Home > Hike in Beijing

Book your place

Prove Your Loyalty

In Brief: A Pinggu District ramble that follows wooded trails, passes abandoned or lightly-inhabited villages, and crosses short rundown stretches of Great Wall.

Hikers following an old road up into the hills

Hikers following an old track up into the hills of Pinggu District. View more photos »

Key information

  • 380 RMB per person (340 RMB members)
  • 8:30am departure from Lido Hotel Starbucks; Liangmaqiao subway area pickup at 8:00am. Back in Beijing around 6:00pm. (Find the meeting points)
  • 4–5 hours start to finish over 16km
  • Snacks and drinks provided after the hike.

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!

The mountains in the north of Pinggu District are big enough to hold villages up in hidden valleys. Many of these villages are partially abandoned due to lack of water, or because the valleys have been leased by businessmen hoping to turn the area into a park.

Our walk begins from the entrance of one of these parks – we'll stop to buy tickets for you, and then head on in, passing the big hotel they've built. Maybe this time there will be some people staying at the hotel! On previous visits we've only seen hotel staff hanging about.

We start off following a concrete path up the valley and into the hills. It's a scenic walk up the valley, and the path is bordered by trees and hills, with large rocks and boulders that are said to have a volcanic origin.

Further up the valley we'll start to see some of the old villages – there are quite a few hidden in the hills, and some shouldn't really even count as villages, with just a few houses clumped together.

A tiny settlement in the hills of Pinggu

A tiny settlement in the hills of Pinggu District. Click to see a larger version

After passing through some of the smaller settlements, we'll reach a larger hamlet – perhaps ten houses, and a big water store. Up until this point the hike will have been fairly easy, a long gentle climb on good footing. But from this village, we head up into the hills, following a fairly rough hill trail up to the remains of some Great Wall.

During the war, the Japanese army forced residents in one of the villages to destroy a nearby section of the Great Wall and carry the bricks down to the village as a demonstration of loyalty to Japanese forces. That's where the name of the hike comes from.

We'll climb up on to the wall and stop for a lunch break. If you've got a bit of extra energy we'll take you up to the remains of a big round tower – just a pile of stones now, but perhaps part of the wall that the villagers were forced to pull down.

After we're all rested we'll head on, following a trail that's half on the wall, half off the wall. This area is all forested and fairly overgrown, and sometimes we need to scout around a bit to see where we're supposed to be walking!

We follow the general path of the wall until we reach the valley that marks our turn off, following an old field path through fallow, terraced fields, passing abandoned stone houses on the way to a concrete road that marks the upper bounds of another of the parks in the hills.

We'll pass modern buildings that look like they were supposed to be part of a hotel, and walk down towards a lake. This is usually where this hike finishes, but today we're adding another six kilometers, following dirt trails and concrete roads past several tiny valley villages. We'll walk through valleys and over ridges to finish with a walk out through a terraced chestnut orchard.

On the way to the end we'll pass a village with an interesting back story. The village is named Paomachang, which roughly translates as ‘horse running field’, as in a racecourse.

It’s said that this area was used for roughly that purpose during the Jin and Liao Dynasties (between 900-1200 AD), a place for the war horses to run about.

This is one of Beijing Hiker’s apocryphal stories, and we’re now not sure whom we heard it from! It’s an interesting story though, and as we walk by we’ll see if we think the area would have worked well for racing horses.

We'll find our bus waiting for us on the nearest road, and after a Beijing Hikers-style picnic we'll board and head back to the city.

What to bring on this hike

Reasons you might not enjoy this hike

  • The trail is seldom-used and will be bushy in places.
  • There's some walking on narrow concrete roads in the hills.

There are risks involved in hiking. Please read our Risk Acknowledgment and Waiver and inform yourself before participating.

Ready to sign up? Book your place
Level4

Level of difficulty

Level 4 hikes will usually take 4 hours to complete, and will be difficult for people who are not used to hiking or are out of shape.

Is the level of difficulty suitable for me?

Hike statistics

  • Distance: 16km
  • Time to complete: 4–5 hours
  • Total ascent: 1,041m
  • Total descent: 1,077m
  • Start height: 262m
  • Peak: 714m
  • Finish height: 225m
  • Location: Pinggu
  • Drive time: 2 hours each way

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

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


All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Saturday, July 22
Book it

Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall Extra

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

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, July 23
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, July 23
Book it

Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, July 26
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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

Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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

The Great Flood

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

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, July 30
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, July 30
Book it

Dragon Cloud Mountain

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, August 2
Book it

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, August 3
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, August 5
Book it

Zhuangdaokou to Moss Mountain

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, August 5
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, August 6
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, August 6
Book it

Dragon Cloud Mountain and White River

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, August 9
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, August 10
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, August 12
Book it

The Pinnacle Tower

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, August 12
Book it

Little West Lake and Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, August 13
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, August 13
Book it

Immortal Valley Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, August 16
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, August 17
Book it

Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, August 19
Book it

Miaofengshan Super Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, August 19
Book it

Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, August 20
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, August 20
Book it

Down the White River

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, August 23
Book it

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, August 24
Book it

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, August 26
Book it

Big Camp Plate Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, August 26
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, August 27
Book it

Silver Pagoda Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, August 27
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, August 30
Book it

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, August 31
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 2
Book it

Yellow Grass Plateau and Seven Towers

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 2
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: September 2–3 (Sat–Sun)
Book it

Camping: Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, September 3
Book it

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, September 3
Book it

White River hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, September 6
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, September 7
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 9
Book it

2017 Hiking Festival: The Challenge (24km+)

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 9
Book it

2017 Hiking Festival: Hike for Fun (Stone Valley Great Wall)

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, September 10
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, September 10
Book it

Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, September 13
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, September 14
Book it

Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall Extra

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 16
Book it

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 16
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, September 17
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, September 17
Book it

Tanzhe Temple and the Abandoned Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, September 20
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, September 21
Book it

Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 23
Book it

Heituo Mountain Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 23
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, September 24
Book it

Cypress Wells Canyon and Yongning Town

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, September 24
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, September 27
Book it

Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, September 28
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 30
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: September 30-October 1 (Sat–Sun)
Book it

Camping: Hemp Village and Gubeikou Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, October 1
Book it

Prove Your Loyalty

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, October 1
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Monday, October 2
Book it

The Pinnacle Tower

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Tuesday, October 3
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Tuesday, October 3
Book it

Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, October 4
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, October 4
Book it

Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, October 5
Book it

Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Friday, October 6
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: October 6–7 (Fri–Sat)
Book it

Camping: Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, October 7
Book it

Quarrymen’s Trail to the Heavenly Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, October 7
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, October 8
Book it

Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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

The green rolling hills of the Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province
Trip dates: August 11–13, 2017

Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province

In Brief: Clean and cool grasslands near the border of Hebei and Inner Mongolia: hikes, BBQ lamb, and more.

Book trip
More info »
A desert lake, seen from the peak of a tall dune in the Badain Jaran Desert, Inner Mongolia
Trip dates: August 16–20, 2017

Badain Jaran Desert and Zhangye Danxia Landform (5 days)

In Brief: Two days in the Badain Jaran desert with an overnight camp, peaking with an ascent of one of the world’s tallest dunes; three days looking about nearby scenic and historical highlights including the Zhangye Danxia Landform.

Book trip
More info »
Mountains of Zhagana, Gansu Province
Trip dates: September 13–17, 2017

Xiahe, Labrang Monastery, Zhagana Tibetan area, Gansu Province

In Brief: See the Labrang Monastery, Tibetan Buddhist temples, and super high mountain scenery on this trip to the largely Tibetan remote area of Gansu Province. A similar feel to Tibet, without the hassle of getting the official permit.

Book trip
More info »