Zhangye Danxia, China


The Zhangye Danxia, China is known for its gorgeous rainbow mountains, offering the perfect backdrop for photos.

Why Is It Famous?

The Zhangye Danxia is famous for its gorgeous and unique appearance. To the casual observer, it almost appears to be mountains painted various colors.

What’s Nearby?

The landforms are within the Gansu Province of China. Visit Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park in the Qilian Mountains.

Geological Description

This unique formation of land is the result of red sandstone deposited in strips millions of years ago. The area that most visitors are most interested in spans around 50 square kilometers. As you explore the landmark, you will notice red cliffs standing several hundred meters tall, as well as ridges with weathered strata in multiple colors. The formations can be sharp or smooth.

The colorful layers come from the geological history of the area, starting when it was an ocean 540 million years ago. Tectonic plates collided and caused the land to fold into mountains. Rivers formed within this area, depositing the red sandstone in the process. Then, the ground sank to create a basin and mudstone got set on top. The layers continued in different areas, with the varying colors caused by varying quantities of ferrous salt. The area was lifted higher above sea level as the Himalayas moved, with rivers forming and creating gorges.

As you admire the Zhangye Danxia, remember that each layer is the result of thousands of years of geological formation.

Events in Time

Geologists have studied the area’s unique landforms for years, working to understand how it formed. Various media outlets in China declared the Zhangye Danxia National Park among the country’s most beautiful landforms in 2005 and 2009.

In Conclusion

Zhangye Danxia in China offers a truly unique landform with colorful stripes on mountains, formed over millions of years due to the area’s unique history. Each stripe represents a different deposit, with a unique combination of colors, shapes, textures, and patterns.