Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region recently opened its first geopark in Keketuohai on Oct 14th. Keketuohai National Geological Park locates in the south of the Altay Mountains and at the source of the Irtysh River. It covers more than 2,300 square kilometers. It is one of the eight new global geoparks announced by UNESCO in May last year.
Inside the park, visitors will be able to enjoy the breathtaking views that include the Irtysh Grand Canyon, a huge mine crater, lakes, mountains, a waterfall, fossils and rivers. "The geopark is expected to increase local incomes and drive the sustainable development of the local economy through its precious geological landscape and rare mine site," said Jin Xiaochi, an official in the park.
Keketuohai is a town of Fuyun County, Altay Prefecture in Xinjiang. The Irtysh River flows through the town. It has abundant mineral and touristic resources. Keketuohai was once a celebrated mining area in China, and rare metals were mined there for more than half a century. Nearly three million domestic and foreign tourists visited Keketuohai in 2017, up more than 50 percent year-on-year.