On our Zhangye Danxia Landform long trip we got very busy, with two days of hiking in and around the Zhangye Danxia Landform as well as visits to Silk Road sights in Zhangye and Jiayuguan, including the Jiayuguan Fortress and Horsehoof Temple.
In Jiayuguan, we visited the Jiayuguan Fortress, built in 1372, during the Ming Dynasty, and we made some side trips to take a look at nearby sections of Great Wall.
Our main focus in Zhangye was the hikes in the Zhangye Danxia landform, with visits to several different sections showing quite different views. We also visited the ‘Giant Buddha’ Temple, and the Horsehoof Temple – both interesting sights in themselves.
Scroll down to see super-guide Jun’s photos from the trip!
One of the towers at the Jiayuguan Fortress, with the layers of rammed earth visible at the base of the wall.
Wax figures of Ming Dynasty generals making plans.
Group photo in the fortress.
The barren – yet beautiful – hills in the Zhangye Danxia landform.
We started a hike in the Zhangye Geological Park.
Views of beautifully coloured hills.
A valley trail.
More of the colourful hills.
Heading further into the park.
Does this rock look like a camel?
We hiked further into the park area.
We followed a dirt trail get closer to the rocks in the background.
Up on top!
One of our hikers is a geologist, and was explaining how the rocks were formed.
A special shot of the fairer half of the hikers.
As well as the coloured area of the danxia landform, there’s the ‘white’ landform.
Hiking through the hills.
We headed further into the hills.
This part is called the Heavenly Gate, and we passed through to reach the dry river valley.
We needed a rest in the shade – it was a hot day!
We hiked out through a long canyon.
These are the remains of kilns and furnaces built during the ‘Great Leap Forward’.
Back in Zhangye, at the ‘Giant Buddha’ Temple
Time for a quick workout.
A wooden pagoda .
A colourfully-dressed local guide took us up to the Horsehoof Temple.
The Horsehoof temple is built into the cliffs, and was founded during the Han Dynasty (circa 200 BC)
Back at Jiayuguan, we took a look at a stretch of Great Wall that has been repaired in the original Han Dynasty style.
We climbed up here to get a view of the Jiayuguan Fortress, far below
Group photo up on the wall.
A reconstruction of ancient barracks that were sited by a river canyon.
The only way over the river – a swingbridge.
A view of the riverbed.
And that was the trip!