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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.

Stone Valley Great Wall | The General’s Towery
Departure date: Saturday, September 8

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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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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A stretch of Great Wall
Departure date: Sunday, September 9

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. The hike at Gubeikou offers magnificent views of the Great Wall stretching beyond the horizon in the east and west. As we follow the wall, we’ll pass through restored and unrestored sections, as well as taking a nice detour through pines on a hillside trail.

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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall | On the top section of the Great Wall at Mutianyu
Departure date: Wednesday, September 12

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!

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The General’s Tower on the middle route of the Switchback Great Wall
Departure date: Thursday, September 13

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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Hikers on the way up the Great Wall at Huanghuacheng
Departure date: Saturday, September 15

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.

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Our campsite on unrestored wild wall below a Great Wall tower
Departure date: September 15–16 (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 16

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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A view of a tower on the Longquanyu stretch of Great Wall
Departure date: Wednesday, September 19

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: Thursday, September 20

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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For this moderately challenging hike we’ll travel into the far northeast of Beijing Municipality. We’ll walk along a stretch of the Gubeikou Great Wall and end up at the Jinshanling Great Wall park after a long detour through the farmland surrounding Hemp Village. After a late lunch at our favourite family restaurant at Jinshanling we’ll head back to Beijing. The cost of food, drinks, round-trip transportation, and park tickets is included in the price.

Regular hikers: this is the version where we walk the last section of the Great Wall at Gubeikou and all of the Jinshanling Great Wall.

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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.

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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

Book your place

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!

Read more about this hike »
The General’s Tower at Jiankou
Departure date: Monday, September 24

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Book your place

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!

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: Wednesday, July 25
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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

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Departure date: Saturday, July 28
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, July 28
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, July 29
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 1
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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

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

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Departure date: Sunday, August 5
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 8
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, August 9
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, August 11
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, August 12
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, August 12
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Waste-Free Wall: Clean up the Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 15
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, August 16
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, August 18
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, August 19
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 22
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, August 23
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Great Wall Spur

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

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Departure date: Sunday, August 26
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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

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Departure date: Thursday, August 30
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, September 1
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: September 1–2 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 2
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 5
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, September 6
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, September 8
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Yanqing Great Wall and High Tower Challenge

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

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Departure date: Sunday, September 9
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 12
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, September 13
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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

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Departure date: September 15–16 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 16
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 19
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, September 20
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, September 22
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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)
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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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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

The green rolling hills of the Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province
Trip dates: August 10–12, 2018

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 coloured hills of the Zhangye Danxia Landform
Trip dates: August 15–19, 2018

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

Dali’s Old Towns, Cang Mountain, and Erhai Lake, Yunnan (5 days)

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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