Khavtsgait Petroglyphs

The Gobi

If you take the main route from Dalanzadgad to Khongoryn Els, keeping the mountains to your left as you go, you can stop and hunt the hills for this exceptional collection of petroglyphs dating from between 8000 BC and 3000 BC. From the parking area trail head, a rocky path gains 120m in elevation (1822m) as it winds up a ridge littered with art. In under an hour you'll see petroglyphs aplenty.

Highlights are listed below, but there are far more than those listed here to seek and discover. The 1st group (N 43°54.207', E 103°31.514'; elev 1780m) includes depictions of antelope, ibexes and mountain sheep. Just beyond here the 2nd group (GPS: N 43°54.208', E 103°31.464'; elev 1808m) features more antelope and ibexes and a man on horseback. The 3rd group (GPS: N 43°54.201', E 103°31.377'; elev 1836m) includes a large red deer, an ibex, hunters stalking deer and a cat-like animal, possibly a snow leopard. The 4th group (GPS: N 43°54.172', E 103°31.360'; elev 1831m) shows horses and hunters in a scene dominated by a mysterious spiral pattern.

Further along near the top of the hill is the Gallery (GPS: N 43°54.256', E 103°31.345'; elev 1822m), the highlight of this site. On a single 2m-wide rock face are a number of scenes: galloping horses, hunters, a rare depiction of a camel, wheeled carts and rudimentary gers. Not far away, towards the edge of the hill, overlooking the vast steppe is a 6th group (GPS: N 43°54.267', E 103°31.336'; elev 1819m), which features, ahem, two wolves mating on one rock, and another rock with a majestic red deer with huge antlers. And there are still others, hundreds, in fact. Explore and discover for yourself, but please be respectful. There has been some defacing by tourists, which is as depressing as it is idiotic.

The trail head is up to your left as you drive west from Three Camel Lodge, 12km away, on the main route from Dalanzadgad (about 75km) to Khongoryn Els (about 100km). There are no facilities here.

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