The Colorful Mountains Of Zhangye Danxia

The colorful mountains of Zhangye Danxia

Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park is home to one of the largest and most unique spectacles offered by nature. Fantastic colors intermingle in the landscape creating an absolutely amazing landscape

It is an impressive mountain range on which lines of different colors extend randomly among its more than 300 square kilometers. The perfection of its sections and their placement is such that they appear to be the work of a talented street artist. These lines have aroused the curiosity of millions of people. .

Zhangye Danxia: a magical space

Colors in Zhangye
Zhangye Danxia Mountains – SIHASAKPRACHUM

The name by which this mountainous area in China is familiarly recognized is Daxia, an appellation that means pink clouds. Along with the Luofu, Dinghu and Xiquiao mountains, it is one of the four peaks considered divine in Eastern culture. This is so thanks to its unusual and strange cliffs and rocky walls.

All of them were declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2010, as they reflect all the mystery suggested by the country in which they are located.

Rock formations in Zhangye
Rock Formations in Zhangye Danxia – Rat007

The park is located between the towns of Sunan and Linze, more specifically in the province of Gansu that borders Mongolia to the north. The famous Gobi Desert also belongs to this territory, surrounded by the rugged highlands of Qilian. This province was part of the Silk Road during the development of the Chinese dynastic empire.

How the Zhangye Danxia Mountains were generated 

The formation of these mountains has its origin in several tectonic shocks. According to this scientific theory, the plates that make up the structure of the planet move little by little, forcing some of them to interact with others at certain times.

Zhangye Danxia- Rat007

Specifically, the delirious desert of the Zhangye Colored Mountains, which stretches out to the horizon, was formed by the collision of the Australian and Indian tectonic plates, which later met the Eurasian plate. These events took place more than 6 million years ago.

What gives rise to this earthly rainbow

Rocky areas usually owe their appearance to the concentration of pigments they have depending on the type of stone that composes them. Soils in Zhangye have taken on lots of different shades from erosion caused by rain and wind blows on the sandy strata that make up the terrain.

Zhangye Danxia

At first they were totally red but their hue has degenerated over time. To this wear are added the freezes that are usually suffered throughout the year. These changes have caused this desert area to resemble the boats that children often fill with salt colored with chalk.

Common weather factors also help to highlight this beauty of nature. After the short rainy seasons that the region suffers, the ranges of colors shine and lighten, giving rise to an unprecedented magical show.

It is during these times when it is most worth going to the top of these mountains. The twilight light reinforces its beauty, so it is also convenient to see the sun go down from its highest point.

What you need for a perfect visit

As it is a protected area, it does not have any point of sale for food or refreshments. If we intend to get lost there and tour the entire park or, at least, much of its extension, it is necessary that we remember to bring water and snacks with us to spend the day.

Sunset in Zhangye
Sunset at Zhangye Danxia- Rat007

Let’s not forget that it is an arid area so the heat can affect our health. Therefore, it is important to include a hat or cap in our luggage to protect ourselves from the sun’s rays that hit any desert. Protective cream and sunglasses will not hurt either.

However, it must be taken into account that in this type of space there are large changes in temperature between day and night. If we intend to go very early hours or watch the sunset from the top, we have to equip ourselves with thick warm clothes and even scarves.

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