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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 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: Thursday, May 2

Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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Changed the date: on March 22 the government changed the Labour Day holiday dates, and we’ve changed the date of this hike to match the new holidays.

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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Hiking on the ridges above the Yellow Grass Plateau
Departure date: Saturday, May 5

Yellow Grass Plateau and Seven Towers

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A tough two-hour climb gets us up on to the Yellow Grass Plateau, high in the mountains of Mentougou. We’ll take a break on the high altitude meadows before hiking on over the plateau to the Seven Towers hill, the highest Great Wall in Beijing Municipality. After a look about at the towers we head back to the start point, following a slightly different trail on the way down.

Extra early start This hike is way out to the west of Beijing, and the drive time could be around three hours. We’re leaving early to get ahead of any traffic, and to be sure we have enough time to complete the hike.

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The Silver Pagodas stand on the site of a temple first built during the Tang Dynasty
Departure date: Sunday, May 5

Silver Pagoda Loop

Book your place

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.

Read more about this hike »
Views of mountains from the Miaofengshan trail
Departure date: Saturday, May 11

Miaofengshan Super Loop

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Get good exercise with great views on this loop hike in the mountains west of Beijing, following hill trails up to a broad plateau before walking along high-up Vulture Rock Ridge and then on to the peak of Miaofengshan.

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The two temples on the peak of Yajishan, seen from the entrance of the middle temple
Departure date: Sunday, May 12

Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

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The temples at Yajishan are locally famous, and every year on the lunar calendar there’s a big temple fair. We’ll spend the day having a look at what’s going on – fortune telling, street food and snacks, fireworks and incense burning, various performers – before climbing up to the temples on top.

On the way up to the top, we’ll catch our breath by stopping to look about the various temples and shrines either side of the stairs. After a look about the temple right at the top, we’ll take a walk through the hills behind the temples to complete the circuit.

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A craggy ridge near the peak of Heituo Mountain
Departure date: Saturday, May 25

Heituo Mountain Crossing

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Hike the long way 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 we hike up to the peak from where we finish the Level 5+ Heituo Moutain hike, and skip the brushy areas of the ‘Valley of the Pigs’.)

This is a fairly rough hike and parts of the track are very steep, so we’ll be limiting the number of participants. 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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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, 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: Friday, 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 21
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Ming Village day trip

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Departure date: Sunday, April 28
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Shuiquan Canyon

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Departure date: Thursday, May 2
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Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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Departure date: Saturday, May 5
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Yellow Grass Plateau and Seven Towers

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 5
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Silver Pagoda Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, May 11
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Miaofengshan Super Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, May 12
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Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

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Departure date: Sunday, May 19
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Ming Village day trip

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Departure date: Saturday, May 25
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Heituo Mountain Crossing

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Departure date: Sunday, May 26
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Kids Club: Yunmeng Gorge play and picnic

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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

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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The coloured hills of the Zhangye Danxia Landform
Trip dates: June 5–9, 2019

Zhangye Danxia Landform, Gansu Province (5 days)

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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More info »