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Hillwalking and non-Great Wall hikes and trips in Beijing

The Great Wall is obviously great, but there's more to hiking in Beijing than the Great Wall. Interested in non-Great Wall hikes, level 3 and up? Here's what we have coming up!

If you'd like to see all the other hikes and trips we have scheduled, click here for the list of all our upcoming hikes and trips in Beijing.

Departure date: Saturday, February 25

Walk Down the Pilgrims’ Trail

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Follow an old pilgrims’ trail over a mountain pass, starting at a village at Miaofengshan, and finishing up with a look at a smaller temple on the other side of the ridge.

The highlights of this hike in the western district of Mentougou include ancient paved paths, wooded areas, and great views of high mountain scenery.

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Departure date: Sunday, March 5

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.

Holiday hike! It’s the Dragon Boat Festival holiday weekend, and we might get stuck in traffic at some point on the way to or from the hike.

Note: the trail could get rather brushy in places – we recommend you wear trousers to protect your legs.

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Departure date: Saturday, March 11

The High Tower Loop hike

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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. (If we do get checked it will be because of the big government meeting during the first few weeks of March.

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Departure date: Sunday, March 12

Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs (Route Two)

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On this 13km hike we’ll join sections of two good Changping trails by visiting what remains of two valley villages that were abandoned as a quarry expanded. Starting off with a stroll through Longevity Village, we’ll head into the hills, passing pine trees, closed mines, abandoned villages, and one of the closed Ming Tombs on the way to the end.

Route Two: we’ve got two versions of this hike. The start and finish point is the same. The middle section of the trail is different – on this route we go through the mines and quarry area, and then through two abandoned villages.

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Departure date: Sunday, March 19

Big Black Mountain to the Walled Village

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Stretch your legs on this nice hill walking hike, starting off through orchards and fields on a long gradual climb to a ridgeline lookout, then descending a zig-zagging dirt trail to walk through a few valley villages before climbing up to a pretty stretch of Great Wall and heading down through more farmland to the Walled Village. Points of interest include a wartime tunnel system, the 300-year old “Dragon and Phoenix” pines, a look at a stretch of Great Wall, as well as the Walled Village, converted from an army barracks that used to house soldiers tasked with guarding the Great Wall in the Ming Dynasty.

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Departure date: Saturday, March 25

Shuitou Village Loop hike

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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.

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Departure date: Sunday, April 2

Bricks In The Wall hike

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Tomb-Sweeping Holiday hikes—We’re leaving early to get ahead of the holiday traffic, but we still may get stuck in a jam at some stage. Bring a book or something else to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

We’ll follow roads and hill trails in and around tiny villages northwest of Beijing, making easy climbs on hill trails and a really steep and tough climb on a rather rundown stretch of Great Wall, with fine views the whole way.

Most of this hike is easy, but we’ve rated it as a Level 4 because the section of the Great Wall we’ll climb is really steep and tricky.

Note: the Great Wall part of this hike will not be much fun if you are not good with heights or not confident in your balancing ability.

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Departure date: Monday, April 3

Silver Pagoda Loop

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Tomb-Sweeping Holiday hikes—We’re leaving early to get ahead of the holiday traffic, but we still may get stuck in a jam at some stage. Bring a book or something else to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

For this hike we will follow a seldom-used trail to get to the Silver Pagodas, a set of five well-preserved 600-year-old pagodas that are all that remains of a big Buddhist temple. On the way to the pagoda site we will take a long walk through the countryside, passing a village, quarries, and a local shrine, before a steep climb to the 720m peak of Holly Mountain. From the top we can look down on the pagodas and large swathes of the surrounding countryside, and as we follow the path down we will pass large bells, “North Beijing’s Number One Waterfall,” and plenty of other interesting local landmarks.

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Departure date: Sunday, April 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.

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: Saturday, April 15

Heituo Mountain

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Head up to the craggy peak of the big mountain behind Nine-Eyes Tower at Jiankou, and then down into the wild valleys and hills on the other side. Finish the hike with a big slog up to a ridgeline before walking down and out to a small village.

This is a fairly rough hike and part of the track is rather wild, so we’re limiting the number of participants to only fifteen tough trekkers.

You’ll need to be in good shape and have a good head for heights to enjoy this hike, and we’ll ask you about that as part of the sign up process.

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The view from Vulture Rock Ridge
Departure date: Saturday, April 29

Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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This is a variation of our regular Vulture Rock Ridge Loop hike where we follow an old pilgrim’s trail down the Beijing to finish the hike. We’ll walk all of Vulture Rock Ridge and then following what’s left of the old paved path through the forested hills on the Beijing side of the ridge.

Holiday traffic: There’s a chance we’ll get stuck in bad traffic at some point during the drive, and we might be back to Beijing later than estimated. We’d recommend not making fixed plans for the evening, just in case!

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Departure date: Monday, May 1

Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

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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.

Holiday traffic: There’s a chance we’ll get stuck in bad traffic at some point during the drive, and we might be back to Beijing later than estimated. We’d recommend not making fixed plans for the evening, just in case!

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All upcoming hillwalking hikes in Beijing

You're viewing all our hillwalking hikes. We've got many more hikes for you to try, though!


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

See the Hike in Beijing schedule in our calendar


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Hike schedule: hillwalking hikes

Departure date: Saturday, February 25
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Walk Down the Pilgrims’ Trail

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, March 5
Book it

Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 11
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The High Tower Loop hike

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Departure date: Sunday, March 12
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Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs (Route Two)

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, March 19
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Big Black Mountain to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Saturday, March 25
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Shuitou Village Loop hike

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Departure date: Sunday, March 26
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Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Sunday, April 2
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Bricks In The Wall hike

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Departure date: Monday, April 3
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Silver Pagoda Loop

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

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Departure date: Saturday, April 15
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Heituo Mountain

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Departure date: Sunday, April 16
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Tanzhe Temple and the Abandoned Village

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Departure date: Saturday, April 29
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Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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Departure date: Monday, May 1
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Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

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Explore China

See more of China on a multi-day trip—travel to famous scenic areas, or choose to visit somewhere obscure and less well-known.

Upcoming trips

Terraced hills covered with flowers
Trip dates: March 16–19, 2017

Wuyuan ‘Fields of Flowers’, Jiangxi Province

In Brief: See fields of yellow flowers and ancient river towns in southern China. Cultural focus, nothing too strenuous.

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Colourful costumes of the Zhuang ethnic group
Trip dates: April 1–5, 2017

Guizhou: Miao and Dong culture in the mountains (5 days)

In Brief: Hike between villages and enclaves in the mountains of Guizhou Province to get a up-close look at the well-preserved rituals, traditions, and architecture of the Miao and Dong (and more) ethnic groups.

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A person walks through the sandy dunes of the Tengger Desert
Trip dates: April 28–May 1, 2017

Tengger Desert Lakes, Inner Mongolia

In Brief: Travel by foot and jeep through the desert, visit desert lakes, ride camels, camp in the desert, and more.

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More info »