Extending along the northern slope of Qilian Mountain in west China, Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park is the best representative of China's colorful Danxia landform and the largest Danxia landscape in an arid area, with a wide variety of landforms. Undulating fiery-red ridges together with amazing multicolored mountain folds transform the park into an immense sea of fire with rolling waves, earning it the reputation of China's Rainbow Mountains and also one of the 'Top 10 Geographical Wonders of the World' selected by the National Geographic.
Zhangjiajie Danxia National Geopark, located in Zhangye City of Gansu Province, is majestic and imposing, together with the unusual shapes and the gorgeous colors, making people are stunned by the creation of the nature. Zhangye Danxia Landform is concentrated in Linze and Sunan County, covering an area of over 300 square kilometers. It is one of the largest and best China Danxia landform with richest landscape modeling. The beauty of Zhangye Danxi is not just because it is odd, dangerous but also its colors. In a circumference of more than 10 square kilometers of range, there are bright colors as red, yellow, orange, green, white, graphite, gray, gray can be seen everywhere, decorating the numerous trenches and hills colorfully. Zhangye Danxia landform’s bedding staggered lines, colorful tunes and dazzling splendor drawing form a colorful fairy tale world.
Zhangye Danxia Geopark's geological structure is formed by rocks piling on top of one another. It means that after billions of years of weathering and water erosion, together with the influences brought by the special geological structure, climate change, and wind power, the red sandstones, psephites and pelites have shaped into isolated mountains and steep rocks. The sandstones' bright colors make the Geopark an attractive tourist destination to experience the masterpieces of nature.
Waht to see?
The park is divided into two distinctive areas: Colorful Hills, featuring the bright and contrasting colors, and Ice Valley, famous for its bizarre forms.
Red is the main color of Colorful Hills. Under the sunlight, the seemingly endless hills form a sea of fire. Some of the hills feature rock stripes in different colors, looking like bright ribbons fluttering in the desert. The most representative spots of this kind are the Seven-color Screen and the Colorful Sunset, looking like a rainbow hanging in the distance. However, scenes are totally different on the edge of this area. The colors there turn into yellow and grey, resembling crystal shells in the sun. Scenes are even more breathtaking at sunrise and sunset. Then, the staggered lights and shadows thrown on the hills endow this region with a dynamic beauty.
Ice Valley (Binggou Scenic Area)
Stretching 25 miles (40 kilometers) from west to east, Danxia precipices, stone columns, aiguilles and hills are widely distributed in this region. The narrow hills in the Ice Valley are all pointing to the sky, making this valley the Red Stone Forest of the Great Northwest. Viewed from a distance, the rolling hills look like temples, pagodas, and figures of Buddha, making the valley a natural Buddhist land.
Name: Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park, Danxia Landform Geopark, Rainbow Mountains
Location: between Linze County and Sunan County, Zhangye, Gansu Province in northwest China
Area: 510 square kilometers
Entrance Fee: Colorful Hills : CNY 60 (Entrance CNY 40 + Sightseeing Bus CNY 20)
Ice Valley : CNY100 (Entrance CNY 40 + Sightseeing Bus CNY 20)
How to get there ?
From Zhangye to the Geopark: Lanzhou, Xian, Urumqi, and Dunhuang have direct flights to Zhangye Ganzhou Airport. At the airport, you can hire a taxi to the Geopark, which is 40 mi (65 km) away. Otherwise you can take a taxi to West Bus Station, which costs about CNY 60 for the 15 mi (25-km) journey. At the bus station, take a bus bound for Sunan, get off at the intermediate stop Nantaicun, and then walk to the Geopark.
From Lanzhou first and transfer to Zhangye: Lanzhou, 500 km from Zhangye, enjoys more convenient accessibility. One can get to Lanzhou first and then take a flight, high-speed train (Lanzhou West Railway Station - Zhangye West Railway Station), or bus (at Lanzhou East Bus Station) to get to Zhangye, and then go to West Bus Station of the city to take a bus to the Geopark.