The Diversity of the Gobi Desert
Gobi – the name evokes images of vast expanses of sand dunes, red colored sediments rich in dinosaur fossils, camel riders and heat reflections above the desert landscape. While all these sights can be seen on the Gobi Desert Tour, there is much more to this landscape that is so rich in natural and human history. The Mongolian Gobi is a diverse landscape where rugged mountain ranges rise above the expansive plains of the desert. The largest National Park of Mongolia is situated here – “Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park”, which translates into “The Three Beauties of the Gobi”. Three mountain ranges are habitat for Argali, Ibex and snowleopard. The rock formations of the Gobi here have yielded some spectacular paleontology findings such as the first dinosaur eggs, and the first found specimens of Velociraptor and Protoceratops. This area is now protected as “Baynzag Park”.
The Gobi Desert Tour – 6 Days
The Gobi desert tour shows you the diversity of the landscapes, and takes you to some of the iconic sites – the Yoliin Am Gorge and the Khongoryn Els – Singing Sands. During your desert exploration you will meet with people of the Gobi who have used the desert grasslands for millennia to develop their nomadic herding lifestyle based on the skillful use of the scarce resources of these dry lands.
The dates of our Gobi Desert Tour are arranged so that this tour is between our horse treks. The Gobi Desert Tour is becoming popular with our horse riding guests who chose to explore the Mongolian Gobi desert before or after their horse riding tour in Gorkhi Terelj National Park or the Khentii Mountains. Combining both tours makes for a great Mongolia experience seeing contrasting landscapes and much of the country’s ecological zones.
Drive overland from Ulaanbaatar to the South of Middle Gobi province, where the amazing landscape of the “White Stupa” and the Bronze Age rock art/petroglyphs at Del Uul Mountain start your journey into the ancient human history and interesting natural scenery of the Gobi. After exploring these sites, stay overnight in a Ger Camp nearby. (L/D) 445km
Day 2 – Tsagaan Suvraga “White Shrine” – Yoliin Am
Travel on to South Gobi province and visit the famous gorge Yoliin Am as you enter Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park the largest national park of Mongolia. The narrow gorge is, in most years, even in the midst of summer filled with ice. Above the mountains you can often see Lammergeyer, or Bearded Vulture, circle high in the sky. You can hike or horse ride into the valley. After exploring Yoliin Am, drive to the Ger Camp for this night. (B/L/D) 295km
Day 3 – Yoliin Am – Khongoriin Els
Today we travel westwards, first through the Middle Beauty Mountains over Shavartain Davaa, then across the plain of Bayandalain Khuudas. Then we enter Gegetiin Am gorge that winds through the Western Beauty Mountains. It’s a spectacular drive through the gorge, and there is a good chance to see wildlife. We take a short hike from the gorge to explore this mountain landscape. We reach the end of the gorge and emerge at the North side of the Western Beauty Mountains, and turn west again to travel to Khongoriin Els – the famous Singing Sands. We check into a ger camp, or family home stay for tonight. (B/L/D) 180km
Day 4 – Khongoriin Els – Bayanzag
An early start to climb the Singing Sands, and an early lunch thereafter before we start our return journey eastwards. Again we travel along the Northern edge of the Western Beauty Mountains. Eventually we travel up a small valley into the mountains where the local community of Khavtsgait Bag has built a small temple, meditation retreat and a Buddhist statue that overlooks the plains. A short climb leads to the site from where you have a great view of the desert landscape and towards today’s final destination. From here, drive north to the “Flaming Cliffs”, the landscape of red sandstone, made famous by early 19th century expeditions lead by Roy Chapman Andrews of the American Museum of Natural History and the location of important paleontological finds. The area’s name is “Bayanzag” for the abundance of Saxaul forest here. Enjoy the rock formations in the evening sun. Overnight in nearby Ger Camp. (B/L/D) 170km
Day 5 – Bayanzag – Baga Gazriin Chuluu
Today you travel back towards Ulaanbaatar, the day’s destination is the picturesque landscape of the Nature Reserve of Baga Gazriin Chuluu. Granite rocks here make for very interesting land forms, the area is habitat to Argali, and the remains on an ancient monastery are interesting to visit. Overnight at a local ger camp. (B/L/D) 480km
Day 6 – Baga Gazriin Chuluu – Ulaanbaatar
Travel back to Ulaanbaatar. Arrive afternoon and transfer to hotel. Time for shopping/sightseeing in the evening. (B) 260km
Tailor the Gobi Desert Tour to your Schedule
This 6 day itinerary allows for enough time to visit the Gobi, experience its diversity and make the overland return journey a pleasant drive through the steppes of Mongolia back to Ulaanbaatar, while visiting intriguing landscapes, historic and prehistoric sites along the way.
The itinerary can be adjusted to accommodate your time frame. We recommend however a minimum of 5 days for a Gobi Desert Tour. Custom tours require a minimum of 4 people. Contact us.
Prepare for your Gobi Adventure
Download Information to prepare for your Gobi Adventure.
Mongolian Gobi Images – Venture into the Great Gobi Desert!
Experience the Gobi in Winter
The Gobi desert also makes for an extraordinary winter travel destination. Learn more..
For horseback riding expeditions, check out our tours in Gorkhi Terelj National Park and in the Khentii Mountains: