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Departure date: Saturday, August 23

Jiankou and Great Wall Spur

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Replacement hike This hike replaces our previously planned Big Camp Plate hike, which we’re not going to do because of dangerous weather forecast for that area. The replacement hike is in a district where the weather forecast is better, and there are plenty of options to bail out if the weather is worse than forecast.

Hike a long valley trail up to the Great Wall on the west side of Jiankou, and then follow the Great Wall towards the Chinese Knot. Just before we get to the steep stretch of wall before the Chinese Knot we’ll head down a valley on the west side, and then make another ascent to get on to our Great Wall Spur hike, finally finishing in a small village. Some sections steep and slippery!

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Towers on the ridgeline on the west side of Gubeikou
Departure date: Saturday, August 23

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: August 23–24 (Saturday–Sunday)

Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

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Almost four hours’ drive northwest of Beijing city is Yu County, home to ancient pagodas, temples, pavilions, and large gates and plaques inside fortified walled towns that preserve traces of the Zhou, Liao, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties.

On this two-day trip to the area you’ll walk the streets of well-preserved Yuxian Ancient City, visiting the pavilions and pagodas, as well as visiting Jimingyi, the remnants of a Ming Dynasty postal relay center. And, on the first evening, we’ll take in a performance that includes Da Shu Hua, a 300-year old local tradition that translates as ‘Beating Trees into Flowers’ and results in molten iron being flung against the city walls in lieu of a fireworks display!

Note: The performances used to be only done at Chinese New Year, when the weather was absolutely freezing! Visiting in summer we won’t see all the Chinese New Years festivities, but we won’t freeze, either!

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Departure date: August 23–24 (Saturday–Sunday)

Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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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 organise delivery of tents and sleeping bags direct to our campsite; you’ll just need to carry your clothes, water, and food and snacks.

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!

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Departure date: Sunday, August 24

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.

Cooler version: 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: Sunday, August 24

Shunyi Hikers: 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.

Shunyi Pinnacle Plaza pickup.

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Departure date: Sunday, August 24

Yajishan Temple Circuit

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On this trip we’re going to add a little extra hiking to our usual inspection of the temples at Yajishan, starting with the short-but-steep stair climb to the top of Yaji Mountain. 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.

Old favourite! We had to stop doing this version of the hike while a big hotel was under construction behind the mountain.

Note: in some of the photos you’ll see shots from the temple fair. The fair is only once a year … and this year it’s already been.

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 27

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall

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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 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.

Beijing Hikers’ regulars: this is the shorter version of this route.

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Departure date: Thursday, August 28

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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Departure date: Saturday, August 30

Yanqing Great Wall and Long Valley City

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Head far out into the mountains of Yanqing County for a tough five-hour walk that follows a section of wall reconstructed in the early Ming Dynasty. Along the way we’ll get views of the Guanting Reservoir, valleys and mountains, one of the highest Great Wall towers in Beijing, and a well-positioned radar station. We’ll finish up with a downhill stroll through a leafy valley, passing a reservoir before taking a look around a village with an ancient shrine, a restored temple, and a venerable old tree. 13km with some steep ascents and descents.

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Departure date: Saturday, August 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: Sunday, August 31

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.

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Departure date: Sunday, August 31

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.

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 3

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: Thursday, September 4

Auspicious Village and Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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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. This hike is rated a Level 3, but if it’s a hot day it will feel a lot tougher.

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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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, August 23
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Jiankou and Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, August 23
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Great Wall: Walled Village to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: August 23–24 (Saturday–Sunday)
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Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

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Departure date: August 23–24 (Saturday–Sunday)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, August 24
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, August 24
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Shunyi Hikers: Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, August 24
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Yajishan Temple Circuit

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 27
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, August 28
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Saturday, August 30
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Yanqing Great Wall and Long Valley City

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Departure date: Saturday, August 30
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, August 31
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, August 31
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Cypress Wells Canyon and Yongning Town

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 3
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, September 4
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Auspicious Village and Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Friday, September 5
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, September 6
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, September 6
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, September 7
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 7
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The Great Flood

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 10
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: September 10–11 (Wed–Thu)
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Camping: Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, September 11
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Great Wall: Gubeikou West Side

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Departure date: Saturday, September 13
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Dahaituo Mountain

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Departure date: Saturday, September 13
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Great Wall: Walled Village to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, September 14
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Sunday, September 14
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A Long Way to Catch the Train

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Departure date: Sunday, September 14
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Shunyi Hikers: Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 17
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Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Thursday, September 18
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The Round Tower

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Departure date: Friday, September 19
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, September 20
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Moyashike Valley and Jiankou’s ‘Big West Wall’

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Departure date: Saturday, September 20
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Stone Valley Great Wall

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Departure date: September 20–21 (Sat–Sun)
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Ming Dynasty Village Overnight

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Departure date: Sunday, September 21
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall (longer version)

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Departure date: Sunday, September 21
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Changyucheng Walled Village

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Departure date: Sunday, September 21
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Intelligence Valley

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 24
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Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Thursday, September 25
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, September 27
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Yanqing Great Wall and High Tower Challenge

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Departure date: Saturday, September 27
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, September 27
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Tang Dynasty Cave Dwellings and Yongning Town

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Departure date: Sunday, September 28
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 28
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Mr. Mao’s Chestnut Orchard hike

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Departure date: Thursday, October 2
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Friday, October 3
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, October 4
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Hillwalking Challenge: Spring Valley Super Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, October 4
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Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Sunday, October 5
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The Pinnacle Tower

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Departure date: Sunday, October 5
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Tuesday, October 7
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Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Tuesday, October 7
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Silver Pagoda Loop

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