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Great Wall Spur

In Brief: A steep climb up a hillside trail gets us on to a well-preserved line of 'wild' Great Wall. We follow the wall up to a high point and then down the 'spur', passing through big towers on the way.

A stretch of Great Wall

Looking down a line of Great Wall.

Key information

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

On this hike we will visit a remote stretch of the Great Wall that was completed around 1580 AD and not touched again since. It’s in surprisingly good shape after 400 or so years of weathering.

We’re doing this hike in the opposite direction than usual—it’s a shorter (but steeper) climb up to the wall, and we finish the hike with a nice stroll down through a forested valley.

We do this hike a lot, but not often this way. If you’ve done the Great Wall Spur before, it might be interesting to get a new angle on it!

The hike begins with a short walk up a valley road, followed by a climb up a hillside path to reach the Great Wall. This steep climb will take about forty minutes, and is the most difficult part of the hike.

A stretch of Great Wall

A view of the ‘spur’ section.

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 countryside guesthouse with a distinctive red roof. We may have been able to spot the red roof from up on the wall!

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 steep in places – 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 hours
  • Total ascent: 567m
  • Total descent: 649m
  • Start height: 311m
  • Peak: 782m
  • Finish height: 229m
  • 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


Find a hike

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All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Saturday, September 22
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, September 22
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Over the Hills to Dajuesi

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Departure date: Saturday, September 22
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 23
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, September 23
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: September 23–24 (Sun–Mon)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Monday, September 24
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Monday, September 24
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Triangle Hike

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 26
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, September 27
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, September 29
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, September 29
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Shuitou Village Loop hike

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Departure date: September 29–30 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 30
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Monday, October 1
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Over the Hills to Yaji Mountain

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Departure date: Monday, October 1
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Tuesday, October 2
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The Pinnacle Tower

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 3
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 3
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Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Thursday, October 4
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Friday, October 5
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Friday, October 5
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, October 6
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The High Tower Loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, October 6
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: October 6–7 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, October 7
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, October 11
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, October 13
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Heituo Mountain

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Departure date: Saturday, October 13
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, October 14
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, October 14
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Shunyi Hikers: Ming Village day trip

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 17
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, October 18
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, October 20
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Miaofengshan Super Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, October 20
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, October 21
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, October 21
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Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 24
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, October 27
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Yudu Mountains and Sujia River

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Departure date: Saturday, October 27
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, October 28
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 31
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, November 1
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Explore China

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Upcoming trips

Trekking on the Tea and Horse Trail near Dali, Yunnan Province
Trip dates: September 20–24, 2018

Dali’s Old Towns, Cang Mountain, and Erhai Lake, Yunnan (5 days)

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Trip dates: October 2–5, 2018

Tengger Desert Lakes, Inner Mongolia

In Brief: Travel by foot and jeep through the desert, visit desert lakes, ride camels, camp in the desert, and more.

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