Yolyn Am Ice Field

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Yolyn Am Ice Field, more commonly referred to as Yolyn Am, is a deep and narrow gorge that fills with glacier ice in the winter period, and it is located in the Gurvan Saikhan Mountains that are stretching in the southern part of Mongolia. The name derives from an Old World vulture, the Lammergeier, which is called Yol in Mongolian, thus the valley is sometimes translated to Valley of the Vultures or Valley of the Eagles.

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Being also part of of the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, Yolyn Am can be found in the Zuun Saikhanii Nuruu sub-range of the larger mountain range, and also there is a very small part of the Gobi Desert that reaches this amazing Mongolian feature.

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Even though the desert receives little precipitation, during the winter months, an ice field is created in the canyon that reaches several meters in thickness, and was 2 to 3 km (1 to 2 mi) long by the end of the season and until recently it stayed year round.

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However, due to the global warming and the rising of the temperature, the ice has began to melt more and more quickly, sometimes even earlier than usual, and the visitors coming here are only able to enjoy in the mesmerizing hike that will offer and amazing view of the very wide entrance that opens up remarkably to a great gorge.

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Still, not only visitors are able to see the vultures for which the canyon gets its name, but there are also mountain goats and pikas, which are actually part of the rabbit family.

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Still, as Mongolia is very vast and there are many places that deserve to be seen in person, the Yolyn Am Ice Field is certainly among the top that will captivate everyone who dares to have an unique Mongolian adventure, whether if it is in the winter time to see the ice field, or some other colorful season.

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