The pollution status and total concentration of soil heavy metals were analyzed around Baotou tailing reservoir located in Inner Mongolia grassland and desert transition zone. Aim of the study is to control soil heavy metal pollution of Baotou tailings and provide the basic data information. The results indicated that concentrations of Pb, Zn and Mn from different directions of the tailing reservoir changed significantly with distance and were higher than the background values of Inner Mongolia. According to the single factor pollution index, soils from different directions were contaminated by Pb, Cu, Zn and Mn. The pollution degree was in order: Mn > Pb > Zn > Cu> Cr > Ni > As. According to Nemerow’s synthetical pollution index, soils collected from the southeast of the tailing reservoir had the most serious heavy metal contamination, the index was 11.1. The order of pollution level in different directions was southeast > northeast > southwest > northwest, which was mainly affected by the dominant wind of northwest. In general, the pollution characteristic and the elements of heavy metal contamination were corresponding with the concentrations of iron tailings. The health and stabilization of environmental quality are being threatened by soil heavy metals.