On this hike we'll climb an old hill trail in the mountains that form the feng shui barrier on the north side of the Ming Tombs in Changping District. The hill trail leads over the mountains, up to a lookout, out a valley past a small reservoir, and then on towards the tombs. After a quick look around the outside of two of the closed tombs in the area, as well as the Tomb Caretakers' Village, we’ll get lunch at a local restaurant before finishing up with a stroll up the Sacred Way, the official entrance to the tombs during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644).
The first part of the trail doesn't see much use and parts of it get a little overgrown and bushy, but after we get to the first ridge it all opens up. During summer, we recommend wearing trousers and a long sleeved shirt to prevent scratches.
The trail leads up to a ridge, and then on to a peak where we’ll stop for a rest, and enjoy the panoramic views of the Ming Tombs area. On a clear day we can see quite a few of the tombs and how they are positioned in accordance with principles of feng shui.
From the top we can see two of the tombs that are not open to the public, and, depending on the weather, some of the other tombs may also be sighted. Our path down from the ridges leads towards them, following the valley down past a small reservoir, orchards, and some alert dogs. Once we’re back on flat land we will walk past the two tombs that were visible from the peak.
After we’ve finished the walk around the tombs, we’ll take a short drive to the Sacred Way.
The Sacred Way was the official entrance to the tombs during the Ming Dynasty, and features a long path between large gates with inscribed tablets and stelae, flanked by statues of animals and officials. The bus will drop us off at the entrance, and meet us around twenty minutes later at the other end before driving us back to Beijing.
What to bring on this hike
- Lunch and snacks to eat
- Warm clothes, gloves, and a hat
- Good hiking boots
- (Click here to read our full What to Bring on a Hike list)
Reasons you might not enjoy this hike
- The middle section of the trail may be a little brushy and scratchy.