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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.

Shuitou Village | Taking a break high up in the hills behind Shuitou Village
Departure date: Saturday, September 29

Shuitou Village Loop hike

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This trail follows short sections of a few of our Zhenbiancheng area hikes, but adds a big extra section that takes us back in time with a hike over to the left-in-the-80s village of Shuitou. 16km in the hills and valleys, with a good 952m of ascent over the course of the 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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A view from the hills on the way to Yaji Mountain
Departure date: Monday, October 1

Over the Hills to Yaji Mountain

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Take a long walk through the Pinggu District countryside, hiking the hills and valleys on the way to Yaji Mountain. Save some energy for the end, though! We’re going to climb up the steep stairway to the temples atop Yaji Mountain!

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!

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Hikers on the wild Great Wall in Huairou District
Departure date: Tuesday, October 2

The Pinnacle Tower

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This stretch of the Great Wall sits atop the “Big East Mountain” in Huairou, and it’s a hike we don’t do frequently. The view from the top of the Pinnacle Tower is stunning and well worth the tough climb. We’ll make two big hill climbs on the way to the top, where we’ll stop to enjoy the views before walking out to the road to meet our bus.

NOTES: Balancing skills and a good head for heights will be required. Rain would make this hike dangerous, in which case we’d change to a different Great Wall trail.

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!

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Hikers at the High Tower in Yanqing District
Departure date: Saturday, October 6

The High Tower Loop hike

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This is a version of our High Tower hike that takes us up a rough hill trail to reach the section of Great Wall that leads up to the High Tower. We follow the wall all the way up to the top, starting on ‘wild’ wall and crossing over on to a repaired section. From the High Tower we make a short walk along rough and broken Great Wall, and then down into a wild valley and out to complete the loop.

Bring your passport or ID card: We’ll be just outside of Beijing for this hike, and may go through a checkpoint on the way back.

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!

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Hikers on the peak of Heituo Mountain
Departure date: Saturday, October 13

Heituo Mountain

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Head up to the craggy peak of the big mountain behind Nine-Eyes Tower at Jiankou, and then down into the wild valleys and hills on the other side. Finish the hike with a big slog up to a ridgeline before walking down and out to a small village.

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.

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 on the ridgelines near Miaofengshan
Departure date: Saturday, October 20

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.

Note: Could get cold! We’re quite high up for a lot of this hike, and with strong winds the temperatures could go low. Warm clothes required.

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Taking a break on the Incense Trail
Departure date: Sunday, October 21

Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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Follow the steps of pilgrims on this hike, starting close to the temple at Miaofengshan in Beijing’s western mountains, and hiking an old pilgrims’ trail through forested hills and along ridges on the way to Dajuesi, a beautiful temple built in the Liao Dynasty. Aside from a bit of climbing at the start, this hike follows a trail that is mostly flat, until we start walking down the paved trail that leads to Dajue Temple. During this hike we’ll get great views of mountains, and will pass through a pine forest where we often see people hunting for mushrooms and medicinal herbs. The cost of the hike includes entrance to Dajue Temple.

Note: Bring your own lunch, please! We’ll set up our picnic tables with beer and snacks after the hike.

Easy 3+: this hike almost rates a Level 3, but the 7km descent down to the temple is pretty tough on the knees.

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Craggy peaks in the Yudu Mountains
Departure date: Saturday, October 27

Yudu Mountains and Sujia River

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Upgraded to Level 4+! 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.

To get out of the river valley we’ve got to do another big climb, crossing at another 1,000m+ pass before a more mellow walk down and out.

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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, September 29
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Shuitou Village Loop hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Monday, October 1
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Over the Hills to Yaji Mountain

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Departure date: Tuesday, October 2
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The Pinnacle Tower

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 3
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Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Saturday, October 6
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The High Tower Loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, October 13
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Heituo Mountain

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Departure date: Sunday, October 14
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Shunyi Hikers: Ming Village day trip

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Departure date: Saturday, October 20
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Miaofengshan Super Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, October 21
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Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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Departure date: Saturday, October 27
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Yudu Mountains and Sujia River

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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

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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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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