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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: Sunday, May 28

The Great Flood

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We almost named this hike “The Goat’s Trail” after the many herds of goats we saw while scouting the route. Along the way we will pick a path up a bouldery canyon, follow rivers, climb a steep valley, walk through grassy meadows, and see a village that was abandoned after a particularly large flood and is now being resettled. Bring something to eat for lunch – we’ll supply water and snacks.

Dragon Boat Festival holiday hikes—We’re leaving early to get ahead of the holiday traffic, but we still may get stuck in a jam at some stage. Bring a book or something else to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

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Departure date: Monday, May 29

Switchback Great Wall

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Travel right on past touristy Badaling on the way out to a difficult Great Wall hike in the mountains overlooking the Guanting Reservoir in Yanqing. The climbing is steep and tough and we’ll take 4–5 hours to complete the 8.5km walk. For much of the hike we’ll be quite high up, peaking at 1,200m near the midpoint where the wall curves in a sharp switchback.

We have a shorter version of this hike – on this trip we’ll do the tougher, longer route, and we’re going to do it backwards!

Dragon Boat Festival holiday hikes—We’re leaving early to get ahead of the holiday traffic, but we still may get stuck in a jam at some stage. Bring a book or something else to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

Read more about this hike »
Sunset at the Great Wall Spur
Departure date: May 29–30 (Mon–Tue)

Camping Basics: Great Wall Spur

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On this two-day back-to-basics camping trip you’ll explore the ‘wild’ Great Wall, camping overnight on the Great Wall Spur and hiking over to Jiankou via the Chinese Knot on the second day.

This is a self-supported trip: we’ll supply the equipment – backpack, tent, sleeping bag – but it’s up to you to carry it! As well as the gear we supply water, snacks, paper plates and a pot, as well as a sandwich for lunch on the first day.

Group size 6–10 hikers.

Dragon Boat Festival holiday hikes—We’re leaving early to get ahead of the holiday traffic, but we still may get stuck in a jam at some stage. Bring a book or something else to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, June 1

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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A Great Wall tower on a bluff
Departure date: June 3–4 (Sat–Sun)

Yellow Grass Plateau Mini-Overnight

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The Yellow Grass Plateau to Dragon Gate Gorge trail is one of our best hikes, and it’s the longest one we’ve got in our repertoire.

We’ll head out west on Saturday afternoon and set up in a village nearby the trail head, and on Sunday morning we’ll set the alarms for an early start on our 27km hike through the hills and varied scenery of west Beijing’s Mentougou District.

We think this is one of the best hikes in Beijing, and if you can handle a long day in the hills then don’t miss this one!

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Departure date: Thursday, June 8

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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UPDATE 2017/5/23: This hike has replaced our planned Gubeikou to Jinshanling visit, as the Jinshanling Great Wall will be closed until the end of summer.

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!

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 10

High Rise hike and Little West Lake Great Wall

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This 16km trail joins two of our Level 3+ hikes to make a tough hike through the hills of Changping District and Huairou District, following hill trails, country lanes, and Great Wall on the way to the end.

The first part of the hike is our High Rise trail, an old mining track from a small village that goes up and over a tall hill and then down past a few more valley villages. The second part of the hike goes through the Little West Lake Park, and then up on to more Great Wall on the way to the Walled Village.

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Departure date: Saturday, June 17

Hillwalking Challenge: Flower Wood to East Water Valley

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For this countryside expedition we’re joining two nice hillwalking hikes to make an 20km trail—good and long, with not too much climbing. We start with the Flower Wood hike – a good long ramble through the countryside – and then hop over on to a little bit of the Silver Pagoda hike trail before taking the fork that leads over to East Water Valley. An excellent opportunity to stretch the legs!

We’re going to keep a fairly steady pace on this hike to make sure we finish before it gets dark. That means we won’t stop too long for our mid-hike lunch break either.

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The Great Wall at Jiankou
Departure date: Sunday, June 18

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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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, June 24

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 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!

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, July 1

Switchback Great Wall

Book your place

Travel right on past touristy Badaling on the way out to a difficult Great Wall hike in the mountains overlooking the Guanting Reservoir in Yanqing. The climbing is steep and tough and we’ll take 4–5 hours to complete the 8.5km walk. For much of the hike we’ll be quite high up, peaking at 1,200m near the midpoint where the wall curves in a sharp switchback.

We have a shorter version of this hike – on this trip we’ll do the tougher, longer route, and we’re going to do it backwards!

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We have more hikes the next day, just in case.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, July 8

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.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We have more hikes the next day, just in case.

Read more about this hike »
Hills and mountains on the Incense Trail hike
Departure date: Saturday, July 8

Walk Like A Pilgrim

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On this hike we’ll make an arduous climb up a pilgrims’ trail that leads from temple to temple, starting on the Beijing side of the West Mountains and finishing at Miaofengshan. The trail leads past ruined Qing Dynasty-era teahouses and crosses the ridge at about 1,060m above sea level. On a clear day we’ll be able to see a long way, with views of mountains and the outskirts of Beijing City.

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Departure date: Saturday, July 15

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: Thursday, July 20

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.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We’d look at postponing the hike to the next day. If that doesn’t work out we’d suggest that you switch to one of the hikes during the weekend.

Read more about this hike »

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.

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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Hike schedule: tough hikes

Departure date: Sunday, May 28
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The Great Flood

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Departure date: Monday, May 29
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: May 29–30 (Mon–Tue)
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Camping Basics: Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, June 1
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: June 3–4 (Sat–Sun)
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Yellow Grass Plateau Mini-Overnight

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Departure date: Thursday, June 8
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 10
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High Rise hike and Little West Lake Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 17
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Hillwalking Challenge: Flower Wood to East Water Valley

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Departure date: Sunday, June 18
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Saturday, June 24
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, July 1
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, July 8
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, July 8
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Walk Like A Pilgrim

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Departure date: Saturday, July 15
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Shuitou Village Loop hike

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Departure date: Thursday, July 20
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Saturday, July 22
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall Extra

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Departure date: Saturday, July 29
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The Great Flood

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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

Huts below the Gangshika Snow Mountain
Trip dates: May 26–30, 2017

Qinghai Lake, Kumbum Monastery, and the Gangshika Snow Mountain, Qinghai Province

In Brief: Take a hike near the shores of Qinghai Lake; join the pilgrims visiting Kumbum Monastery; camp out at high altitude on Gangshika Mountain and hike up to a glacier.

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Clouds over the green rolling hills of the Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province
Trip dates: June 16–18, 2017

Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province

In Brief: Clean and cool grasslands near the border of Hebei and Inner Mongolia: hikes, BBQ lamb, and more.

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Mountains and rivers in Xinjiang
Trip dates: June 20–25, 2017

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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