Shuiquan Canyon | Looking down on a pool in the canyon
Autumn colours in the hills above the Shuiquan Canyon.

‘Big Cloud’ Valley and Shuiquan Canyon

Hike down 'Big Cloud' Valley, climb a short, steep stretch of the Longquanyu Great Wall, and then descend into Shuiquan Canyon for a fun walk up a boulder-filled river valley.

Level 4
Some balancing required crossing rocky areas. 4 hours start to finish over approx. 10km (Can I do it?)

This hike is not currently scheduled

Contact us for schedule updates or set up a private hike

Changes incoming: the top part of Shuiquan Canyon is flooded and we can’t get past that way. We’ll either do a shorter version of the hike, or switch to a different trail. Sign up anyway, and we’ll send you all the updates.

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.

Crossing the stream in ‘Big Cloud’ Canyon.
Crossing the stream in ‘Big Cloud’ Valley. (Click for larger image)

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.

Boulder-hopping in the canyon
Boulder-hopping in the canyon. (Click for larger image)

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.

COVID-19 and participation precautions

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

Related content

Photos and trip reports: ‘Big Cloud’ Valley and Shuiquan Canyon

  1. Big Cloud Valley and Shuiquan Canyon, 2021/06/26

    Big Cloud Valley and Shuiquan Canyon, 2021/06/26

    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.
  2. Shuiquan Canyon, 2018/12/01

    Shuiquan Canyon, 2018/12/01

    We revived part of an old trail to make a new-ish route—see a set of 20 photos of bouldery scenery and icy rivers from the Shuiquan Canyon hike.

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