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.
Shunyi Hikers: We’ll be picking up people from the Starbucks at Pinnacle Plaza in Shunyi for this hike. If you’re not based in Shunyi but fancy a visit to the Round Tower today, we can still make it work – write us a note when you make your booking.
Pay a visit to the Round Tower, a lookout and beacon tower that is part of the Great Wall in Miyun District. 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.
This stretch of Great Wall sits on the boundary of Yanqing District and Hebei province, west of the Badaling section of the Great Wall, and to the south of the Guanting Reservoir. The hike follows the Great Wall in a loop around an isolated village called ‘Big Plate.’ It’s a tough walk, and if you are not scared of heights, clambering up and down slippery and narrow paths, and walking over loose rocks, then this will be a great hike for you! The scenery is well worth the trip, but only if you’ve got strong legs and a good head for heights.
Could be cold! Big Camp Plate is quite high up, and it’s in an area where it’s known to get breezy. Bring your warmest hiking gear!
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.
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.
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.
Note: be sure to bring all your warm clothes on this hike—it’s often really breezy out here, and it could get fairly chilly!
Take a stroll through valleys and past villages on the way to a seldom-visited stretch of Great Wall nestled in the hills north of the Ming Tombs. We’ll follow the wall up and along a ridge, detouring through orchards to get around a cliff face before rejoining the wall and following it on to make a circuit of the Little West Lake. When we’re done walking we’ll head to a nearby restaurant for a late lunch of Chinese food.
Enjoy 4–5 hours of tough hiking and a visit to one of Beijing’s highest Great Wall towers on this challenging hike in Yanqing District. Starting from a small Ming Dynasty-era village, we’ll follow a paved path up to the Beijing-Hebei border before starting the ascent to a tower situated 1,440m above sea level, crossing a wide plateau on the way. After a lunch break at the tower, we’ll head downhill, passing fragments of Great Wall on the way to the valley trail that will take us to the end.
Note: we’re using a smaller size bus for this hike so we can take the shorter way through the mountains. Spaces may be limited.
Weather warning: if it snows in the week before the hike the roads we want to take might close, which means we’d need to do a different version of this 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.
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.
On this version of our Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs hike we will avoid a recently re-opened mine and quarry site by looping to the west instead of going around the east side. We will still get some good hill walking done, climbing up and over a ridge, descending into a deep valley, and then making another climb to a high lookout on the way to the end.
Regular hikers: this is the slightly shorter version of the trail.
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.
This hike follows a seldom-used trail mountain trail that connects two villages in Changping District, peaking at almost 800m above sea level. On a clear day the views from the peak are excellent. The second village is conveniently close to a nice stretch of Great Wall we visit on other hikes, and we’re going to follow that stretch of wall over to the Little West Lake, a reservoir in Changping District.
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.
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 along all the wall at Jinshanling, we’ll head to a local restaurant for a meal of Chinese food before the drive back to the city.