This hike starts off at a village at the end of a road up a deep valley. From the village we head further up the valley, following old paths past big trees and the terraced fields that are worked by the local villagers. After approximately forty minutes of walking, the fields begin to give way to forest, and we’ll get on to a trail that leads up to a clearing on on the ridge at the top of the valley.
The clearing and the trail beyond used to be maintained by the quarrymen who work in the neighbouring valley, and from the clearing we can usually see dust rising from the quarry. We’ll follow their trail down into the valley on the other side of the ridge. It’s interesting the way that the vegetation is different on the two sides of this ridge – pines and forest on one side, coloured rocks and different flora on the other.
Before we reach the quarry, we’ll turn off on to an old road, and follow it to the outskirts of an abandoned village. There are several empty villages in the area, likely abandoned due to lack of water, but perhaps also because of the expansion of the quarry. Instead of continuing into the village, we’ll follow a trail that leads from the village up through more terraces, eventually crossing over to the Changping side of the hills through a saddle on the ridge.
From the saddle we’ll head downhill, following a steep and sometimes bushy old path down and out a valley, passing a small reservoir and two of the closed Ming Tombs on the way to where our bus will be waiting for us. After a quick outdoor picnic – provided by Beijing Hikers – we'll move on 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.