Home > Hike in Beijing

Not currently open for booking

This hike is not currently scheduled, and the information on this page may be incomplete or out of date.

Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

In Brief: A variation of our Vulture Rock Ridge Loop hike, finishing on the Beijing side of the hills instead of completing the loop. Great views and hill climbing exercise.

The view from Vulture Rock Ridge

The view from the Vulture Rock Ridge trail.

Key information

  • 5–6 hours start to finish over 16km.

This is a variation of our regular Vulture Rock Ridge Loop hike where we follow an old pilgrim’s trail down the Beijing to finish the hike. We’ll walk all of Vulture Rock Ridge and then following what’s left of the old paved path through the forested hills on the Beijing side of the ridge.

This hike starts from a village close by to Miaofeng 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.

We have other hikes in the same area that start or finish in this village, and we’ll cross some of those trails along the way.

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.

From the saddle we’ll follow a trail along the hillside, enjoying the open view of the surrounding mountains, and perhaps meeting some donkeys and firewardens. The trail takes us all the way along the ridge, 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 highest point 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 ridgeline, passing a marker on the intersection of three of Beijing’s districts.
Coming down a steep dirt trail we arrive at a fork in the trail– to the right, the trail down the Beijing side of the hills; to the left, the trail that would take us back to the village where we started.
Today we’re heading over to the Beijing side,  following a great trail along the side of a larger peak, passing by crags and under rocky outcrops as we walk though deciduous forest.

Just after we come out of the forest we’ll find another old teahouse, and just past that we’ll start the long descent down the Beijing side of the mountains, and from here it’s down all the way – a descent of nearly 900 metres while walking 5 kilometres.

The first part of the descent is down an open ridgelines, with views of the northwestern suburbs of Beijing city.

As we get lower, the trail takes us through a forested valley, crossing a little stream and passing the ruins of more teahouses. Some of these old teahouses look to have been quite big, judging by the height and thickness of the remaining walls.

Just before the end of the hike we cross a firebreak road, and then follow a dirt trail down to a small village where we’ll finish the hike.

Holiday traffic: There’s a chance we’ll get stuck in bad traffic at some point during the drive, and we might be back to Beijing later than estimated. We’d recommend not making fixed plans for the evening, just in case!

What to bring on this hike

Reasons you might not enjoy this hike

  • There’s a long downhill to finish the hike, which will be tough on the knees.

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

Level4+

Level of difficulty

Level 4+ will be difficult for people who are not used to hiking or are out of shape. Some level 4+ hikes are shorter, but very steep.

Is the level of difficulty suitable for me?

Hike statistics

  • Distance: 16km
  • Time to complete: 5–6 hours
  • Total ascent: 963m
  • Total descent: 1,523m
  • Start height: 785m
  • Peak: 1,262m
  • Finish height: 226m
  • Location: Mentougou
  • 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


Find a hike

Great Wall hikesGreat Wall campingHillwalking hikesTough hikesEasy hikesShunyi hikesSee all the hikes »Calendar


All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Wednesday, September 27
Book it

Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, September 28
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 30
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: September 30-October 1 (Sat–Sun)
Book it

Camping: Hemp Village and Gubeikou Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, October 1
Book it

Prove Your Loyalty

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, October 1
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Monday, October 2
Book it

The Pinnacle Tower

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Tuesday, October 3
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Tuesday, October 3
Book it

Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, October 4
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, October 4
Book it

Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, October 5
Book it

Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Friday, October 6
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: October 6–7 (Fri–Sat)
Book it

Camping: Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, October 7
Book it

Quarrymen’s Trail to the Heavenly Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, October 7
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, October 8
Book it

Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, October 12
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, October 14
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, October 14
Book it

Hillwalking Challenge: Big Black Mountain to Moss Mountain

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, October 15
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, October 15
Book it

Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, October 18
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, October 19
Book it

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, October 21
Book it

Big Camp Plate Village and Hengling Valley

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, October 21
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, October 22
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, October 22
Book it

Shunyi Hikers: Yajishan Temple Circuit

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, October 25
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, October 26
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, October 28
Book it

Chinese Knot Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, October 28
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, October 29
Book it

Cypress Wells Canyon and Yongning Town

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, October 29
Book it

Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, November 1
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, November 2
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, November 4
Book it

Over the Hills to Dajuesi

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, November 4
Book it

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, November 5
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, November 5
Book it

Intelligence Valley

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, November 8
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, November 9
Book it

Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, November 11
Book it

The High Tower Loop hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, November 11
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, November 12
Book it

Immortal Valley Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, November 12
Book it

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, November 15
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, November 16
Book it

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, November 18
Book it

Gubeikou West Circuit

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, November 18
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, November 19
Book it

Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, November 19
Book it

Shunyi Hikers: Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, November 22
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, November 23
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, November 25
Book it

Hillwalking Challenge: Flower Wood to East Water Valley

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, November 25
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, November 26
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, November 26
Book it

Tomb Raiders and the Sacred Way

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, November 29
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, November 30
Book it

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

Read more about this hike »

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

Baicheng Landform
Trip dates: October 1–7, 2017

Silk Road: Korla to Kashgar (7 days)

In Brief: Spend seven days on the Silk Road, heading west to Kashgar and travelling by jeep instead of camel through the vast empty areas of Xinjiang Province.

Standby
More info »
Dunes in the Alashan Desert
Trip dates: October 2–5, 2017

Alashan Desert Lakes and Temple, Inner Mongolia

In Brief: Travel by foot, camel, and jeep through the Alashan Desert to reach a beautiful Buddhist temple deep in the dunes. Includes a night camping in the desert, plus a visit to the Western Xia Imperial Tombs.

Standby
More info »
The coloured hills of the Zhangye Danxia Landform
Trip dates: October 8–12, 2017

Zhangye Danxia Landform, Gansu Province

In Brief: See the fantastically-coloured mountains and cliffs in an all-but unexplored area of Gansu; visit Horse Hoofprint Temple, Jiayuguan Fortress, and more.

Book trip
More info »