Yol valley origininally established to conserve birdlife in the region. But it’s now more famous for its dramatic and very unusual scenery- its valley in the middle of the Gobi Desert with meters thick ice almost all year around. It’s one of the natural secret of Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park and beautiful deep canyon with many rocky cliffs, has been created by many years of water erosion. Yoliin Am is located in the mountains of Züün Saikhan. The bearded vulture, Yol in Mongolian, gave its name to the Yoliin Am Valley, the Gorge of Bearded Vultures. Located at a height of 2500 metres (8202,10 feet), Yol Canyon forms a gorge that is so deep and so narrow, that only two persons can pass in some places. The water forms four small waterfalls. Although the sun shines a lot in this region, the canyon remains dark, so that in the bottom, a part of the river remains nearly all year long covered by a thick layer of ice.
Very wide at the entrance, it narrows gradually into a remarkable gorge. In earlier times, the blocks of ice rarely melted, being protected from the vicious sunlight. This however has changed in recent years, partially because of the multitudes of tourists that walk on the ice. You can still see ice here in July but it is almost completely melted by August. Following the canyon to the very end, one emerges into a beautiful wide valley. Surrounding mountains are home to argali, ibex, and many birds of prey, as well as numerous small rodents particular to the gobi. A small museum marks the entrance to the protected zone and provides information on the petrified trees, fauna and flora of the Gobi. Here, travellers can discover permanent glaciers, endemic plants, and rare animals such as Siberian ibex, argalis, or bearded vultures. Snow leopards and other predators also live in the Yol Valley area.