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Intelligence Valley and Yanqi Lake

In Brief: A relaxing stroll that follows a stream through a wooded valley, passing pools and sandy beaches on the way to the end, plus a short post-lunch stroll by beautiful Yanqi Lake. Newly added.

Intelligence Valley | Crossing a wooden bridge in Intelligence Valley

Crossing a wooden bridge in Intelligence Valley.

Key information

  • approx. 3 hours of walking over 6–7km

Replacement hike—we'd planned to do the War Tunnels walk, but the area is shut down for hiking because of a brush fire.

Holiday hike! It's the Tomb-Sweeping Festival holiday weekend, 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.

Why is this hike called Intelligence Valley? Because – it's said – that if you walk down the valley, you will become more intelligent! Try it out! And be sure to not walk up the valley—you might lose some of your smarts!

The Intelligence Valley hike is one of the easiest ones we've got, and it's a good choice for young children.

It's a flat hike, and the path takes us alongside a stream and over rocks as we walk down through the valley. We've got some walking sticks to bring along - these will assist with balance in slippery spots.

At this time of year all the streams and pools should be open, and might see a just a little bit of ice left over from winter. Along the way are several swimming holes. The biggest of these is near the end of the hike, and is called the Dragon Pool. Way too cold for a swim today, though!

After finishing our walk through the valley we will arrive at Shentangyu Park, and walk out to meet our bus, and we'll then get a nice hot meal at a nearby restaurant.

Yanqi Lake

Views across Yanqi Lake
Views across Yanqi Lake. (Click for larger image)

On the way back to the city we'll stop off for a stroll along the nature trail that runs around Yanqi Lake.

Yanqi Lake was the location for the 2014 APEC conference, and the area around the lake was extensively landscaped as part of the preparations for the event. Part of the landscaping included a trail around the lake, and we'll walk the northeastern segment of it. It's a pretty walk, with the trail following the edge of the lake—almost all flat, but with some short climbs up into a small pine forest.

We've done this trail a few times as part of teambuilding events, and it's a lovely walk.

What to bring on this hike

Reasons you might not enjoy this hike

  • It's a short hike, and we take it really slow.

More photos

In Intelligence Valley

Crossing over stepping stones
Crossing over stepping stones. (Click for larger image)
Intelligence Valley in winter
Intelligence Valley in winter. (Click for larger image)

Yanqi Lake

Trees by Yanqi Lake
Trees by Yanqi Lake. (Click for larger image)
Walking by Yanqi Lake
Walking by Yanqi Lake. (Click for larger image)
Looking across Yanqi Lake
Looking across Yanqi Lake. (Click for larger image)

There are risks involved in hiking. Please read our Risk Acknowledgment and Waiver and inform yourself before participating.

Level2

Level of difficulty

Level 2 hikes are not too tough: maybe a bit hilly, but no very long climbs. This type of hike will usually be suitable for children – but please check with us if you are not sure.

Is the level of difficulty suitable for me?

Hike statistics

  • Distance: 6–7km
  • Time to complete: approx. 3 hours
  • Total ascent: 97m
  • Total descent: 235m
  • Start height: 358m
  • Peak: 358m
  • Finish height: 218m
  • Location: Huairou
  • Drive time: 2 hours each way

Hikes in Beijing

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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