Gansu Weather and Seasons | Best Time to Visit Gansu


Gansu, a northwestern province of China, lies in the conjunction of Loess Plateau, Qinghai Tibet Plateau, and Mongolia Plateau. In the result of many kinds of geography forms in Gansu: alpine regions, basins, desert and Gobi, Gansu has a wild climate ranging from subtropical humid monsoon climate to alpine cold climate and dry climate.
Generally, there are much sunlight and a huge temperature difference between day and night. It rains little. The average temperature is between 0~14℃, decreasing from southeast to northwest. Hexi Corridor area is a tourist area with an average temperature of 0~6℃. The annual precipitation is about 300mm mostly focus in the southeastern area.
Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu, has a temperate, semi-arid continental monsoon climate. It is dry and warm and rains little. There is much sunlight throughout the year with an approximate length of 2,600 hours. The annual average temperature is 9.3℃, but there is a large temperature difference between day and night.
The must-visit tourist city Dunhuang in Gansu features in a temperate continental arid climate, with four different seasons, plenty of sunshine and little rainfall. The average temperature is 9.3℃. Other popular scenic cities in Gansu, Jiayuguan and Zhangye, are also popular among tourists with a similar climate like Dunhuang.

Best Time to Visit Gansu

Mid-spring to autumn is the best time to visit Gansu, namely from May to to early October. The coldest month usually occurs in January and the hottest day always falls in July.

Weather Forecast for Major Cities in Gansu:

Lanzhou Weather
Zhangye Weather
Dunhuang Weather
Jiayuguan Weather

Average Gansu Temperature by Month

Month Recommended Rate Max Temp. Min Temp.
Jan. °C °C
Feb. °C °C
Mar. °C °C
Apr. °C °C
May. °C °C
Jun. °C °C
Jul. °C °C
Aug. °C °C
Sep. °C °C
Oct. °C °C
Nov. °C °C
Dec. °C °C

Gansu Seasons to Go

Spring is generally from March to May. It is still very cold in March, then gets warmer in April. The early Spring is not the best travel season, you can barely see the green landscape. You can visit Lanzhou where most things to do are gathered in the downtown area and get to feel the atmosphere of the Chinese Spring Festival. Remember to bring a warm and thick winter coat to prevent the coldness in the morning and night.
Recommended Attractions in Gansu in Spring: Lanzhou (Gansu Provincial Museum, White Pagoda Mountain, Binhe Park of Lanzhou); Jiayuguan Fortress (Great Wall Museum, Wei-Jin Tomb); Zhangye (Zhangye Danxia Geopark, Dafo Temple, Muta Temple); Dunhuang (Mogao Caves, Yulin Caves, Mingsha Mountain, Crescent Lake)
Popular Gansu Tour: 10 Days Gansu Highlights Tour from Xining
Spring in Gansu

Kangle Grassland in Zhangye

Lanzhou in Spring

  • March: -2°C ~ 11°C
  • April: 4°C ~ 18°C
  • May: 9°C ~ 22°C
  • Rainfall: 9mm ~ 40mm
  • Sunrise: 5:49am-6:53am
  • Sunset: 6:58pm-8:15pm

Zhangye in Spring

  • March: -5°C ~ 10°C
  • April: 2°C ~ 18°C
  • May: 8°C ~ 24°C
  • Rainfall: 4mm ~ 12mm
  • Sunrise: 5:54am-7:04am
  • Sunset: 7:10pm-8:36pm

Jiayuguan in Spring

  • March: -5°C ~ 9°C
  • April: 2°C ~ 16°C
  • May: 8°C ~ 22°C
  • Rainfall: 4mm ~ 10mm
  • Sunrise: 6:01am-8:00am
  • Sunset: 7:18pm-8:47pm

Dunhuang in Spring

  • March: -3°C ~ 13°C
  • April: 4°C ~ 21°C
  • May: 10°C ~ 27°C
  • Rainfall: 2mm ~ 4mm
  • Sunrise: 4:14am-6:15am
  • Sunset: 5:32pm-7:32pm
Summer is from June to August when most regions of Gansu are comfortable and warm, and it is the best season to visit Gansu. It rains some time but not often. About 70% of precipitation occurs in summer. In southern regions, such as Gannan, you can take a visit to the Sangke Grassland and the famous Labrang Monastery. If your destination is Dunhuang and surrounding, remember to bring sunglasses and sun cream.
Recommended Attractions in Gansu in Summer: Lanzhou (Gansu Provincial Museum, Iron Bridge of Yellow River, White Pagoda Mountain); Zhangye (Zhangye Danxia Geopark, Zhangye National Wetland Park, Binggou Danxia Geopark, Pingshan Grand Canyon); Jiayuguan (Jiayuguan Pass, the hanging Great Wall, Wei-Jin Tomb); Dunhuang (Mogao Caves, Yulin Caves, Shazhou Night Market)
Popular Gansu Tour: 5 Days Zhangye to Dunhuang Highlights Tour by Bullet Train
Summer in Gansu

Binggou Danxia Geopark

Lanzhou in Summer

  • June: 12°C ~ 26°C
  • July: 15°C ~ 27°C
  • August: 14°C ~ 26°C
  • Rainfall: 42mm ~ 83mm
  • Sunrise: 5:47am-6:34am
  • Sunset: 7:34pm-8:25pm

Zhangye in Summer

  • June: 12°C ~ 27°C
  • July: 24°C ~ 29°C
  • August: 13°C ~ 28°C
  • Rainfall: 24mm ~ 29mm
  • Sunrise: 5:52am-6:46am
  • Sunset: 7:51pm-8:47pm

Jiayuguan in Summer

  • June: 13°C ~ 26°C
  • July: 15°C ~ 28°C
  • August: 14°C ~ 27°C
  • Rainfall: 14mm ~ 23mm
  • Sunrise: 5:57am-6:53am
  • Sunset: 8:01pm-8:59pm

Dunhuang in Summer

  • June: 14°C ~ 31°C
  • July: 16°C ~ 33°C
  • August: 15°C ~ 32°C
  • Rainfall: 6mm ~ 15mm
  • Sunrise: 4:11am-5:07am
  • Sunset: 6:15pm-7:14pm
Autumn (September to November), is usually the best season to visit Gansu. It is cool in the day time, but a little cold in the night time, and windy in some days. Autumn is the most recommended season for you to explore stunning desert views along the Silk Road. The ideal destinations are Dunhuang, Jiayuguan, and Lanzhou. From late October, the temperature goes down rapidly, and you may already start to feel the coldness of the winter.
Recommended Attractions in Gansu in Autumn: Lanzhou (Gansu Provincial Museum, Iron Bridge of Yellow River, White Pagoda Mountain, Binhe Park of Lanzhou); Zhangye (Zhangye Danxia Geopark, Binggou Danxia Geopark, Kangle Grassland); Jiayuguan (Jiayuguang fortress, the Hanging Great Wall); Dunhuang (Mogao Caves, Mingsha Moutain & Crescent lake, Yardang National Geopark)
Popular Gansu Tour: 6 Days Hexi Corridor Discovery Tour(Zhangye/Jiayuguan/Dunhuang)
Gansu weather & climate

Jiayuguan Fortress

Lanzhou in Autumn

  • Sept: 10°C ~ 21°C
  • Oct: 4°C ~ 15°C
  • Nov: -4°C ~ 8°C
  • Rainfall: 4mm ~ 52mm
  • Sunrise: 7:56am-8:15am
  • Sunset: 5:50pm-5:59pm

Zhangye in Autumn

  • Sept: 8°C ~ 23°C
  • Oct: 0°C ~ 16°C
  • Nov: -7°C ~ 8°C
  • Rainfall: 2mm ~ 16mm
  • Sunrise: 6:46am-8:16am
  • Sunset: 5:56pm-7:49pm

Jiayuguan in Autumn

  • Sept: 9°C ~ 23°C
  • Oct: 1°C ~ 15°C
  • Nov: -7°C ~ 5°C
  • Rainfall: 2mm ~ 8mm
  • Sunrise: 6:54am-8:27am
  • Sunset: 6:03pm-7:59pm

Dunhuang in Autumn

  • Sept: 8°C ~ 27°C
  • Oct: 1°C ~ 19°C
  • Nov: -6°C ~ 8°C
  • Rainfall: 1mm
  • Sunrise: 5:08am-6:42am
  • Sunset: 4:16pm-6:56pm
Winter is long and cold in most regions of Gansu. It may snow in the middle and southern areas, such as Lanzhou, Linxia, and Xiahe. The lowest temperature is -14 °C in January. It is not very recommended to visit Gansu during winter. If you have to go during that time, you'd better stay indoor or plan the northern destinations, such as Dunhuang and Jiayuguan where are relatively warmer. You'd better pack a winter coat, scarf, gloves, winter boots, etc.
Recommended Attractions in Gansu in Winter: Lanzhou (Gansu Provincial Museum, Lanzhou Museum); Zhangye ( Zhangye Danxia Geopark, Binggou Danxia Park, Mati Temple); Jiayuguan (Xuanbi Great Wall, Great Wall Museum); Dunhuang (Mogao Caves, Yulin Caves, Yardang National Geopark, Mingsha Mountain)
Popular Gansu Tour: 7 Days Zhangye Danxia and Badain Jaran Desert Tour
Gansu weather & climate

Snow-capped Mingsha Mountain

Lanzhou in Winter

  • Dec: -10°C ~ 2°C
  • Jan: -12°C ~ 1°C
  • Feb: -8°C ~ 4°C
  • Rainfall: 1mm ~ 3mm
  • Sunrise: 7:36am-8:15am
  • Sunset: 5:50pm-6:58pm

Zhangye in Winter

  • Dec: -14°C ~ 2°C
  • Jan: -14°C ~ 0°C
  • Feb: -12°C ~ 4°C
  • Rainfall: 1mm ~ 2mm
  • Sunrise: 7:52am-8:36am
  • Sunset: 5:56pm-7:09pm

Jiayuguan in Winter

  • Dec: -14°C ~ -1°C
  • Jan: -15°C ~ -3°C
  • Feb: -12°C ~ 1°C
  • Rainfall: 1mm ~ 3mm
  • Sunrise: 8:01am-8:48am
  • Sunset: 6:02pm-7:17pm

Dunhuang in Winter

  • Dec: -12°C ~ 1°C
  • Jan: -15°C ~ -1°C
  • Feb: -11°C ~ 5°C
  • Rainfall: 1mm
  • Sunrise: 6:16am-7:03am
  • Sunset: 4:16pm-5:31pm

How to Plan a Gansu Tour

The length of your Gansu travel and places to visit can be flexibly arranged based on your personal requirements. Gansu owns several heavyweight destinations waiting for your exploration. Buddhist culture and splendid landscape are the two must-sees. If you are in a tight schedule, then Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes is the brightest star in China’s northwest areas. You can spend 1 full day to discover breathtaking Buddhist grottoes art with Crescent Lake, Echoing Sand Mountain in Dunhuang. With more days, you can visit Yumen Pass, Yulin Caves, Yadan Geological Park nearby. Or if you are want to see the colorful “Rainbow Mountain” in Zhangye, 1 full day is needed for Danxia landform sightseeing. If time permits, most travelers will take a classic route to visit Zhangye, Dunhuang, Jiayuguan from Lanzhou within 1 week, enjoy the best natural and cultural highlights in Gansu. Gansu is a part of Silk Road culture, that means, you can extend journey westward to Xinjiang, visit the east starting point - Xian and even link withBeijing, Shanghai and other top destinations in China.

Travel Gansu & Silk Road with China Discovery

China Discovery is a local based best travel agency offering high-quality tour services to all our travel guests. We are experienced, professional and reliable in tailor-make wonderful trips in Gansu and China. Travel with us, you can get more than pre-trip one-to-one counsel for best ideas and itinerary, but also enjoy considerate travel helps, about Chinese Visa application, arrangements of attractions, transportation, accommodation and dining, etc., to make sure your once-in-a-lifetime journey is unforgettable and unique. You may choose from our best-selling Gansu Tour Packages or contact us to customize a unique one!

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