Introducution of Zhangye Danxia Geopark
Nestled in the north of Qilian Mountains, 30 kilometers of Linze County of Zhangye City Gansu Province China, Zhangye Danxia Landform Areas (China Rainbow Mountains) are magnificent with gorgeous colors, which developed at about 200 million years ago, from the Jurassic to Tertiary.
Covering an area of over 400 square kilometers, it is composed of lots of smooth and sharp cliffs, most of which are several hundred meters high, and cliffs look very powerful for their neighbors are plains and rivers. Meanwhile, those castles, cones, towers, as well as humans-like natural creatures give us too much imaginations.
Danxia Landform Areas in Zhangye can be divided into three areas:
- Linze Danxia Scenic Area,
- Sunan Danxia Scenic Area
- Binggou Danxia Scenic Area
Linze Danxia Scenic Area
40 kilometers from Zhangye City and 20 kilometers from Linze County Town, Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park (Linze Danxia Scenic Area) is the north gate of the Danxia Landform Areas. Meanwhile, it’s the most frequented one among the three entrance for the four viewing platforms, convenient inner transportation and gorgeous scenery. Moreover, It takes about 1 hour to finish the trip by taking the Sightseeing car.
Sunan Danxia Scenic Area
The south gate the Danxia Landform Areas, the Sunan Danxia Scenic Area has more beautiful scenery, and it is bigger than Linze Danxia Scenic Area but has fewer tourists. The reason is it has no sightseeing cars running inside, but you can tour with your vehicle instead. 20 kilometers from Sunan Danxia Scenic Area, the Sunan Danxia Scenic Area is not very developed and without any completely constructed roads, so few people know it, but it does have gorgeous danxia scenery.
Geologists call it “window lattice and palace-shaped Danxia topography”. Meanwhile, many movies are shot here, such as The Sun Also Rises directed by Wen Jiang, Di Renjie The Brillian Detetive 3 directed by Yanqiu Qian, A Simple Noodle Story directed by Yimou Zhang and so on.
Binggou Danxia Scenic Area
Binggou is smaller and different to ZhangYe DanXia. BingGou is about rock formations whilst ZhangYe is more about landforms, geometry and colours; colours here steal the show. Binggou has totally different landscape and absolutely worth a visit. It is about an hour from Zhangye and the formations are quite interesting. These formations really do look like ice sculptures melting, which rings true to it’s name, which means ice in Chinese.
Rainbow Mountains Formation
A formation of these fantastic “sea waves” red-orange-pink colorful mountains started about 100 million years ago. In the past, this area was the bottom of a huge lake, and many rivers brought him sand of different colors. Then the lake dried, and oxidized sediments and acquired the specific red-orange palette. Formed of layers of reddish sandstone, the terrain has over time been eroded into a series of mountains surrounded by curvaceous cliffs and unusual rock formations. It is mainly horizontal and low diagonal red strata, belonging to the Jurassic and Tertiary eras. By the way, some dinosaur fossils were found in the area.
While the photos are certainly incredible, there could be some slight photo manipulation going on to make the colors pop a bit more than they would naturally. The formations were shaped into the flowing valleys after thousands of years of rain and wind, and the region has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2010.
Take a look at some more incredible photos of the range below