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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: Saturday, March 25

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: Saturday, March 25

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, April 2

Bricks In The Wall hike

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Tomb-Sweeping 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!

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: Tuesday, April 4

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall

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Tomb-Sweeping 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!

For this moderately challenging hike we’ll travel into the far northeast of Beijing Municipality. We’ll walk along a stretch of the Gubeikou Great Wall and end up at the Jinshanling Great Wall park after a long detour through the farmland surrounding Hemp Village. After a late lunch at our favourite restaurant at Jinshanling we’ll head back to Beijing. The cost of food, drinks, round-trip transportation, and park tickets is included in the price.

Regular hikers: this is the second-longest version of this route, where we walk all of the Great Wall at Gubeikou and just the first part of Jinshanling. Extremely fit regular hikers: we’ll give you the option to extend the hike!

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Departure date: Saturday, April 8

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!

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Departure date: Sunday, April 9

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, April 15

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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The Great Wall crossing hills and mountains in Huailai District
Departure date: Saturday, April 22

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

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This Great Wall hike is one of our most challenging treks, covering a long section of wild wall in Beijing’s northwest. We’re leaving at the extra early time of 7:30am for this hike to try and avoid traffic on the Badaling Expressway.

This hike is definitely not suitable for those who are not physically fit, are afraid of heights, or lack proper clothing and footwear, and we’re going to ask you some questions about your hiking experience as part of the reservation for this hike.

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Departure date: Thursday, April 27

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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The view from Vulture Rock Ridge
Departure date: Saturday, April 29

Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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This is a variation of our regular Vulture Rock Ridge Loop hike where we follow an old pilgrim’s trail down the Beijing to finish the hike. We’ll walk all of Vulture Rock Ridge and then following what’s left of the old paved path through the forested hills on the Beijing side of the ridge.

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: Thursday, May 4

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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For this moderately challenging hike we’ll travel into the far northeast of Beijing Municipality. We’ll walk along a stretch of the Gubeikou Great Wall and end up at the Jinshanling Great Wall park after a long detour through the farmland surrounding Hemp Village. After a late lunch at our favourite family restaurant at Jinshanling we’ll head back to Beijing. The cost of food, drinks, round-trip transportation, and park tickets is included in the price.

Regular hikers: this is the version where we walk the last section of the Great Wall at Gubeikou and all of the Jinshanling Great Wall.

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Departure date: Saturday, 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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Departure date: Sunday, May 7

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.

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 13

The Pinnacle Tower Plus

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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’re taking a slightly different route on this hike that includes an extra steep ascent and descent on a nearby line of wall to finish, so you’ll need to be fit and up for it.

NOTES: Balancing skills and a good head for heights will be required. Rain would make this hike dangerous, in which case we’d make a few changes to the hiking route.

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Departure date: Sunday, May 14

Train Tracks and Chestnut Orchards

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Take a good long walk in the countryside, starting close by to the Ming Tombs in Changping, and finishing over the ranges near Huairou District. We’ll walk on old service roads and terrace trails beside the train tracks, pay a brief visit to a tiny village, and finish up with a long walk through the orchards that fill the slopes of the hills opposite the Big Black Mountain. Around 13km of mostly moderately difficult walking, with a few quick scrambles up and down hill trails.

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All upcoming tough hikes in Beijing

You're viewing all our tough 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: tough hikes

Departure date: Saturday, March 25
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Shuitou Village Loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, March 25
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 2
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Bricks In The Wall hike

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Departure date: Tuesday, April 4
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, April 8
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 9
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Saturday, April 15
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Heituo Mountain

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Departure date: Saturday, April 22
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

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Departure date: Thursday, April 27
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Saturday, April 29
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Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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Departure date: Thursday, May 4
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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

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Departure date: Sunday, May 7
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, May 13
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The Pinnacle Tower Plus

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Departure date: Sunday, May 14
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Train Tracks and Chestnut Orchards

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Departure date: Thursday, May 18
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, May 20
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Yanqing Great Wall and High Tower Challenge

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Departure date: Sunday, May 21
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Shunyi Hikers: Immortal Valley Loop

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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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Trip dates: May 26–30, 2017

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