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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.

Hikers on a road, with a broad view of a plain in front

Hikers on a road, with a broad view of a plain in front

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

Departure date: Thursday, April 25
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, April 27
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: April 27–28 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 28
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, April 28
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Shuiquan Canyon

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 1
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, May 2
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Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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Departure date: Thursday, May 2
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Friday, May 3
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, May 4
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The Pinnacle Tower

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Departure date: Saturday, May 4
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: May 4–5 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, May 5
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, May 5
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Silver Pagoda Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 8
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, May 9
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, May 11
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Miaofengshan Super Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, May 11
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, May 12
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, May 12
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Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 15
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, May 16
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, May 18
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Yanqing Great Wall and High Tower Challenge

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Departure date: Saturday, May 18
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: May 18–19 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, May 19
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, May 19
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Cuandixia ‘Ming Village’ day trip

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Departure date: Sunday, May 19
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Waste-Free Wall: Clean up the Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 22
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, May 23
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, May 25
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Heituo Mountain Crossing

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Departure date: Saturday, May 25
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, May 26
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, May 26
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Kids Club: Yunmeng Gorge play and picnic

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 29
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, May 30
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 1
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

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Departure date: Saturday, June 1
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, June 2
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Yinmeng Temple and Sujia River

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Departure date: Sunday, June 2
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 5
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, June 6
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Friday, June 7
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Friday, June 7
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Saturday, June 8
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, June 8
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Sunday, June 9
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, June 9
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White River hike

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Departure date: Saturday, April 6
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 12
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Thursday, June 13
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, June 15
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 15
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Sunday, June 16
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Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, June 16
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 19
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, June 20
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 22
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 22
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White River hike

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Departure date: Saturday, June 22
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Gubeikou and Jinshanling Great Wall overnight

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Departure date: Sunday, June 23
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, June 23
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Kids Club: The Silver Pagodas

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 26
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, June 27
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Saturday, June 29
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, June 30
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, June 30
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Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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