Posted by Selena Travel / 03 20, 2023
Dinosaur fossils. Traditional Mongolian houses. Incredible landscapes. Welcome to the Gobi Desert.
If ever you find yourself in Mongolia and on the prowl for adventure and a one of a kind experience, then look no further than the Gobi Desert. It’s about 1.2 million square kilometers of dusty terrain, extending from Mongolia into northern China.
This famous attraction comes equipped with history, outdoor activities, and plenty more for every type of traveler in every season, and it’s easily accessible from Mongolia’s capital city and main tourist hub, Ulaanbaatar.
The things to do in the Gobi Desert are quite numerous, so let’s get started and take a look at some of our absolute favourites!
Camel trekking is simply a must do for visitors to the Gobi Desert. You’ll love taking in the vastness of the desert from atop a camel, and exploring the ancient land firsthand is an experience you won’t soon forget.
Your trekking experience can last a couple of hours, or even a couple of days. If you’re planning on taking a multi-day trip, then you can look into staying at traditional ger camps (but more on those later).
But whether you choose to go for a shorter trip or a more extensive one, camel trekking is one of those things to do in the Gobi Desert that you just cannot miss!
As you navigate the barren terrain, you’ll be in awe of the land around you. Plus, what’s more Instagram worthy than riding a camel in a desert?
Search for Fossils
Tons of incredible fossil discoveries have been made in the Gobi Desert, and while you’re there, you should definitely try your hand at digging for dinosaur bones yourself (Oviraptor, Velociraptor, and Tarbosaurus have already been found though, so do your best to find something new).
Several discoveries happened in the Bayanzag Flaming Cliffs region, an area named for its picturesque reddish bluffs, by paleontologists like Roy Andrew Chapman.
While you may be no dinosaur scientist, not to mention it would be illegal to remove dinosaur fossils without proper permits, you can still get involved in the fun. Take a trip to visit the Bayanzag Flaming Cliffs and have a look around.
Even without the ancient fossils, this region of the Gobi Desert is known for being picture perfect. And while you’re there, feel free to start sifting through the sand and soil to see what you find. Maybe you’ll be the one to make the next big dinosaur discovery in the Gobi Desert.
Stay in a Ger Camp
Staying in a Ger Camp is one of the most popular things to do in the Gobi Desert. You might be wondering, what is a ger? A ger is a home, a circular shaped housing of traditional origins in Mongolian history. You may have seen them called ‘yurts’ in other countries in Central Asia.
For visitors to the Gobi Desert, there are tourist ger camps, which include beds in all the gers, communal washing facilities, and places to eat.
Staying in a ger camp is a wonderful way to experience a cherished piece of Mongolian history and culture all while enjoying the comforts of modern luxury.
A well known Gobi Desert ger camp is Three Camel Lodge. Here, you can not only stay, but also eat a traditional Mongolian meal in a Bulagtai Restaurant, get a massage, and take in the full ger camp experience.
Dream Gobi Ger Camp is another popular place, and it’s located centrally in the desert. Either way, no matter what ger camp you choose to stay at, you’ll have access to plenty of things to do in the Gobi Desert.
Visit Three Beauties National Park
It’s not all sand, camels, and fossils! Located in the northern parts of the Gobi Desert, Three Beauties National Park, whose proper name is Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, boasts an icefield, mountains, and other not so dusty attractions.
The “Three Beauties” of the park are its western, middle, and eastern regions, and, as the largest park in the country, there’s a ton to see and do for visitors.
Yolyn Am, home of the icefield, is a top spot for visitors to the Gobi Desert. Located in the Gurvan Saikhan Mountain range, this valley is popular for hikers and home to unique wildlife.
While visiting here, be on the lookout for some not so common creatures, like snow leopards. Also in the park are the “Singing Dunes,” better known as Khongoryn Els. These massive sand dunes are a second incredible amazing place to hike and take in the surrounding landscape.
The panoramic views in Three Beauties National Park are incredible, but don’t forget to pause and appreciate the little details.
Talk to your tour guide or ger camp about how you can get to the Khavtsgait Petroglyphs. On your hike in the Khavtsgait area, you can take a look at these ancient drawings carved into the rocks, adding an element of ancient history to your journey through the park.
Watch the Sunrise
With so many active attractions on your Gobi Desert itinerary, don’t forget to pause and take it all in. Watching the sunrise may be one of the more laid back things to do in the Gobi Desert, but it certainly won’t disappoint.
Get up early at your ger camp and step outside for a beautiful sunrise over the desert before you head out to ride a camel, find new dinosaur fossils, or hike some massive sand dunes.
Taking in the reddish hues of the sun rays mixed with the desert’s own warm tones is sure to start your day off right.
We hope you’re getting excited for your visit to the Gobi Desert! From camel trekking to experiencing a traditional ger camp, there are so many amazing things to do in the Gobi Desert.
As one of Mongolia’s most popular attractions, there’s never a dull moment while you’re exploring here, and whether you enjoy snapping pictures of a breathtaking landscape or roughing it on a multi day adventurous journey camelback, you’ll bring back loads of memories and experiences to cherish for a long time.