The <i>albedo</i> is an important factor of the earth's climate system, and also is a key input parameter of the regional climate models. Diurnal and seasonal characteristics of surface <i>albedo</i> in the temperate desert steppe were investigated during the 2008 growing season. The results showed that the diurnal dynamics of surface <i>albedo</i> was affected by the solar altitude, and took U-shaped with higher just after sunrise, before sunset and lower in the midday. Average surface <i>albedo</i> was 0.25 during the growing season, ranging from 0.20 to 0.34. Seasonal surface <i>albedo</i> showed higher in May, decreased in June, kept relatively stable from July to September, and increased in October. This variation was related to the phenology of the grassland canopy. Leaf area index and soil water content were the primary factors of surface <i>albedo</i>.