Happy Year of the Rooster!

Home > Hike in Beijing > Tough treks and hikes

Tough treks and hikes in Beijing

Looking for a challenging hike? 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, March 4

Chinese Knot Great Wall

Book your place

This tough Great Wall hike involves a lot of climbing and scrambling, and you’ll need strong legs and a good head for heights to make it to the end. Starting on the southern side of the mountains to the north of Beijing, we follow the Great Wall up and over two ridges, peaking just after the ‘Chinese Knot’ at 987m above sea level. 4–5 hours of hiking over 10km, with hiking boots and above-average level of fitness required. Note: if you’re not comfortable with making a short-but-steep climb on somewhat tricky terrain, you will probably not find this hike an enjoyable experience.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, March 8

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Book your place

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 recent 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!

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 11

The High Tower Loop hike

Book your place

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.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, March 12

Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs (Route Two)

Book your place

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.

Read more about this hike »
Hikers on the Great Wall, approaching the restored Jinshanling section
Departure date: Wednesday, March 15

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall

Book your place

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.

Beijing Hikers regulars: this is the shorter version of this route.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 18

Big Camp Plate Great Wall

Book your place

This stretch of Great Wall sits on the boundary of Yanqing District and Hebei province, west of the Badaling section of the Great Wall, and to the south of the Guanting Reservoir. The hike follows the Great Wall in a loop around an isolated village called ‘Big Plate.’ It’s a tough walk, and if you are not scared of heights, clambering up and down slippery and narrow paths, and walking over loose rocks, then this will be a great hike for you! The scenery is well worth the trip, but only if you’ve got strong legs and a good head for heights.

Could be cold! Big Camp Plate is quite high up, and it’s in an area where it’s known to get breezy. Bring your warmest hiking gear!

Bring your passport with you on this hike.  There’s a big government meeting on in Beijing during the first two weeks of March, and we’ll be crossing the border of Beijing and Hebei going to and from this hike. The meetings should be finished, but we might need to go through a security checkpoint.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, March 19

Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall Extra

Book your place

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. We’ll extend the hike from Gubeikou along a few more towers, and then down a nice hill trail to finish. If you’re interested, you can buy a ticket and take a quick look inside the memorial to see historical photos and artifacts from the 1930’s battle for Gubeikou between the Chinese and Japanese armies. (Ticket cost approx. 20 RMB)

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 25

Shuitou Village Loop hike

Book your place

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.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 25

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Book your place

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 recent 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!

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, April 2

Bricks In The Wall hike

Book your place

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.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Tuesday, April 4

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall

Book your place

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 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.

Regular hikers: this is the second-longest version of this route, where we walk all of the Great Wall at Gubeikou and just the first part of Jinshanling. Extremely fit regular hikers: we’ll give you the option to extend the hike!

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, April 8

Switchback Great Wall

Book your place

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!

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, April 9

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

Book your place

This is a looping walk over steep and rocky terrain, with a lot of scrambling and climbing required to arrive at the highest point on the hike, the impressive Nine-Eyes Tower. On a clear day in this spot in the heart of the mountains it will be possible to see sections of Great Wall to the north, south, east, and west. Four hours of tough hiking with a lot of climbing, over approximately 10km.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, April 15

Heituo Mountain

Book your place

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.

Read more about this hike »
The Great Wall crossing hills and mountains in Huailai District
Departure date: Saturday, April 22

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

Book your place

This Great Wall hike is one of our most challenging treks, covering a long section of wild wall in Beijing’s northwest. We’re leaving at the extra early time of 7:30am for this hike to try and avoid traffic on the Badaling Expressway.

This hike is definitely not suitable for those who are not physically fit, are afraid of heights, or lack proper clothing and footwear, and we’re going to ask you some questions about your hiking experience as part of the reservation for this hike.

Read more about this hike »

All upcoming tough hikes in Beijing

You're viewing all our tough 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


Find a hike

Great Wall hikesGreat Wall campingHillwalking hikesTough hikesEasy hikesShunyi hikesSee all the hikes »Calendar


Hike schedule: tough hikes

Departure date: Saturday, March 4
Book it

Chinese Knot Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, March 8
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 11
Book it

The High Tower Loop hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, March 12
Book it

Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs (Route Two)

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, March 15
Book it

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 18
Book it

Big Camp Plate Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, March 19
Book it

Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall Extra

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 25
Book it

Shuitou Village Loop hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 25
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, April 2
Book it

Bricks In The Wall hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Tuesday, April 4
Book it

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, April 8
Book it

Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, April 9
Book it

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, April 15
Book it

Heituo Mountain

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, April 22
Book it

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, April 27
Book it

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, April 29
Book it

Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

Read more about this hike »

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.

Book trip
More info »
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.

Book trip
More info »
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.

Book trip
More info »