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Hiking on the 'wild' Great Wall in Yanqing District
Departure date: Saturday, April 27

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. Recently we’ve been doing a shorter version of this hike – on this trip we’ll do the tougher, longer route.

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See sunset from the Great Wall at Gubeikou
Departure date: April 27–28 (Sat–Sun)

Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Hike the Great Wall and camp in a tower on this two day Great Wall adventure. We’ll take care of the heavy lifting and have the camping gear delivered direct to our campsite; you’ll just need to carry your clothes, water, and food and snacks. Enjoy the scenery, sunset, stars, and sunrise without all the sweat involved in a full-on camping expedition.

We’ll supply the camping equipment, water, snacks, and main meals; bring your camera and get ready to enjoy yourself!

Maximum group size of 10 hikers; book early to make sure you get a spot!

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Hikers on the way up the Great Wall at Huanghuacheng
Departure date: Sunday, April 28

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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Autumn colours in the hills above the canyon
Departure date: Sunday, April 28

Shuiquan Canyon

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Hike hill trails and valley paths to on the way to Shuiquan Canyon, a bouldery valley in the Longquanyu area. The route through the canyon takes us around and over several large pools as we walk below cliffs and over rickety bridges, hiking over and around boulders on the way to the end.

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Clouds over the Great Wall Spur
Departure date: Wednesday, May 1

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.

Early start! We’re leaving extra early to avoid the worst of the Labour Day holiday traffic. We may still get stuck in a traffic jam at some point. Bring a book to read, just in case, and we’d advise that you don’t make any fixed plans for the evening. (Departure time was updated on March 22.)

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Views from the ridge above Vulture Rock park
Departure date: Thursday, May 2

Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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Changed the date: on March 22 the government changed the Labour Day holiday dates, and we’ve changed the date of this hike to match the new holidays.

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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The Great Wall at Huanghuacheng
Departure date: Thursday, May 2

Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Changed the date: on March 22 the government changed the Labour Day holiday dates, and we’ve changed the date of this hike to match the new holidays.

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 to a high tower to watch the sun go down. We then hike down to finish at a countryside restaurant near a scenic reservoir.

The hiking trail is the same as our popular Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall walk, a great combination of unrestored and restored Great Wall that offers superb views of hills, mountains, and reservoirs.

Rain date: if rain (or thunder/lightning) is forecast for the evening then we’ll postpone this trip to Friday, May 3. If there was a change to the plan we’d let you know.

Holiday hike! It’s the Labour Day holiday, and we might get stuck in traffic at some point on the way to or from the hike. We recommend you don’t make fixed plans for the evening, just in case.

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A stretch of Great Wall
Departure date: Friday, May 3

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Changed the date: on March 22 the government changed the Labour Day holiday dates, and we’ve changed the date of this hike to match the new holidays.

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.

Holiday hike! It’s the Labour Day holiday, and we might get stuck in traffic at some point on the way to or from the hike. We recommend you don’t make fixed plans for the evening, just in case.

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The descent from the Pinnacle Tower
Departure date: Saturday, May 4

The Pinnacle Tower

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This stretch of the Great Wall sits atop the “Big East Mountain” in Huairou, and it’s a hike we don’t do frequently. The view from the top of the Pinnacle Tower is stunning and well worth the tough climb. We’ll make two big hill climbs on the way to the top, where we’ll stop to enjoy the views before walking out to the road to meet our bus.

NOTES: Balancing skills and a good head for heights will be required. Rain would make this hike dangerous, in which case we’d change to a different Great Wall trail.

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A view of a tower on the Longquanyu stretch of Great Wall
Departure date: Saturday, May 4

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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Our campsite on unrestored wild wall below a Great Wall tower
Departure date: May 4–5 (Sat–Sun)

Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Take a relatively relaxed hike along the wild Great Wall and camp in a scenic spot on the wall on this Great Wall overnighter. We’ll take care of the heavy lifting and have the camping gear 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.

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

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Long views of all the Great Wall at Jinshanling
Departure date: Sunday, May 5

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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The Silver Pagodas stand on the site of a temple first built during the Tang Dynasty
Departure date: Sunday, May 5

Silver Pagoda Loop

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For this hike we will follow a seldom-used trail to get to the Silver Pagodas, a set of five well-preserved 600-year-old pagodas that are all that remains of a big Buddhist temple. On the way to the pagoda site we will take a long walk through the countryside, passing a village, quarries, and a local shrine, before a steep climb to the 720m peak of Holly Mountain. From the top we can look down on the pagodas and large swathes of the surrounding countryside, and as we follow the path down we will pass large bells, “North Beijing’s Number One Waterfall,” and plenty of other interesting local landmarks.

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Blue skies over a line of unrepaired 'wild' Great Wall
Departure date: Wednesday, May 8

Great Wall Spur

Book your place

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.

Read more about this hike »
Towers on the Great Wall at Gubeikou
Departure date: Thursday, May 9

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 »

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, April 27
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: April 27–28 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 28
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, April 28
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Shuiquan Canyon

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 1
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, May 2
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Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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Departure date: Thursday, May 2
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Friday, May 3
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, May 4
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The Pinnacle Tower

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

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Departure date: May 4–5 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, May 5
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, May 5
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Silver Pagoda Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 8
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, May 9
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, May 11
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Miaofengshan Super Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, May 11
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, May 12
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, May 12
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Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 15
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, May 16
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, May 18
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Yanqing Great Wall and High Tower Challenge

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Departure date: Saturday, May 18
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: May 18–19 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, May 19
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, May 19
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Cuandixia ‘Ming Village’ day trip

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

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 22
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, May 23
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, May 25
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Heituo Mountain Crossing

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

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Departure date: Sunday, May 26
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, May 26
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Kids Club: Yunmeng Gorge play and picnic

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

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Departure date: Thursday, May 30
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 1
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

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Departure date: Saturday, June 1
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, June 2
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Yinmeng Temple and Sujia River

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Departure date: Sunday, June 2
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 5
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, June 6
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Friday, June 7
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Friday, June 7
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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

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Departure date: Saturday, June 8
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Sunday, June 9
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, June 9
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White River hike

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Departure date: Saturday, April 6
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 12
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Thursday, June 13
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, June 15
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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

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Departure date: Sunday, June 16
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Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, June 16
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 19
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, June 20
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 22
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White River hike

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Departure date: Saturday, June 22
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Gubeikou and Jinshanling Great Wall overnight

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Departure date: Sunday, June 23
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, June 23
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Kids Club: The Silver Pagodas

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 26
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, June 27
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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

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Departure date: Sunday, June 30
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, June 30
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Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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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.

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Hiking through the huge dunes of the Tengger Desert in Inner Mongolia
Trip dates: April 28–May 1, 2019

Tengger Desert Lakes, Inner Mongolia (4 days)

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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The coloured hills of the Zhangye Danxia Landform
Trip dates: June 5–9, 2019

Zhangye Danxia Landform, Gansu Province (5 days)

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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Hiking down from a peak
Trip dates: June 14–16, 2019

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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