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Great Wall Spur

In Brief: After a reasonably tough hill climb of 40–50 minutes, we reach a beautiful, unrestored stretch of Great Wall. The hike continues along the wall, passing through towers, finishing in a rustic village.

A stretch of Great Wall

Looking down a line of wild Great Wall. View more photos »

Key information

  • 3–4 hours start to finish over 7.5km.

Note: tough climb at the start of the hike. While rated a 3+, this hike is sort of a tough 3+ because of the long climb at the beginning. We go up about 500m over 2km of trail, which is a climb worthy of a Level 4 hike.

On this hike we will visit a section of the Great Wall that was completed around 1580 A.D., during the reign of the Ming Dynasty Emperor Wan Li.

The hike begins with a warmup walk up a valley road, followed by a fairly tough climb up a hillside path to reach the Great Wall. This climb is steep in a few places, and it will take us 50-60 minutes. This is the most difficult part of the hike: approximately 2km, with a change in elevation of approximately 500m.

A stretch of Great Wall

Hiking down from a tower.

After reaching the top we’ll follow the Great Wall as it winds along and up a ridge. Because the Great Wall was designed as a defensive fortification we will get excellent views, with mountains, villages, and other stretches of the Great Wall all in sight as we walk. We will pass through towers along the way, and stop for a snack break at the highest point.

Our walk on the Wall will finish at a big tower – from there we’ll follow a trail down another valley, finally arriving at the small village where we’ll finish the walk.

On a clear day we’ll have great views of the Great Wall to the northeast and west as we walk.

What to bring on this hike

Reasons you might not enjoy this hike

  • The climb up to the wall is a long one – no problem if you’re into exercise!

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

Level3+

Level of difficulty

Level 3+ is a ‘tougher’ moderate hike. There may be long climbs up hills, and there may be steep sections.

Is the level of difficulty suitable for me?

Hike statistics

  • Distance: 7.5km
  • Time to complete: 3–4 hours
  • Total ascent: 649m
  • Total descent: 567m
  • Start height: 229m
  • Peak: 782m
  • Finish height: 311m
  • Location: Huairou
  • Drive time: 2 hours each way

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: Sunday, October 22
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, October 22
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Shunyi Hikers: Yajishan Temple Circuit

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 25
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, October 26
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, October 28
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, October 28
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, October 29
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 1
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, November 2
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, November 4
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Over the Hills to Dajuesi

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Departure date: Saturday, November 4
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Sunday, November 5
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, November 5
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Intelligence Valley

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 8
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, November 9
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, November 11
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The High Tower Loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, November 11
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, November 12
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Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, November 12
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 15
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, November 16
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Saturday, November 18
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Gubeikou West Circuit

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Departure date: Saturday, November 18
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, November 19
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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, November 19
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Shunyi Hikers: Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 22
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, November 23
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, November 25
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Hillwalking Challenge: Flower Wood to East Water Valley

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Departure date: Saturday, November 25
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, November 26
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, November 26
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Tomb Raiders and the Sacred Way

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 29
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, November 30
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Explore China

See more of China on a multi-day trip—travel to famous scenic areas, or choose to visit somewhere obscure and less well-known.

Upcoming trips

A cluster of three tulou buildings, deep in the hills of Fujian
Trip dates: November 9–12, 2017

Hakka Tulou Clusters and Xiamen, Fujian Province

In Brief: Head deep into the mountains of Fujian to see the tulou buildings of the Hakka, visiting those both well-known and obscure, and staying overnight in a tulou building in one of the smaller, less-visited clusters. Trip includes sights around Xiamen, including Gulangyu Island.

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Trip dates: November 22–26, 2017

Lijiang and Shangri-La, Yunnan Province

In Brief: See the highlights of Lijiang and Shangri-La: cobbled streets and watercourses of ancient towns, Naxi and Tibetan culture, plus amazing views of snow-capped mountains. Cultural focus, nothing too strenuous.

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Monks unveiling a huge cloth thangka
Trip dates: February 2018

Labrang Monastery’s ‘Unveiling the Buddha’ Ceremony, Xiahe, Gansu Province

In Brief: Visit Xiahe to witness a giant Buddha tapestry being unveiled on the hillside above Labrang Monastery and to join the crowds watching the lively performances in the town square. Trip also includes hikes and walks in nearby grassland areas.
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