Khongoryn Els | Gobi Desert, Mongolia, 2009


Sunset in the Gobi

Distance :  N/A

Avg.Time :

  • Spend at least one day wandering the dunes. Two or three days are even better.

Start / Finsih :

  • The Ger camps on the eastern side of the dunes act as your base.
  • As Khongoryn Els is only accessible by private transport, you will need to inform your driver/guide how long you plan to be hiking.

Season : Spring and autumn are the ideal times.

Maps / Info :

  • For general information on the Gobi Desert, see the Lonely Planet Mongolia guidebook.

First day sunset on the eastern side of the dunes.


The things you find on top of a 300 ft high sand dune……….

  • The vast majority of tourists choose to take camel rides or do shorter return hikes up to the nearest ridge, so chances are once you are over the other side of the initial high ridge, you will not see a single soul for the rest of your walk.

Route / Conditions :

  • Climb to the top of the ridge immediately WNW of the camps.
  • From this point, I would recommend doing a loop circuit by initially descending west down the other side and then heading north toward some of the highest, most spectacular dunes.


  • From there, head SE back to the high ridge (which is visible at all times……..unless there is a sandstorm), catch the sunset and finally return to the Ger camp.
  • Once the sun goes down it gets dark quite quickly. Take a torch (flashlight) or headlamp for the final section back to camp.
  • Don’t forget your compass – sand storms are very common in this area and it is easy to become disorientated.

Going Up

  • IMPORTANT : In regards to water, take all that you need from camp. There is nothing in the way of shade. Don’t forget hat and sunscreen.

Sleeping :

  • Ger camps on the eastern side of the dunes. Alternatively take a tent, water and supplies and spend the night in the dunes.

Overview :

  • Some of the most incredible sand dunes in the world. With a bit of effort you will have them all to yourself.

Sunset Day 2


Unexpected beer at sunset




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