China’s Rainbow Mountains (Zhangye Danxia): 20 Photos to Ignite Your Wanderlust

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Out in the desert of Northwest China’s Gansu Province lies some of the most unique geological formations in the world. Topping the list for uniqueness without a doubt is the Zhangye Danxia National Geopark, among which lies the Rainbow Mountains, a colorful display of layered rock hills formed over 24 million years of natural erosion. The sand and mudstone mountains that make up the geopark are like nature’s sand art.  Brilliant colorful stripes lay in perfect lines rolling over the many peaks and valleys of the landscape.  It’s truly an incredible sight and one that we can say with confidence is absolutely the coolest place we’ve ever seen in China.  To see this incredible sight for yourself, check out our Rainbow Mountains Travel Guide.

Allow these photos to inspire you as you plan your next (or first) trip to China!

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One road runs through the park making an 8km loop through the mountains.
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Planes flying over the park made what looked like crop circles in the sky.
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The view from viewing platform #1 of 5.
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Not a bad spot for a photo opp, although you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bad one in the park.
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A Tourist bus rides down the road through the mountains. The buses transport tourists to all of the 5 viewing platforms around the park, the use of which is included in the ticket price.
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The planes were back at it again. This time with a heart! I’d have to agree, we love this place too!
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Sandstone hills abound. The colors are less prominent in this area of the park.
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The rolling hills, nature’s sand art.
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Walking along viewing platform number 2 with the family.
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The views change as we move on to viewing platforms 3 and 4. Getting a bit more colorful.
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Such prominent stripes in this area of the park. Amazing!
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This is one of our favorite shots. You can see all colors of the rainbow from this angle, hard to believe this is real!
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The colors in this area are just incredible.
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We were so busy looking at all the rainbow mountains we almost missed the big snowy mountains looming in the background.
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Such a contrast of colorful hills and big rocky peaks.
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Through the valley of the Rainbow Mountains. This was my favorite spot in the park. So many unique views from this platform.
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Follow the stripes to the edge of the rainbow.
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Our favorite portrait from the day. Rainbow hills turning into big rocky mountains in the background.
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Almost as magical as following the yellow brick road in the Wizard of Oz.
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Thanks for a beautiful day in the Rainbow Mountains Zhangye!

Inspired to see China’s Rainbow Mountains for yourself? Plan your trip to Zhangye and get one step closer to taking in the magic with your own eyes! It’s 110% worth the trip, guaranteed!

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Rainbow Mountains | China | Zhangye Danxia | Travel Photography

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