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.
We start off in a village that sits at a crossroads on the Jingxi Ancient Road, a network of old trails and trading routes that cross over the mountains in the west of Beijing.
Behind the village we stay on the path of the trading route, making a slow climb up 'Flower Valley' into the hills.
Part of the way up into the hills we'll come to a split in the trail, and we'll either go the steep way – a chain-assisted clamber up a cliff – or take a more meandering route around. (On this visit we’re planning to do the chains route. See some photos below.)
After stopping for a lunch break we’ll continue 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, and it’s down this trail that coal from the mountains was carried down to Beijing. We’ll do a little detour to check out the ‘ancient horse hoofprints’ (or ‘horse hoofprint-like geological features’) left by the pack animals that transported the coal.
Instead of heading straight down, we’ll add on extra distance by following a firebreak track up by one of the higher peaks in the area. The firebreak track offers long views before heading into a forested area, and it’s easy walking after a climb at the beginning. We’ll pass ramshackle buildings and stop for a break before the long, tricky walk down to finish in the village far below.
Because of the COVID-19 situation we have some extra terms and conditions for participation.
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.