Silver Pagoda Loop | Views from the mountain behind the Silver Pagodas
Views from the mountain behind the Silver Pagodas.

Silver Pagodas to East Water Valley Village

Pass the Silver Pagodas on the way to the peak of Silver Mountain, then head on over the hills following narrow paths and field trails.

Level 4
Steep stairs at the pagodas, and some rough tracks in the middle. 4–5 hours start to finish over 12–14km. (Can I do it?)

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This hike is a great way to see the sights of the countryside on a long ramble through the hills of Huairou and Changping.

Sometimes we’re able to start this hike with a quick look at a small village and its 300-year-old performance stage, but on this visit we’ll probably need to start at the Silver Pagodas park area. (Firewardens, epidemic control, the regular reasons …)

The site of the Silver Pagodas dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD), with the pagodas built in the 1400s. The silver bells of the pagodas used to ring in the breeze, and are the source of the name of this peaceful spot. Five pagodas and a few stupas still stand there, with the foundations of the temples easy to spot.

We’ll take a quick look about the pagodas before we climb up to the 600m-plus peak of Silver Mountain.

Steep stairs lead up to the top, passing fancifully named rocks and cliffs and an open platform with a large bell. We’ll hike all the way up, and from the peak of the mountain we’ll have broad views of the surrounding countryside, including the pass in the hills that we’ll cross on the way to East Water Valley Village.

Lunch break at an old quarry on the back side of Silver Mountain
Lunch break at an old quarry on the back side of Silver Mountain. (Click for larger image)

A steep hill trail takes us down by an old stone quarry and then on to Longevity Village, following field trails through chestnut orchards.

We’ll take a stroll through the streets of Longevity Village before heading up into the hills again. Field paths through yet more chestnut orchards take us towards taller hills.

We’ll climb a zig-zagging path up a steep hill to and take a break at the pass before heading down to East Water Valley Village, following a largely disused trail down into a wild valley and then out to finish at the village.

This hike will likely be a little longer than usual, mainly because fire season restrictions at villages might mean we have to add a bit of distance at the finish of the hike.

COVID-19 and participation precautions

The current precautions are minimal. Please read in full here: Operating hikes under COVID-19 precautions

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Photos and trip reports: Silver Pagodas to East Water Valley Village

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