Moss Mountain | Looking through the trees towards Moss Mountain
Looking through the trees towards Moss Mountain.

Over the Hills from Moss Mountain

Take a long ramble through bouldery valleys and along hill trails and farmers’ roads, starting at Moss Mountain, passing a carved Buddha in an old quarry, dipping into the Water Great Wall park area, and finishing with a climb over a large hill just to make sure you’re feeling your legs.

Level 4+
5 hours start to finish over approx. 17km (Can I do it?)
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Bookings close October 6

Booking info

Saturday, October 7

¥430 / ¥390 for members

  1. 7:30am departure from the Liangmaqiao subway area
  2. 8:00am departure from the Lido Metropark Hotel Starbucks
Post-hike lunch included; bring your own snacks.
Pay on the day of the hike. More about payments

Might be a working day to make up for the days off during the big holiday.

Moss Mountain is the local name for the granite peaks behind a little park area north of Huanghuacheng, and you can see the cliffs and crags of the mountain from the high parts of a lot of our hikes in this part of Beijing.

It’s a funny little park – sometimes open, sometimes closed – and we might need to start the hike from the ‘back door’ to be sure we can get on the trail.

The back door trail gets us on to the main park trail just before all the steep steps and stairs up through the most bouldery and scenic part of the park.

Hiking through forest near Moss Mountain
Hiking through forest near Moss Mountain. (Click for larger image)

Behind all the boulders a flatter trail leads up a washed out valley towards terraced chestnut orchards that were farmed by locals in previous years. We’re not sure if they are still farmed—with the valley tracks washed out it must be difficult to get the loads of chestnuts out to the main road.

We’ll be following the valley up to cross over at a gap in the cliffs.

After crossing over at the gap, a well-formed track will take us down through old-growth forest, passing a giant pine tree and coming out the back of the remains of a rock quarry.

Lunch break - Zhuangdaokou to Moss Mountain, 2017/2/11
At the old quarry.

In the rock quarry we’ll spot a huge boulder with a Buddha carved into it, and if the timing has worked out, this is where we’ll stop for a lunch break.

The hike then continues down a dirt road, passing another optional detour—this time, a short walk up to the restored (and closed, and not super-interesting) White Cloud Temple—and then on to another hill climb, coming over a piney hill before hiking down a long valley to arrive at the shores of the Xishuiyu Reservoir and the Water Great Wall park area.

We’ll take a stroll around the reservoir and over the suspension bridge, and then we’ll head off into the last part of the hike.

The last part of the hike is a slow climb up a concrete road that leads out the back of the park area and just kind of dead-ends in the middle of the hills. Maybe it’s used by farmers who still hold a lease on the land in there? It looks to be a quiet valley in any case.

Just before that road dead-ends we’ll turn off for a climb up a nice open valley and over a saddle in the hills, then we’ll descend quickly into the valley on the other side and hike out to finish near the restaurants and guesthouses near the entrance of the Lakeside Great Wall park area.

There’s a great restaurant right where the trail ends, and we’ll hike in and warm up with a late lunch/early dinner before we head back to Beijing. (It might be 2-3pm before we get to the restaurant, so bring plenty of snacks to keep yourself going until then.)

COVID-19 and participation precautions

The brief version:

  • Please 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/is.
  • 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: Over the Hills from Moss Mountain

  1. Over the Hills from Moss Mountain, 2021/02/03

    Over the Hills from Moss Mountain, 2021/02/03

    See 17 shots from a ramble from Moss Mountain over the hills and through forest to the Little West Lake area—photos of cliffs, boulders, frozen waterfalls, streams, and reservoirs.

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