Off the Beaten Track
Itinerary: 10-Day Lanzhou -Yongdeng - Gulang County - Yongchang - Shandan County - Zhangye City - Linze - Qingshui - Jiayuguan - Yumen - Guazho - Dunhuang - Lanzhou
Day 1 Lanzhou
Upon arrival in this city on the banks of the Yellow River, you can do a leisurely bicycle tour in the urban area and taste the local food.
Day 2 Lanzhou - Yongdeng
Setting off from Lanzhou toward northwest, you will get to Yongdeng County within the day. This journey is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) by taking the National Highway No.312, along the Qilian Mountains and the Yellow River. En route, you will have an opportunity of taking some photos when cycling through villages. Arriving in Yongdeng, you could have a budget local supper.
Day 3 Yongdeng - Tianzhu - Wushaoling - Gulang
Ten kilometers to the northwest of Yongdeng, you will get to Tianzhu County early in the morning. You may be lucky to see the rare white yak here. Then, the 30-kilometer (18.6-mile) road will lead you to climb over the 2,800-meter (9,186-feet) Wushaoling Ridge this afternoon. The uphill road is gentle that you could see in the distance the site of the Great Wall of the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD). When descending, you will be attracted by the much more beautiful scenery, especially around the harvest season. At the foot of Wushaoling, there is a reservoir called Shibalibu where you could stop for a rest. Just from here, you will start to explore the scenes of the vast Gobi and endless mountains. Continuing the journey to Gulang, you will find some historical monuments and buildings on the way.
Day 4 Gulang-Wuwei-Yongchang
Going on with taking the National Highway No.312, you will get to Wuwei first, 60 kilometers (37 miles) away. Before entering Wuwei City, you could visit the White Tower Temple which is in Wunan Town. Later, you could have a lunch in Wuwei City and visit this ancient city briefly. Out of Wuwei about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles), there is a monument of the Chinese Red Army. Afterwards, the flat road will lead to Yongchang directly.
Day 5 Yongchang-Shandan
Tody's journey is a little more challenging in that you have to finish some uphill sections one by one. So, it is suggested that you should take enough water and food although there are simple shops along the way. Fortunately, the road condition is good for cycling. Along the 110-kilometer (68-mile) route, you will find some relics of the ancient Great Wall, some sections of which have been damaged badly. En route, you may have a rest in Shuiquanzi which is about 35 kilometers (22 miles) out of Yongchang, or in Fengchengpu which is about 43 kilometers (27 miles) before Shandan.
Day 6 Shandan - Zhangye - Linze
Setting off in the morning, you will have a moderate but memorable journey today. The road condition from Shandan to Zhangye is so good that you could get to Zhangye for a rich lunch and then visiting the Pearl on the Silk Road. In fact, there are so many things worthy to do in Zhangye that you may stay over here. Of course, you could continue ending up today's journey in Linze which is about 65 kilometers (40 miles) from Zhangye. Just before entering Linze, you will find the Western Army Memorial Park which you can visit for a ticket of 4 RMB.
Day 7 Linze - Yuanshanzi - Qingshui
This 100-kilometer (62-mile) section is a little challenging since you have to cycle on the Gobi which does not have too many good views other than the seldom dotted farmlands and saline-alkali field. The road condition is comfortable for biking, but you should be careful of the trucks running side-by-side. After a little tiring cycling to Yuanshanzi, you could have a rest in this small village. Later, an easier 38-kilometer (24.6-mile) cycling will take you to Qingshui Town for the night.
Day 8 Qingshui - Jiuquan - Jiayuguan
Leaving Qingshui, you have to finish the 80-kilometer (50-mile) journey in the Gobi again to Jiuquan. You could have a short rest in this prosperous city and then head to Jiayuguan directly. This section is just about 20 kilometers (12 miles) so that a lot of time will be left for you to visit the Jiayuguan Pass to view the snow capped mountains in the distance.
Day 9 Jiayuguan - Yumen - Guazhou
Setting off from Jiayuanguan in the morning, you will get to Guazhou County (once called Anxi County) today, passing by Yumen City. The journey is a little longer so that you have to arrange the cycling properly. Fortunately, there are some villages and towns to supply you with water and food.
Day 10 Guazhou - Dunhuang
Out of Guazhou, you could turn to west to take the No.313 National Highway which will lead you to Dunhuang directly. Although this 120-kilometer (74.5-mile) journey is comfortable for cycling, it is suggested that you take enough food and water because you will be in the desolate Gobi. If you stay over in the urban area, you could explore the gorgeous Dunhuang for the next two days and return to Lanzhou by bus or air.
More Lanzhou Bicycle Tours Information:
Lanzhou In-depth Tour: 8 Days from Lanzhou -to Jiuzhaigou, passing by Linxia, Xiahe, etc.
Recommended Lanzhou Package Tour:
Lanzhou to Xiahe: 5 days from Lanzhou to Xiahe Labrang Monastery