Home > Hike in Beijing

Departure date: Wednesday, April 26

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.

Note: be sure to bring warm clothes on this hike—it’s often really breezy out here, and it could get fairly chilly! Stay warm and you’ll find the hike more enjoyable.

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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Departure date: Thursday, April 27

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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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.

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The view from Vulture Rock Ridge
Departure date: Saturday, April 29

Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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This is a variation of our regular Vulture Rock Ridge Loop hike where we follow an old pilgrim’s trail down the Beijing to finish the hike. We’ll walk all of Vulture Rock Ridge and then following what’s left of the old paved path through the forested hills on the Beijing side of the ridge.

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!

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Hikers on a restored stretch of the Huanghuacheng Great Wall
Departure date: Saturday, April 29

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Explore an interesting stretch of Great Wall on this Huairou hike, visiting both restored and unrestored sections on the way from the Huanghuacheng Reservoir to a walled village that used to be a Ming Dynasty-era army barracks. The hike is moderately difficult, with a few quite steep climbs and some loose rocks and bricks. Price includes a late lunch of Chinese food after the hike.

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.

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!

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Departure date: Sunday, April 30

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. Price includes lunch after the hike.

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.

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!

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Departure date: April 30–May 1 (Sun–Mon)

Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Take a relatively relaxed hike along the wild Great Wall and camp in a scenic on the wall on this Great Wall overnighter. We’ll take care of the heavy lifting and have things delivered direct to our campsite; you’ll be free to enjoy the scenery, sunset, stars, and sunrise without all the sweat involved in a full-on camping expedition – on this trip we’ll be taking it slow and easy.

We’ll organise delivery of tents and sleeping bags direct to our campsite; you’ll just need to carry your clothes, water, and food and snacks.

Weather warning: If lightning or heavy rain is forecast for the weekend we will need to make a change to the plan.

Maximum group size of 12 hikers; book early to make sure you get a spot!

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. Bring a book, and we’d recommend not making fixed plans for the Sunday evening, just in case!

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Departure date: Monday, May 1

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.

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!

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Departure date: Monday, May 1

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.

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!

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 3

Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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This hike is a shortened version of our Nine-Eyes Tower trail, made easier by skipping the tough climb up to the top. We’ll follow hill trails through leafy valleys to get to Jiankou’s ‘Big West Wall’, and then walk south along the wall towards the Chinese Knot. There are some sections that are very steep and slippery, but the views of mountains and Great Wall are definitely worth it.

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Departure date: Thursday, May 4

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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Departure date: Saturday, May 6

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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Departure date: Saturday, May 6

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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We used this trail for our hiking festival, and after receiving great feedback on it we’re offering it as a regular hike: guided instead of pre-marked, and with a big meal of country style Chinese cooking after the hike is done.

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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Departure date: Sunday, May 7

Ming Village day trip

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On this hike we’ll take a good look around the alleys and courtyards of Cuandixia, a 500-year old Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) village that is sometimes referred to as a living museum. . We’ll first take a hike in the hills near the village, then we’ll have a big lunch, and then we’ll take a tour of the alleys, lanes, paved stairs, and courtyard houses. It will be quite a long day, but well worth it! Lunch included.

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Departure date: Sunday, May 7

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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Departure date: Wednesday, May 10

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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On this hike we’ll head out to the border of Beijing Municipality and Hebei Province for a moderately difficult walk through peach orchards, up valleys, and along the Great Wall. We’ll have views of the distinctive peaks of nearby ‘Brush-rest’ Mountain as we walk, and we think this remote area is a great spot for a walk. The Great Wall out here is rough and seldom-visited—choose this hike if you’re interested in a visit to a section of wall very different to what you’ve seen on postcards.

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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

See the Hike in Beijing schedule in our calendar


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All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Wednesday, April 26
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, April 27
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Saturday, April 29
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Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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Departure date: Saturday, April 29
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Sunday, April 30
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: April 30–May 1 (Sun–Mon)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Monday, May 1
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Monday, May 1
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Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 3
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, May 4
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, May 6
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Big Camp Plate Village and Hengling Valley

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

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Departure date: Sunday, May 7
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Ming Village day trip

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Departure date: Sunday, May 7
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 10
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Thursday, May 11
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, May 13
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The Pinnacle Tower Plus

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Departure date: Saturday, May 13
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: May 13–14 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, May 14
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Train Tracks and Chestnut Orchards

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Departure date: Sunday, May 14
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 17
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, May 18
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, May 20
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Yanqing Great Wall and High Tower Challenge

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Departure date: Saturday, May 20
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: May 20–21 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, May 21
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Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, May 21
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Shunyi Hikers: Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 24
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, May 25
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, May 27
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, May 28
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The Great Flood

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Departure date: Monday, May 29
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Monday, May 29
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: May 29–30 (Mon–Tue)
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Camping Basics: Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Tuesday, May 30
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Tuesday, May 30
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White River hike

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Departure date: Thursday, June 1
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 3
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: June 3–4 (Sat–Sun)
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Yellow Grass Plateau Mini-Overnight

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Departure date: Sunday, June 4
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Sunday, June 4
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White River hike

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 7
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, June 8
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, June 10
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High Rise hike and Little West Lake Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 10
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: June 10–11 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, June 11
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Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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Departure date: Sunday, June 11
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 14
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, June 15
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, June 17
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Hillwalking Challenge: Flower Wood to East Water Valley

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Departure date: Saturday, June 17
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, June 18
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Sunday, June 18
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Down the White River

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 21
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, June 22
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Saturday, June 24
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 24
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, June 25
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Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, June 25
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Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 28
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, June 29
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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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

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.

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Huts below the Gangshika Snow Mountain
Trip dates: May 26–30, 2017

Qinghai Lake, Kumbum Monastery, and the Gangshika Snow Mountain, Qinghai Province

In Brief: Take a hike near the shores of Qinghai Lake; join the pilgrims visiting Kumbum Monastery; camp out at high altitude on Gangshika Mountain and hike up to a glacier.

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Clouds over the green rolling hills of the Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province
Trip dates: June 16–18, 2017

Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province

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

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