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A Long Way to Catch the Train

Hike up and over a big ridge, passing through several small villages on the way to the end.

Level 3+
Some brushy sections 4 hours start to finish over 12km. (Can I do it?)
Book your place
Bookings close September 11

Booking info

Sunday, September 12

¥390 / ¥350 for members

  1. 8:00am departure from the Liangmaqiao subway area
  2. 8:30am departure from the Lido Metropark Hotel Starbucks
Post-hike snacks and drinks included; bring your own snacks, lunch and face mask.

Important—you may be asked to show a green result on your Health Kit/健康宝 app if we run into a village checkpoint.

Old favourite!—We’d sort of forgotten about our old Long Way to Catch the Train hike, until Huijie decided to look up our old local contacts and ask about the state of the trail. ‘Rather overgrown’, was the reply, so we spent a day out there with the choppers and cleared the track for a hike … for the first time since 2016!

Why’s it a Long Way to Catch the Train? Before roads were built up into the mountains the villagers of Xi Changyu had to walk for two hours over the mountains to get to the nearest train station. On this hike we’ll follow part of the trail they used to take to catch the train.

On the trail of a donkey
Heading for an aqueduct, on the tail of a donkey. (Click for larger image)

The hike

We begin with a walk through a small village, following a path up through the fields, under an aqueduct, and slowly climbing as we get closer to the trail that leads up to the ridge.

It will take us approximately forty-five minutes of climbing to reach the saddle on the ridge. We will take a break when we get there, and enjoy the open views on both sides of the ridge. Looking back the way we came we can see hills and valleys stretching towards high mountains in the far distance. Our path onwards leads towards more valleys, rolling hills, and a flat plain.

Views from the pass
Views from the pass. (Click for larger image)

From the ridge we’ll follow a trail down into a valley, past caves, and alongside a stream. We’ll heading towards the villages of Xi Changyu and Dong Changyu: ‘West Long Valley’ and ‘East Long Valley’. We’ll be following that long valley we’ll follow on the way down and out.

Both villages were clean and well looked after, with many houses built from a distinctive rust-coloured type of stone. We’re saying were well looked after—since our last visit, residents of the valley villages were moved out to a new village at the end of the valley. A few of the houses in the villages might yet be inhabited. The villagers still come up the valley to tend to their orchards.

At the end of the valley we’ll keep hiking, passing peach orchards on the way to the next village. We’ll meet our bus here, and then take a quick drive to a nice picnic spot that will give us views over a big reservoir.

There some interesting buildings built along the lakeside – one, a 5-star hotel that looks like the lair of a James Bond villain, and a collection of smaller buildings, reputedly a ‘retirement’ home for government officials who have been caught doing something they shouldn’t have.

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

Related content

Photos and trip reports: A Long Way to Catch the Train

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