Home > Hike in Beijing

Departure date: Wednesday, July 29

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.

7:30am departure: We’re leaving early so we can get started early on the big hill climb, before it gets too hot!

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Departure date: Thursday, July 30

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, August 1

Chinese Knot Great Wall

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This tough Great Wall hike involves a lot of climbing and scrambling, and you’ll need strong legs and a good head for heights to make it to the end. Starting on the southern side of the mountains to the north of Beijing, we follow the Great Wall up and over two ridges, peaking just after the ‘Chinese Knot’ at 987m above sea level. 4–5 hours of hiking over 10km, with hiking boots and above-average level of fitness required. Note: if you’re not comfortable with making a short-but-steep climb on somewhat tricky terrain, you will probably not find this hike an enjoyable experience.

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Departure date: Saturday, August 1

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.

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Our campsite on unrestored wild wall below a Great Wall tower
Departure date: August 1–2 (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.

Weather warning: We’re getting close to the rainy season, and 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: Sunday, August 2

Quarrymen’s Trail

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This is a long but not super-difficult hike in the Ming Tombs area in Changping District, with views of mountains, valleys, pine forests, rocky outcrops, and two of the closed Ming Tombs. We start with a long, gradual climb to to a ridge line saddle, descend into a long valley, walk for a short while up a quarry road, and then make another climb up through forest, reaching another saddle before walking out a valley that is flanked by two of the Yong Tomb and De Tomb. Approx. 4 hours of hiking over 14km with two good climbs up hill trails.

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Departure date: Sunday, August 2

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, August 2

Intelligence Valley

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A clear stream runs through Intelligence Valley, and the surrounding mountains form a microclimate that makes this a very nice walk. It’s a flat hike, and offers some shade while hiking alongside a stream and over rocks through the valley. Near the end of the hike we’ll take a break at the Dragon Pool, where people rent inflatable boats or sometimes swim. After we’ve finished walking, we’ll stop by our farmer friend’s guesthouse for a big lunch of homestyle Chinese food – cost included in the price of the hike.

Why is this hike called Intelligence Valley? Because – it’s said – that if you walk down the valley, you will become more intelligent! Try it out, and make sure you don’t walk backwards!

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 5

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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Departure date: Thursday, August 6

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 on a hot day, and there are some sections that are very steep and slippery.

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Departure date: Saturday, August 8

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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For this moderately challenging hike we’ll travel into the far northeast of Beijing Municipality. We’ll walk along a stretch of the Gubeikou Great Wall and end up at the Jinshanling Great Wall park after a long detour through the farmland surrounding Hemp Village. After a late lunch at our favourite family restaurant at Jinshanling we’ll head back to Beijing. The cost of food, drinks, round-trip transportation, and park tickets is included in the price.

Regular hikers: this is the version where we walk the last section of the Great Wall at Gubeikou and all of the Jinshanling Great Wall.

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Towers on the ridgeline on the wild Great Wall at Huanghuacheng
Departure date: Saturday, August 8

Great Wall: Walled Village to the Little West Lake

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After a quick look at the thick walls of what was once a Ming Dynasty-era barracks, we’ll take an easy stroll through chestnut orchards on the way to a stretch of the nearby Huanghuacheng Great Wall.

We’ll stop for a rest there and will have time to climb a few towers of a restored section before reversing direction and following a line of unrestored ‘wild’ Great Wall up and along a big ridge, finishing up with a stunning bird’s-eye view of the Little West Lake.

Regular hikers: our trails in this area overlap quite a bit, and if you’ve done any of our Zhuangdaokou or Huanghuacheng hikes you may already have walked a lot of this trail.

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Departure date: Sunday, August 9

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. If it’s a hot day, it will feel even tougher! We’re leaving really early though, so we can do most of the climbing before it gets too hot.

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Departure date: Sunday, August 9

Auspicious Village to Huanghuacheng

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For this hike we will head out to Huairou County for a countryside walk through farmland, hills, and valleys. We’ll follow old trails between three different villages – a good opportunity to compare the big-city lifestyle in Beijing to that of the rural residents of small hamlets that you’d miss in a blink if driving. After we finish walking we’ll have a big meal at a restaurant nearby the Huanghuacheng Great Wall, and then climb up for a quick look.

Note: the focus of this hike isn’t the Great Wall, and if this is your one chance to see the wall it’s probably not the best fit. But if you’re interested in a long walk through the Beijing countryside, and a post-lunch climb up to a pretty stretch of the Huanghuacheng Great Wall, this is an excellent choice!

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 12

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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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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Great Wall hikesGreat Wall campingHillwalking hikesTough hikesEasy hikesShunyi hikes


All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Wednesday, July 29
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, July 30
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, August 1
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, August 1
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: August 1–2 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, August 2
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Quarrymen’s Trail

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Departure date: Sunday, August 2
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Sunday, August 2
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Intelligence Valley

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 5
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, August 6
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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

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Departure date: Saturday, August 8
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Great Wall: Walled Village to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, August 9
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, August 9
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Auspicious Village to Huanghuacheng

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 12
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Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Thursday, August 13
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall (longer version)

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Departure date: Saturday, August 15
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Miaofengshan Super Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, August 15
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: August 15–16 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, August 16
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White River hike and rafting

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Departure date: Sunday, August 16
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 19
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, August 20
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, August 22
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Shuitou Village Loop hike

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

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Departure date: August 22–23 (Sat–Sun)
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Cuandixia Ming Village Overnight

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

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Departure date: Sunday, August 23
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Shunyi Hikers: The Hidden Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 26
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Thursday, August 27
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall (longer version)

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

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Departure date: Saturday, August 29
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, August 29
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Night Hike: Full Moon over the Silver Pagodas

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Departure date: Sunday, August 30
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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

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

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Departure date: Friday, September 4
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Great Wall Spur and Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Friday, September 4
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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

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Departure date: Saturday, September 5
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, September 6
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: September 12–13 (Sat–Sun)
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Yellow Grass Plateau Mini-Overnight

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