All about the Mongolian Gobi

Gobi Mongolia Camel scenery

This article is full of interesting facts about the Mongolian Gobi. Find about all its must-see destinations with their pictures.

Fun fact: Gobi Means Desert in Mongolian. So it means, “Desert” Desert in English.

All about the Mongolian Gobi

The Gobi Desert is massive. It measures over 1,600 km (1,000 mi) from southwest to northeast and 800 km (500 mi) from north to south from the Tibetan plateau to the Gobi Altay Mountain range.

The Silk Road and the Tea Road used to pass through a few towns and settlements in the Gobi.

Gobi dirt road scenery

Consequently, it is the 5th largest desert in the world and is now extending more to the grassland in China.

The Gobi can be a surprisingly cold location, with frost and occasionally snow occurring on its dunes. Besides being quite far north, it is also located on a plateau roughly 910–1,520 meters (2,990–4,990 ft) above sea level, which contributes to its low temperatures. An average of approximately 194 millimeters (7.6 in) of rain falls annually in the Gobi. Additional moisture reaches parts of the Gobi in winter as the wind blows the snow from the Siberian Steppes. Moreover, these winds may cause the Gobi to reach −40 °C (−40 °F) in winter to 45 °C (113 °F) in summer.

Winter golden dunes covered with snow

As a result, the climate of the Gobi is one of the great extremes of the World. Combined with rapid changes of temperature of as much as 35 °C (63 °F). These can occur not only seasonally but within only 24 hours.

In southern Mongolia, the temperature recorded as low as −32.8 °C (−27.0 °F). In contrast, in Alxa, Inner Mongolia, it rises as high as 37 °C (99 °F) in July.

The lowest density of the population of Mongolia lived in the Gobi. ( lower than 0.4 people per 1 sq km in 2017)

Gobi vegetation

The most common vegetation in the Gobi desert are shrubs that have adapted to drought through time. 

Tsagaan Suvarga

Much of the Gobi is not sandy but has exposed bare rock. There are different types of soil that indicate Tsaagaan Suvarga Canyons were once a bottom of an ancient sea.

Tsagaan Suvarga Canyon
Tsaagaan Suvarga Canyon high view

Bayanzag, The flaming cliffs

American paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews, who visited this amazing location in the 1920s, named the Bayanzag Cliffs “Flaming Cliffs”. Above all the area is most famous for yielding the first discovery of dinosaur eggs. Other finds in the area include specimens of Velociraptor and Eutherian mammals. 

This region is locally known and called Ulaan Ereg (Red dry river bank).

Bayanzag Flaming Cliffs

Protoceraptors fossil bone

The Gobi Desert is the source of many important fossil finds, including the first dinosaur eggs. Protoceraptors’ fossil bones are hugely found in Gobi, Mongolia.

Fossils hidden in sand

Mongolian Gobi Camels

The Bactrian camel has two humps on its back, in contrast to the single-humped dromedary camel.

For more information about our tour to the Gobi, check out our “Gobi Desert and Khuvsgul Lake Tour“.

Camel with cool hairstyle

Hermen Tsav Canyon

One of the most beautiful canyons in the Gobi – Hermen Tsav, continues about 25 km long and more than 10 km wide. There are different soils and sand dunes in the canyon being washed by flash floods over the years and are changing their shape.

Khermen Tsav Canyon
Khermen tsav view

Khongor Sand Dunes

Khongor Sand Dunes are one of the most visited Sand dunes in Mongolia, reaching 200 m tall.

There are 33 different deserts named after the Golden Gobi in Mongolia. Like Shargiin Gobi, Galbiin Gobi and Lama Gobi and etc.

Gobi Sand dunes with camels
Gobi colorful sand

Volcanoes in the Gobi

There are about 50 ancient sleeping volcanoes in the Mongolian Gobi. Hatan Suudal, one of the ancient volcanoes.

Hatan Suudal ancient volcano

Visit these amazing destinations on our “Gobi Desert and Khuvsgul Lake Tour“.

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