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Home > Hike in Beijing

Departure date: Monday, February 19

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: Tuesday, February 20

Longqingxia Ice Festival and Tang Dynasty Caves

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For this very easy stroll we will travel to Yanqing County to visit the valley where we’ll find an ancient interconnected series of cave dwellings. This trip is suitable for children (no pushchairs, though) – it’s very easy, and the sight of the cave dwellings is sure to spark the imagination.

After visiting the caves we’ll get an early dinner out in the country before heading for the Longqingxia Ice Festival, where we’ll see all the amazing ice sculptures and lanterns – perhaps not quite as amazing as the Harbin Festival, but definitely not as cold!

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 21

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: Saturday, February 24

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!

Working day: if you work in Beijing you might be expected at the office today. It’s one of those times where the work days get switched around so you can have a seven-day holiday for Spring Fest.

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Departure date: Sunday, February 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.

Working day: if you work in Beijing you might be expected at the office today. It’s one of those times where the work days get switched around so you can have a seven-day holiday for Spring Fest.

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 28

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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

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Craggy peaks in the Yudu Mountains
Departure date: Saturday, March 3

Yudu Mountains and Sujia River

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New hike! Almost 1,000m up into the Yudu Mountains, north of Yanqing City, is Yinmeng Temple. And if there’s a temple up in the mountains, there must also be a trail that goes up there!

We’ll hike up past the temple and cross the mountains at a 1,000m pass, then follow a scenic path through birch forests down into the Sujia River valley.

The trail follows the river, passing below tall cliffs and around bends in the valley.

To get out of the river valley we’ve got to do another big climb, crossing at another 1,000m+ pass before a more mellow walk down and out.

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Departure date: Saturday, March 3

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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

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

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Departure date: March 3–4 (Sat–Sun)

Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

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Lantern Festival Special!

Almost four hours’ drive northwest of Beijing city is Yu County, home to ancient pagodas, temples, pavilions, and large gates and plaques inside fortified walled towns that preserve traces of the Zhou, Liao, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties.

On this two-day trip to the area you’ll see the rowdy and colourful Lantern Festival street parade and take in a performance that includes Da Shu Hua, a 300-year old local tradition that translates as ‘Beating Trees into Flowers’ and results in molten iron being flung against the city walls in lieu of a fireworks display! We’ll walk the streets of well-preserved Nuanquan Ancient Town, visiting the old forts and temples, as well as visiting Jimingyi, the remnants of a Ming Dynasty postal relay center.

Note: we’ll be outside quite a bit, and the weather is sure to be freezing – bring all the warm clothes you’ve got, and then bring a few extra layers just in case!

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Departure date: Sunday, March 4

Shunyi Hikers: Immortal Valley Loop

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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 valley today, we can still make it work – write us a note when you make your booking.

This loop walk follows a park trail, passing freezing streams, pools, waterfalls, and big boulders and caves on the way to an almost-800-metre peak. From the peak we’ll get a good view of the surrounding hills and valleys, and should be able to spot the Miyun Reservoir. On the way back down we’ll follow a scenic ridgeline trail through pines and impressive rocky outcrops. The full loop is around 14km, and will take about 4 hours to complete.

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Departure date: Sunday, March 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: Wednesday, March 7

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: Thursday, March 8

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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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: Saturday, March 10

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, March 10

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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

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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: Monday, February 19
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Tuesday, February 20
Standby

Longqingxia Ice Festival and Tang Dynasty Caves

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, February 21
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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

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Departure date: Sunday, February 25
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 28
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 3
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Yudu Mountains and Sujia River

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Departure date: Saturday, March 3
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: March 3–4 (Sat–Sun)
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Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

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Departure date: Sunday, March 4
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Shunyi Hikers: Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, March 4
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 7
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, March 8
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, March 10
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 10
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 11
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, March 11
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Big Black Mountain to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 14
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, March 15
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 17
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, March 17
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 18
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, March 18
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 21
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Great Wall Spur

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

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Departure date: Saturday, March 24
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Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs (Route Two)

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Departure date: Saturday, March 24
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, March 25
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, March 25
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Tanzhe Temple and the Abandoned Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 28
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Thursday, March 29
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, March 31
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 31
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Great Flood hike

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Departure date: March 31–April 1 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 1
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, April 1
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Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 4
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, April 5
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War Tunnels and the old Gold Mines

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Departure date: Friday, April 6
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Great Wall: Gubeikou to Jinshanling (and a little Simatai)

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Departure date: Saturday, April 7
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The Mines and The Pines

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Departure date: Saturday, April 7
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: April 7–8 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 8
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 11
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, April 12
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, April 14
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Silver Pagodas to East Water Valley Village

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Departure date: Saturday, April 14
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, April 15
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 15
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Shunyi Hikers: Lily Village and the Silver Pagodas

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 18
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, April 19
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, April 21
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

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Departure date: Saturday, April 21
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: April 21–22 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 22
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Earth Day Cleanup: Jiankou Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 22
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Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 25
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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

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Departure date: Saturday, April 28
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Heituo Mountain Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, April 28
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: April 28–29 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 29
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The Pinnacle Tower

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Departure date: Sunday, April 29
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Monday, April 30
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Monday, April 30
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Lily Village to Flower Wood

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Departure date: Tuesday, May 1
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Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: May 12–13 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: May 19–20 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: June 2–3 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Great Wall Spur

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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

Monks unveiling a huge cloth thangka
Trip dates: February 27–March 2, 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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Terraced hills covered with flowers
Trip dates: March 15–18, 2018

Wuyuan ‘Fields of Flowers’, Jiangxi Province

In Brief: See fields of yellow flowers and ancient river towns in southern China. Cultural focus, nothing too strenuous.

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Colourful costumes of the Zhuang ethnic group
Trip dates: April 4–8, 2018

Guizhou: Miao and Dong culture in the mountains (5 days)

In Brief: Hike between villages and enclaves in the mountains of Guizhou Province to get a up-close look at the well-preserved rituals, traditions, and architecture of the Miao and Dong (and more) ethnic groups.

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