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Longquanyu Great Wall | Long views of mountains and Great Wall from Longquanyu
Departure date: Wednesday, July 25

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.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We have another Great Wall hike the next day, just in case.

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Stone Valley Great Wall | The General’s Towery
Departure date: Thursday, July 26

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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On this hike we make a loop out of Stone Valley Village and hike the same line of wall as our Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike. Starting at Stone Valley Village gives us a longer hike and some different angles for our views of the Great Wall, and we’ll also cross the tumbled-down and much older line of Northern Qi Dynasty Great Wall that was used as part of Ming Dynasty wall here.

The first quarter of the hike features two hill climbs, and then we’re up on to the Ming-era Great Wall. We follow the wall up to the General’s Tower – the tallest on this line of wall – and then follow it down the other side, passing some superb spots for photos along the way.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We’ll be keeping an eye on the forecast, and we can change you on to the Saturday Great Wall hike if the weather that day is looking better.

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Views of Great Wall and mountains, near the high point of the Switchback Great Wall
Departure date: Saturday, July 28

Switchback Great Wall

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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!

Weather note There’s not a lot of shade on this hike, and if it’s a hot day it will feel extra tough. We can’t do this hike in a thunderstorm either! In the days before the hike we’ll be keeping an eye on the weather forecast, and we’ll change the plan if necessary.

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Towers and wall built along a ridgeline, seen on the extended section of the Gubeikou hike.
Departure date: Saturday, July 28

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.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We have another Great Wall hike the next day, just in case.

Read more about this hike »
Hikers crossing a river
Departure date: Sunday, July 29

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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Hikers on a ‘wild’ stretch of the Huanghuacheng Great Wall
Departure date: Sunday, July 29

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.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We’ll be keeping an eye on the forecast, and we can change you on to the Saturday Great Wall hike if the weather that day is looking better.

Read more about this hike »
Looking out over the Jinshanling Great Wall
Departure date: Wednesday, August 1

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.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We have another Great Wall hike the next day, just in case.

Read more about this hike »
The General’s Tower on the middle route of the Switchback Great Wall
Departure date: Thursday, August 2

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 home.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We have more Great Wall hikes this week, just in case.

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The view from Vulture Rock Ridge
Departure date: Saturday, August 4

Vulture Rock Ridge loop hike

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Get some good exercise with great views on this loop hike in the mountains west of Beijing, following hill trails up to a broad plateau before walking along high-up Vulture Rock Ridge. From the highest point on the hike we follow part of a pilgrims’ path through forest, eventually arriving back where we began.

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Long views of the Longquanyu stretch of Great Wall.
Departure date: Saturday, August 4

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Book your place

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.

Read more about this hike »
Swimming at Yunmeng Gorge
Departure date: Sunday, August 5

Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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Head out to Yunmeng Gorge for a hike-and-swim combo – perfect for hot weather!

The sandy beaches and pools of water in Yunmeng Gorge make a perfect place to picnic and swim. We’ll walk up the gorge and find a good spot, and you can take a dip in the water or follow our guides for a longer hike up into the hills.

Limited space available, sign up early!

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A stretch of Great Wall
Departure date: Sunday, August 5

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Book your place

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.

Read more about this hike »
On the repaired Great Wall at Mutianyu
Departure date: Wednesday, August 8

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.

Note: a bit of 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!

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We have another Great Wall hike the next day, just in case.

Read more about this hike »
Hiking on the unrepaired section of the Great Wall at Huanghuacheng
Departure date: Thursday, August 9

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Book your place

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.

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.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We have more Great Wall hikes this week, just in case.

Read more about this hike »
The General’s Tower
Departure date: Saturday, August 11

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Book your place

On this hike we begin at Stone Valley Village and hike the same line of wall as our Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike. Starting at Stone Valley Village gives us a longer hike and some different angles for our views of the Great Wall, and we’ll also cross the tumbled-down and much older line of Northern Qi Dynasty Great Wall that was used as part of Ming Dynasty wall here.

The first quarter of the hike features two hill climbs, and then we’re up on to the Ming-era Great Wall. We follow the wall up to the General’s Tower – the tallest on this line of wall – and then follow it down the other side, passing some superb spots for photos along the way.

Read more about this hike »

Hikes in Beijing

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Hike in Beijing calendar

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All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Wednesday, July 25
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, July 26
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, July 28
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, July 28
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, July 29
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White River hike

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Departure date: Sunday, July 29
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 1
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Thursday, August 2
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, August 4
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Vulture Rock Ridge loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, August 4
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, August 5
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Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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Departure date: Sunday, August 5
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 8
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, August 9
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, August 11
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, August 11
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White River hike

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Departure date: Sunday, August 12
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, August 12
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Waste-Free Wall: Clean up the Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 15
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, August 16
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, August 18
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, August 18
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Dragon Cloud Mountain and White River

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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: 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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Explore China

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Upcoming trips

The green rolling hills of the Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province
Trip dates: August 10–12, 2018

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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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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