The “Rainbow Mountains” In China’s “Danxia Landform Geological Park”

Yes, we had a hard time believing that this insane mountain formation was actually real, because we haven’t fallen down the rabbit hole. But, believe it or not, this technicolor range actually exists. The mountains are part of the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in China. Layers of different colored sandstone and minerals were pressed together over 24 million years and then buckled up by tectonic plates.

The Rainbow Mountains In Chinas Danxia Landform Geological Park

The Gansu Zhangye National Geopark is located in Sunan and Linze counties within the prefecture-level city of Zhangye. It covers an area of 322 square kilometers (124 sq mi). The site became a quasi-national geopark on April 23, 2012. It was formally designated as ″Gansu Zhangye National Geopark″ by the Ministry of Land and Resources on June 16, 2016 after it has passed the on-site acceptance test. Known for its colorful rock formations, it has been voted by Chinese media outlets as one of the most beautiful landforms in China.

Location

The park is located in the northern foothills of the Qilian Mountains, in the counties of Linze and Sunan, which are under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Zhangye, Gansu province. The main areas of Danxia landform are in Kangle and Baiyin townships.

The core area of the park, Linze Danxia Scenic Area, is located 30 kilometers (19 mi) west of downtown Zhangye and 20 kilometers (12 mi) south of the seat of Linze County. It is the most developed and most visited part of the park.A second scenic area, Binggou, located on the north bank of Liyuan River, was officially inaugurated on 3 August 2014. Binggou covers an area of 300 square kilometres (120 sq mi), and its elevation ranges from 1,500 to 2,500 meters above sea level. A third area, Sunan Danxia Scenic Area, is located in Ganjun, south of Linze.

Landscape

Zhangye Danxia is known for the unusual colors of the rocks, which are smooth, sharp and several hundred meters tall. They are the result of deposits of sandstone and other minerals that occurred over 24 million years. The result, similar to a layer cake, is connected to the action of the same tectonic plates responsible for creating parts of the Himalayan mountains. Wind, rain, and time then sculpted extraordinary shapes, including towers, pillars, and ravines, with varying colours, patterns, and sizes.

Media and tourism

In 2005, Zhangye Danxia was voted by a panel of reporters from 34 major media outlets as one of the most beautiful Danxia landform areas in China. In 2009, Chinese National Geography magazine chose Zhangye Danxia as one of the “six most beautiful landforms” in China. The area has become a top tourist attraction for Zhangye. A series of boardwalks and access roads have been built to help visitors to explore the rock formations. In 2014, 100 million yuan was invested to improve the facilities in the Binggou area.

Links: Huffingtonpost.comWikipedia.org

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