Jingxi Ancient Road | On the Jingxi Ancient Road
Hiking the Jingxi Ancient Road in west Beijing.

Shunyi Hikers: Jingxi Ancient Road and Horse Hoofprints

Hike a long section of the Jingxi Ancient Road, making a quick detour to check out the ‘horse hoofprints’, indentations left in rock by horses and donkeys carrying coal for trade.

Level 3+
Two short but very steep climbs, with chains pinned to the rock to assist balance. approx. 4 hours of hiking over 13km. (Can I do it?)
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Bookings close October 22

Booking info

Saturday, October 23

¥360 / ¥325 for members

  1. 7:30am departure from the Shunyi–DD’s Market (near Beijing Riviera, Xiangjiang Rd)
  2. 8:00am departure from the Shunyi–Pinnacle Plaza Starbucks
Bring your own snacks, lunch, and face mask.

Note: We haven't needed to do QR code scans on previous visits, but you should be able to show a green result if required.

This hike is a new version of our old ‘Ancient Horse Hoofprints’ hike, which we stopped doing after a big road was built right through the middle of the hiking trail. We’ve found a new start point which adds a longer walk on the Jingxi Ancient Road and avoids the big road. this is the easier version of the hike, skipping the extra climb on the firebreak road.

The hike

We start off near a village that was one of the stops on the Jingxi Ancient Road, a network of old trails and trading routes that cross over the mountains in the west of Beijing.

Until even recently the hills here were mined for coal, and the hike we’re doing today follows part of the route used to carry coal over the hills into Beijing

Behind the village we stay on the path of the trading route, making a slow climb up a forested valley, aiming for the village further up in 'Flower Valley'.

The trail is roughly paved and follows a dried streambed. If there has been recent rain we’d see some water in the stream. About halfway up there’s a waterfall which usually has a trickle of water, unless it’s winter, when it turns into a big block of ice.

By the waterfall is where we find the first tricky part of the hike – a chain-assisted clamber up a cliff. (See some photos below.) Not far past that is the second tricky part – another steep climb, again assisted by chains pinned into the rocks.

After the chains we’re into the middle section of the hike, a long and gradual climb through a slowly-broadening valley that finishes at a semi-abandoned village.

We’ll stop for a lunch break in the village and then continue on a steeper trail up to a pass in the mountains. On the other side of the pass is a long trail that leads down to the outskirts of Beijing city. Before we hike down, we’ll do a little detour to check out the ‘ancient horse hoofprints’.

We’ll hike out down to the road, and then all the way out to finish in another village that was one of the main stops on the trading route before reaching central Beijing.

Because of the COVID-19 situation we have some extra terms and conditions for participation.

In particular:

  • DO NOT participate if you are sick or showing symptoms of fever and/or have an elevated temperature, or have been in close contact with someone who was.
  • DO NOT participate if you have not completed any required quarantine after your return to Beijing.
  • You MUST agree to the mitigation and prevention measures outlined here and that Beijing Hikers will not be held responsible if any participants become sick.

Please read in full here: Operating hikes under COVID-19 precautions

Related content

Photos and trip reports: Shunyi Hikers: Jingxi Ancient Road and Horse Hoofprints

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