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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.

Departure date: Saturday, October 21

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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Departure date: Sunday, October 22

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.

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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Departure date: Wednesday, October 25

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Govt. meeting: There’s a massively important government meeting scheduled sometime in the last half of October. Bring your passport / ID card (or a copy) with you on this hike in case we go through a checkpoint.

We use this trail for our hiking festival, and it’s also great for a day hike: guided instead of pre-marked, and with a big meal of country style Chinese cooking after the hike is done.

Roads and paved paths lead to the trail that takes us up on to unrestored ‘wild’ Great Wall, which we’ll follow along a ridge line. After several steep ups and downs on the wall we’ll reach the General’s Tower, a large tower sited on the highest point of the ridge. From there we follow the wall down to a steep pass, which we’ll cross through before a quick climb over a hill with super views of the wall behind us.

Some sections steep and slippery.

Regular hikers: There’s a significant amount of crossover with this hike and our Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike.

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Departure date: Thursday, October 26

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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Departure date: Saturday, October 28

Chinese Knot Great Wall

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This tough Great Wall hike involves a lot of climbing and scrambling, and you’ll need strong legs and a good head for heights to make it to the end. Starting on the southern side of the mountains to the north of Beijing, we follow the Great Wall up and over two ridges, peaking just after the ‘Chinese Knot’ at 987m above sea level. 4–5 hours of hiking over 10km, with hiking boots and above-average level of fitness required. Note: if you’re not comfortable with making a short-but-steep climb on somewhat tricky terrain, you will probably not find this hike an enjoyable experience.

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Departure date: Saturday, October 28

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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On this hike we begin at Stone Valley Village and hike the same line of wall as our Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike. Starting at Stone Valley Village gives us a longer hike and some different angles for our views of the Great Wall, and we’ll also cross the tumbled-down and much older line of Northern Qi Dynasty Great Wall that was used as part of Ming Dynasty wall here.

The first quarter of the hike features two hill climbs, and then we’re up on to the Ming-era Great Wall. We follow the wall up to the General’s Tower – the tallest on this line of wall – and then follow it down the other side, passing some superb spots for photos along the way.

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Departure date: Sunday, October 29

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.

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: Wednesday, November 1

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: Thursday, November 2

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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On this hike we make a loop out of Stone Valley Village and hike the same line of wall as our Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike. Starting at Stone Valley Village gives us a longer hike and some different angles for our views of the Great Wall, and we’ll also cross the tumbled-down and much older line of Northern Qi Dynasty Great Wall that was used as part of Ming Dynasty wall here.

The first quarter of the hike features two hill climbs, and then we’re up on to the Ming-era Great Wall. We follow the wall up to the General’s Tower – the tallest on this line of wall – and then follow it down the other side, passing some superb spots for photos along the way.

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Nine-Eyes Tower on Great Wall at Jiankou
Departure date: Saturday, November 4

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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This is a looping walk over steep and rocky terrain, with a lot of scrambling and climbing required to arrive at the highest point on the hike, the impressive Nine-Eyes Tower. On a clear day in this spot in the heart of the mountains it will be possible to see sections of Great Wall to the north, south, east, and west. Four hours of tough hiking with a lot of climbing, over approximately 10km.

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Departure date: Sunday, November 5

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.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, November 8

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.

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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Departure date: Thursday, November 9

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.

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Departure date: Saturday, November 11

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, November 12

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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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, 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: Wednesday, October 25
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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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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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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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: 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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Great Wall Spur

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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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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: 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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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: 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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Trip dates: November 9–12, 2017

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Trip dates: November 22–26, 2017

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In Brief: See the highlights of Lijiang and Shangri-La: cobbled streets and watercourses of ancient towns, Naxi and Tibetan culture, plus amazing views of snow-capped mountains. Cultural focus, nothing too strenuous.

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Monks unveiling a huge cloth thangka
Trip dates: February 2018

Labrang Monastery’s ‘Unveiling the Buddha’ Ceremony, Xiahe, Gansu Province

In Brief: Visit Xiahe to witness a giant Buddha tapestry being unveiled on the hillside above Labrang Monastery and to join the crowds watching the lively performances in the town square. Trip also includes hikes and walks in nearby grassland areas.
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