The village of Sancha is situated in the fork of three valleys and is a perfect starting and finishing point for a walk through an especially interesting piece of Beijing countryside.
Our hike will start with a walk through the village and up one of the valleys, passing small guesthouses and a trout farm restaurant. After we pass the restaurant we’ll get on to the valley trail, following it up along a stream, past abandoned farmhouses, through a forest, and up to a grassy plateau with cornfields and apricot trees. This plateau is on the border of three Beijing districts – Changping, Yangqing, and Huairou.
From the plateau at the top of the valley we will walk up to the ridge, where we will find a remnant of Great Wall from the Qin Dynasty (221-206BC). There’s not much left of it now, but it’s lasted well for something built from mud and rocks more than 2,000 years ago.
The ridge trail loops back towards Sancha, and as we walk along we’ll be able to see the Pinnacle Tower on the distant Big East Mountain. After following the trail through meadows and up through a pine forest we’ll reach the head of one of the other valleys that leads to Sancha Village, and head back down it to finish our hike.
After the hike we’ll have a late lunch at our local guide’s guesthouse. (Cost of food and drinks is included in the price of the hike.)
What to bring on this hike
- Warm clothes, gloves, and a hat
- Rain coat or poncho, just in case
- Good hiking boots
- (Click here to read our full What to Bring on a Hike list)
Reasons you might not enjoy this hike
- There’s a stretch of the trail that is perpetually overgrown, and it gets a bit scratchy in summer.