There's a lot to see on our Immortal Valley Loop hike – many pools filled with clear spring water, waterfalls, big trees, wild flowers, some Great Wall, the Miyun Reservoir, and views of valleys and mountains.
Much of the valley is shaded, and we will walk by pools and waterfalls that will have frozen into fantastic shapes.
The first section of the trail is through a park and is well shaded by leafy trees. A clear stream runs down through the valley, passing large granite boulders, forming natural pools, and flowing off cliffs in waterfalls that are up to twenty metres high.
After about twenty minutes’ walk up the concrete park trail, we'll climb a steep set of stairs to reach an overlook on the the first of the big falls. The waterfall is fed by water from the small reservoir above, and used for ice climbing when it's all frozen during winter.
From there we continue up Immortal Valley, passing pools of water and caves in the steep cliffs and heading for the shaded valley trail that will take us up to the top.
We'll take a lunch break at the top, and will take our time to enjoy the views – a deep river valley on one side, the Miyun Reservoir on the other side, and mountains all around.
The next part of the hike takes us down a different way, following a pretty path along and down a ridgeline, passing under huge bouldery cliffs and through copses of chestnut trees, pines, and wild apricots.
Eventually we'll join up again with the park trail used by regular visitors, and follow it back down to the carpark where we left our bus.