Wucaiqianshan National Mountaineering Trails | Approaching a pavilion on a peak
Approaching a pavilion on a peak.

Wucaiqianshan test hike

Try out a hike on southern end of the Wucaiqianshan National Mountaineering Trail, warming up on mellow hills before calf-cramping climbs up to a high ridgeline trail.

Level 4
Extended ascents and descents throughout the hike, some steep. 4–5 hours start to finish over approx. 12km (Can I do it?)

This hike is scheduled as a join-in group tour on the following date

Follow the link to see current hike information and booking details.

We haven’t decided on a fancy name for this hike yet. It covers (roughly) the southern half of the Wucaiqianshan National Mountaineering Trail. And we don’t yet have great photos because of the heavy fog on the day we went to scout out the trail.

The mountaineering trail project is still in the works, and some of the infrastructure is maybe a wee bit overengineered. But the trails here are well-formed and clear, and the views (we think) can be excellent. The majority of the trail is packed gravel and dirt, with boardwalks in a few places. It’s a bit like the hikes we do in the Miaofengshan area, west of Beijing, but with climbs at closer intervals.

The first part of the hike goes through low hills close to the city and outlying villages. Powerlines cross over parts of the track. There are a few extended climbs, which serve as a warm up for the second part of the hike.

In the last half of this trail there are some seriously large hills to climb as we head up into craggy areas on a high ridgeline. To us it looked like this part of the hike was out of range for the casual hikers we met on the lower hills. The top sections feel a lot wilder, and on a clear day the views from up here will be expansive. Well, we thought so anyway – as previously mentioned we were hiking in a big fog for most of the scouting trip.

The hike finishes with a long descent on steps into a park area, and then a walk out along the road to the gate.

Trails lead through forest towards a pavilion, with a sea of clouds in the valley beyond.
Trails lead through forest towards a pavilion, with a sea of clouds in the valley beyond. (Click for larger image)

Our plan for this version of the test hike is to do the full hike we did on the scouting trip, but if it looks like we’ll run out of time there’s another option to come down from the high ridgeline a bit earlier.

You’ll see:

  • Pavilions and viewing platforms, plus signs that tell tall tales of bandits and bullies, imperial visits, a magical goose, and fanciful landmarks
  • Low rolling hills, with a mix of pines and scrub
  • Long views back toward Beijing
  • Higher peaks over forested valleys
  • Cliffs and crags

Obstacles you’ll face:

  • A few fences to go under, around, and over
  • Steep and extended ascents and descents in the last half of the hike
  • Complaints from your calf muscles

Because of the COVID-19 situation we have some extra terms and conditions for participation.

In particular:

  • 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.
  • 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

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