Exploring Yolyn Am in Mongolia
Introduction to Yolyn Am
Yolyn Am, also known as the Valley of the Eagles, is a deep and narrow gorge located in the Gurvan Saikhan Mountains of southern Mongolia. This stunning natural wonder is known for its dramatic rocky cliffs, verdant valley, and a thick sheet of ice that persists even in the summer months. The valley is a part of the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, which is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including the elusive snow leopard and the Argali mountain sheep.
The valley got its name from the Bearded Vulture, also known as Yol in Mongolian. These majestic birds are often seen soaring above the valley, adding to the mystique of the place. Yolyn Am is not just a place of natural beauty but also of scientific interest. The valley is a haven for paleontologists, with numerous dinosaur fossils discovered in the area.
Getting to Yolyn Am
Getting to Yolyn Am can be an adventure in itself. The valley is located about 60 kilometers west of Dalanzadgad, the capital of the South Gobi province. The most common way to reach Yolyn Am is by car or jeep, and the journey offers some breathtaking views of the Gobi desert.
There are also several tour operators that offer guided trips to Yolyn Am. These tours often include transportation, accommodation, and meals, making it a hassle-free way to explore this stunning valley. For those who prefer a more independent travel experience, renting a car is also an option. However, it’s important to note that the roads can be challenging, especially for those not used to driving in such conditions.
Exploring the Valley
Exploring Yolyn Am is a unique experience. The valley is best explored on foot, allowing visitors to fully appreciate the dramatic landscape and the abundant wildlife. The main attraction of the valley is the ice field, which is often several meters thick even in the summer months. This natural ice formation is a result of the valley’s unique microclimate, which keeps the temperature low enough to preserve the ice.
The valley is also a great place for bird watching, with many species of birds making their home in the area. In addition to the Bearded Vulture, visitors can also spot the Altai Snowcock, the Wallcreeper, and the Mongolian Accentor, among others.
Wildlife in Yolyn Am
Yolyn Am is home to a diverse range of wildlife. The valley is one of the few places in Mongolia where snow leopards can be spotted. These elusive creatures are a sight to behold, but they are also extremely rare and spotting one requires a lot of patience and a bit of luck.
In addition to the snow leopard, the valley is also home to the Argali mountain sheep, the largest species of wild sheep in the world. Other animals that can be spotted in Yolyn Am include the Siberian ibex, the grey wolf, and the Pallas’s cat.
Accommodation and Facilities
While Yolyn Am is remote and rugged, there are several accommodation options available for visitors. The most common type of accommodation is the traditional Mongolian ger, a round tent covered with skins or felt. These gers are often part of larger ger camps, which provide meals and other facilities.
For those who prefer a more modern accommodation, there are also a few hotels and guesthouses in the nearby town of Dalanzadgad. These offer a range of amenities, including private rooms, hot showers, and internet access.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Yolyn Am is during the summer months, from June to August. During this time, the weather is warm and the valley is at its most vibrant. The ice field is also at its most impressive during these months, offering a stark contrast to the greenery of the valley.
However, it’s important to note that the weather in Yolyn Am can be unpredictable, and sudden changes in temperature are not uncommon. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to pack layers and be prepared for all weather conditions.
Table: Summary of Yolyn Am
|Location||Best Time to Visit||Wildlife||Activities|
|Gurvan Saikhan Mountains, Mongolia||June to August||Snow Leopards, Argali Sheep, Bearded Vultures||Hiking, Bird Watching, Wildlife Spotting|
FAQs about Yolyn Am
What is Yolyn Am known for?
Yolyn Am is known for its dramatic landscape, abundant wildlife, and a thick sheet of ice that persists even in the summer months.
How can I get to Yolyn Am?
Yolyn Am is located about 60 kilometers west of Dalanzadgad. The most common way to reach the valley is by car or jeep, and there are also several tour operators that offer guided trips to Yolyn Am.
What wildlife can I see in Yolyn Am?
Yolyn Am is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including the snow leopard, the Argali mountain sheep, the Siberian ibex, and the Bearded Vulture.
What are the accommodation options in Yolyn Am?
The most common type of accommodation in Yolyn Am is the traditional Mongolian ger. There are also a few hotels and guesthouses in the nearby town of Dalanzadgad.
When is the best time to visit Yolyn Am?
The best time to visit Yolyn Am is during the summer months, from June to August. However, the weather can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared for all weather conditions.