UPDATE 2021/07/30: Had to cancel this one, sorry—the canyons are closed down for flood safety. We’ll try again after the rainy season.
We'll start the hike by walking down through a small village.
The village is popular with weekend day trippers because it is right by the Longquanyu Great Wall, which we also love to visit for a day hike.
Out the back of the village we'll find the trail that leads down into 'Big Cloud' Valley. To start with, it's fairly easy going on a dirt road. As we get further down into the valley, we cross the stream a few times and then descend on to the narrow floor of the valley, picking a path around the trees and rocks by the stream.
Near the end of the valley is the Little West Lake park area. Instead of hiking out through the park, we'll climb a steep section of Great Wall and head for Shuiquan Canyon.
We'll go up and over the wall, and then down to a dip where we’ll find the steep track that leads down into the canyon.
Once we’re down into the canyon we’ll follow a short section of the Little West Lake park trail up to the Black Dragon Pool. We’ll use stepping stones to cross the first part of the pool, and then cross over large boulders and a rushing stream as we exit the park area.
It’s not far until the next big pool. Back in the day we used to have to use boats to cross this pool – it was either that or swim – but the boat team got kicked out for operating without permits and a little bridge was built instead. The little bridge isn’t in great shape, with some of the footboards missing. The frame of the bridge is solid, and you don’t need to worry about falling in the water.
Beyond that pool, the path continues over and around boulders as we hike up to the head of the canyon and out to the village where we finish the hike.
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.
After reports from local friends of heavy rain in the area the night before we weren’t sure what we’d find in the valleys here—turns out we found evidence of some flooding, and a lot of mud! See 10 photos.