Ankang has a long history, with a recorded history of more than 3,000 years and cultural history which can be traced back to the Stone Age. Ankang County was set up in the first year of Taikang in Western Jin Dynasty (A.D. 280); the name AnKang means "having abundant harvest and happy forever, being peaceful and healthy". In the third year of Feidi in Western Wei Dynasty (A.D. 554), it was changed to "Golden State" because the Yuehe Chuandao Area in Ankang produces flake gold. Control of the area was often contested. After the founding of the People's Republic of China (1949), the Ankang Office of the Shaanxi Province People's Government was set up in 1950, growing to become the Ankang Area Civic Administration in 1979. In 2001, Ankang Area became Ankang City with a city-level administration.
Located at a rare zone abundant in subtropical resources in the northwest of China, Ankang is an intermediate zone between north and south China and a transition zone of different climates whose unique geographical features make it to own beautiful natural scenery and rich tourism resources, which gives a high value and a good prospect to develop it, such as developing the tourism of Qinba and Han River scenery and the tourism for holidays and leisure. Now Ankang has exploited 32 scenic areas and 78 scenic spots, among which 29 places have higher value to exploit, including some historic and scenic sites at the provincial level such as Nangong Mountain National Forest Park, Ying Lake and Xiangxi Hole, and lots of historic and scenic sites or tourism projects such as Qianjia Ping, the origin of Shen River, Pinghe Liang, rafting on the Lan River and so on. Ankang also has four national forest parks and seven forest parks at the provincial level.