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Cypress Wells Canyon and Yongning Town

In Brief: Follow a path through a scenic gully into an isolated and mostly abandoned old village; continue through the hills to find a short stretch of very old Great Wall. After the hike, take a stroll through the streets of Yongning Town, a countryside town with a long history.

Hiking up into the Cypress Wells Canyon

Hiking up into the Cypress Wells Canyon. View more photos »

Key information

  • 4 hours start to finish over 12km

Because this hike is mostly flat it’s fine for fairly active kids. If you’re not sure about the suitability, please get in touch with us.

The hike begins with a nice long, flat walk up the Cypress Wells Canyon. To begin with, the walls of the canyon are high and steep, but after a while the canyon starts to open up, and we’ll begin to get views of the surrounding mountains.

About midway through the hike we’ll reach a small, mostly-abandoned village. On previous visits we’ve only seen a few old gaffers about. Many of the houses are empty, and from the looks of things they have been empty for quite some time. Somewhat out of place amongst the stone and mud-brick houses are a set of strange hexagon-shaped shelters – perhaps the remnants of an experiment in tourism.

We’ll have a break and take time for lunch and a look about the village, and then continue, following a trail up through a pine forest, heading for a stretch of Warring States-era (476-221 BC) Great Wall. The wall continues up and over the ridges on either side, but is not really in good enough condition to make an enjoyable walk. Instead of following the wall, we’ll head down a valley trail and then walk out to the road where the bus will be waiting.

After a Beijing Hikers-style picnic at the bus, we’ll board and drive on to Yongning Town for a quick look about before heading home to Beijing.

What’s there to see on this hike?

  • A short stretch of ‘Warring States’ era (476-221 BC, before the Qin Dynasty) Great Wall, an old village with abandoned houses, and mountains and forests.
  • A big tower in Yongning Town, and a strangely-sited Catholic church.

What to bring on this hike

There are risks involved in hiking. Please read our Risk Acknowledgment and Waiver and inform yourself before participating.

Level3

Level of difficulty

Level 3 hikes are the type we do most often. Level 3 hikes will take around 3 hours, and can be either reasonably easy, or challenging, depending on how often you exercise.

Is the level of difficulty suitable for me?

Hike statistics

  • Distance: 12km
  • Time to complete: 4 hours
  • Total ascent: 642m
  • Total descent: 627m
  • Start height: 634m
  • Peak: 946m
  • Finish height: 652m
  • Location: Yanqing
  • Drive time: 2–2.5 hours

Hikes in Beijing

We publish our hike schedule month by month, with updates around the 10th of each month.

If you're interested in hikes and trips during a month that's not yet listed, use our contact form to let us know and we'll send you a quick email when the schedule is online.

Hike in Beijing calendar

See the Hike in Beijing schedule in our calendar


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All upcoming hikes in Beijing

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 9
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Departure date: Thursday, August 10
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Departure date: Saturday, August 12
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Departure date: Saturday, August 12
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Little West Lake and Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, August 13
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Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 16
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Departure date: Thursday, August 17
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, August 19
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Departure date: Saturday, August 19
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, August 20
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, August 20
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Down the White River

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 23
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Thursday, August 24
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Saturday, August 26
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Big Camp Plate Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, August 26
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, August 27
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Silver Pagoda Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, August 27
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Wednesday, August 30
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Thursday, August 31
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, September 2
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Yellow Grass Plateau and Seven Towers

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Departure date: Saturday, September 2
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: September 2–3 (Sat–Sun)
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Departure date: Sunday, September 3
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Sunday, September 3
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White River hike

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 6
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, September 7
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, September 9
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2017 Hiking Festival: The Challenge (24km+)

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Departure date: Saturday, September 9
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2017 Hiking Festival: Hike for Fun (Stone Valley Great Wall)

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Departure date: Sunday, September 10
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 10
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Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 13
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, September 14
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall Extra

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Departure date: Saturday, September 16
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

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Departure date: Saturday, September 16
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, September 17
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, September 17
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Tanzhe Temple and the Abandoned Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 20
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, September 21
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, September 23
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Departure date: Saturday, September 23
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 24
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Cypress Wells Canyon and Yongning Town

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Departure date: Sunday, September 24
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 27
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, September 28
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Departure date: Saturday, September 30
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Departure date: September 30-October 1 (Sat–Sun)
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Departure date: Sunday, October 1
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Departure date: Sunday, October 1
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Monday, October 2
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The Pinnacle Tower

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Departure date: Tuesday, October 3
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Tuesday, October 3
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Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 4
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 4
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Departure date: Thursday, October 5
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Departure date: Friday, October 6
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Departure date: October 6–7 (Fri–Sat)
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Departure date: Saturday, October 7
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Quarrymen’s Trail to the Heavenly Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, October 7
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, October 8
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