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Hillwalking and non-Great Wall hikes and trips in Beijing

The Great Wall is obviously great, but there's more to hiking in Beijing than the Great Wall. Interested in non-Great Wall hikes, level 3 and up? 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.

Hiking toward craggy peaks in the Yudu Mountains
Departure date: Saturday, February 23

Yinmeng Temple and Sujia River

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Almost 1,000m up into the Yudu Mountains, north of Yanqing City, is Yinmeng Temple. And if there’s a temple up in the mountains, there must also be a trail that goes up there!

We’ll hike up past the temple and cross the mountains at a 1,000m pass, then follow a scenic path through birch forests down into the Sujia River valley.

The trail follows the river, passing below tall cliffs and around bends in the valley. We finish with a slightly smaller climb to get back on to the Beijing city side of the mountains. Awesome views of mountains, cliffs, canyons, and the river.

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The top trail on the Rolling Hills hike
Departure date: Sunday, March 3

Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Autumn colours! Take a Miyun countryside ramble with us on a long walk through peaceful and sparsely populated hills, valleys, and forests. This walk is quite long, but it’s not difficult – there’s not a lot of climbing up and down. The countryside scenery is excellent and we’ll follow country trails and lanes through pine forests, cornfields, orchards, villages, and farmland.

Note: the trail could get rather brushy in places – we recommend you wear trousers to protect your legs.

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On trails through orchards and farmland
Departure date: Sunday, March 10

Big Black Mountain to the Walled Village

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Stretch your legs on this nice hill walking hike, starting off through orchards and fields on a long gradual climb to a ridgeline lookout, then descending a zig-zagging dirt trail to walk through a few valley villages before climbing up to a pretty stretch of Great Wall and heading down through more farmland to the Walled Village. Points of interest include a wartime tunnel system, the 300-year old “Dragon and Phoenix” pines, a look at a stretch of Great Wall, as well as the Walled Village, converted from an army barracks that used to house soldiers tasked with guarding the Great Wall in the Ming Dynasty.

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Views of the Ming Tombs area from a high point
Departure date: Saturday, March 16

Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs (Route Two)

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On this 13km hike we’ll join sections of two good Changping trails by visiting what remains of two valley villages that were abandoned as a quarry expanded. Starting off with a stroll through Longevity Village, we’ll head into the hills, passing pine trees, closed mines, abandoned villages, and one of the closed Ming Tombs on the way to the end.

Route Two: we’ve got two versions of this hike. The start and finish point is the same. The middle section of the trail is different – on this route we go through the mines and quarry area, and then through two abandoned villages.

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A view from the high point of the hike
Departure date: Sunday, March 17

Tomb Raiders hike and Ding Tomb’s ‘Underground Palace’

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On this hike we’ll climb an old hill trail in the mountains that form the feng shui barrier on the north side of the Ming Tombs in Changping District. The hill trail leads over the mountains, up to a lookout, out a valley past a small reservoir, and then on towards the tombs.

After the hike, we’ll take a short drive to Ding Tomb, one of the largest Ming Dynasty tombs. We’ll take a good look about the tomb, the highlight of which is definitely the ‘Underground Palace’ where the Wanli Emperor was entombed, 27 metres underground.

Hike best suited for kids aged 8 and up due to steep climbs and bushy sections

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On the 1500m peak of Heituo Mountain
Departure date: Saturday, March 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. Parts of the trail in the first half of the hike could be rather overgrown.

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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Hiking up a bouldery canyon
Departure date: Saturday, March 30

Great Flood hike

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Start off with an easy walk up the scenic Yunmeng Gorge, then cross the river to hike up into a valley filled with (mostly) fallow terraces before climbing to cross a pass in the mountains.  The hike finishes with a long walk out a boulder-filled river canyon, with great long views.

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The Silver Pagodas stand on the site of a temple first built during the Tang Dynasty
Departure date: Sunday, March 31

Silver Pagoda Loop

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For this hike we will follow a seldom-used trail to get to the Silver Pagodas, a set of five well-preserved 600-year-old pagodas that are all that remains of a big Buddhist temple. On the way to the pagoda site we will take a long walk through the countryside, passing a village, quarries, and a local shrine, before a steep climb to the 720m peak of Holly Mountain. From the top we can look down on the pagodas and large swathes of the surrounding countryside, and as we follow the path down we will pass large bells, “North Beijing’s Number One Waterfall,” and plenty of other interesting local landmarks.

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A view of Stonewall Village, nestled in the rolling hills of Miyun District
Departure date: Sunday, April 7

Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Take a Miyun countryside ramble with us on a long walk through peaceful and sparsely populated hills, valleys, and forests. This walk is quite long, but it’s not difficult – there’s not a lot of climbing up and down. The countryside scenery is excellent and we’ll follow country trails and lanes through pine forests, cornfields, orchards, villages, and farmland.

Note: the trail could get rather brushy in places – we recommend you wear trousers to protect your legs.

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High mountain views in the west of Beijing
Departure date: Saturday, April 13

Over the Hills to Dajue Temple

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On this hike we’ll make an arduous climb up a an old pilgrims’ trail that leads over the mountains, starting near a tiny temple on the Beijing side of the West Mountains and finishing near Dajue Temple. On a clear day we’ll be able to see a long way, with views of mountains and the outskirts of Beijing City.

This hike finishes with a long descent which will be tough on your knees. On a hot day, the climb up to the peak will be taxing.

Note – regular hikers will have done many of these trails already – but perhaps not this way!

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Autumn colours in the hills above the canyon
Departure date: Sunday, April 28

Shuiquan Canyon

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Hike hill trails and valley paths to on the way to Shuiquan Canyon, a bouldery valley in the Longquanyu area. The route through the canyon takes us around and over several large pools as we walk below cliffs and over rickety bridges, hiking over and around boulders on the way to the end.

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Views from the ridge above Vulture Rock park
Departure date: Tuesday, April 30

Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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This is a variation of our regular Vulture Rock Ridge Loop hike where we follow an old pilgrim’s trail down the Beijing to finish the hike. We’ll walk all of Vulture Rock Ridge and then following what’s left of the old paved path through the forested hills on the Beijing side of the ridge.

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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All upcoming hillwalking hikes in Beijing

You're viewing all our hillwalking 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.

Hike in Beijing calendar

See the Hike in Beijing schedule in our calendar


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Hike schedule: hillwalking hikes

Departure date: Saturday, February 23
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Yinmeng Temple and Sujia River

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Departure date: Sunday, March 3
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Sunday, March 10
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Big Black Mountain to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Saturday, March 16
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Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs (Route Two)

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Departure date: Sunday, March 17
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Tomb Raiders hike and Ding Tomb’s ‘Underground Palace’

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Departure date: Saturday, March 23
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Heituo Mountain Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, March 24
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Kids Club: Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Saturday, March 30
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Great Flood hike

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Departure date: Sunday, March 31
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Silver Pagoda Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, April 5
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War Tunnels and the old Gold Mines

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Departure date: Sunday, April 7
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Saturday, April 13
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Over the Hills to Dajue Temple

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Departure date: Sunday, April 14
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Kids Club: Gubeikou Wall and adventure playground

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Departure date: Sunday, April 28
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Shuiquan Canyon

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Departure date: Tuesday, April 30
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Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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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 through fields of flowers near a village
Trip dates: March 14–17, 2019

Wuyuan ‘Fields of Flowers’, Jiangxi Province

In Brief: See fields of yellow flowers and ancient river towns in southern China. Cultural focus, nothing too strenuous.

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A traditional welcome to a Miao village
Trip dates: April 3–7, 2019

Guizhou: Miao and Dong culture in the mountains (5 days)

In Brief: Hike between villages and enclaves in the mountains of Guizhou Province to get a up-close look at the well-preserved rituals, traditions, and architecture of the Miao and Dong (and more) ethnic groups.

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Hiking through the huge dunes of the Tengger Desert in Inner Mongolia
Trip dates: April 28–May 1, 2019

Tengger Desert Lakes, Inner Mongolia (4 days)

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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