This trail follows short sections of a few of our Zhenbiancheng area hikes, but adds a big extra section that takes us back in time with a hike over to the left-in-the-80s village of Shuitou. 16km in the hills and valleys, with a good 952m of ascent over the course of the hike.
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. The hike at Gubeikou offers 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.
On this hike we will visit a remote stretch of the Great Wall that was completed around 1580 AD and not touched again since. It’s in surprisingly good shape after 400 or so years of weathering.
You’ll hike up and along the Great Wall, passing through large towers on the way to the highest point on the trail. This is an excellent hike for photography—we seldom see other hikers here, and you’ll have long views of ‘wild’ Great Wall ascending ridgelines, with more Great Wall visible on hills in the distance.
The temples at Yajishan are locally famous, and every year on the lunar calendar there’s a big temple fair. We’ll spend the day having a look at what’s going on – fortune telling, street food and snacks, fireworks and incense burning, various performers – before climbing up to the temples on top.
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.
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 fair today, we can still make it work – write us a note when you make your booking.
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 family 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.
Regular hikers: this is the version where we walk the last section of the Great Wall at Gubeikou and all of the Jinshanling Great Wall.
We use this trail for our hiking festival, and it’s also great for a day hike: guided instead of pre-marked, and with a big meal of country style Chinese cooking after the hike is done.
Roads and paved paths lead to the trail that takes us up on to unrestored ‘wild’ Great Wall, which we’ll follow along a ridge line. After several steep ups and downs on the wall we’ll reach the General’s Tower, a large tower sited on the highest point of the ridge. From there we follow the wall down to a steep pass, which we’ll cross through before a quick climb over a hill with super views of the wall behind us.
Some sections steep and slippery.
Regular hikers: There’s a significant amount of crossover with this hike and our Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike.
This is a version of our High Tower hike that takes us up a rough hill trail to reach the section of Great Wall that leads up to the High Tower. We follow the wall all the way up to the top, starting on ‘wild’ wall and crossing over on to a repaired section. From the High Tower we make a short walk along rough and broken Great Wall, and then down into a wild valley and out to complete the loop.
Bring your passport or ID card: We’ll be just outside of Beijing for this hike, and may go through a checkpoint on the way back.
Explore a scenic stretch of Great Wall on this Huairou hike, seeing long vistas and hiking both restored and unrestored sections on the way from the Huanghuacheng Reservoir all the way over to the Xishuiyu Reservoir. The hike is moderately difficult, with a few quite steep climbs and some loose rocks and bricks.
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.
On this two day Great Wall adventure you’ll hike the Great Wall and camp in or beside a Great Wall tower. 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 breakfast and a restaurant lunch on the second day.
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.
Maximum group size of 14 hikers; book early to make sure you get a spot!
The Great Wall on the west side of Jiankou has been somewhat spoiled by a buildup of trash and litter, left by lazy hikers and careless campers. We’re getting together with Gung Ho! Pizza and Patagonia to collect as much litter as we can and carry it out.
Join the clean up and do your part to keep the Great Wall clean and green, and you’ll then enjoy the reward of pizza and beer at the Gung Ho Hut at Jiankou, courtesy of Gung Ho! Pizza.
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.
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.
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.Bring your passport / ID card (or a copy) with you on this hike in case the border crossing guards decide they want to check us on the way out.
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.
Note: a bit of restoration work at the western end at Mutianyu means we’ll have to make a quick hop over the battlements to get on to the wall – much like the Mongolians did!
On this slightly different version of our White River hike we skip the commercial end of the river and start instead with a walk down to the river via a scenic area, joining the trail at the ‘big bend’ in the river.
Ford rivers on this long and level canyon hike in Miyun District, passing beneath tall cliffs and following the path of the river as it winds through the mountains. The area is relatively unpopulated, making this an excellent scenic hike that will fill your lungs with fresh air. Four or so hours of reasonably easy hiking over approximately 12km, and you’ll get your feet wet crossing the river!
Note: If the river level is raised because of rain we might not be able to hike. We’ll check in with our local contacts on the Friday before the hike. There are now a few trails around the deepest crossings, so we should be good to go.
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.
Find a hike
All upcoming hikes in Beijing
See more of China on a multi-day trip—travel to famous scenic areas, or choose to visit somewhere obscure and less well-known.
In Brief: Take a hike near the shores of Qinghai Lake; join the pilgrims visiting Kumbum Monastery; hike up to a high altitude glacier on Gangshika Mountain.
In Brief: Camp out overnight in the beautiful high-altitude scenery of the Bayinbuluke Grasslands in northwestern Xinjiang; see Silk Road sights, big mountains, and desert while on the road to and from the grasslands.