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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. View more photos »

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


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All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Thursday, May 24
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, May 26
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Shuitou Village Loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, May 26
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, May 27
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, May 27
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Shunyi Hikers: Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 30
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Thursday, May 31
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, June 2
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The High Tower Loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, June 2
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: June 2–3 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, June 3
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Waste-Free Wall: Clean up the Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, June 3
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 6
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, June 7
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 9
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 9
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White River hike

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Departure date: June 9–10 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, June 10
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Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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Departure date: Sunday, June 10
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 13
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, June 14
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, June 16
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, June 16
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White River hike

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Departure date: Sunday, June 17
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Over the Hills to Dajuesi

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Departure date: Sunday, June 17
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Monday, June 18
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Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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Departure date: Monday, June 18
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 20
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, June 21
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, June 23
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Saturday, June 23
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Yinmeng Temple and Sujia River

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Departure date: Sunday, June 24
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, June 24
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Shunyi Hikers: Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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Departure date: Wednesday, June 27
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, June 28
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, June 30
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Walk Down the Pilgrims’ Trail

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Departure date: Saturday, June 30
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, July 1
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Sunday, July 1
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White River hike

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Departure date: Wednesday, July 4
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Thursday, July 5
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Saturday, July 7
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Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, July 7
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, July 8
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, July 11
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, July 12
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Shunyi Hikers: White River hike

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Departure date: Saturday, July 14
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, July 14
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Great Flood hike

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Departure date: Sunday, July 15
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Ming Village day trip

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Departure date: Sunday, July 15
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, July 18
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, July 19
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, July 21
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Flower Wood to Haizi Village

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Departure date: Sunday, July 22
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, November 5
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Intelligence Valley and Liyuan Library

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Departure date: Wednesday, July 25
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, July 26
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, July 28
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, July 28
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, July 29
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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