Miaofengshan | Views of mountains from the Miaofengshan trail
Views of mountains from the Miaofengshan trail

Miaofengshan Super Loop

Hike up on to the ridgeline of the mountains opposite Miaofengshan Temple and make a big 16km loop all the way around, climbing 1,000m-plus on the way.

Level 4
5–6 hours start to finish over 16km (Can I do it?)

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This hike starts from a village close by to Miaofengshan Temple, in Beijing’s West Mountains. We’ll follow part of an old pilgrims’ trail along a ridge with excellent views, up to a plateau, then up and along the Vulture Rock Ridge.

At this time of year the scenery should be starting to get nice and green, with flowers starting to bloom. There might also be some extra activity at the temple, as it’s the time of year that there is sometimes a temple fair.

From the carpark in the middle of the village we’ll follow the main road up towards their orchards and terraces, turning off to head up a steep and twisting mountainside trail. Halfway up we’ll join one of the many pilgrim trails in the area, a roughly paved path that heads up to a saddle above the village.

The trail winds on a flat path through taller hills
The hillside trail towards the firewarden’s house. (Click for larger image)

There’s an easy and open trail across the hillside, with long views of the surrounding mountains. The trail takes us through the hills, then down a valley and through a straggly pine forest, passing the house of the local firewarden boss.

The path through the pine forest will take us to a gently rising plateau, where we’ll stop for a snack, rest, and a look around.

A trail leads up the plateau and along Vulture Rock Ridge. At first it’s a broad gravelly trail along an old firebreak, which then meets a new road that was built up to the lookout point up top.

We’ll follow that road for a little while, and then get back on to hill trails to reach the first peak on the hike, at an altitude of 1,265m. The views are worth the climb – mountains all around, and views of the flat area that is slowly being filled by Beijing’s urban sprawl. 

From the peak we continue along the ridge, passing by the tablet that marks the junction of Beijing’s Mentougou, Changping, and Haidian districts.

We then make a steep descent and pass the ruins of an old teahouse, and then get back up on to the ridge that will take us up to the peak of Miaofeng Mountain—a steady climb with a few really steep sections that takes us up to 1,277m above sea level. It’s a scenic trail, but can get bushy in summer.

We follow a gravel trail down from the peak of Miaofeng Mountain, sneaking through the side of the Miaofengshan temple and then down a paved stairway to finish the loop.

More photos

Taking a break at a high point
Taking a break at a high point. (Click for larger image)
The track goes through forest
The track goes through forest. (Click for larger image)
A broad trail on a wide plateau
A broad trail on a wide plateau. (Click for larger image)
Views from the ridge above Vulture Rock park
Views from the ridge above Vulture Rock park. (Click for larger image)
Cliffs above a pass in the mountains
Cliffs above a pass in the mountains. (Click for larger image)

Related content

Photos and trip reports: Miaofengshan Super Loop

  1. Miaofengshan Super Loop, 2019/05/11

    Miaofengshan Super Loop, 2019/05/11

    On this hike we hit three of the peaks in Beijing's western mountains, and took a look at the Miaofengshan Temple on the way down—see 14 photos from the Miaofengshan Super Loop.

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