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Home > Hike in Beijing

Departure date: Friday, February 12

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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This is a tough and challenging hike, suitable for fit hikers with a good head for heights. We’ll start off at Jiankou, following a zigzag hillside trail that rises quickly to a Great Wall tower that is almost 1,000 metres above sea level. From the tower we can see the Jiankou basin, as well as many other stretches of Great Wall in the area. From there we’ll head southeast, following the wall towards Mutianyu. The hike crosses unrestored and restored sections of wall, which makes it a good way to see the Great Wall as it is now, and how it might have looked when first built.\

NOTE: If the trail is icy we might have to change the plan for the hike. So far, so good!

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Departure date: Saturday, February 13

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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On this hike we’ll head out to a beautiful section of the Great Wall that is further outside the city than the crowded main tourist sites, and much quieter. You’ll have a chance to hike along an unrestored section of the Great Wall that grants magnificent views of the Great Wall stretching beyond the horizon in the east and west. As we follow the wall, we’ll pass through restored and unrestored sections, as well as taking a nice detour through pines on a hillside trail.

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Departure date: Saturday, February 13

Longqingxia Ice Festival and Tang Dynasty Caves

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For this very easy stroll we will travel to Yanqing County to visit the valley where we’ll find an ancient interconnected series of cave dwellings. This trip is suitable for children (no pushchairs, though) – it’s very easy, and the sight of the cave dwellings is sure to spark the imagination.

After visiting the caves we’ll get an early dinner out in the country before heading for the Longqingxia Ice Festival, where we’ll see all the amazing ice sculptures and lanterns – perhaps not quite as amazing as the Harbin Festival, but definitely not as cold!

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Departure date: Sunday, February 14

Great Wall Spur

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On this hike we will visit a remote stretch of the Great Wall that was completed around 1580 AD, during the reign of Emperor Wan Li. After a good long (some say tough) climb up a hillside trail we’ll follow the Great Wall along a ridge, enjoying great views the whole way. There is plenty of Great Wall in this area, and on a clear day it is extremely picturesque. Price includes lunch after the hike.

Note: While rated a 3+, this hike is sort of a tough 3+ because of the long climb at the beginning.

Working day: for many this will be a working day after the Spring Festival holiday. Not working? Come out for a Valentine’s Day hike!

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 17

Jinshanling Great Wall

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The Great Wall at Jinshanling is the type often seen on postcards: large, intact towers, and impressive stretches of wall that climb steep ridgelines. Parts of the Jinshanling Great Wall have been reconstructed and see quite a few visitors, but with a bit of hiking it’s possible to explore sections that are unrestored and not quite so commonly visited by tour groups.

On this hike, we’ll walk all of the eastern section of Jinshanling; hike a few towers towards Simatai for a better view of that section; and follow a paved park trail through the hills to finish.

Note: This hike has replaced our planned visit to the Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall, which is a wee bit too icy in a few spots.

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Departure date: Saturday, February 20

Switchback Great Wall

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Travel right on past touristy Badaling on the way out to a difficult Great Wall hike in the mountains overlooking the Guanting Reservoir in Yanqing. The climbing is steep and tough and we’ll take 4–5 hours to complete the 8.5km walk. For much of the hike we’ll be quite high up, peaking at 1,200m near the midpoint where the wall curves in a sharp switchback.

We have a shorter version of this hike – on this trip we’ll do the tougher, longer route, and we’re going to do it backwards!

Trail conditions: snow or ice on the trail would make this hike rather unenjoyable. We’ll get an update from our local friends before the hike, and if it doesn’t look good we’ll switch to a different hike.

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Departure date: Saturday, February 20

Shunyi Hikers: Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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Follow the steps of pilgrims on this hike, starting close to the temple at Miaofengshan in Beijing’s western mountains, and hiking an old pilgrims’ trail through forested hills and along ridges on the way to Dajuesi, a beautiful temple built in the Liao Dynasty. Aside from a bit of climbing at the start, this hike follows a trail that is mostly flat, until we start walking down the paved trail that leads to Dajue Temple. During this hike we’ll get great views of mountains, and will pass through a pine forest where we often see people hunting for mushrooms and medicinal herbs. The cost of the hike includes entrance to Dajue Temple.

Note: Bring your own lunch, please! We’ll set up our picnic tables with beer and snacks after the hike.

Shunyi Hikers: We’ll be picking up people from the Starbucks at Pinnacle Plaza in Shunyi for this hike. If you’re not based in Shunyi but fancy a walk down the incense trail today, we can still make it work – write us a note when you make your booking.

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Departure date: Sunday, February 21

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall (longer version)

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Hike the Huanghuacheng Great Wall in Beijing’s Huairou District, starting off on an unrestored stretch and following it over the hills to a restored section and then up, over, and down a mountain to finish at a countryside restaurant near a scenic reservoir. Not recommended for those who are not good with heights; some steep sections both up and down.

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 24

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Book your place

This is a tough and challenging hike, suitable for fit hikers with a good head for heights. We’ll start off at Jiankou, following a zigzag hillside trail that rises quickly to a Great Wall tower that is almost 1,000 metres above sea level. From the tower we can see the Jiankou basin, as well as many other stretches of Great Wall in the area. From there we’ll head southeast, following the wall towards Mutianyu. The hike crosses unrestored and restored sections of wall, which makes it a good way to see the Great Wall as it is now, and how it might have looked when first built.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, February 27

Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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On this hike we’ll walk to and through Hemp Village, an isolated settlement in the hills on the border of Beijing and Hebei Province on the way up to the stretch of wall that lies between Gubeikou and Jinshanling. We’ll follow a narrow trail alongside the wall before passing through an archway to get on to the wall at Jinshanling, a partially-restored stretch with many intact and closely-spaced towers. After hiking on the wall at Jinshanling, we’ll head to a local restaurant for a meal of Chinese food before the drive back to the city.

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Departure date: Saturday, February 27

Prove Your Loyalty

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For this hike we head out to Pinggu District for a ramble that follows wooded trails, passes abandoned villages, and crosses short rundown stretches of Great Wall. The hike is named for a story told to us by villagers: during the war, the Japanese army forced residents in one of the villages to destroy a nearby section of the Great Wall and carry the bricks down to the village as a demonstration of loyalty to Japanese forces.

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Departure date: Sunday, February 28

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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We used this trail for our hiking festival, and after receiving great feedback on it we’re offering it as a regular hike: guided instead of pre-marked, and with a big meal of country style Chinese cooking after the hike is done.

Roads and paved paths lead to the trail that takes us up on to unrestored ‘wild’ Great Wall, which we’ll follow along a ridge line. After several steep ups and downs on the wall we’ll reach the General’s Tower, a large tower sited on the highest point of the ridge. From there we follow the wall down to a steep pass, which we’ll cross through before a quick climb over a hill with super views of the wall behind us.

Some sections steep and slippery

Regular hikers: There’s a significant amount of crossover with this hike and our Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike.

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 2

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Book your place

On this hike we’ll head out to a beautiful section of the Great Wall that is further outside the city than the crowded main tourist sites, and much quieter. You’ll have a chance to hike along an unrestored section of the Great Wall that grants magnificent views of the Great Wall stretching beyond the horizon in the east and west. As we follow the wall, we’ll pass through restored and unrestored sections, as well as taking a nice detour through pines on a hillside trail.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, March 3

Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

Book your place

On this hike we’ll walk to and through Hemp Village, an isolated settlement in the hills on the border of Beijing and Hebei Province on the way up to the stretch of wall that lies between Gubeikou and Jinshanling. We’ll follow a narrow trail alongside the wall before passing through an archway to get on to the wall at Jinshanling, a partially-restored stretch with many intact and closely-spaced towers. After hiking on the wall at Jinshanling, we’ll head to a local restaurant for a meal of Chinese food before the drive back to the city.

Bring your passport with you on this hike. We’ll be crossing the border of Beijing and Hebei going to and from this hike, and we might need to go through a security checkpoint. (There’s a big government meeting on in Beijing during the first two weeks of March.)

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Departure date: Saturday, March 5

Bricks In The Wall hike

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We’ll follow roads and hill trails in and around tiny villages northwest of Beijing, making easy climbs on hill trails and a really steep and tough climb on a rather rundown stretch of Great Wall, with fine views the whole way.

Most of this hike is easy, but we’ve rated it as a Level 4 because the section of the Great Wall we’ll climb is really steep and tricky.

Note: the Great Wall part of this hike will not be much fun if you are not good with heights or not confident in your balancing ability.

Bring your passport with you on this hike. We’ll be crossing the border of Beijing and Hebei going to and from this hike, and we might need to go through a security checkpoint. (There’s a big government meeting on in Beijing during the first two weeks of March.)

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Hikes in Beijing

We publish our hike schedule month by month, with updates around the 10th of each month. If you're interested in hikes and trips during a month that's not yet listed, email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and we'll let you know when the schedule is online.


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All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Friday, February 12
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, February 13
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, February 13
Standby

Longqingxia Ice Festival and Tang Dynasty Caves

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Departure date: Sunday, February 14
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 17
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Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, February 20
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, February 20
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Shunyi Hikers: Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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Departure date: Sunday, February 21
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall (longer version)

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 24
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, February 27
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Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, February 27
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Prove Your Loyalty

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Departure date: Sunday, February 28
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 2
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, March 3
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Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, March 5
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Bricks In The Wall hike

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Departure date: Saturday, March 5
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, March 6
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Sunday, March 6
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Walk Down the Pilgrims’ Trail

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 9
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, March 10
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, March 12
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Big Camp Plate Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 12
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 13
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall Extra

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Departure date: Sunday, March 13
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Big Black Mountain to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 16
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, March 17
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 19
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 19
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, March 20
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, March 20
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Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs (Route Two)

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 23
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Great Wall: Walled Village to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, March 24
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Saturday, March 26
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Shuitou Village Loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, March 26
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: March 26–27 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 27
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Shunyi Hikers: Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Sunday, March 27
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Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 30
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, March 31
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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