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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, May 26

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, May 27

Shunyi Hikers: 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.

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.

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Departure date: Saturday, June 2

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.

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Departure date: Saturday, June 9

White River hike

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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.

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Departure date: Saturday, June 16

White River hike

Book your place

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.

Early start! We’re leaving extra early to avoid the worst of the Dragonboat Festival holiday traffic. We may still get stuck in a traffic jam at some point. Bring a book to read, just in case, and we’d advise that you don’t make any fixed plans for the evening.

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Departure date: Sunday, June 17

Over the Hills to Dajuesi

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On this hike we’ll make an arduous climb up a an old pilgrims’ trail that leads over the mountains, starting near a tiny temple on the Beijing side of the West Mountains and finishing near Dajue Temple. On a clear day we’ll be able to see a long way, with views of mountains and the outskirts of Beijing City.

This hike finishes with a long descent which will be tough on your knees. On a hot day, the climb up to the peak will be taxing.

Note – regular hikers will have done many of these trails already – but perhaps not this way!

Early start! We’re leaving extra early to avoid the worst of the Dragonboat Festival holiday traffic. We may still get stuck in a traffic jam at some point. Bring a book to read, just in case, and we’d advise that you don’t make any fixed plans for the evening.

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Craggy peaks in the Yudu Mountains
Departure date: Saturday, June 23

Yinmeng Temple and Sujia River

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Almost 1,000m up into the Yudu Mountains, north of Yanqing City, is Yinmeng Temple. And if there’s a temple up in the mountains, there must also be a trail that goes up there!

We’ll hike up past the temple and cross the mountains at a 1,000m pass, then follow a scenic path through birch forests down into the Sujia River valley.

The trail follows the river, passing below tall cliffs and around bends in the valley. We finish with a slightly smaller climb to get back on to the Beijing city side of the mountains. Awesome views of mountains, cliffs, canyons, and the river.

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Departure date: Saturday, June 30

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, July 1

White River hike

Book your place

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.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, July 7

Immortal Valley Loop

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This loop walk follows a park trail, passing streams, pools, waterfalls, 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.

Regular hikers may have noticed we’re doing this hike a lot this year. That’s because it’s such a nice hike in the different seasons—on this visit we should see the greening of the hills, and perhaps the last of the wild apricot and peaches flowering.

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Departure date: Thursday, July 12

Shunyi Hikers: White River hike

Book your place

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 in the days before the hike. There are now a few trails around the deepest crossings, so we should be good to go.

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 walk along the river today, we can still make it work – write us a note when you make your booking.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, July 14

Great Flood hike

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Start off with an easy walk up the scenic Yunmeng Gorge, then cross the river to hike up into a valley filled with (mostly) fallow terraces before climbing to cross a pass in the mountains.  The hike finishes with a long walk out a boulder-filled river canyon, with great long views.

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Hikers walking towards green hills
Departure date: Saturday, July 21

Flower Wood to Haizi Village

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Our Flower Wood hike takes us along a trail that connects some of the villages in the hills of Huairou, passing orchards, fields, reservoirs, grindstones, and sometimes donkeys! There are a few hills to climb on this hike, but overall it’s a nice long walk that isn’t too tough. Near the end of the hike we’ll walk through Haizi Village and on the way to the end we’ll take a quick detour for a peek at the Silver Pagodas.

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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, May 26
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Shuitou Village Loop hike

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Departure date: Sunday, May 27
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Shunyi Hikers: Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

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Departure date: Saturday, June 2
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The High Tower Loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, June 9
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White River hike

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Departure date: Sunday, June 10
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Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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Departure date: Saturday, June 16
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White River hike

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Departure date: Sunday, June 17
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Over the Hills to Dajuesi

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Departure date: Monday, June 18
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Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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Departure date: Saturday, June 23
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Yinmeng Temple and Sujia River

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Departure date: Sunday, June 24
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Shunyi Hikers: Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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Departure date: Saturday, June 30
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Walk Down the Pilgrims’ Trail

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Departure date: Sunday, July 1
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White River hike

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Departure date: Saturday, July 7
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Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, July 12
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Shunyi Hikers: White River hike

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Departure date: Saturday, July 14
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Great Flood hike

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Departure date: Sunday, July 15
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Ming Village day trip

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Departure date: Saturday, July 21
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Flower Wood to Haizi Village

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Departure date: Sunday, November 5
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Intelligence Valley and Liyuan Library

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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

Hiking in grassy meadows near Qinghai Lake
Trip dates: May 24–27, 2018

Qinghai Lake, Kumbum Monastery, and the Gangshika Snow Mountain (4 days)

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.

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The coloured hills of the Zhangye Danxia Landform
Trip dates: June 6–10, 2018

Zhangye Danxia Landform, Gansu Province

In Brief: See the fantastically-coloured mountains and cliffs in an all-but unexplored area of Gansu; visit Horse Hoofprint Temple, Jiayuguan Fortress, and more.

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Mountains and clouds in Xinjiang
Trip dates: June 13–18, 2018

Bayinbuluke Grasslands, Xinjiang Province (6 days)

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.

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