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Departure date: Saturday, December 20

Hillwalking Challenge: Flower Wood to the Silver Pagodas

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For this countryside expedition we’re joining two nice hillwalking hikes to make an 19km trail—good and long, with not too much climbing. We start with the Flower Wood hike – a good long ramble through the countryside – and then hop over to the Silver Pagoda hike: more countryside walking, finishing with a good climb up to the peak of the Silver Pagoda Park. An excellent opportunity to stretch the legs!

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Towers on the ridgeline on the wild Great Wall on the way to the Little West Lake
Departure date: Saturday, December 20

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, December 21

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: Sunday, December 21

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.

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Departure date: Thursday, December 25

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Christmas hike

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Hike the Great Wall on Christmas Day

We’ve been doing our Christmas Hike since 2004, and in 2014 the tradition continues! This year we’re going to do the scenic Jiankou to Mutianyu hike, and then head to our favourite Mutianyu restaurant for a big lunch. The hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu is a favourite of many, a good tough hike with great views of picturesque Great Wall. Parts of this hike are fairly difficult in the best of weather; during winter we may encounter some snow or ice on the trail – nice for photographs, but slippery underfoot, making this hike best suited for fit hikers with good hiking boots. After lunch, the annual dumpling-making contest, with prizes to be won!

Working on Christmas? Celebrate instead with a Christmas-y Great Wall hike on the 27th, a Saturday.

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Departure date: Saturday, December 27

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall Christmas Hike

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Celebrate Christmas with a hike!

We’ve been doing our Christmas Hikes since 2004, and in 2014 the tradition continues! 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.

After lunch, the annual dumpling-making contest, with prizes to be won!

Regular hikers: this is the shorter version of this route. Dreamed of doing a Great Wall hike on Christmas Day? We’re doing the Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall hike on Thursday the 25th.

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Departure date: Sunday, December 28

Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Take a Miyun countryside ramble with us on a long walk through peaceful and sparsely populated hills, valleys, and forests. This walk is quite long, but it’s not difficult – there’s not a lot of climbing up and down. The countryside scenery is excellent and we’ll follow country trails and lanes through pine forests, cornfields, orchards, villages, and farmland.

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Departure date: Sunday, December 28

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, December 31

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall (longer version)

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Last hike of 2014! 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.

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Departure date: Thursday, January 1

Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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First hike of 2015! Get the new year off to a good start with a nice easy walk!

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.

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Departure date: Friday, January 2

Great Wall: The Pinnacle Tower

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Holiday hike! This stretch of the Great Wall sits atop the “Big East Mountain” in Huairou, and it’s a hike we don’t do frequently. The view from the top of the Pinnacle Tower is stunning and well worth the tough climb. We’ll make two big hill climbs on the way to the top, where we’ll stop to enjoy the views before heading down to one of the local villages for light snacks and drinks.

NOTES: Balancing skills and a good head for heights will be required. Snow or ice would make this hike dangerous, in which case we’d change to a different Great Wall trail.

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Departure date: Saturday, January 3

Great Wall Spur and Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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On this reasonably tough hike we follow part of the Great Wall Spur and Chinese Knot trails, and then use hill trails to get up to the way to the Great Wall on the west side of the Jiankou basin. We’ll follow that stretch of Great Wall towards Nine-Eyes Tower, and then walk down and out a long valley to finish with snacks and drinks at at our local guide’s guesthouse.
Note: Good footwear required.

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Departure date: Saturday, January 3

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.

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Departure date: Sunday, January 4

Immortal Valley Loop

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This loop walk follows a park trail, passing frozen streams, pools, waterfalls, and big boulders and caves on the way to an almost-800-metre peak. From the peak we’ll get a good view of the surrounding hills and valleys, and should be able to spot the Miyun Reservoir. On the way back down we’ll follow a scenic ridgeline trail through pines and impressive rocky outcrops. The full loop is around 14km, and will take 4–5 hours to complete.

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The General’ Tower on the middle route of the Switchback Great Wall
Departure date: Sunday, January 4

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.

Working day This is a working day for some, so the motorways should be clear once we get out of 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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All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Saturday, December 20
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Hillwalking Challenge: Flower Wood to the Silver Pagodas

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Departure date: Saturday, December 20
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Great Wall: Walled Village to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, December 21
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Auspicious Village to Huanghuacheng

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Departure date: Sunday, December 21
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, December 25
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Christmas hike

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Departure date: Saturday, December 27
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall Christmas Hike

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Departure date: Sunday, December 28
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Sunday, December 28
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Wednesday, December 31
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall (longer version)

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Departure date: Thursday, January 1
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Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Friday, January 2
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Great Wall: The Pinnacle Tower

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Departure date: Saturday, January 3
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Great Wall Spur and Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, January 3
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, January 4
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Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, January 4
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, January 7
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall and Hot Springs

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Departure date: Saturday, January 10
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Train Tracks and Chestnut Orchards

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Departure date: Saturday, January 10
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, January 11
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Sunday, January 11
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake and Hot Springs

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Departure date: Wednesday, January 14
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, January 17
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High Rise hike and Little West Lake Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, January 17
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, November 24
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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