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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.

Departure date: Saturday, January 20

White River Ice Hike

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Fully booked: Sign up for the standby list, or join us for the same hike on Saturday, January 27

Follow a trail that crosses a frozen river in Miyun District, walking down a long canyon and passing below cliffs on the way to the end. We’ll cross the river about eight times, and when not slipping and sliding on the ice we’ll be admiring the excellent scenery.

Note: At this time of the year the river should be frozen thick, no problem to walk on. We’ll call our local contacts for an update in the week before the hike.

UPDATE: We hiked it last week, and it’s all good to go.

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Departure date: Saturday, January 27

White River Ice Hike

Book your place

Follow a trail that crosses a frozen river in Miyun District, walking down a long canyon and passing below cliffs on the way to the end. We’ll cross the river about eight times, and when not slipping and sliding on the ice we’ll be admiring the excellent scenery.

Note: At this time of the year the river should be frozen thick, no problem to walk on. We’ll call our local contacts for an update in the week before the hike.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, January 28

Immortal Valley Loop

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This loop walk follows a park trail, passing streams, pools, waterfalls, boulders, and caves on the way to an almost-800 metre peak. From the peak we’ll get a good view of the surrounding hills and valleys, and should be able to spot the Miyun Reservoir. On the way back down we’ll follow a scenic ridgeline trail through pines and impressive rocky outcrops. The full loop is around 14km, and will take 4–5 hours to complete.

This is a really scenic hike in winter because of all the icefalls – take a look through the trip reports at the end of the hike to get a look at what you might see out there.

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Departure date: Sunday, February 4

Walk Down the Pilgrims’ Trail

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Follow an old pilgrims’ trail over a mountain pass, starting at a village at Miaofengshan, and finishing up with a look at a smaller temple on the other side of the ridge.

The highlights of this hike in the western district of Mentougou include ancient paved paths, wooded areas, and great views of high mountain scenery.

Could be icy. If there’s been snow in the weeks before the hike the trails might be icy. If it seems like they’d be dangerously icy we’d change the plan for the hike.

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Departure date: Saturday, February 10

Bricks In The Wall hike

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Had enough of the Great Wall? Most of this hike is off the wall, and the wall we do see is fairly unique.

We’ll follow roads and hill trails in and around tiny villages northwest of Beijing, making easy climbs on hill trails and a really steep and tough climb on a rather rundown stretch of Great Wall, with fine views the whole way.

Most of this hike is easy, but we’ve rated it as a Level 4 because the section of the Great Wall we’ll climb is really steep and tricky.

Note: the Great Wall part of this hike will not be much fun if you are not good with heights or not confident in your balancing ability.

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Departure date: Thursday, February 15

White River Ice Hike

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Chinese New Year Eve! Follow a trail that crosses a frozen river in Miyun District, walking down a long canyon and passing below cliffs on the way to the end. We’ll cross the river about eight times, and when not slipping and sliding on the ice we’ll be admiring the excellent scenery.

Note: At this time of the year the river should be frozen thick, no problem to walk on. We’ll call our local contacts for an update in the week before the hike.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, February 17

High Rise to Longquanyu

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This hike follows a seldom-used trail mountain trail that connects two villages in Changping District, peaking at almost 800m above sea level. On a clear day the views on the way up are excellent. The second village is conveniently close to a nice stretch of Great Wall we visit on other hikes, and we’re going to follow a recently repaired stretch up a steep hill to finish.

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Departure date: Tuesday, February 20

Zhuangdaokou to Moss Mountain

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This hike is a combination of two shorter trails: the Zhuangdaokou and Walled Village hike, and the Moss Mountain hike.

We first climb up a valley to get to the Zhuangdaokou Great Wall, and after a short look we head on through the fields towards the Walled Village. Then we’re on to farm roads and hill trails on the way towards Moss Mountain.

This could almost be rated a Level 3+ hike but there is a deceptive amount of uphill.

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Craggy peaks in the Yudu Mountains
Departure date: Saturday, March 3

Yudu Mountains and Sujia River

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New hike! 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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Departure date: Sunday, March 4

Shunyi Hikers: Immortal Valley Loop

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Shunyi Hikers: We’ll be picking up people from the Starbucks at Pinnacle Plaza in Shunyi for this hike. If you’re not based in Shunyi but fancy a visit to the valley today, we can still make it work – write us a note when you make your booking.

This loop walk follows a park trail, passing freezing streams, pools, waterfalls, and big boulders and caves on the way to an almost-800-metre peak. From the peak we’ll get a good view of the surrounding hills and valleys, and should be able to spot the Miyun Reservoir. On the way back down we’ll follow a scenic ridgeline trail through pines and impressive rocky outcrops. The full loop is around 14km, and will take about 4 hours to complete.

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Departure date: Sunday, March 11

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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Departure date: Sunday, March 18

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.

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Departure date: Saturday, March 24

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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Departure date: Saturday, March 31

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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Departure date: Sunday, April 1

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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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, January 20
Standby

White River Ice Hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, January 27
Book it

White River Ice Hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, January 28
Book it

Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, February 4
Book it

Walk Down the Pilgrims’ Trail

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Departure date: Saturday, February 10
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Bricks In The Wall hike

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Departure date: Thursday, February 15
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White River Ice Hike

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Departure date: Saturday, February 17
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High Rise to Longquanyu

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Departure date: February 18–19 (Sun–Mon)
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CNY Overnight: Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

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Departure date: Tuesday, February 20
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Zhuangdaokou to Moss Mountain

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Departure date: Tuesday, February 20
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Longqingxia Ice Festival and Tang Dynasty Caves

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Departure date: Saturday, March 3
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Yudu Mountains and Sujia River

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Departure date: March 3–4 (Sat–Sun)
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Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

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Departure date: Sunday, March 4
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Shunyi Hikers: Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, March 11
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Big Black Mountain to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Sunday, March 18
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Saturday, March 24
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Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs (Route Two)

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Departure date: Sunday, March 25
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Tanzhe Temple and the Abandoned Village

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Departure date: Saturday, March 31
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Great Flood hike

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Departure date: Sunday, April 1
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Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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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 lights of Fenghuang Ancient Town, Hunan
Trip dates: February 17–20, 2018

Fenghuang Ancient Town and Fanjing Mountain (4 days)

In Brief: See Hunan’s beautiful Fenghuang Ancient Town; summit Guizhou’s 2,572m Fanjing Mountain; see Tujia and Miao customs and culture.

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Monks unveiling a huge cloth thangka
Trip dates: February 27–March 2, 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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Terraced hills covered with flowers
Trip dates: March 15–18, 2018

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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