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Departure date: Thursday, September 21

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. There are some sections that are very steep and slippery, but the views of mountains and Great Wall are definitely worth it.

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, September 23

Heituo Mountain Loop

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Hike up to the craggy peak of Heituo Mountain, and then down and out below the tall cliffs on the Nine-Eyes Tower side of the mountain. (On this version of the trail we skip the brushy areas of the Valley of the Pigs as well as the gruelling climb up through the forest at the other end of the valley.)

This is a fairly rough hike and part of the track is rather wild, so we’re limiting the number of participants to only fifteen tough trekkers. Because of the steep ascents and descents on this hike we wouldn’t be able to do it in or after rain.

You’ll need to be in good shape and have a good head for heights to enjoy this hike, and we’ll ask you about that as part of the sign up process.

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Departure date: Saturday, September 23

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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Departure date: Sunday, September 24

Cypress Wells Canyon and Yongning Town

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Visit Yanqing Country to find a short stretch of ‘Warring States’ era Great Wall and an old village amidst the mountainous landscapes. The hike begins with a nice long, flat walk along the floor of the canyon. Mid-way, we’ll stop for a break at a small and interesting mostly-abandoned village before following a trail up through a pine forest to take a look at a very old section of Great Wall. We’ll finish the hike by following a hill trail down and out to the nearest road.

After the hike we’ll take a stroll through the streets of Yongning Town, a countryside town with a long history, a big tower in the middle of town, and a street market in the town square.

Because this hike is mostly flat it’s fine for fairly active kids, but there is a long and steep descent to finish it. If you’re not sure about the suitability, please get in touch with us.

UPDATE 2017/9/14: We had a note about seeing autumn colours on this hike, but this year we might be a little early for that still. We might see the start of colours, but there should also be quite a bit of leafy greenery left.

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Departure date: Sunday, September 24

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: Wednesday, September 27

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.

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Departure date: Thursday, September 28

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!

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Departure date: Saturday, September 30

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.

Working day: for a lot of people working in Beijing, today will be the last day of work before the big October holiday.

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Departure date: September 30-October 1 (Sat–Sun)

Camping: Hemp Village and Gubeikou Great Wall

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Hike from Hemp Village up to the Gubeikou Great Wall and camp in a tower on this relatively easy camping trip. We’ll take care of the heavy lifting and have the camping equipment 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.

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

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

Working day: for a lot of people working in Beijing, today will be the last day of work before the big October holiday.

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Departure date: Sunday, October 1

Prove Your Loyalty

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For this hike we head out to Pinggu District for a ramble that follows wooded trails, passes abandoned villages, and crosses a short rundown stretch of Great Wall. The hike is named for a story told to us by villagers: during the war, the Japanese army forced residents in one of the villages to destroy a nearby section of the Great Wall and carry the bricks down to the village as a demonstration of loyalty to Japanese forces.

On this visit we’re adding on an extra 6km for a longer walk, finishing near where we usually begin our Perfect Loop hike. A great chance for a nice long day out in the hills.

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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Departure date: Sunday, October 1

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.

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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Departure date: Monday, October 2

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.

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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Departure date: Tuesday, October 3

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.

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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Departure date: Tuesday, October 3

Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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This hike starts off behind a small village where we’ll take a look at the 300-year old ‘Phoenix and Dragon’ pine trees before hiking up to the Zhuangdaokou Great Wall. From the wall, we have the option to make things a little more difficult by taking a climb up to some of the towers. We’ll end up at the Walled Village, a settlement that has grown up inside and around an old army barracks that used to house soldiers tasked with guarding the Great Wall. 2–3 hours of relaxed walking, price includes lunch at a restaurant at the foot of the Huanghuacheng Great Wall. Hikers with extra energy have the option to finish lunch early and take a short climb up.

Regular Beijing Hikers: this is the easiest version of this walk. A great way to try a hike if you’re not sure about your fitness, or if you have kids who would like to get outside.

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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Departure date: Wednesday, October 4

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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We used this trail for our hiking festival, and after receiving great feedback on it we’re offering it as a regular 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.

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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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, 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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Departure date: Saturday, September 30
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: September 30-October 1 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Hemp Village and Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, October 1
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Prove Your Loyalty

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Departure date: Sunday, October 1
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Monday, October 2
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The Pinnacle Tower

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Departure date: Tuesday, October 3
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Tuesday, October 3
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Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 4
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 4
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Thursday, October 5
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Friday, October 6
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: October 6–7 (Fri–Sat)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, October 7
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Quarrymen’s Trail to the Heavenly Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, October 7
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, October 8
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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

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Departure date: Saturday, October 14
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Hillwalking Challenge: Big Black Mountain to Moss Mountain

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Departure date: Saturday, October 14
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, October 15
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, October 15
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Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 18
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, October 19
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Saturday, October 21
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Big Camp Plate Village and Hengling Valley

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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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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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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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Cypress Wells Canyon and Yongning Town

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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

Baicheng Landform
Trip dates: October 1–7, 2017

Silk Road: Korla to Kashgar (7 days)

In Brief: Spend seven days on the Silk Road, heading west to Kashgar and travelling by jeep instead of camel through the vast empty areas of Xinjiang Province.

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Dunes in the Alashan Desert
Trip dates: October 2–5, 2017

Alashan Desert Lakes and Temple, Inner Mongolia

In Brief: Travel by foot, camel, and jeep through the Alashan Desert to reach a beautiful Buddhist temple deep in the dunes. Includes a night camping in the desert, plus a visit to the Western Xia Imperial Tombs.

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The coloured hills of the Zhangye Danxia Landform
Trip dates: October 8–12, 2017

Zhangye Danxia Landform, Gansu Province

In Brief: See the fantastically-coloured mountains and cliffs in an all-but unexplored area of Gansu; visit Horse Hoofprint Temple, Jiayuguan Fortress, and more.

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