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Departure date: Wednesday, September 28

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. There are some sections that are very steep and slippery, but the views of mountains and Great Wall are definitely worth it.

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Departure date: Thursday, September 29

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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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.

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Departure date: Saturday, October 1

Hillwalking Challenge: Big Black Mountain to Moss Mountain

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For this long hike, we’re joining two of our good hillwalking trails to make a 19km trek through the Huairou hills. We’ll first do the Big Black Mountain hike, a 10km hike through chestnut orchards, up and over ridges, and down valleys. Then we’ll link up with our Moss Mountain trail, starting from the Walled Village and walking 9km on the way to the finish.

Holiday traffic: We’re leaving early to get ahead of the holiday traffic, but we still may get stuck in a jam at some stage. Bring a book or something else to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

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Departure date: Saturday, October 1

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: tough climb at the start of the hike. While rated a 3+, this hike is sort of a tough 3+ because of the long climb at the beginning. We go up about 500m over 2km of trail, which is a climb worthy of a Level 4 hike.

Holiday traffic: We’re leaving early to get ahead of the holiday traffic, but we still may get stuck in a jam at some stage. Bring a book or something else to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

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Sunset at the Great Wall Spur
Departure date: October 2–3 (Sun–Mon)

Camping Basics: Great Wall Spur

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On this two-day back-to-basics camping trip you’ll explore the ‘wild’ Great Wall, camping overnight on the Great Wall Spur and hiking over to Jiankou via the Chinese Knot on the second day.

This is a self-supported trip: we’ll supply the equipment – backpack, tent, sleeping bag – but it’s up to you to carry it! As well as the gear we supply water, snacks, paper plates and a pot, as well as a sandwich for lunch on the first day.

Group size 6–10 hikers.

Holiday traffic: We may get stuck in a traffic jam at some stage. Bring a book or something else to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

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Departure date: Sunday, October 2

Sunset over the Gubeikou Great Wall

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Make a mid-afternoon visit to the Gubeikou for a walk on the wall, hiking up to a high point to see the sun set.

The hiking trail is the same as our popular Gubeikou Great Wall Loop, and we’ll have magnificent views of the Great Wall stretching beyond the horizon in the east and west. The views and photos you’ll get will be even better than usual, with the special soft light in the hour or so before sundown illuminating a long line of wall that runs off into the mountains.

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Departure date: Monday, October 3

Jinshanling Great Wall to Gubeikou Great Wall

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This hike starts at the restored Great Wall at Jinshanling and finishes at Gubeikou where the wall is mostly untouched.

We’ll follow the middle trail up to the wall at Jinshanling, getting up on to the wall right in the midst of all the big towers. After hiking over to the unrestored end of Jinshanling, we’ll head for the Gubeikou Great Wall, hiking down through Hemp Village and then up the Spider Valley trail to get back on to the wall. We’ll be on the Great Wall at Gubeikou for about 6km.

On this walk you’ll have superb views of the wall – from on top of the wall itself, and also close up views from alongside, and of both renovated and unrestored ‘wild’ sections of Great Wall.

Holiday traffic: We’re leaving early to get ahead of the holiday traffic, but we still may get stuck in a jam at some stage. Bring a book or something else to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

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Departure date: Tuesday, October 4

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.

Bring your passport / ID card (or a copy) with you on this hike in case the border crossing guards decide they want to check us on the way home.

Holiday traffic: We’re leaving early to get ahead of the holiday traffic, but we still may get stuck in a jam at some stage. Bring a book or something else to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

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Departure date: Tuesday, October 4

Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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This hike starts off behind a small village where we’ll take a look at the 300-year old ‘Phoenix and Dragon’ pine trees before hiking up to the Zhuangdaokou Great Wall. From the wall, we have the option to make things a little more difficult by taking a climb up to some of the towers. We’ll end up at the Walled Village, a settlement that has grown up inside and around an old army barracks that used to house soldiers tasked with guarding the Great Wall. 2–3 hours of relaxed walking, price includes lunch at a restaurant at the foot of the Huanghuacheng Great Wall. Hikers with extra energy have the option to finish lunch early and take a short climb up.

Regular Beijing Hikers: this is the easiest version of this walk. A great way to try a hike if you’re not sure about your fitness, or if you have kids who would like to get outside.

Holiday traffic: We’re leaving early to get ahead of the holiday traffic, but we still may get stuck in a jam at some stage. Bring a book or something else to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 5

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. The Great Wall out here is rough and seldom-visited—choose this hike if you’re interested in a visit to a section of wall very different to what you’ve seen on postcards.

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Departure date: October 5–6 (Wed–Thu)

Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

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UPDATE 2016/8/10: Changed the dates so we can see the Dashuhua performance. Now departing on Wednesday, October 5 and returning on Thursday, October 6.

Almost four hours’ drive northwest of Beijing city is Yu County, home to ancient pagodas, temples, pavilions, and large gates and plaques inside fortified walled towns that preserve traces of the Zhou, Liao, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties.

On this two-day trip to the area you’ll walk the streets of well-preserved Yuxian Ancient City, visiting the pavilions and pagodas, as well as visiting Jimingyi, the remnants of a Ming Dynasty postal relay center. And, on the first evening, we’ll take in a performance that includes Da Shu Hua, a 300-year old local tradition that translates as ‘Beating Trees into Flowers’ and results in molten iron being flung against the city walls in lieu of a fireworks display!

We did some extra scouting for this trip and found a nice countryside walk to do on the last day, a good way to see what it’s like in really rural China.

Note: The performances used to be only done at Chinese New Year, when the weather was absolutely freezing! Visiting in autumn we won’t see all the Chinese New Years festivities, but we won’t freeze, either!

Holiday traffic: We’re leaving early to get ahead of the holiday traffic, but we still may get stuck in a jam at some stage. Bring a book or something else to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

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Departure date: Thursday, October 6

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.

At this time of year the autumn colours should be starting to show on the ancient ginkgo trees in the temple.

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

Holiday traffic: We’re leaving early to get ahead of the holiday traffic, but we still may get stuck in a jam at some stage. Bring a book or something else to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

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Departure date: Thursday, October 6

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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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.

Holiday traffic: We’re leaving early to get ahead of the holiday traffic, but we still may get stuck in a jam at some stage. Bring a book or something else to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

Read more about this hike »
Our campsite on unrestored wild wall below a Great Wall tower
Departure date: October 6–7 (Thu–Fri)

Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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UPDATE 2016/8/10: Changed the dates because of a schedule clash. Now departing on Thursday, October 6 and returning on Friday, October 7.

Take a relatively relaxed hike along the wild Great Wall and camp in a scenic spot 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.

Weather warning: If lightning or heavy rain is forecast for the weekend we may need to make a change to the plan.

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

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Departure date: Friday, October 7

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.

Holiday traffic: We’re leaving early to get ahead of the holiday traffic, but we still may get stuck in a jam at some stage. Bring a book or something else to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

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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, use our contact form to let us know and we'll send you a quick email when the schedule is online.

Hike in Beijing calendar

See the Hike in Beijing schedule in our calendar


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All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Wednesday, September 28
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, September 29
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, October 1
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Hillwalking Challenge: Big Black Mountain to Moss Mountain

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Departure date: Saturday, October 1
Standby

Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: October 2–3 (Sun–Mon)
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Camping Basics: Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, October 2
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Sunset over the Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Monday, October 3
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Jinshanling Great Wall to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Tuesday, October 4
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Tuesday, October 4
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Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 5
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: October 5–6 (Wed–Thu)
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Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

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Departure date: Thursday, October 6
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Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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Departure date: Thursday, October 6
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: October 6–7 (Thu–Fri)
Standby

Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Friday, October 7
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, October 8
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, October 9
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, October 13
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Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, October 15
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2016 Hiking Festival: The Challenge (24km+)

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Departure date: Saturday, October 15
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2016 Hiking Festival: Hike for Fun (Stone Valley Great Wall)

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Departure date: Sunday, October 16
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 19
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, October 20
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, October 22
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Miaofengshan Super Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, October 22
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Great Wall: Walled Village to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, October 23
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Sunday, October 23
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Tomb Raiders hike and Ding Tomb’s ‘Underground Palace’

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 26
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, October 27
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, October 29
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Big Camp Plate Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, October 29
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, October 30
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, October 30
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Cypress Wells Canyon and Yongning Town

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 2
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, November 3
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Great Wall: Walled Village to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, November 5
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, November 5
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, November 6
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Shuitou Village Loop hike

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Departure date: Sunday, November 6
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 9
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, November 10
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, November 12
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The High Tower Loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, November 12
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, November 13
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Sunday, November 13
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Longevity Village to Flower Wood

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 16
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, November 17
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, November 19
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Zhenzi Ridge Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, November 19
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Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, November 20
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Sunday, November 20
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Shunyi Hikers: Quarrymen’s Trail

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 23
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, November 24
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, November 26
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Great Wall: Gubeikou to Jinshanling (and a little Simatai)

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Departure date: Saturday, November 26
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, November 27
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, November 27
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Auspicious Village hike

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 30
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, December 1
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Explore China

See more of China on a multi-day trip—travel to famous scenic areas, or choose to visit somewhere obscure and less well-known.

Upcoming trips

Baicheng Landform
Trip dates: September 30–October 6

Silk Road: Korla to Kashgar (7 days)

In Brief: Spend seven days on the Silk Road, heading west to Kashgar and travelling by jeep instead of camel through the vast empty areas of Xinjiang Province.

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The coloured hills of the Zhangye Danxia Landform
Trip dates: October 8–12, 2016

Zhangye Danxia Landform, Gansu Province

In Brief: See the fantastically-coloured mountains and cliffs in an all-but unexplored area of Gansu; visit Horse Hoofprint Temple, Jiayuguan Fortress, and more.

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A mossy tree trunk, Five Flowers Lake, Jiuzhaigou National Park
Trip dates: November 2–6, 2016

Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong, Sichuan Province

In Brief: Visit the deservedly famous Jiuzhaigou National Park and then head on to nearby Huanglong, an equally scenic but less well-known area of still ponds and coloured rocks.

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