Mongolia - Roads, Routes and Maps.

The Anglophone Silkroute group was in Mongolia from 2004-07-05 to 2004-07-24 and covered about 2400 kilometers over a wide variety of roads. See here for a general description of our trip.

Before we entered Mongolia we naturally tried to establish the state of the roads. We wanted to know if it would be possible to drive from Tsagaannuur in the North West to Ulaan Baatar without using a 4x4 vehicle (i.e. in a standard front wheel drive campervan). We wanted to know if fuel (diesel) was freely available and where. We wanted know if there were any good maps and where to get them.

The sort of answers we got to our questions were:

"There are few roads in Mongolia at all and most of them are in the close vicinity of UB. Most of your journey will be off-road but there are tracks carved out of the landscape by regular traffic. You should seek advice from someone in advance on places to refuel and the route you should take which I'm sure you're doing anyhow. What is a 4x2? A 4x4 trip will be bumpy and uncomfortable, make sure you bring plenty of provisions (especially if anyone in your party is vegetarian) and lots of cushions!"

"Outside of Ulaan Baatar it is going to be very difficult to get petrol, the road conditions (if there are designated roads at all) are very poor. The gers do not sell petrol at all (at least that was the case, when I was there in 2002) take enough spare parts with you."

What we were looking for was detailed, accurate information about specific routes/roads. We never found it! These web pages are to provide exactly this sort of information to future travellers to Mongolia.

Below is a map of our track in Mongolia.

Rather than just give a subjective description of road conditions I have decided to provide a series of photographs (about one for every 10km) of our route through Mongolia. Below is a sample photograph taken from our first day (2004-07-05).

Location: 49.5729283°N 89.4660267°E
Speed: 33 k.p.h.

Altitude: 2283 metres.
Distance: 50.4 km.

Note: Because I did not record the exact position of each photograph as it was taken it has been necessary to infer the above information by using the "time stamp" on each photograph to "look up" the nearest two entries in the track recording made by our Fugawi GPS software. The figures given under each photograph are the average of these two entries.

Because of possible errors in the clock setting of the camera the location given may not be exact (but it is probably within 500 metres). The speed given is the average speed over the preceding and succeeding GPS samples. The distance is measured from the start of the day.

For information about navigating in Mongolia click here.

If you have Google Earth and would like to study our route in very great detail click here.

If you do not have Google Earth, but you do have broadband and would like to study our route click here.

If you have broadband and just want a relaxing slide show (150 slides) of our route then click here.

Stephen Stewart.

Home - This page last changed on 2007-05-25.