Yolyn Am the Vulture Valley is a deep and narrow gorge in Gurvan Saikhan Mountain. This is one of Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park’s natural mysteries, and it’s a gorgeous deep canyon with many rock cliff that has been eroded over many years.


Yolin Am Canyon, which is located at a height of 2500 meters (8202,10 feet), is such a deep and narrow gorge that only two people can pass through in certain areas.

yolyn am

The canyon is known for its ice field, which reaches several meters thick and several kilometers long at the end of winter. In the past, the icefield remained throughout the year, however it tends to melt in the summer these days.

Why is it called Yolyn Am/ The Vulture Valley

The valley is named after the Lammergeier or Bearded Vulture, which is called Yol in Mongolian. The Lammergeier is an Old World vulture, hence the name is often translated to 

  • Valley of the Vultures
  • Valley of the Eagles
  • the Gorge of Bearded Vultures


Before the establishment of Gurvan Saikhan National Park, a little 69-square-kilometer (26.64-square-mile) zone around Yoliin Am Canyon was already a protected area. Yoliin Am is located in the mountains of Züün Saikhan about 60 kilometers (37 miles) southwest of Dalanzadgad.


The things to do in Vulture Valley

The Yolyn Am Valley is one of the Nine Wonders in Umnugovi province and its ice field is certainly among the top sights that will captivate everyone who dares to have an unique Mongolian adventure.

It doesn’t matter what season you visit; whether it’s winter to see the frozen landscape or in summer, you’re sure to be amazed .

Yolyn am
  • The hike to see the canyon is a 4 km round trip, with a gentle first 1.5 km and then 500 m on a rocky surface, including hopping over a stream 2-3 times or walking on slippery ice if you travel in winter, spring, or early summer. You can also walk the length of the gorge to the other side of the mountain; this route is approximately 8 km.
  • On your trip, you will come across a variety of plants, animals, and birds. The reason they give this area the name Yolin am is because it is home to Lammergier-Gypaetus barbatus or bearded vultures, whose feathers are white around their neck. They live in the Gurvan Saikhan national park’s high mountain ranges. The Yolyn Am valley is the best location to view Mongolia’s biggest raptor.
  • The Yol Valley is home to many rare birds, such as the Altai’s snowcock and the wall creeper. If you’re lucky, you might also spot an ibex or wild sheep in the higher gorges of the valley. These animals are very cautious and often blend into their surroundings, making them difficult to spot among the rocks. They are also unreachable, as they climb leisurely up through cliffs.
  • Snow leopards and other predators live in the Yol Valley area. The massif is also home to many dinosaur skeletons dating back from more than 70 million years ago.
  • The valley is encircled by towering cliffs, which makes your trek throughout the stream both interesting and pleasurable since you must cross it several times. During the winter, this creek freezes, creating a huge quantity of ice. The ice melts gradually until mid-July, when most people are stunned to see ice in the summer.
yolyn am ice
  • Hiking through the Vulture Valley is a fantastic way to get away from the heat of the day, and it’s always pleasant to feel the cooling wind and take in the lush greenery of the Gobi Desert valley in the middle. There is also horseback riding available at the gate, if desired.
  • The museum at Yoliin Am, located near the main entrance, showcases a few dinosaurs as well as a large Bearded Vulture with outstretched wings. In addition to these taxidermies, there are also stuffed animals native to the mountain, steppe and desert regions including foxes, snow leopards, ibexes and gazelles.

The best time to visit

The ideal months to go are late May and early June. It’s not as hot as it would be later in the summer, so you’ll have a better chance of seeing ice. Everything will be new and vibrant since it will be springtime.

If you want to visit during the fall, September is an excellent choice. July or August are good alternatives if you don’t mind sharing the road with additional visitors . However, temperatures can get very hot and it may rain frequently during these months.

Yolyn am me on glacier ice

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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