Home > Hike in Beijing

Departure date: Wednesday, 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 another Great Wall hike the next day, just in case.

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Departure date: Thursday, August 3

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’d look at postponing the hike to the next day. If that doesn’t work out we’d suggest that you switch to one of the hikes during the weekend.

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Departure date: Saturday, August 5

Zhuangdaokou to Moss Mountain

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This hike is a combination of two shorter trails: the Zhuangdaokou and Walled Village hike, and the Moss Mountain hike.

We first climb up a valley to get to the Zhuangdaokou Great Wall, and after a short look we head on through the fields towards the Walled Village. Then we’re on to farm roads and hill trails on the way towards Moss Mountain.

This could almost be rated a Level 3+ hike but there is a deceptive amount of uphill.

Brushy trail! Part of the middle section could turn into a bit of a jungle adventure. Most of the trail is nice and clear.

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Departure date: Saturday, August 5

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 recent 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.

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Departure date: Sunday, August 6

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.

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A crossing on the White River
Departure date: Sunday, August 6

Dragon Cloud Mountain and White River

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A fresh take on our White River hike: We skip the commercial end of the White River for a hike over Dragon Cloud Mountain, before joining the river at the big bend that marks the start of the quietest and most scenic part of the trail. We’ll hike up Dragon Cloud Mountain and join on to the narrow concrete road that is the only access to a tiny village, and follow an old road from the village down to the river side. We’ll then begin the river hike, fording 6-7 times on the way to the end.

Note: If the river level is raised because of rain we might not be able to hike. We’ll know for sure in the week before the hike.

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 9

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.

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: Thursday, August 10

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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Departure date: Saturday, August 12

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.

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: Saturday, August 12

Little West Lake and Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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On this hike we’ll walk the stretch of Great Wall that lies between two reservoirs in Huairou District, starting from the ‘Little West Lake’ and finishing at the Huanghuacheng Reservoir, crossing unrestored and restored sections of Ming Dynasty Great Wall along the way.

This is a short hike, but parts of it are quite steep – you’ll get good views, and also good exercise.

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Departure date: Sunday, August 13

Great Wall Spur

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On this hike we will visit a remote stretch of the Great Wall that was completed around 1580 AD, during the reign of Emperor Wan Li. After a good long (some say tough) climb up a hillside trail we’ll follow the Great Wall along a ridge, enjoying great views the whole way. There is plenty of Great Wall in this area, and on a clear day it is extremely picturesque. Price includes lunch after the hike.

Note: tough climb at the start of the hike. While rated a 3+, this hike is sort of a tough 3+ because of the long climb at the beginning. We go up about 500m over 2km of trail, which is a climb worthy of a Level 4 hike.

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Departure date: Sunday, August 13

Immortal Valley Loop

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This loop walk follows a park trail, passing streams, pools, waterfalls, 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 4–5 hours to complete.

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 16

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.

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 »
Departure date: Thursday, August 17

Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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This hike is a shortened version of our Nine-Eyes Tower trail, made easier by skipping the tough climb up to the top. We’ll follow hill trails through leafy valleys to get to Jiankou’s ‘Big West Wall’, and then walk south along the wall towards the Chinese Knot. This hike will still be fairly tough on a hot day, and there are some sections that are very steep and slippery.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We’d look at postponing the hike to the next day. If that doesn’t work out we’d suggest that you switch to one of the hikes during the weekend.

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Hiking up the Vulture Rock Ridge trail
Departure date: Saturday, August 19

Miaofengshan Super Loop

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Get 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 and then on to the peak of Miaofengshan.

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

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Departure date: Saturday, July 1
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, July 1
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: July 1–2 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Hemp Village and Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, July 2
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Cypress Wells Canyon and Yongning Town

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Departure date: Sunday, July 2
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Wednesday, July 5
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, July 6
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Saturday, July 8
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, July 8
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Walk Like A Pilgrim

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Departure date: Sunday, July 9
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Dragon Cloud Mountain and White River

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Departure date: Sunday, July 9
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, July 12
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, July 13
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, July 15
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Shuitou Village Loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, July 15
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, July 16
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Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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Departure date: Sunday, July 16
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, July 19
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, July 20
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Saturday, July 22
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall Extra

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Departure date: Saturday, July 22
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, July 23
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, July 23
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Down the White River

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Departure date: Wednesday, July 26
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, July 27
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, July 29
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The Great Flood

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Departure date: Saturday, July 29
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, July 30
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, July 30
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Dragon Cloud Mountain

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

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Departure date: Thursday, August 3
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, August 5
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Zhuangdaokou to Moss Mountain

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Departure date: Saturday, August 5
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, August 6
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, August 6
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Dragon Cloud Mountain and White River

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 9
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, August 10
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, August 12
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The Pinnacle Tower

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Departure date: Saturday, August 12
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Little West Lake and Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, August 13
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, August 13
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Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 16
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, August 17
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, August 19
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Miaofengshan Super Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, August 19
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, August 20
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, August 20
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Down the White River

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 23
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Thursday, August 24
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Saturday, August 24
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Big Camp Plate Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, August 26
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, August 27
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Silver Pagoda Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, August 27
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 30
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Thursday, August 31
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, September 2
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Hillwalking Challenge: Prove Your Loyalty Perfectly

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Departure date: Saturday, September 2
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: September 2–3 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 3
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Sunday, September 3
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White River hike

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 6
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, September 7
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, September 10
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 10
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Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 13
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, September 14
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall Extra

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Departure date: Saturday, September 16
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

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Departure date: Saturday, September 16
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, September 17
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, September 17
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Tanzhe Temple and the Abandoned Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 20
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, September 21
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, September 23
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Heituo Mountain Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, September 23
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 24
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Cypress Wells Canyon and Yongning Town

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Departure date: Sunday, September 24
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 27
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, September 28
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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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

Hiking the ridgelines at the Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province
Trip dates: July 14–16, 2017

Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province

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

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The exterior of the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang
Trip dates: July 20–23, 2017

Dunhuang and Mogao Grottoes, Gansu Province

In Brief: Explore the Silk Road sights around Dunhuang, including the amazing Mogao Grottoes and Crescent Lake.

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The green rolling hills of the Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province
Trip dates: August 11–13, 2017

Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province

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

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