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Departure date: Saturday, June 24

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Explore an interesting stretch of Great Wall on this Huairou hike, visiting both restored and unrestored sections on the way from the Huanghuacheng Reservoir to a walled village that used to be a Ming Dynasty-era army barracks. The hike is moderately difficult, with a few quite steep climbs and some loose rocks and bricks. Price includes a late lunch of Chinese food after the hike.

Note: there’s some steep climbing on this hike, so we’re rating it a Level 3+ even though it’s quite a short hike.

Weather note: so far the forecast mentions a chance of showers in the afternoon. If that changes drastically (i.e. rainstorms, thunder/lightning) we will need to change the plan for the hike.

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Departure date: Sunday, June 25

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.

UPDATE 2017/5/23: This hike has replaced our planned Hemp Village to Jinshanling visit, as the Jinshanling Great Wall will be closed until the end of summer.

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 28

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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On this hike we make a loop out of Stone Valley Village and hike the same line of wall as our Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike. Starting at Stone Valley Village gives us a longer hike and some different angles for our views of the Great Wall, and we’ll also cross the tumbled-down and much older line of Northern Qi Dynasty Great Wall that was used as part of Ming Dynasty wall here.

The first quarter of the hike features two hill climbs, and then we’re up on to the Ming-era Great Wall. We follow the wall up to the General’s Tower – the tallest on this line of wall – and then follow it down the other side, passing some superb spots for photos along the way.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We have another Great Wall hike the next day, just in case.

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Departure date: Thursday, June 29

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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The Great Wall at Longquanyu follows a ridge surrounded by taller mountains, with views of peaks in the distance and canyons far below. We’ll hike a recently repaired stretch with some two very steep descents, and take a detour through chestnut orchards to find the last ‘wild’ stretch of wall in the area. The hike finishes with a walk out past the Little West Lake reservoir, a popular park with views of Great Wall dipping down into the water.

When we’re done walking we’ll head to a nearby restaurant for a late lunch of Chinese food.

Note: there are some very steep descents in the first section of the hike.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We’d look at postponing the hike to the next day. If that doesn’t work out we’d suggest that you switch to one of the hikes during the weekend.

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Departure date: Saturday, July 1

Switchback Great Wall

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Travel right on past touristy Badaling on the way out to a difficult Great Wall hike in the mountains overlooking the Guanting Reservoir in Yanqing. The climbing is steep and tough and we’ll take 4–5 hours to complete the 8.5km walk. For much of the hike we’ll be quite high up, peaking at 1,200m near the midpoint where the wall curves in a sharp switchback.

We have a shorter version of this hike – on this trip we’ll do the tougher, longer route, and we’re going to do it backwards!

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We have more hikes the next day, just in case.

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Departure date: Saturday, July 1

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, but the views of mountains and Great Wall are definitely worth it.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We have another Great Wall hike the next day, just in case.

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Departure date: July 1–2 (Sat–Sun)

Camping: Hemp Village and Gubeikou Great Wall

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Hike from Hemp Village up to the Gubeikou Great Wall and camp in a tower on this relatively easy camping trip. We’ll take care of the heavy lifting and have the camping equipment 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 main meals; bring your camera and get ready to enjoy yourself!

Maximum group size of 12 hikers; book early to make sure you get a spot!

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Departure date: Sunday, July 2

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.

After the hike we’ll take a stroll through the streets of Yongning Town, a countryside town with a long history, a big tower in the middle of town, and a street market in the town square.

Because this hike is mostly flat it’s fine for fairly active kids. If you’re not sure about the suitability, please get in touch with us.

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Departure date: Sunday, July 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: tough climb at the start of the hike. While rated a 3+, this hike is sort of a tough 3+ because of the long climb at the beginning. We go up about 500m over 2km of trail, which is a climb worthy of a Level 4 hike.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We’ll be keeping an eye on the forecast, and we can change you on to the Saturday Great Wall hike if the weather that day is looking better.

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Departure date: Wednesday, July 5

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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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.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We have another Great Wall hike the next day, just in case.

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Departure date: Thursday, July 6

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. The Great Wall out here is rough and seldom-visited—choose this hike if you’re interested in a visit to a section of wall very different to what you’ve seen on postcards.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We’d look at postponing the hike to the next day. If that doesn’t work out we’d suggest that you switch to one of the hikes during the weekend.

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Departure date: Saturday, July 8

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.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We have more hikes the next day, just in case.

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Hills and mountains on the Incense Trail hike
Departure date: Saturday, July 8

Walk Like A Pilgrim

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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.

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A crossing on the White River
Departure date: Sunday, July 9

Dragon Cloud Mountain and White River

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A fresh take on our White River hike: We skip the commercial end of the White River for a hike over Dragon Cloud Mountain, before joining the river at the big bend that marks the start of the quietest and most scenic part of the trail. We’ll hike up Dragon Cloud Mountain and join on to the narrow concrete road that is the only access to a tiny village, and follow an old road from the village down to the river side. We’ll then begin the river hike, fording 6-7 times on the way to the end.

Note: If the river level is raised because of rain we might not be able to hike. We’ll know for sure in the week before the hike.

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Departure date: Sunday, July 9

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.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We’ll be keeping an eye on the forecast, and we can change you on to the Saturday Great Wall hike if the weather that day is looking better.

Read more about this hike »

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, use our contact form to let us know and we'll send you a quick email when the schedule is online.

Hike in Beijing calendar

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All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Saturday, June 24
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Sunday, June 25
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 28
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, June 29
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, July 1
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, July 1
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: July 1–2 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Hemp Village and Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, July 2
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Cypress Wells Canyon and Yongning Town

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Departure date: Sunday, July 2
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Wednesday, July 5
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, July 6
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Saturday, July 8
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, July 8
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Walk Like A Pilgrim

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Departure date: Sunday, July 9
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Dragon Cloud Mountain and White River

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Departure date: Sunday, July 9
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, July 12
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, July 13
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, July 15
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Shuitou Village Loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, July 15
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, July 16
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Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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Departure date: Sunday, July 16
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, July 19
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, July 20
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Saturday, July 22
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall Extra

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Departure date: Saturday, July 22
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, July 23
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, July 23
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Down the White River

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Departure date: Wednesday, July 26
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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

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Departure date: Saturday, July 29
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The Great Flood

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Departure date: Saturday, July 29
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, July 30
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, July 30
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Dragon Cloud Mountain

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 2
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, August 3
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, August 5
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Zhuangdaokou to Moss Mountain

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Departure date: Saturday, August 5
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, August 6
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, August 6
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Dragon Cloud Mountain and White River

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 9
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, August 10
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, August 12
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The Pinnacle Tower

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Departure date: Saturday, August 12
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Little West Lake and Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, August 13
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, August 13
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Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 16
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, August 17
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, August 19
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Miaofengshan Super Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, August 19
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, August 20
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, August 20
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Down the White River

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 23
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Thursday, August 24
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Saturday, August 24
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Big Camp Plate Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, August 26
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, August 27
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Silver Pagoda Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, August 27
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 30
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Thursday, August 31
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Trip dates: June 20–25, 2017

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Trip dates: July 14–16, 2017

Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province

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Trip dates: July 20–23, 2017

Dunhuang and Mogao Grottoes, Gansu Province

In Brief: Explore the Silk Road sights around Dunhuang, including the amazing Mogao Grottoes and Crescent Lake.

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