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The General’ Tower on the middle route of the Switchback Great Wall
Departure date: Thursday, April 2

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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This stretch of Great Wall in Yanqing County is extremely picturesque, and seldom visited, but its steepness can prove difficult for casual hikers. On this visit we’ll do the ‘middle route,’ cutting out the toughest parts to make it a little easier. There are still some steep climbs to do, but overall this hike isn’t long enough to rate as difficult – we’ll take our time climbing up and down and make sure that we have a relaxed and enjoyable visit.

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The view from Vulture Rock Ridge
Departure date: Saturday, April 4

Vulture Rock Ridge loop hike

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Get some good exercise with great views on this loop hike in the mountains west of Beijing, following hill trails up to a broad plateau before walking along high-up Vulture Rock Ridge. From the highest point on the hike we follow part of a pilgrims’ path through forest, eventually arriving back where we began.

Early start We’re leaving early in the hope of avoiding any holiday traffic jams by the temples out in west Beijing.

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Departure date: Saturday, April 4

Great Wall: Gubeikou West Side

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Holiday hike! On the west side of Gubeikou, over the river from our Gubeikou Loop hike, is another stretch of wall that is not often visited. On a clear day the views are excellent, with towers atop big hills and a line of Great Wall stretching far off into the distance.

The hike is moderately difficult, and there is some exposure to heights. If you’re okay with that, then this will be an interesting short stretch of wall to look at, and we’ll take a look about the small village below the wall as well.

Because it’s the Tombsweeping Festival holiday we may see a little bad traffic on the way there or on the way back.

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Towers of the Gubeikou Great Wall
Departure date: Sunday, April 5

Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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To begin the hike, we’ll walk in to Hemp Village, a tiny settlement hidden at the end of a long valley. From Hemp Village, we’ll climb into the hills, first following a trail through fields with views of the Great Wall to the side and front, and then getting on to the Great Wall at Gubeikou to walk a 6km stretch of pretty, unrestored wall.

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Departure date: Sunday, April 5

Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Take a Miyun countryside ramble with us on a long walk through peaceful and sparsely populated hills, valleys, and forests. This walk is quite long, but it’s not difficult – there’s not a lot of climbing up and down. The countryside scenery is excellent and we’ll follow country trails and lanes through pine forests, cornfields, orchards, villages, and farmland.

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Departure date: Monday, April 6

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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On this hike we’ll head out to the border of Beijing Municipality and Hebei Province for a moderately difficult walk through peach orchards, up valleys, and along the Great Wall. We’ll have views of the distinctive peaks of nearby ‘Brush-rest’ Mountain as we walk, and we think this remote area is a great spot for a walk.

Rerun!: We had to change our plan for this hike in early March because of snow on the mountain roads. No problem this time!

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 8

Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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This hike is a shortened version of our Nine-Eyes Tower trail, made easier by skipping the tough climb up to the top. We’ll follow hill trails through leafy valleys to get to Jiankou’s ‘Big West Wall’, and then walk south along the wall towards the Chinese Knot. This hike will still be fairly tough if you’re not used to hiking, and there are some sections that are very steep and slippery.

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Departure date: Thursday, April 9

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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Nine Eyes Tower
Departure date: Saturday, April 11

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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This is a looping walk over steep and rocky terrain, with a lot of scrambling and climbing required to arrive at the highest point on the hike, the impressive Nine-Eyes Tower. On a clear day in this spot in the heart of the mountains it will be possible to see sections of Great Wall to the north, south, east, and west. Four hours of tough hiking with a lot of climbing, over approximately 10km.

Farewell, Katherine and Ben! They met on this hike, and many years later they’re married with a lovely little hiking baby. We’re saving the first 10 seats on this hike for members and friends of Katherine and Ben – sign up quick!

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Departure date: Saturday, April 11

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: April 11–12 (Sat–Sun)

Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Take a relatively relaxed hike along the wild Great Wall and camp in a scenic on the wall on this Great Wall overnighter. We’ll take care of the heavy lifting and have things delivered direct to our campsite; you’ll be free to enjoy the scenery, sunset, stars, and sunrise without all the sweat involved in a full-on camping expedition – on this trip we’ll be taking it slow and easy.

We’ll organise delivery of tents and sleeping bags direct to our campsite; you’ll just need to carry your clothes, water, and food and snacks.

Discounted price available if you have your own camping gear.

Maximum group size of 12 hikers; book early to make sure you get a spot!

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Departure date: Sunday, April 12

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 a short rundown stretch 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.

On this visit we’re adding on an extra 6km for a longer walk, finishing near where we usually begin our Perfect Loop hike. A great chance for a nice long day out in the hills.

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Departure date: Sunday, April 12

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.

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 15

Silver Pagoda Loop

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For this hike we will follow a seldom-used trail to get to the Silver Pagodas, a set of five well-preserved 600-year-old pagodas that are all that remains of a big Buddhist temple. On the way to the pagoda site we will take a long walk through the countryside, passing a village, quarries, and a local shrine, before a steep climb to the 720m peak of Holly Mountain. From the top we can look down on the pagodas and large swathes of the surrounding countryside, and as we follow the path down we will pass large bells, “North Beijing’s Number One Waterfall,” and plenty of other interesting local landmarks.

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Departure date: Thursday, April 16

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

Book your place

This stretch of Great Wall in Yanqing County is extremely picturesque, and seldom visited, but its steepness can prove difficult for casual hikers. On this visit we’ll do the ‘middle route,’ cutting out the toughest parts to make it a little easier. There are still some steep climbs to do, but overall this hike isn’t long enough to rate as difficult – we’ll take our time climbing up and down and make sure that we have a relaxed and enjoyable visit.

Read more about this hike »

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: Thursday, April 2
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, April 4
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Vulture Rock Ridge loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, April 4
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Great Wall: Gubeikou West Side

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Departure date: Sunday, April 5
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 5
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Monday, April 6
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 8
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, April 9
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, April 11
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Saturday, April 11
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall (longer version)

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Departure date: April 11–12 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 12
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Prove Your Loyalty

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Departure date: Sunday, April 12
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 15
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Silver Pagoda Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, April 16
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, April 18
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High Rise hike and Little West Lake Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, April 18
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, April 19
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Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, April 19
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A Long Way to Catch the Train

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Departure date: April 21–22 (Tue–Wed)
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Camping: Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 22
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Tanzhe Temple and the Abandoned Village

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Departure date: Thursday, April 23
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Big Camp Plate Great Wall Route Two

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Departure date: Saturday, April 25
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Dahaituo Mountain

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Departure date: Saturday, April 25
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Earth Day Cleanup: Jiankou ‘Big West’ Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, April 25
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: April 25–26 (Sat–Sun)
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Yeyahu Birdwatching Overnight

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Departure date: Sunday, April 26
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall (longer version)

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Departure date: Sunday, April 26
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Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 29
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Ming Village day trip

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Departure date: Thursday, April 30
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Friday, May 1
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, May 2
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Hillwalking Challenge: Prove Your Loyalty Perfectly

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Departure date: Saturday, May 2
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Little West Lake and Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: May 2–3 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, May 3
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, May 3
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The Great Flood

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