Intersecting the mountains are numerous ravines and passes.
The site of the greater part of the town consists of hills or bluffs separated by ravines and hollows, the elevation of the central portions being about 300 ft.
The glaciers also attain a greater development in the western portion of the Nan-shan, but the valleys are dry, and the slopes of both the mountains and the valleys, furrowed by deep ravines, are devoid of vegetation.
The picturesque effect of this sculpturing by water, wind and fire is greatly enhanced by the brilliant colours along the faces of the hills and ravines - grey, yellow, black and every shade of red and brown.
Cottonwoods flourish along the Little Missouri river, and in sheltered ravines grow stunted junipers and cedars, which seldom rise above the crest of some protecting bluff.