Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park
Chinese name: 张掖丹霞国家地质公园(Zhangye Danxia Guojia Dizhi Gongyuan)
Location: Located at north foot of Qinian Mountain, 30 kilometers north away from the central town of Linze county and 40 kilometers away from the downtown of Zhangye, China's northwestern Gansu Province
The Colorful Hills Scenic Area: CNY 74
The Binggou Scenic Area: CNY 60
From May 1st to October 10th: 06:00 - 20:00
From October 11th to April 30th: 07:00 - 19:00
Best time for visit: from June to September, especially on sunset or sunrise, or the moments after rain, the water brings out the colors from the stones
How to get there: Zhangye is a small city in the remote north-western China, so the best recommendation is that:
Firstly arrive in Xi'an or Lanzhou, which is respectively the capital city of Shaanxi and Gansu Province, easy access there by flight or bullet train.
Then, take flight from Xi'an or Lanzhou to Zhangye, there is a daily flight Xian-Lanzhou-Zhangye (other direct flights to Zhangye are from Dunhuang and Nanjing, but only operate on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at present).
Thirdly, from Zhangye Xiguan Bus Station you can take bus there. If you want to see the sunset or sunrise within one day tour a private car/van over there is recommended.
Located at north foot of Qinian Mountain, 30 kilometers north away from the central town of Linze County and 40 kilometers away from the downtown of Zhangye City, China's northwestern Gansu Province, it is the biggest and best Danxia landform in China, with indefinitely changes of landform. And it is also the only complex scenic region including the Danxia Landform and Colorful Hills.
Occupies the land of 510 square kilometers at the north side of Qinian Mountain, it stretches from east to west about 40 kilometers and from north to south ranging about from 5 to 10 kilometers. At an elevation of about 2000---3800 meters, lots of precipitous red cliffs demonstrates numerous weird shapes and the multicolored ridges of weathered strata roll away in the distance. The local ethnic call these sceneries in local language “Alan Lagonda” which means “Red Mountains”.
Hidden deeply at the inland of China and influenced by temperate continental arid climate, Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park enjoys abundant resource of sunshine with very limited rainfall, only amounted to 130mm whole year round. And these rainfalls are mostly dense from June to September when tourism hot season just happens. The refreshing air after rain makes people very comfortable. Meanwhile the rainwater brings out the colors from the stones. This is the best time to enjoy the stunning view. The highest temperature in this time period ranges from 23℃ to 28℃ and night temperature ranges from 13℃ to 15℃. But in September night temperature sometimes drop drow sharply to 4℃, so tourist travelling in this area should be cautious of this sharp change of temperature.
How is it formed?
About 6 million years ago, this special landform began forming. The piling of colorful sand rocks underwent long time weathering, erosion of flowing water and wind peeling, adding the peculiar structure of geography of this region and changes of climate, proceeded evolution into today’ wonderful views.
The whole Geological Park can be divided two parts. One is called Binggou Scenic Area (Ice Vallay), where center around Baiyin township and covers the land of both Baiyin and Kangle in the Sunan County. And the other one is called Colorful Hills Scenic Area, where mainly covers the land of Nijiaying倪家营 of Linze County.
Colorful Hills Scenic Area( Rainbow Mountains)
In the year of 2005, the Colorful Hills was found by public and rated as “one of the seven best Danxian landforms” by the Journal of National Geography of China. This large Danxian landform group has interlaced stratified layers of rocks, reveals multi-color strata of red, yellow, white and green-blue. Some look like colorful waves going up and down with the hills. Some look like colorful brocades paving on the slanting side of hills. Under the sunshine, it looks like the color hills glittering behind a red silk gauze. Sunrise and sunset are the best time to enjoy the views. In this geological park, there are 4 view platforms for visitors standing which are connected by shuttle bus provided by management office of the scenic area.
Binggou Scenic Area (Ice Vallay)
Binggou Danxian Scenic Area is different from Colorful Hills Danxia Scenic Area. It only has one color-crimson. But the shapes sculptured by nature are really full of imagination. Comparing with Colorful Hills Danxia Scenic Area, here is more quite and less visited. These two scenic spots distance each other about 18 kilometers.