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Looking out over the Jinshanling Great Wall
Departure date: Saturday, August 18

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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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 family 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 version where we walk the last section of the Great Wall at Gubeikou and all of the Jinshanling Great Wall.

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Hike up a boulder-filled river canyon
Departure date: Saturday, August 18

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.

Note: this hike replaces our planned Dragon Cloud Mountain and White River hike. The river is still in flood, no good for hiking.

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Hiking kids cross stepping stones over a river in Intelligence Valley
Departure date: Sunday, August 19

Intelligence Valley and Liyuan Library

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A clear stream runs through Intelligence Valley, and the surrounding mountains form a microclimate that makes this a very nice walk. It’s a flat hike, and offers some shade while hiking alongside a stream and over rocks through the valley. Near the end of the hike we’ll take a break at the Dragon Pool, where people rent inflatable boats or sometimes swim. After we’ve finished walking, we’ll stop by our farmer friend’s guesthouse for a big lunch of homestyle Chinese food – cost included in the price of the hike.

Why is this hike called Intelligence Valley? Because – it’s said – that if you walk down the valley, you will become more intelligent! Try it out, and make sure you don’t walk backwards!

Liyuan Library: just before we get into Intelligence Valley we’ll walk past the Liyuan Library, an incongruously architectural building that’s been called “the world’s most beautiful library”. We’ll stop for a 30-minute visit.

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The Great Wall at Huanghuacheng
Departure date: Sunday, August 19

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Hike the Huanghuacheng Great Wall in Beijing’s Huairou District, starting off on an unrestored stretch and following it over the hills to a restored section and then up, over, and down a mountain to finish at a countryside restaurant near a scenic reservoir.

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Beijing Hikers 2017 Earth Day clean up
Departure date: Sunday, August 19

Waste-Free Wall: Clean up the Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Rain date: The Jiankou Great Wall was closed last weekend, we’re trying again this weekend!

The Great Wall on the west side of Jiankou has been somewhat spoiled by a buildup of trash and litter, left by lazy hikers and careless campers. We’re getting together with Gung Ho! Pizza and Patagonia to collect as much litter as we can and carry it out. 

Join the clean up and do your part to keep the Great Wall clean and green, and you’ll then enjoy the reward of pizza and beer at the Gung Ho Hut at Jiankou, courtesy of Gung Ho! Pizza.

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A stretch of Great Wall
Departure date: Wednesday, August 22

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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On this hike we’ll head out to a beautiful section of the Great Wall that is further outside the city than the crowded main tourist sites, and much quieter. You’ll have a chance to hike along an unrestored section of the Great Wall that grants magnificent views of the Great Wall stretching beyond the horizon in the east and west. As we follow the wall, we’ll pass through restored and unrestored sections, as well as taking a nice detour through pines on a hillside trail.

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A tower high on the Great Wall Spur
Departure date: Thursday, August 23

Great Wall Spur

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On this hike we will visit a remote stretch of the Great Wall that was completed around 1580 AD, during the reign of Emperor Wan Li. After a good long (some say tough) climb up a hillside trail we’ll follow the Great Wall along a ridge, enjoying great views the whole way. There is plenty of Great Wall in this area, and on a clear day it is extremely picturesque.

Note: tough climb at the start of the hike. While rated a 3+, this hike is sort of a tough 3+ because of the long climb at the beginning. We go up about 500m over 2km of trail, which is a climb worthy of a Level 4 hike.

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Views of mountains and valleys on the Big Camp Plate trail
Departure date: Saturday, August 25

Big Camp Plate Village and Hengling Valley

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Stretch the legs with a hike up into the mountains in a remote area just outside the border of Beijing.

We walk up the road into tiny Big Camp Plate Village, then hike through fields, a narrow gully, and then up a rough and tricky stretch of Great Wall. The hike finishes with a walk down and out a long and quiet valley on a newly-scouted trail.

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The General’s Tower
Departure date: Saturday, August 25

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Roads and paved paths lead to the trail that takes us up on to unrestored ‘wild’ Great Wall, which we’ll follow along a ridge line. After several steep ups and downs on the wall we’ll reach the General’s Tower, a large tower sited on the highest point of the ridge. From there we follow the wall down to a steep pass, which we’ll cross through before a quick climb over a hill with super views of the wall behind us.

Some sections steep and slippery

Regular hikers: There’s a significant amount of crossover with this hike and our Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike.

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Views of the Great Wall at Mutianyu
Departure date: Sunday, August 26

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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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.

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Hikers crossing a river
Departure date: Sunday, August 26

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. There is one deep pool to wade through, and the shallowest part is about 70-80cm deep.

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A view of a tower on the Longquanyu stretch of Great Wall
Departure date: Wednesday, August 29

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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The Great Wall at Longquanyu follows a ridge surrounded by taller mountains, with views of peaks in the distance and canyons far below. We’ll hike a recently repaired stretch with some two very steep descents, and take a detour through chestnut orchards to find the last ‘wild’ stretch of wall in the area. The hike finishes with a walk out past the Little West Lake reservoir, a popular park with views of Great Wall dipping down into the water.

When we’re done walking we’ll head to a nearby restaurant for a late lunch of Chinese food.

Note: there are some very steep descents in the first section of the hike.

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The General’s Tower on the middle route of the Switchback Great Wall
Departure date: Thursday, August 30

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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This stretch of Great Wall in Yanqing County is extremely picturesque, and seldom visited, but its steepness can prove difficult for casual hikers. On this visit we’ll do the ‘middle route,’ cutting out the toughest parts to make it a little easier. There are still some steep climbs to do, but overall this hike isn’t long enough to rate as difficult – we’ll take our time climbing up and down and make sure that we have a relaxed and enjoyable visit.

Bring your passport / ID card (or a copy) with you on this hike in case the border crossing guards decide they want to check us on the way out.

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Hiking up a ridgeline on the west side of Gubeikou
Departure date: Saturday, September 1

Gubeikou West Circuit (Route 2)

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Make a circuit of the west side of Gubeikou to check out some of the more obscure Great Wall in the area, including a rough line of rocks that is said be Great Wall from the Northern Qi Dynasty.

This hike gives both long- and mid-range views of the line of Great Wall on Wohu Mountain, and you’ll see in a few places that there is an older wall encased within the wall – evidence of later dynasties using the older line of wall as a base for further construction.

A lot of this hike is fairly gentle, but we’re rating it a Level 4 because there are a few steep sections where the wall is narrow and tricky.

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A stretch of the Huanghuacheng Great Wall
Departure date: Saturday, September 1

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

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Explore a scenic stretch of Great Wall on this Huairou hike, seeing long vistas and hiking both restored and unrestored sections on the way from the Huanghuacheng Reservoir all the way over to the Xishuiyu Reservoir. The hike is moderately difficult, with a few quite steep climbs and some loose rocks and bricks.

Note: there’s some steep climbing on this hike, so we’re rating it a Level 3+ even though it’s quite a short hike.

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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

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All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Saturday, August 18
Standby

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, August 18
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Great Flood hike

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Departure date: Sunday, August 19
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Intelligence Valley and Liyuan Library

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Departure date: Sunday, August 19
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, August 19
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Waste-Free Wall: Clean up the Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 22
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, August 23
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, August 25
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Big Camp Plate Village and Hengling Valley

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Departure date: Saturday, August 25
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, August 26
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, August 26
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White River hike

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 29
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, August 30
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, September 1
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Gubeikou West Circuit (Route 2)

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Departure date: Saturday, September 1
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: September 1–2 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 2
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Big Black Mountain to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Sunday, September 2
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 5
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, September 6
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, September 8
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Yanqing Great Wall and High Tower Challenge

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Departure date: Saturday, September 8
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, September 9
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, September 9
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Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 12
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, September 13
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, September 15
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Yellow Grass Plateau and Seven Towers

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Departure date: Saturday, September 15
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: September 15–16 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 16
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, September 16
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Shunyi Hikers: Yajishan Temple Circuit

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 19
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, September 20
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, September 22
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Over the Hills to Dajuesi

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Departure date: Saturday, September 22
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, September 22
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 23
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, September 23
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: September 23–24 (Sun–Mon)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Monday, September 24
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Monday, September 24
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Triangle Hike

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 26
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, September 27
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, September 29
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, September 29
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Shuitou Village Loop hike

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Departure date: September 29–30 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 30
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Monday, October 1
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Over the Hills to Yaji Mountain

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Departure date: Monday, October 1
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Tuesday, October 2
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The Pinnacle Tower

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 3
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 3
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Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Thursday, October 4
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Friday, October 5
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Friday, October 5
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, October 6
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The High Tower Loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, October 6
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: October 6–7 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, October 7
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, October 11
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, October 13
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Heituo Mountain

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Departure date: Saturday, October 13
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, October 14
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, October 14
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Shunyi Hikers: Ming Village day trip

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 17
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, October 18
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, October 21
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, October 21
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Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 24
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, October 27
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Yudu Mountains and Sujia River

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Departure date: Saturday, October 27
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, October 28
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 31
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, November 1
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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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

The coloured hills of the Zhangye Danxia Landform
Trip dates: August 15–19, 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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Trekking on the Tea and Horse Trail near Dali, Yunnan Province
Trip dates: September 20–24, 2018

Dali’s Old Towns, Cang Mountain, and Erhai Lake, Yunnan (5 days)

In Brief: See the Southern Silk Road sights of Dali and its surrounds, travelling by foot, bicycle, and as part of a mule train as we visit ancient towns and temples on the ancient Tea and Horse Trail and camp out on Cang Mountain.

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Baicheng Landform
Trip dates: October 1–7, 2018

Silk Road: Korla to Kashgar (7 days)

In Brief: Spend seven days on the Silk Road, heading west to Kashgar and travelling by jeep instead of camel through the vast empty areas of Xinjiang Province.

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