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Zhangye Danxia Park, Gansu, China – A Place To Visit Before You Die!

Everything to know about Zhangye Danxia Park. Perfect trip plan, reasons to visit, best time to visit, and how to reach.

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Zhangye Danxia is one of the most stunning geological parks around the world. This place is also renowned by the name “Rainbow mountains”. Located in the eastern foothills of the famous Qilan Mountains in the province of Gansu of China. This geological park has something remarkable that cannot be explained in words. This park spreads over 50 square kilometers that are 19 square miles.

The park has Danxia (pronounced as dan-sshyaa) meaning red cloud. It sounds weird for the name of the geological park, doesn’t it? This place is a masterpiece created and cultivated by our beautiful nature. This creation is among the ones that have inspired the feeling of “awesome” since evolution. Here, we are going to present a complete guide along with the information of best viewing platforms and routes to explore the park in the best possible way.

The Jaw-Dropping View of Red Rocks & Rainbow Ridges at Zhangye Danxia geological park

The view of beautiful red cliffs and rainbow ridges at this extraordinary creation of nature is beyond mind-blowing. There are lots and lots of red cliffs that are around 100 meters high running along with the multicolored ridges of weathered strata stretching to the horizon.

These cliffs stand out against the stunning greens and greys of the plains. The view of this magnificent and grandeur creation of nature is so fascinating that it takes everyone’s breath away. Apart from this gorgeous and stunning view, the Danxia landscape zone is a kaleidoscope of several red rocky outcrops that appears to outline in the shapes of castles, towers, cones, and even humans, birds or beasts.

What’s even more fascinating is the mirage-like scenery that this place reflects when peaks get mixed up with the clouds.

The Fascinating Colorful Layers

Around 540 years ago, this area was actually a part of an ocean. It was after the tectonic plate collision when the land folded and took the form of mountains. When the land raised above the water, red sand got deposited over the peaks and when the ground sank into a basin this red sandstone was covered by the mudstone.

The reflection of different colors in this area ranges from red, yellowish-green, purplish-red, and gray. Every layer took around 1000 years to build a formation that people travel to see today.

This beautiful work of nature and time has managed to enter the Zhangye Danxia rainbow mountains into the list of every traveler and is recognized as one of the best places to see around the world before you die.

How to Plan a Perfect Trip to Zhangye Danxia Park?

A trip to Zhangye Danxia Park takes proper planning if you want to experience the divinity and beauty of this place. There are around 4 viewing platforms that should be included in your plan to experience every bit of color this beautiful place has to offer.

Colorful Meeting Fairy platform – The First Viewing Platform


The first and the largest viewing platform of Zhangye Danxia Park is this “Colorful Meeting Fairy platform”.

This platform is just 10 minutes away from the entrance. Although it only takes 10 minutes on foot to reach this point, still, it is not the only option. Located at ground level, it makes a perfect starting spot for one to enjoy the view of stunning colorful mountains.

What’s even more exciting is that if you use your imagination in the right way you will be able to find the shapes in these mountains like Monks worshiping the Scallops, Monkeys rushing into the sea of fire and even the illusion of Rainbow Hill.

Colorful Sea of Clouds – The Second Platform

This platform actually consists of 2 different platforms. One of these platforms is at the base while the other rests on the top of a hill.

The first platform resting on the base is just a few minutes away from the first platform. Unlike the base platform, reaching the platform on the top is a bit more challenging as it is 666 steps away or 30 minutes climb.

The panoramic view from the top is something that one can never forget once seen. This place is a perfect picture spot and is even a better spot to enjoy the sunset.

Colorful Embroidered Platform – The Third Viewing Platform

Moving on, the third platform is the most stunning of all. The beautiful “seven-color Fan” view from this platform will engrave the memory of something divine. The view of mountains from the top appears like the perfect pastel color palette. This is where you can actually see why this place is called Zhangye Danxia rainbow mountains.

Colorful Cloud Formation – The Fourth Platform

At last, there is a fourth viewing platform that one must include in the plan. This platform offers the best and most remarkable view of Zhangye Danxia Park. Located on the ridge running from east to west, you can enjoy the view of the variegated colors of Qicia Shan.

No trip to Zhangye Danxia Park is complete if you have not experienced the few from all four platforms.

Travel Tips To Enjoy The Trip To Zhangye Danxia Park To Fullest

So far we have shared with you the best plan to enjoy the visit to Zhangye Danxia Park. Now, we are going to share some of the important tips to get the best out of this visit.

These Tips include –

  • No private cars or tourist buses are allowed. You can only use the sightseeing buses in the park.
  • It takes around 2-3 hours to complete the trip of this park.
  • Carry a high-quality sun protectant. The UV rays here are quite dangerous.

Sightseeing Bus Routes

As we mentioned, inside the park only sightseeing buses are allowed. These buses cover three different sightseeing routes one for each park entrance.

The Route Specifications –

  • North Entrance Route: This route sequence includes platform 2 – platform 1- platform 3 – platform 4 – north entrance.
  • East Entrance Route: This bus route includes – East entrance – platform 2 – platform 1- platform 3 – platform 4 – east entrance.
  • West Entrance Route:  West entrance – platform 1 – platform 3 – platform 4 – platform 2 – West entrance.

What is the Best Time to Visit  Zhangye Danxia Park?

While planning a trip to Zhangye Danxia Park, one thing that is very important is to decide when to visit.

The best time to visit this park is from June to September. This is the time when the weather conditions are moderate. The rest of the year, the place is freezing and windy.

Also, you should remember one thing, to enjoy the magnificent colors of this place, one should only visit during the sunshine. Also, dawn and sunset is the perfect time to enjoy the view at this park.

Sunset Time: 7:30 pm during spring and 8:00 pm during summer.

Reaching  Zhangye Danxia Park

There are several means through which one can reach  Zhangye Danxia Park. Although Zhangye is a small city located in the arid passage to the west of China.

As the place is located in the remote area, the access is limited. The only best way to reach this stunning park is via Lanzhou or Xian.

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