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Tough treks and hikes in Beijing

Looking for a challenging hike? 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: Thursday, September 28

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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This is a tough and challenging hike, suitable for fit hikers with a good head for heights. We’ll start off at Jiankou, following a zigzag hillside trail that rises quickly to a Great Wall tower that is almost 1,000 metres above sea level. From the tower we can see the Jiankou basin, as well as many other stretches of Great Wall in the area. From there we’ll head southeast, following the wall towards Mutianyu. The hike crosses unrestored and restored sections of wall, which makes it a good way to see the Great Wall as it is now, and how it might have looked when first built.

Note: a bit of recent restoration work at the western end at Mutianyu means we’ll have to make a quick hop over the battlements to get on to the wall – much like the Mongolians did!

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Departure date: Sunday, October 1

Prove Your Loyalty

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For this hike we head out to Pinggu District for a ramble that follows wooded trails, passes abandoned villages, and crosses a short rundown stretch of Great Wall. The hike is named for a story told to us by villagers: during the war, the Japanese army forced residents in one of the villages to destroy a nearby section of the Great Wall and carry the bricks down to the village as a demonstration of loyalty to Japanese forces.

On this visit we’re adding on an extra 6km for a longer walk, finishing near where we usually begin our Perfect Loop hike. A great chance for a nice long day out in the hills.

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: Monday, 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.

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: Saturday, October 7

Quarrymen’s Trail to the Heavenly Lake

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This is a good long hike in the Ming Tombs area in Changping District and we’re going to make it extra tough by tacking on the big climb up to the local Heavenly Lake, a reservoir built on top of a big hill. Your legs may not thank you the next day, but your effort will have been rewarded with with views of mountains, valleys, pine forests, rocky outcrops, and a picnic by the strangely-sited reservoir.

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!

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, October 7

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Book your place

This is a tough and challenging hike, suitable for fit hikers with a good head for heights. We’ll start off at Jiankou, following a zigzag hillside trail that rises quickly to a Great Wall tower that is almost 1,000 metres above sea level. From the tower we can see the Jiankou basin, as well as many other stretches of Great Wall in the area. From there we’ll head southeast, following the wall towards Mutianyu. The hike crosses unrestored and restored sections of wall, which makes it a good way to see the Great Wall as it is now, and how it might have looked when first built.

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!

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, October 14

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Book your place
Bring your passport or ID card. There’s a big government meeting on, and you’ll need your ID if we are stopped at a security checkpoint.

This is a tough and challenging hike, suitable for fit hikers with a good head for heights. We’ll start off at Jiankou, following a zigzag hillside trail that rises quickly to a Great Wall tower that is almost 1,000 metres above sea level. From the tower we can see the Jiankou basin, as well as many other stretches of Great Wall in the area. From there we’ll head southeast, following the wall towards Mutianyu. The hike crosses unrestored and restored sections of wall, which makes it a good way to see the Great Wall as it is now, and how it might have looked when first built.

 

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, October 14

Hillwalking Challenge: Big Black Mountain to Moss Mountain

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UPDATE 2017/9/21: We might have to change the plan for this hike because of the big government meeting. Sign up if you’re interested, and we’ll keep you up to date about any changes.

Bring your passport or ID card. There’s a big government meeting on, and you’ll need your ID if we are stopped at a security checkpoint.

For this long hike, we’re joining two of our good hillwalking trails to make a 19km trek through the Huairou hills. We’ll first do the Big Black Mountain hike, a 10km hike through chestnut orchards, up and over ridges, and down valleys. Then we’ll link up with our Moss Mountain trail, starting from the Walled Village and walking 9km on the way to the finish.

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Departure date: Thursday, October 19

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Had to cancel this one, sorry.

This is a looping walk over steep and rocky terrain, with a lot of scrambling and climbing required to arrive at the highest point on the hike, the impressive Nine-Eyes Tower. On a clear day in this spot in the heart of the mountains it will be possible to see sections of Great Wall to the north, south, east, and west. Four hours of tough hiking with a lot of climbing, over approximately 10km.

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Departure date: Saturday, October 21

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.

Govt. meeting: There’s a massively important government meeting scheduled sometime in the last half of October. Security checks for that could mean long lines at the Beijing-Hebei border crossing, and if the meeting is still running at the time of this hike we might need to change the plan. If there is a change to the plan we’d let you know. UPDATE 2017/9/21: Looks like we’re going to have to change the plan, stay tuned for news.

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Departure date: Thursday, October 26

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Book your place

This is a tough and challenging hike, suitable for fit hikers with a good head for heights. We’ll start off at Jiankou, following a zigzag hillside trail that rises quickly to a Great Wall tower that is almost 1,000 metres above sea level. From the tower we can see the Jiankou basin, as well as many other stretches of Great Wall in the area. From there we’ll head southeast, following the wall towards Mutianyu. The hike crosses unrestored and restored sections of wall, which makes it a good way to see the Great Wall as it is now, and how it might have looked when first built.

Note: a bit of restoration work at the western end at Mutianyu means we’ll have to make a quick hop over the battlements to get on to the wall – much like the Mongolians did!

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, October 28

Chinese Knot Great Wall

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This tough Great Wall hike involves a lot of climbing and scrambling, and you’ll need strong legs and a good head for heights to make it to the end. Starting on the southern side of the mountains to the north of Beijing, we follow the Great Wall up and over two ridges, peaking just after the ‘Chinese Knot’ at 987m above sea level. 4–5 hours of hiking over 10km, with hiking boots and above-average level of fitness required. Note: if you’re not comfortable with making a short-but-steep climb on somewhat tricky terrain, you will probably not find this hike an enjoyable experience.

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Departure date: Saturday, November 4

Over the Hills to Dajuesi

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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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Nine-Eyes Tower on Great Wall at Jiankou
Departure date: Saturday, November 4

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

Book your place

This is a looping walk over steep and rocky terrain, with a lot of scrambling and climbing required to arrive at the highest point on the hike, the impressive Nine-Eyes Tower. On a clear day in this spot in the heart of the mountains it will be possible to see sections of Great Wall to the north, south, east, and west. Four hours of tough hiking with a lot of climbing, over approximately 10km.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, November 11

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.

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Departure date: Sunday, November 12

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.

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All upcoming tough hikes in Beijing

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We publish our hike schedule month by month, with updates around the 10th of each month.

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Hike schedule: tough hikes

Departure date: Thursday, September 28
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, October 1
Book it

Prove Your Loyalty

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Monday, October 2
Book it

The Pinnacle Tower

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, October 7
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Quarrymen’s Trail to the Heavenly Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, October 7
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, October 14
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, October 14
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Hillwalking Challenge: Big Black Mountain to Moss Mountain

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, October 19
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Saturday, October 21
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Big Camp Plate Village and Hengling Valley

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Departure date: Thursday, October 26
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, October 28
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, November 4
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Over the Hills to Dajuesi

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Departure date: Saturday, November 4
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Saturday, November 11
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The High Tower Loop hike

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Departure date: Sunday, November 12
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Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 15
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, November 18
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Gubeikou West Circuit

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Departure date: Saturday, November 25
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Hillwalking Challenge: Flower Wood to East Water Valley

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Departure date: Sunday, November 26
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, November 30
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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