Khongoriin river- The Khongurun River flows along the stand dunes and gives birth to oases.