Hills bathed in colors
The Zhangye Danxia landform area is known as “the eye candy of Zhangye”. Many artists admire this masterpiece as it is unbelievably colorful, like an imaginative oil painting . The Danxia national park is located close to the city of Zhangye — about 30 minutes west by car, in northwestern China’s Gansu Province.
Zhangye’s Danxia landscape has lots of precipitous red cliffs, most of which are several hundred meters high, and multicolored ridges of weathered strata, sometimes stretching to the horizon. These formations, sometimes smooth sometimes sharp, stand out against the greens or grays of the plains , looking grand and magnificent, vigorous and virile.
Zhangye ‘s Danxia was formed by the erosion of red sandstone, forming isolated peaks and steep stratified outcrops. Its special geological structure, combined with long-term desert conditions , freeze-thaw peeling, and wind and water erosion gave rise to its present appearance.
There are many viewing platforms all over the hills that enable tourists to enjoy the colorful view. The best time to visit Zhangye is from June to September when the weather is comfortable, and the combination of strong sun and a little rain brings out the colors more. The rest of the year is very dry. Zhangye is well below freezing and windy in winter — not recommended. It is best to visit in the morning and at dusk, especially at sunset, when the colors change continuously, showing yellow and red layers covered by a light gray layer.