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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

In Brief: Try out the 10km trail we use for our hiking festival—mellow trails up to the Great Wall, some steep ups and downs on unrestored ‘wild’ Great Wall, and then a quick climb over a hill to complete the loop.

The General’s Tower

The General’s Tower on the ‘wild’ Great Wall in the hills above Stone Valley Village. View more photos »

Key information

  • 3–4 hours of hiking over approx. 10km.
Govt. meeting: There’s a massively important government meeting scheduled sometime in the last half of October. Bring your passport / ID card (or a copy) with you on this hike in case we go through a checkpoint.

Some sections steep and slippery.

We use this trail for our hiking festival, and it’s also great for a day hike: guided instead of pre-marked, and with a big meal of country style Chinese cooking after the hike is done.

Regular hikers: There’s a significant amount of crossover with this hike and our Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike.

We start off easy with a wee walk up the concrete road behind Stone Valley Village, a tidy settlement just on the Beijing side of the border.

Further up the road we turn off on to a paved path up, and then take a turn for the hills on a dirt trail that leads up to the Great Wall. The trail takes us up through a forested valley, getting slightly steeper as we near the Great Wall.

After taking a break by the Great Wall, we follow it up along a rough and unrestored section all the way up to a 1034m beacon tower known as the General’s Tower, the largest on this line of wall. From up on top of the tower we’ll have great views of the surrounding mountains, with more wall seen snaking off into the distance.

We continue along the Great Wall, aiming for a pass where it dips down low. There are some steep and slippery sections on this stretch, with hill trail detours around the worst parts. Some exposure to heights, with a tricky descent.

As we near the pass, the wall becomes too steep for fun hiking and we’ll follow a side trail down the outside, and then hook around through the pass. Once upon a time the pass would have been heavily fortified, but now the thick walls are tumbled down and we can stroll right through.

We’ll follow a field trail further up the valley, and then hike a trail up and over the hill, crossing a rough line of what’s said to be Northern Qi era (550–577) Great Wall before hiking down to Stone Valley Village to complete the loop.

What to bring on this hike

Reasons you might not enjoy this hike

  • Parts of the Great Wall here are rather steep and slippery.
  • We occasionally meet bad traffic on the way, going through the Badaling pass.
  • There’s a significant amount of crossover with this hike and our Middle Route of the Switchback Great Wall hike, if you’ve done that one before.

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: 10km
  • Time to complete: 3–4 hours
  • Total ascent: 526m
  • Start height: 678m
  • Peak: 1034m
  • Location: Yanqing
  • 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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