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The Great Wall crossing hills and mountains in Huailai District
Departure date: Saturday, November 1

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

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This Great Wall hike is one of our most challenging treks, covering a long section of wild wall in Beijing’s northwest. We’re leaving at the extra early time of 7:30am for this hike to try and avoid traffic on the Badaling Expressway. This hike is definitely not suitable for those who are not physically fit, are afraid of heights, or lack proper clothing and footwear.

Doing it again: This is one of our favourite long hikes, and in October we scheduled it for a Saturday that turned out to be a working day. Oops! We thought we’d better schedule it again before it gets too cold out there.

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Departure date: Saturday, November 1

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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Views from high up in the West Mountains
Departure date: Sunday, November 2

Woodpecker Trail and the Pagoda on the Rock

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Old favourite! Visit the western district of Mentougou for a hike in the Miaofeng Mountain area, walking a trail that passes Guandi Miao temple, and a Jurchen Jin Dynasty era (1115-1234AD) miniature pagoda placed precariously on a rock. After a look at the pagoda we head up and over Phoenix Ridge – a long uphill climb that takes around two hours.

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Departure date: Sunday, November 2

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.

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 5

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall (longer version)

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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. Not recommended for those who are not good with heights; some steep sections both up and down.

Nature interpretation: On this hike we will be accompanied by Betsy Taylor, an experienced Naturalist who will keep an eye out for interesting flora, fauna, and geology while we walk. Stick close to her if you’re interested to learn more about what we see on the hike, and she’ll talk about anything we find.

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Departure date: Thursday, November 6

Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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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.

Nature interpretation: On this hike we will be accompanied by Betsy Taylor, an experienced Naturalist who will keep an eye out for interesting flora, fauna, and geology while we walk. Stick close to her if you’re interested to learn more about what we see on the hike, and she’ll talk about anything we find.

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Departure date: Saturday, November 8

Hillwalking Challenge: Longevity Village to the Heavenly Lake

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This is a good long hike in the Ming Tombs area in Changping District and we’re going to make it extra tough by tacking on the big climb up to the local Heavenly Lake, a reservoir built on top of a big hill. Your legs may not thank you the next day, but your effort will have been rewarded with with views of mountains, valleys, pine forests, rocky outcrops, and a the sight of the strangely-sited reservoir.

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Departure date: Saturday, November 8

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.

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Full moon shines through trees
Departure date: Saturday, November 8

Night hike: Full Moon Over Lily Village

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Tonight is the night after the full moon, and we’re going to take advantage of the extra moonlight to do a night hike, crossing the hills on the way to Lily Village—a nice and easy hike, with not much in the way of loose and tricky footing. Bring your own dinner, and a flashlight or headlamp! There will be limited places available on this hike.

Nature interpretation: On this hike we will be accompanied by Betsy Taylor, an experienced Naturalist who will keep an eye out for interesting flora, fauna, and geology while we walk. Stick close to her if you’re interested to learn more about what we see on the hike, and she’ll talk about anything we find.

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Departure date: Sunday, November 9

Cypress Wells Canyon and Yongning Town

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Visit Yanqing Country to find a short stretch of ‘Warring States’ era Great Wall and an old village amidst the mountainous landscapes. The hike begins with a nice long, flat walk along the floor of the canyon. Mid-way, we’ll stop for a break at a small and interesting mostly-abandoned village before following a trail up through a pine forest to take a look at a very old section of Great Wall. We’ll finish the hike by following a hill trail down and out to the nearest road.

Nature interpretation: On this hike we will be accompanied by Betsy Taylor, an experienced Naturalist who will keep an eye out for interesting flora, fauna, and geology while we walk. Stick close to her if you’re interested to learn more about what we see on the hike, and she’ll talk about anything we find.

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Departure date: Sunday, November 9

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.

Version 2: today we’re going to start from the clean and tidy little rural village on the other side of the hill – it’s worth a look, and the climb up to the Great Wall is shaded and a little easier.

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 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 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.

Because it’s one of the biggest holidays of the year, we might see extra hikers out and about, and we might get stuck in bad traffic on the way there or on the way back.

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Departure date: Thursday, November 13

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.

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Departure date: Saturday, November 15

Great Wall: Gubeikou to Jinshanling (and a little Simatai)

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On this excellent Great Wall adventure, we’ll walk all of the wall on the east side of Gubeikou; hike on to Jinshanling and walk all of that section of the wall; hike a few towers of Simatai and maybe get a little look at what they’re doing over there; and follow a Jinshanling park trail through the hills to finish. After a late lunch in one of the restaurants at Jinshanling we’ll head back to Beijing. The cost of food, drinks, round-trip transportation, and park tickets is included in the price. Note: there are a few slippery sections on this hike. Good boots required.

Regular hikers: this is the longest version that we do of this hike, crossing all of the wall at Gubeikou and all of the wall at Jinshanling.

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A hiker using binoculars to get a closer look at a stretch of Great Wall
Departure date: Saturday, November 15

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.

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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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All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Saturday, November 1
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

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Departure date: Saturday, November 1
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, November 2
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Woodpecker Trail and the Pagoda on the Rock

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Departure date: Sunday, November 2
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 5
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall (longer version)

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Departure date: Thursday, November 6
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, November 8
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Hillwalking Challenge: Longevity Village to the Heavenly Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, November 8
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Saturday, November 8
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Night hike: Full Moon Over Lily Village

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Departure date: Sunday, November 9
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Cypress Wells Canyon and Yongning Town

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Departure date: Sunday, November 9
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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

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Departure date: Thursday, November 13
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, November 15
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Great Wall: Gubeikou to Jinshanling (and a little Simatai)

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

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Departure date: Saturday, November 15
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Intelligence Valley

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Departure date: November 15–16 (Saturday–Sunday)
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Miyun Reservoir Birdwatching Overnight

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Departure date: Sunday, November 16
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Big Black Mountain to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Sunday, November 16
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Great Wall: Walled Village to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 19
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, November 20
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, November 22
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Vulture Rock Ridge loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, November 22
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, November 23
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The High Tower

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Departure date: Sunday, November 23
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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

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

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Departure date: Saturday, November 29
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, November 29
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, November 30
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Bricks In The Wall hike

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

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