Bayanzag, also known as the Flaming Cliffs, is a site in the Gobi Desert in central Mongolia that is famous for its rich deposits of dinosaur fossils. The area was first explored by paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews in 1922, and it has since yielded many important fossil finds, including those of Velociraptor and Protoceratops.
The flaming cliffs are located around 100 km northwest of Dalanzadgad in the Omnogobi province. It is part of the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan national park. Getting to this relatively isolated part of the Mongolian Gobi Desert can be tough, but it’s worth it. Most people get there by four-wheel drive vehicle, although some camels or even intrepid hikers make the journey on foot.
Why it is called Bayanzag / Flaming Cliffs
Bayanzag is derived from the local name meaning “rich in saxaul”, referring to a Central Asian tree that stands 2-9 meters tall and has roots vital to preventing soil erosion. It is a good source of food for camels.
The Flaming Cliffs got their nickname from the red or orange color of the sandstone cliffs that blaze brilliantly at sunset. This was given to it by American paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews when he visited in the 1920s.
The best time to visit
The best time to visit Bayanzag Flaming Cliffs is in the summer, when there is more daylight and warmer temperatures. However, summer may be suffocating with tourists, especially during the Naadam Festival in July. September is a good month to see the Gobi Desert region. The weather isn’t as hot as it was in the summer, but it’s not cold either.
What is Bayanzag famous for?
The site is most famous for the discovery of dinosaur eggs, which was made here by Roy Chapman Andrews in 1922. Thousands of dinosaur bones and dinosaur eggs were discovered during his several expeditions in 1922-28.
The Dinosaur Museum of Mongolia, which is in Ulaanbaatar, has many dinosaur eggs and fossils of early mammals on display. Bayanzag has become a world-renowned place in paleontology as a result of Roy Chapman Andrew ‘s discoveries. It is now a well-known tourist destination worldwide. The following are examples of dinosaur fossils found in the Bayanzag Flaming Cliffs.
- Maniraptorans: Archaeornithoides, Velociraptor, Saurornithoides, Oviraptor
- Ceratopsians: Protoceratops
- Ankylosaurids: Pinacosaurus
Even if you don’t particularly enjoy deserts, the eerie landscape is worth the visit. You’ll find classic desert conditions including red sand, scrubby bushes, harsh sun, and an overall sense of emptiness.
The cliffs look like they were caused by giant cracks in the earth that show different layers of rock. It is a beautiful place that you can find peace and calm.
The things to do in Bayanzag
- Camel Riding
You can’t come to the Gobi Desert and not go on a camel ride! It is a classic experience that will make you feel like you’re in a Mummy movie.
- Watch the beautiful sunset over Flaming Cliffs
As the sun sets, the cliffs take on a beautiful hue of orange and red. It’s definitely worth staying until sunset to see this natural phenomenon.
- Star Gazing
The Gobi Desert is one of the best places in the world for stargazing. The night sky is so clear and you can see so many stars. It’s a magical experience.
Tips for the travelers
- Bring some water with you all the time
- Make sure your camera, phone, and other gadgets are protected from the sand.
- Wear sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. Bring a sweater or jacket for the cold night.
Hello. My name is Anujin. I was born and raised in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. I am senior writer at CorrectMongolia, where I share the culture , tradition of my country.
If you have questions about Mongolia, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll be happy to help in any way that I can!
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