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Great Wall hikes and trips in Beijing

Interested in a hike to the Great Wall? Here's what we have coming up!

If you'd like to see all the other hikes and trips we have scheduled, click here for the list of all our upcoming hikes and trips in Beijing.

A stretch of Great Wall
Departure date: Saturday, September 22

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.

Early start! We’re leaving extra early to avoid the worst of the Mid-Autumn Festival 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.

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Hikers on the Huanghuacheng Great Wall
Departure date: Saturday, September 22

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

Rain date: if rain (or thunder/lightning) is forecast for the evening then we’ll postpone this trip to Monday, September 24. (In 2016 we had to do postpone due to lightning, and the weather the next day was perfect.) If there was a change to the plan we’d let you know.

Mid-Autumn Festival holiday hikes—leaving at midday means we should avoid the worst of the traffic, but we still may get stuck in a jam at some stage. Bring a book or something else to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

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Stone Valley Great Wall | The General’s Tower
Departure date: Sunday, September 23

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.

Early start! We’re leaving early to avoid the worst of the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday traffic. We may still get stuck in a traffic jam at some point. Bring a book or something to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

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Climbing up to a peak on the Great Wall
Departure date: Sunday, September 23

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.

Early start! We’re leaving extra early to avoid the worst of the Mid-Autumn Festival 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.

Read more about this hike »
Gubeikou Great Wall | Early evening views of the Great Wall at Gubeikou
Departure date: September 23–24 (Sun–Mon)

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!

Mid-Autumn Festival Holiday traffic We may get stuck in a traffic jam at some point. Bring a book or something to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

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The General’s Tower at Jiankou
Departure date: Monday, September 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!

Mid-Autumn Festival Holiday traffic It’s the last day of the holiday and we don’t think the traffic will be too bad. We may still get stuck in a traffic jam at some point. Bring a book or something to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

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A stretch of Great Wall
Departure date: Wednesday, September 26

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 »
Longquanyu Great Wall | Long views of mountains and Great Wall from Longquanyu
Departure date: Thursday, September 27

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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Approaching the Jinshanling Great Wall
Departure date: Saturday, September 29

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.

Work day If you work in Beijing you might be expected to show up at the office today, as it’s a make-up work day for the big holiday next week.

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Our campsite on unrestored wild wall below a Great Wall tower
Departure date: September 29–30 (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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A stretch of Great Wall
Departure date: Sunday, September 30

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.

Work day If you work in Beijing you might be expected to show up at the office today, as it’s a make-up work day for the big holiday next week.

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Hiking on unrepaired Great Wall at Huanghuacheng
Departure date: Monday, October 1

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Explore an interesting stretch of Great Wall on this Huairou hike, visiting both restored and unrestored sections on the way from the Huanghuacheng Reservoir to a walled village that used to be a Ming Dynasty-era army barracks. The hike is moderately difficult, with a few quite steep climbs and some loose rocks and bricks. Price includes a late lunch of Chinese food after the hike.

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.

Early start! We’re leaving early to avoid the worst of the holiday traffic. We may still get stuck in a traffic jam at some point, and we recommend you don’t make fixed plans for the evening. Bring a book or something to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

Read more about this hike »
A view of a tower on the Longquanyu stretch of Great Wall
Departure date: Wednesday, October 3

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Book your place

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.

Early start! We’re leaving early to avoid the worst of the holiday traffic. We may still get stuck in a traffic jam at some point, and we recommend you don’t make fixed plans for the evening. Bring a book or something to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

Read more about this hike »
A stretch of Great Wall
Departure date: Thursday, October 4

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 and not touched again since. It’s in surprisingly good shape after 400 or so years of weathering.

You’ll hike up and along the Great Wall, passing through large towers on the way to the highest point on the trail. This is an excellent hike for photography—we seldom see other hikers here, and you’ll have long views of ‘wild’ Great Wall ascending ridgelines, with more Great Wall visible on hills in the distance.

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The wild Great Wall in Huailai District
Departure date: Friday, October 5

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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On this hike we’ll head out to the border of Beijing Municipality and Hebei Province for a moderately difficult walk through peach orchards, up valleys, and along the Great Wall. We’ll have views of the distinctive peaks of nearby ‘Brush-rest’ Mountain as we walk, and we think this remote area is a great spot for a walk. The Great Wall out here is rough and seldom-visited—choose this hike if you’re interested in a visit to a section of wall very different to what you’ve seen on postcards.

Early start! We’re leaving early to avoid the worst of the holiday traffic. We may still get stuck in a traffic jam at some point, and we recommend you don’t make fixed plans for the evening. Bring a book or something to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

Read more about this hike »

All upcoming Great Wall hikes in Beijing

You're viewing all our Great Wall hikes. We've got many more hikes for you to try, though!


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.

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Hike schedule: Great Wall hikes

Departure date: Saturday, September 22
Standby

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, September 22
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 23
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, September 23
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: September 23–24 (Sun–Mon)
Standby

Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Monday, September 24
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 26
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, September 27
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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

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Departure date: September 29–30 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 30
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Great Wall Spur

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

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

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Departure date: Thursday, October 4
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Friday, October 5
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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

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Departure date: Saturday, October 6
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: October 6–7 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, October 7
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, October 11
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, October 13
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, October 14
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 17
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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

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Departure date: Saturday, October 20
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, October 21
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 24
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, October 27
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, October 28
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 31
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, November 1
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Trekking on the Tea and Horse Trail near Dali, Yunnan Province
Trip dates: September 20–24, 2018

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In Brief: See the Southern Silk Road sights of Dali and its surrounds, travelling by foot, bicycle, and as part of a mule train as we visit ancient towns and temples on the ancient Tea and Horse Trail and camp out on Cang Mountain.

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Baicheng Landform
Trip dates: October 1–7, 2018

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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A person walks through the sandy dunes of the Tengger Desert
Trip dates: October 2–5, 2018

Tengger Desert Lakes, Inner Mongolia

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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