Yanzhi Canyon is located 8 km northeast of Jingyuan County, neighboring Kongdongshan Mountain from the east, Liupanshan Mountain from the west, and Old Dragon Pool from the south. Formed in the Ordovician Period of about 800 million years ago, the canyon has a general span of about 45 km, a depth of about 400m, and a total area of about 4 square kilometers. "Yanzhi" was named after the Minority "Yanzhi Clan" of the Spring and Autumn Period (BC 770-476). The clan was developed from the "Yanzhi Tribe", and then lived nearby the canyon during that Period.
In Chinese, "Yanzhi" has the same pronunciation with rouge, so there is a legend about the name of Yangzhi canyon. It is said that a fairy came down on earth from the paradise, and one day she washed her face in the Huanghua River (a river running through the canyon), then the rouge on her face dyed the river red. And thereafter, the canyon was named "Yanzhi Canyon".
As a matter of fact, the Yanzhi Canyon and its neighboring area are covered with lush trees, grass, and red flowers, thus the canyon is red and green all over. And the area was a good place to plant rouge, thereafter getting the name of "Yanzhi Canyon". Minority people live there will not live without the flowers and grass of rouge.
In the canyon, you can see the river running joyfully through the steep canyon, then transforming into countless waterfalls depending on different topographies. In the central area of the canyon, you can see everywhere the strange pines and weird rocks, famous flowers and rare vegetations, all of which form into the spectacles like "Kwan-yin appreciating music" and "Taoists worshipping the moon". The lower reaches of Yanzhi Canyon connect the Kongdongshan Mountain of the Gansu Province. With mountains reflecting on the surface of the river, cloud and mist wreathing in the sky, it's quite a spectacular landscape of a fairyland.
Besides the nice-sounding name, Yanzhi Canyon is also a place rich in cultural deposits. The amazed mountain ranges, the weird and awesome peaks and rocks are all sculptured by the "master" nature. "Odd rocks" and "steep cliffs" are the general landscape for the peaks of Yanzhi Canyon. And the features for the general structure of the canyon can be described as "quiet", "mysterious", "odd" and "awesome".