This abridged version of the Big Camp Great Wall hike will have us hiking on a part of the Wall in Hebei Province that served as a template for other sections. We’ll detour around some of the toughest, steepest parts in order to have a chance to take in the scenery at a more relaxed pace. In addition to getting a better understanding of Great Wall construction, we’ll also have a chance to learn about how the Great Wall’s logistics were organised as we pass through a town that supplied the garrison. At the end of the hike, we will supply snacks, soft drinks, tea, and beer – please bring your own lunch along.
Take a trip to the far edge of Yanqing District for a day of hiking in the mountains on the border of Beijing and Hebei Province, following a trail that will take us up to the lower peak Big Haituo Mountain, the second-highest inside the Beijing municipality. We’ll start off in a tiny village, head up through grassy meadows and gravelly gullys, and then make a long climb along a ridge trail, passing alongside forested areas on the way to the top. Expect to see abundant greenery and flowers, as well as butterflies and moths in an area protected from farming.
Last time we did this hike we tried a route from a new starting point, and it’s that route we’ll follow this time—our old way is often a bit crowded.
This short-but-steep hike leads up to a round tower high in the hills above the Miyun Reservoir. From the top we will enjoy amazing views in almost every direction: a deep canyon on one side, mountains on the other, and a broad view of the Miyun reservoir and our path up and down the mountain. Note: this is quite a short hike, but it’s steep, and for most of the hike we’re either climbing up or down.
Take a relatively relaxed hike along the wild Great Wall and camp in a scenic spot beside 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 supply the camping equipment, water, snacks, and a basic lunch, dinner, and breakfast. 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!
Before roads were built up into the mountains, the villagers of Xi Changyu had to walk for two hours over the mountains to get to the nearest train station. On this hike we will follow part of their old path up to a windy ridge with great views. After descending from the ridge we’ll walk through the villages of Xi Changyu and Dong Changyu, and then climb up a hill that looks out over the all the local peach orchards – we’re hoping that after a long winter the peach blossoms will be starting to open by the time we visit!
NOTE: Villagers have concreted many of the old trails to allow easier access to their fields. On this hike, there are few stretches where we’ll be walking on concrete roads.
UPDATE: The Car Show at the Exhibition Center in Shunyi will cause heavy traffic, so we’ve moved the pickup point to the Crowne Plaza Hotel and will be sending a separate bus out there early to meet our Shunyi Hikers.
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.
The temples at Yajishan are locally famous, and every year on the lunar calendar there’s a big temple fair. We’ll spend the day having a look at what’s going on – fortune telling, street food and snacks, fireworks and incense burning, various performers – before climbing up to the temples on top.
On the way up to the top, we’ll catch our breath by stopping to look about the various temples and shrines either side of the stairs. After a look about the temple right at the top, we’ll take a walk through the hills behind the temples to complete the circuit.
UPDATE 2014/04/21: We decided to leave an hour early to try to avoid holiday traffic. You’ll need to wake up a little earlier, sorry!
May Holiday Hike! 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, and it will feel a lot tougher if it’s a hot day.
Possiblity of bad traffic This is the first day of one of the big public holidays, and there’s a chance we’ll meet bad traffic on the way to/from the hike. Our recommendation: bring a good book, and some light and comfortable shoes to change into for the ride back.
On this two day Great Wall adventure you’ll hike the Great Wall and camp in or beside a Great Wall tower. 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.
We’ll supply the camping equipment, water, snacks, and breakfast and a restaurant lunch on the second day. Discounted price available if you have your own camping gear.
Maximum group size of 10 hikers; book early to make sure you get a spot!
May Holiday Hike! 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.
Possiblity of bad traffic This hike takes place during one of the big public holidays, and there’s a chance we’ll meet bad traffic on the way to/from the hike. Our recommendation: bring a good book, and some light and comfortable shoes to change into for the ride back.
For this long hike, we’re joining two of our good hillwalking trails to make an 18km trek through the Huairou hills. We’ll first do the Big Black Mountain hike, an 9km 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.
May Holiday hike! 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.
On this hike we’ll make an arduous climb up a pilgrims’ trail that leads from temple to temple, starting on the Beijing side of the West Mountains and finishing at Miaofengshan. The trail leads past ruined Qing Dynasty-era teahouses and crosses the ridge at about 1,060m above sea level. On a clear day we’ll be able to see a long way, with views of mountains and the outskirts of Beijing City.
On the west side of Gubeikou, over the river from our Gubeikou Loop hike, is another stretch of wall that is not often visited.
The hike is moderately difficult, and there is some exposure to heights and a steep descent to end it. 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.
Take a long-distance sightseeing trip to the Eastern Qing Tombs, a hard-to-find but very scenic spot east of Beijing. In contrast to the Ming Tombs in Changping, the Eastern Qing Tombs are concentrated in a relatively small area, which means the highlights are all within easy walking distance. The tombs include those of historical figures such as Shun Zhi (first emperor of the Qing Dynasty), Empress Dowager Cixi, and Qian Long (the seventh and longest-reigning emperor of the Qing Dynasty). Price includes transport, guide, information and translation of park expert, through tickets for the tombs, and a tasty meal of Chinese food after we’ve finished looking around. Please note, no hiking involved!
Shunyi Pinnacle Plaza Pickup available. Write us a note with your reservation if you’d like us to pick you up from the Starbucks at Pinnacle Plaza in Shunyi.