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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.

Great Wall Spur | Towers follow the ridgeline on the Great Wall Spur

Towers follow the ridgeline on the Great Wall Spur.

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.

Views of 'wild' Great Wall and mountains
Views of 'wild' Great Wall and mountains. (Click for larger image)

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: Sunday, March 24
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 24
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Kids Club: Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 27
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, March 28
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 30
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, March 30
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Great Flood hike

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Departure date: March 30–31 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 31
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 31
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Silver Pagoda Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 3
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Thursday, April 4
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Friday, April 5
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Friday, April 5
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War Tunnels and the old Gold Mines

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Departure date: Saturday, April 6
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: April 6–7 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, April 6
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 7
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, April 7
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 10
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, April 11
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, April 13
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Over the Hills to Dajue Temple

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Departure date: Saturday, April 13
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, April 14
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 14
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Kids Club: Gubeikou Wall and adventure playground

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 17
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, April 18
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, April 20
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

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Departure date: Saturday, April 20
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Saturday, April 20
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Waste-Free Wall: Clean up the Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall for Earth Day

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Departure date: April 20–21 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 21
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Ming Village day trip

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

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 24
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, April 25
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, April 27
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: April 27–28 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 28
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, April 28
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Shuiquan Canyon

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 1
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, May 2
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Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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Departure date: Thursday, May 2
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Friday, May 3
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, May 5
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Yellow Grass Plateau and Seven Towers

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Departure date: Saturday, May 4
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: May 4–5 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, May 5
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, May 5
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Silver Pagoda Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 8
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, May 9
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, May 11
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Miaofengshan Super Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, May 11
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, May 12
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, May 12
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Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 15
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, May 16
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, May 18
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Yanqing Great Wall and High Tower Challenge

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Departure date: Saturday, May 18
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: May 18–19 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, May 19
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, May 19
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Ming Village day trip

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 22
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, May 23
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, May 25
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Heituo Mountain Crossing

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Departure date: Saturday, May 25
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, May 26
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, May 26
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Kids Club: Yunmeng Gorge play and picnic

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 29
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, May 30
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Trip dates: April 3–7, 2019

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