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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, April 28

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.

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.

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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Departure date: Sunday, April 29

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.

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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Departure date: Tuesday, May 1

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.

Regular hikers may have noticed we’re doing this hike a lot this year. That’s because it’s such a nice hike in the different seasons—on this visit we should see the greening of the hills, and perhaps the last of the wild apricot and peaches flowering.

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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Departure date: Sunday, May 6

Big Camp Plate Village and Hengling Valley

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Stretch the legs with a hike up into the mountains in a remote area just outside the border of Beijing.

We walk up the road into tiny Big Camp Plate Village, then hike through fields, a narrow gully, and then up a rough and tricky stretch of Great Wall. The hike finishes with a walk down and out a long and quiet valley on a newly-scouted trail.

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A Great Wall tower on a bluff
Departure date: Saturday, May 12

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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Departure date: Sunday, May 13

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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Departure date: Sunday, May 20

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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Departure date: Saturday, May 26

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.

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Departure date: Sunday, May 27

Shunyi Hikers: 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.

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 fair today, we can still make it work – write us a note when you make your booking.

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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.

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See the Hike in Beijing schedule in our calendar


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Hike schedule: hillwalking hikes

Departure date: Saturday, April 28
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Heituo Mountain Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, April 29
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The Pinnacle Tower

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Monday, April 30
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Lily Village to Flower Wood

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Departure date: Tuesday, May 1
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Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, May 5
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Ming Village day trip

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Departure date: Sunday, May 6
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Big Camp Plate Village and Hengling Valley

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 12
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Yellow Grass Plateau and Seven Towers

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 13
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Tomb Raiders hike and Ding Tomb’s ‘Underground Palace’

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 20
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Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 26
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Shuitou Village Loop hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 27
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Shunyi Hikers: Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

Read more about this hike »

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Upcoming trips

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Trip dates: April 28–May 1, 2018

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Trip dates: May 24–27, 2018

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Trip dates: June 13–18, 2018

Bayinbuluke Grasslands, Xinjiang Province (6 days)

In Brief: Camp out overnight in the beautiful high-altitude scenery of the Bayinbuluke Grasslands in northwestern Xinjiang; see Silk Road sights, big mountains, and desert while on the road to and from the grasslands.

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