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Setting up camp on the the Great Wall Spur
Departure date: May 29–30 (Mon–Tue)

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.

Dragon Boat Festival holiday hikes—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, May 30

White River hike

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Ford rivers on this long and level canyon hike in Miyun District, passing beneath tall cliffs and following the path of the river as it winds through the mountains. The area is relatively unpopulated, making this an excellent scenic hike that will fill your lungs with fresh air. Four or so hours of reasonably easy hiking over approximately 12km, and you’ll get your feet wet crossing the river!

Note: If the river level is raised because of rain we might not be able to hike. We’ll know for sure in the week before the hike.

Holiday hike! It’s the Dragon Boat Festival holiday weekend, and we might get stuck in traffic at some point on the way to or from the hike. There’s also a reasonable chance we’ll bump into other groups hiking along the way.

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Departure date: Thursday, June 1

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: a bit of recent restoration work at the western end at Mutianyu means we’ll have to make a quick hop over the battlements to get on to the wall – much like the Mongolians did!

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Departure date: Saturday, June 3

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.

Note: there’s some steep climbing on this hike, so we’re rating it a Level 3+ even though it’s quite a short hike.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We have another Great Wall hike the next day, just in case.

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A Great Wall tower on a bluff
Departure date: June 3–4 (Sat–Sun)

Yellow Grass Plateau Mini-Overnight

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The Yellow Grass Plateau to Dragon Gate Gorge trail is one of our best hikes, and it’s the longest one we’ve got in our repertoire.

We’ll head out west on Saturday afternoon and set up in a village nearby the trail head, and on Sunday morning we’ll set the alarms for an early start on our 27km hike through the hills and varied scenery of west Beijing’s Mentougou District.

We think this is one of the best hikes in Beijing, and if you can handle a long day in the hills then don’t miss this one!

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Departure date: Sunday, June 4

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: Sunday, June 4

White River hike

Book your place

Ford rivers on this long and level canyon hike in Miyun District, passing beneath tall cliffs and following the path of the river as it winds through the mountains. The area is relatively unpopulated, making this an excellent scenic hike that will fill your lungs with fresh air. Four or so hours of reasonably easy hiking over approximately 12km, and you’ll get your feet wet crossing the river!

Note: If the river level is raised because of rain we might not be able to hike. We’ll know for sure in the week before the hike.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, June 7

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 out.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We have another Great Wall hike the next day, just in case.

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Departure date: Thursday, June 8

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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UPDATE 2017/5/23: This hike has replaced our planned Gubeikou to Jinshanling visit, as the Jinshanling Great Wall will be closed until the end of summer.

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: a bit of recent restoration work at the western end at Mutianyu means we’ll have to make a quick hop over the battlements to get on to the wall – much like the Mongolians did!

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 10

High Rise hike and Little West Lake Great Wall

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This 16km trail joins two of our Level 3+ hikes to make a tough hike through the hills of Changping District and Huairou District, following hill trails, country lanes, and Great Wall on the way to the end.

The first part of the hike is our High Rise trail, an old mining track from a small village that goes up and over a tall hill and then down past a few more valley villages. The second part of the hike goes through the Little West Lake Park, and then up on to more Great Wall on the way to the Walled Village.

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Departure date: Saturday, June 10

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.

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Departure date: June 10–11 (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 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 will 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: Sunday, June 11

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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The Great Wall at Longquanyu follows a ridge surrounded by taller mountains, with views of peaks in the distance and canyons far below. We’ll hike a recently repaired stretch with some two very steep descents, and take a detour through chestnut orchards to find the last ‘wild’ stretch of wall in the area. The hike finishes with a walk out past the Little West Lake reservoir, a popular park with views of Great Wall dipping down into the water.

When we’re done walking we’ll head to a nearby restaurant for a late lunch of Chinese food.

Note: there are some very steep descents in the first section of the hike.

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Swimming at Yunmeng Gorge
Departure date: Sunday, June 11

Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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Head out to Yunmeng Gorge for a hike-and-swim combo – perfect for hot weather!

The sandy beaches and pools of water in Yunmeng Gorge make a perfect place to picnic and swim. We’ll walk up the gorge and find a good spot, and you can take a dip in the water or follow our guides for a longer hike up into the hills.

Limited space available, sign up early!

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 14

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.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We have another Great Wall hike the next day, 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: May 29–30 (Mon–Tue)
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Camping Basics: Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Tuesday, May 30
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White River hike

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Departure date: Thursday, June 1
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 3
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: June 3–4 (Sat–Sun)
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Yellow Grass Plateau Mini-Overnight

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Departure date: Sunday, June 4
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Sunday, June 4
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White River hike

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 7
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, June 8
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 10
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High Rise hike and Little West Lake Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 10
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: June 10–11 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, June 11
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, June 11
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Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 14
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, June 15
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, June 17
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Hillwalking Challenge: Flower Wood to East Water Valley

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Departure date: Saturday, June 17
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, June 18
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Sunday, June 18
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Down the White River

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 21
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, June 22
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Saturday, June 24
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 24
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, June 25
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, June 25
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Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 28
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, June 29
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, July 1
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, July 1
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: July 1–2 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Hemp Village and Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, July 2
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Cypress Wells Canyon and Yongning Town

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Departure date: Sunday, July 2
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Wednesday, July 5
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, July 6
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Saturday, July 8
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, July 8
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Walk Like A Pilgrim

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Departure date: Sunday, July 9
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White River hike and rafting

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Departure date: Sunday, July 9
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, July 12
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, July 13
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, July 15
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Shuitou Village Loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, July 15
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, July 16
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Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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Departure date: Sunday, July 16
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, July 19
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, July 20
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Saturday, July 22
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall Extra

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Departure date: Saturday, July 22
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, July 23
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, July 23
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Down the White River

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Departure date: Wednesday, July 26
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, July 27
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, July 29
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The Great Flood

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

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Departure date: Sunday, July 30
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, July 30
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Dragon Cloud Mountain

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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

Huts below the Gangshika Snow Mountain
Trip dates: May 26–30, 2017

Qinghai Lake, Kumbum Monastery, and the Gangshika Snow Mountain, Qinghai Province

In Brief: Take a hike near the shores of Qinghai Lake; join the pilgrims visiting Kumbum Monastery; camp out at high altitude on Gangshika Mountain and hike up to a glacier.

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Clouds over the green rolling hills of the Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province
Trip dates: June 16–18, 2017

Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province

In Brief: Clean and cool grasslands near the border of Hebei and Inner Mongolia: hikes, BBQ lamb, and more.

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Mountains and rivers in Xinjiang
Trip dates: June 20–25, 2017

Bayinbuluke Grasslands, Xinjiang Province (6 days)

In Brief: Camp out overnight in the beautiful high-altitude scenery of the Bayinbuluke Grasslands in northwestern Xinjiang; see Silk Road sights, big mountains, and desert while on the road to and from the grasslands.

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