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How difficult are the hikes?

In Brief: Read a rundown of our rating system to find out which hikes are most suitable for you.

Hello there, prospective Beijing Hiker!

Good news!

If you’re in good shape, i.e. you do a bit of exercise and run about every week, then you can definitely handle our Level 3 and 3+ hikes. You might feel pretty tired afterwards, but you’ll make it through.

If you do a lot of serious exercise, like running, or playing sports fairly competitively, you’re probably fine for our tougher hikes – the Level 4 and Level 5 trails.

If you’re not totally sure what level of difficulty is suitable for you we’re happy to advise – please finish reading the information on this page and then get in touch with us for a suggestion.

Here’s what we recommend for your first walk with us

  1. Read through the descriptions of our difficulty ratings below.
  2. Figure out which of those would be the toughest you might actually enjoy.
  3. Pick a hike that is a little easier than that for your first walk with us.

Doing it this way gives you a low-pressure introduction to where you fit on our difficulty rating system – no need to worry about running out of gas halfway up a massive hill.

You don’t want it to be too tough to enjoy.

If the hike feels too easy, you’ll know you can go for a bigger one next time.

If the hike feels just right, then do more like it, and as your hiking fitness increases you’ll be able to work your way up to the longer walks.

Of course, if you’re mega-fit or very used to long distance hikes with lots of steep climbs, then just feel free to sign up for whatever. You probably don’t want to go for a Level 2 hike.

But if you’re not totally sure about it – just contact us, and we’ll help you choose something suitable.


Level 1

Level 1 hikes are very easy, with not much climbing—more like a stroll than a hike. We don’t do many of this type—they’re too easy!


Level 2

Level 2 hikes are not too tough: maybe a bit hilly, but no very long climbs. This type of hike will usually be suitable for children – but please check with us if you're not sure. A Level 2+ hike is a bit more difficult than a regular level 2 hike, but less difficult than a level 3: maybe a bit hilly, and perhaps with a bit of hill climbing. Level 2 hikes are usually 5–8km long.


Level 3

Level 3 hikes are the type we do most often. Level 3 hikes will take around 3 hours, and can be either reasonably easy, or challenging, depending on how often you exercise. Level 3+ is a ‘tougher’ moderate hike. There may be long climbs up hills, and there may be steep sections.


Level 4

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. Some Level 4+ hikes are shorter, but very steep.


Level 5

Level 5 hikes are physically challenging, and suitable for experienced hikers in good shape. Level 5+ hikes are the most difficult hikes we do: long, with tough ascents and descents. They are physically challenging, and suitable for experienced hikers in good shape.


We emphasise that the ratings we assign to hikes can only be approximate, and that weather conditions can make any hike a lot tougher than expected. As well as that, it's not possible for us to objectively know how fit you are, which makes it tough to give a conclusive recommendation on the suitability of a hike for you.

If you have any health conditions, or reason to think you may have a pre-existing condition, seek professional advice from a doctor before undertaking any physical activity.

Getting more information

In this section of the website you’ll find answers to commonly asked questions about hiking with us.

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Is there any information missing? Get in contact with us, we're happy to answer questions about anything!

Hikes and trips

Hike in Beijing: Join-in hikes and trips to the Great Wall, hills, mountains, forests, and village around Beijing, every week. We have a range of difficulty levels, with hikes that are suitable for casual walkers as well as the super-fit. View the full schedule of hikes in Beijing »

Trips around China: Multi-day trips around China — visits to famous scenic areas, as well as those obscure and less well-known. View the full schedule of our trips around China »