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Departure date: Saturday, October 21

Hillwalking Challenge: Big Black Mountain to Moss Mountain

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UPDATE 2017/10/13: We might have to change the plan for this hike because of the big government meeting. Sign up if you’re interested, and we’ll keep you up to date about any changes. (The plan already changed a little bit - this hike has replaced the planned Big Plate to Hengling Valley trip.)

Bring your passport or ID card. There’s a big government meeting on, and you’ll need your ID if we are stopped at a security checkpoint.

For this long hike, we’re joining two of our good hillwalking trails to make a 19km trek through the Huairou hills. We’ll first do the Big Black Mountain hike, a 10km hike through chestnut orchards, up and over ridges, and down valleys. Then we’ll link up with our Moss Mountain trail, starting from the Walled Village and walking 9km on the way to the finish.

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Departure date: Saturday, October 21

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. The hike at Gubeikou offers 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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Departure date: Sunday, October 22

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.

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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Departure date: Sunday, October 22

Shunyi Hikers: Yajishan Temple Circuit

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Shunyi Hikers: We’ll be picking up people from the Starbucks at Pinnacle Plaza in Shunyi for this hike. If you’re not based in Shunyi but fancy a visit to the temples today, we can still make it work – write us a note when you make your booking.

On this trip we’re going to add a little extra hiking to our usual inspection of the temples at Yajishan, starting with the short-but-steep stair climb to the top of Yaji Mountain. 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.

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 25

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Govt. meeting: There’s a massively important government meeting scheduled sometime in the last half of October. Bring your passport / ID card (or a copy) with you on this hike in case we go through a checkpoint.

We use this trail for our hiking festival, and it’s also great for a day 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: Thursday, October 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.

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!

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Departure date: Saturday, October 28

Chinese Knot Great Wall

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This tough Great Wall hike involves a lot of climbing and scrambling, and you’ll need strong legs and a good head for heights to make it to the end. Starting on the southern side of the mountains to the north of Beijing, we follow the Great Wall up and over two ridges, peaking just after the ‘Chinese Knot’ at 987m above sea level. 4–5 hours of hiking over 10km, with hiking boots and above-average level of fitness required. Note: if you’re not comfortable with making a short-but-steep climb on somewhat tricky terrain, you will probably not find this hike an enjoyable experience.

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Departure date: Saturday, October 28

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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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.

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Departure date: Sunday, October 29

Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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To begin the hike, we’ll walk in to Hemp Village, a tiny settlement hidden at the end of a long valley. From Hemp Village, we’ll climb into the hills, first following a trail through fields with views of the Great Wall to the side and front, and then getting on to the Great Wall at Gubeikou to walk a 6km stretch of pretty, unrestored 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.

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 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.

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

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Departure date: Thursday, November 2

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.

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Departure date: Saturday, November 4

Over the Hills to Dajuesi

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On this hike we’ll make an arduous climb up a an old pilgrims’ trail that leads over the mountains, starting near a tiny temple on the Beijing side of the West Mountains and finishing near Dajue Temple. On a clear day we’ll be able to see a long way, with views of mountains and the outskirts of Beijing City.

This hike finishes with a long descent which will be tough on your knees. On a hot day, the climb up to the peak will be taxing.

Note – regular hikers will have done many of these trails already – but perhaps not this way!

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Nine-Eyes Tower on Great Wall at Jiankou
Departure date: Saturday, November 4

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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Departure date: Sunday, November 5

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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Departure date: Sunday, November 5

Intelligence Valley

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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!

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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: Saturday, October 21
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Hillwalking Challenge: Big Black Mountain to Moss Mountain

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Departure date: Saturday, October 21
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, October 22
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, October 22
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Shunyi Hikers: Yajishan Temple Circuit

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 25
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, October 26
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, October 28
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, October 28
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, October 29
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 1
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, November 2
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, November 4
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Over the Hills to Dajuesi

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Departure date: Saturday, November 4
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Sunday, November 5
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, November 5
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Intelligence Valley

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 8
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, November 9
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, November 11
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The High Tower Loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, November 11
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, November 12
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Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, November 12
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 15
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, November 16
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Saturday, November 18
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Gubeikou West Circuit

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Departure date: Saturday, November 18
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, November 19
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, November 19
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Shunyi Hikers: Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 22
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, November 23
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, November 25
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Hillwalking Challenge: Flower Wood to East Water Valley

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Departure date: Saturday, November 25
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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

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Departure date: Sunday, November 26
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Tomb Raiders and the Sacred Way

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 29
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, November 30
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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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 cluster of three tulou buildings, deep in the hills of Fujian
Trip dates: November 9–12, 2017

Hakka Tulou Clusters and Xiamen, Fujian Province

In Brief: Head deep into the mountains of Fujian to see the tulou buildings of the Hakka, visiting those both well-known and obscure, and staying overnight in a tulou building in one of the smaller, less-visited clusters. Trip includes sights around Xiamen, including Gulangyu Island.

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Bridges and pagodas in Lijiang’s Black Dragon Pool park
Trip dates: November 22–26, 2017

Lijiang and Shangri-La, Yunnan Province

In Brief: See the highlights of Lijiang and Shangri-La: cobbled streets and watercourses of ancient towns, Naxi and Tibetan culture, plus amazing views of snow-capped mountains. Cultural focus, nothing too strenuous.

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Monks unveiling a huge cloth thangka
Trip dates: February 2018

Labrang Monastery’s ‘Unveiling the Buddha’ Ceremony, Xiahe, Gansu Province

In Brief: Visit Xiahe to witness a giant Buddha tapestry being unveiled on the hillside above Labrang Monastery and to join the crowds watching the lively performances in the town square. Trip also includes hikes and walks in nearby grassland areas.
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