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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.

Hiking on the 'wild' Great Wall in Yanqing District
Departure date: Saturday, April 27

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. Recently we’ve been doing a shorter version of this hike – on this trip we’ll do the tougher, longer route.

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Views from the ridge above Vulture Rock park
Departure date: Thursday, May 2

Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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Changed the date: on March 22 the government changed the Labour Day holiday dates, and we’ve changed the date of this hike to match the new holidays.

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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The descent from the Pinnacle Tower
Departure date: Saturday, May 4

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.

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Long views of all the Great Wall at Jinshanling
Departure date: Sunday, May 5

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.

Read more about this hike »
Views of mountains from the Miaofengshan trail
Departure date: Saturday, May 11

Miaofengshan Super Loop

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Get good exercise with great views on this loop hike in the mountains west of Beijing, following hill trails up to a broad plateau before walking along high-up Vulture Rock Ridge and then on to the peak of Miaofengshan.

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Looking across the Mutianyu Great Wall
Departure date: Saturday, May 11

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.

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Long views of Great Wall in the mountains of Yanqing District, Beijing
Departure date: Saturday, May 18

Yanqing Great Wall and High Tower Challenge

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This hike combines our Yanqing Great Wall and High Tower routes into a challenging extended day hike in the mountains of Yanqing, way past touristy Badaling. We’ll follow a trail beside an isolated section of the Great Wall up, down, and over hills, peaking at 1,440m above sea level. The day promises to be a challenging one! Suitable for fit and experienced hikers, 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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Looking across the Mutianyu Great Wall
Departure date: Wednesday, May 22

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 »
A craggy ridge near the peak of Heituo Mountain
Departure date: Saturday, May 25

Heituo Mountain Crossing

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Hike the long way 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 we hike up to the peak from where we finish the Level 5+ Heituo Moutain hike, and skip the brushy areas of the ‘Valley of the Pigs’.)

This is a fairly rough hike and parts of the track are very steep, so we’ll be limiting the number of participants. 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.

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A wide view of the Great Wall at Jinshanling
Departure date: Sunday, May 26

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.

Read more about this hike »
A long line of rough Great Wall in the mountains of Zhangjiakou's Huailai County
Departure date: Saturday, June 1

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 7:15am for this hike to try and avoid traffic on the expressways.

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.

Read more about this hike »
Looking across the Mutianyu Great Wall
Departure date: Thursday, June 6

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.

Read more about this hike »
Hiking on the 'wild' Great Wall in Yanqing District
Departure date: Friday, June 7

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. Recently we’ve been doing a shorter version of this hike – on this trip we’ll do the tougher, longer route.

Holiday hike! It’s the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, and we might get stuck in traffic at some point on the way to or from the hike. We recommend you don’t make fixed plans for the evening, just in case.

Read more about this hike »
Long views on the Great Wall near Jinshanling
Departure date: Wednesday, June 12

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

Book your place

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.

Read more about this hike »
Climbing up to a peak on the Great Wall
Departure date: Saturday, June 15

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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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, April 27
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Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, May 2
Book it

Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 4
Book it

The Pinnacle Tower

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 5
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 11
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Miaofengshan Super Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 11
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 18
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Yanqing Great Wall and High Tower Challenge

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 22
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, May 25
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Heituo Mountain Crossing

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Departure date: Sunday, May 26
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 1
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, June 6
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Friday, June 7
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 12
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, June 15
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, June 16
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Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, June 29
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Trip dates: April 28–May 1, 2019

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The coloured hills of the Zhangye Danxia Landform
Trip dates: June 5–9, 2019

Zhangye Danxia Landform, Gansu Province (5 days)

In Brief: See the fantastically-coloured mountains and cliffs in an all-but unexplored area of Gansu; visit Horse Hoofprint Temple, Jiayuguan Fortress, and more.

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Hiking down from a peak
Trip dates: June 14–16, 2019

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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