Tianshan: Grand Canyon

Tian Shan Grand Canyon

Kuqa County

Aksu Prefecture

Xinjiang – Uyghur Autonomous Region

People’s Republic of China


June 28, 2017

Dear Friends,

The Tian Shan Grand Canyon is a 5.5-kilometer-long canyon (3.4 mi) characterized by tall, thin pinnacles, massive buttresses, overhanging walls and heavily eroded red rock.

The canyon is 53 meters (58 ft.) at its widest point, but only 0.4 meters (16 inches) at its narrowest.

It’s quite easy to hike through the canyon.  There are some stairs to climb and some water to avoid.  But basically, it’s easy.

However, it’s quite difficult to describe the scenery.


Here is one description I found:

“Situated in the southern foot of Tianshan Mountain, Tianshan Grand Canyon, standing 1,600 meters (5250ft.) above sea level, with its highest peak reaching 2,048 meters (6720 ft.), is made up of ranges of rufous (red-brown) massifs.  Therefore, it is also called Keziliya Grand Canyon which means red cliffs in the local Uyghur language.

Tianshan Grand Canyon can be deemed as a rare natural scenic spot in China thanks to an aeon-long denudation and the scouring of torrents.  In the sunlight, rufous mountains are burning flames seen from afar. What makes Tianshan Grand Canyon charming is not only its magnificence and precipitousness, but also its tranquility, mystery and serenity.”

That quotation tells a good story but I’ll let my photographs speak for themselves.

Best wishes for a tranquil, yet mysterious day,


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