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This hike is not currently scheduled, and the information on this page may be incomplete or out of date.

Camping Basics: Great Wall Spur

In Brief: Hike up to our campsite on the wall and spend the night in tents. The next day, hike over to Jiankou via the Chinese Knot. On this trip you'll carry all your own gear, food, and water.

Setting up camp on the the Great Wall Spur

Setting up camp on the the Great Wall Spur.

Key information

  • 2–4 hours of hiking each day.

On this two-day back-to-basics camping trip you’ll explore the ‘wild’ Great Wall, camping overnight on the Great Wall Spur and hiking over to Jiankou via the Chinese Knot on the second day. Group size 6–10 hikers.

You’ll be carrying at least 8–10 kilograms of gear in your pack. If you’d prefer a less strenuous camping trip, consider one of those where we organise delivery of equipment to the campsite.

Dragon Boat Festival holiday hikes—We’re leaving early to get ahead of the holiday traffic, but we still may get stuck in a jam at some stage. Bring a book or something else to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

Bad weather plan

We’ll have a fairly good idea of the weather by about three days before the hike. If it’s forecast to be dangerous or no fun – i.e. thunder and lightning, or heavy rain – we’d need to change to a different hiking location or call off the trip.

The campsite

Our base camp will be on the wall near a solid tower near the end of a line of unrestored Great Wall, up on a ridge.

To the south there are views of a broad valley and far off hills, with little bits of Beijing’s urban sprawl there to see if it’s a clear day. In the other directions you’ll see mountainous terrain, some of which has a line of Great Wall running along high ridges.

We’ll have broad views to the west, north, and east, and you’ll be able to see the sun rise over part of the Jiankou Great Wall at about by poking your head out of your tent at around about 4:49am.

Fire restrictions mean that we won’t be able to have a campfire here.

At night

The sun will set just before 7:34pm, and we’ll be able to watch as the sun slowly sinks below a tall ridge of mountains.
Moon phase: new moon, good for stargazing.

Meals

Lunch, day one: We’ll supply a big sandwich, as well as a banana and a Snickers bar. You might like to supplement this with extra snacks.

Dinner: We’ll supply you a gas burner, a pot, plus some pot noodles. The rest of the menu is up to you – perhaps a nice wine to pair with the noodles? – but bear in mind you’ll have to carry all your ingredients up to the wall, and carry the remains away the next day.

Breakfast: We’ll include two croissants for you, plus tea and coffee. Again, if you’d like more, feel free to bring more.

Lunch, day two: We’ll head to a local restaurant and celebrate with a big meal and plenty of cold beer.

Water: We’ll provide 4 litres of bottled water per person.

Equipment

We supply: one tent for each person, sleeping bag and liner, ground pad, hiking poles. Do you have your own camping gear? Let us know, and we’ll adjust the price for you. And let us know if you’d like to share a tent to cut down on what you need to carry.

What you need to bring

  • Standard hiking gear and boots, and a waterproof jacket just in case.
  • Warm clothes for the evening, spare socks and underwear.
  • Hat and gloves.
  • Flashlight or head lamp.
  • Toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
  • Toothbrush, small towel.
  • Suncream.
  • Personal medicine and basic first aid supplies.
  • Entertainment: a book, cards, a bottle of something.
  • Extra food and snacks ie chocolate.
  • Plastic bags to carry away any tissues, bottles, or food wrappings.

Recommended packing method

Bring your personal supplies and food along to the meeting point in the morning. We’ll give you a 50-litre pack to use for the hike, and you’ll transfer your things into that. Things that you don’t need for camping can be left on the bus. We’ll see the bus again after we finish the hike on the second day.

Hiking trail

Great Wall Spur

Day 1 hike: Up to the Great Wall Spur

Hike statistics: Day 1

Level 3+
Distance: 4km up to the campsite
Time: 2–3 hours
Start height: 223m
Total ascent: 505m

This one is short, but steep!

The hike begins with a short walk up a valley road, followed by a climb up a hillside path to reach the Great Wall. The climb is fairly steep in places, and we’ll take our time. As we get higher up we’ll have superb views of the Great Wall running along a ridge.

We’ll eventually get up on to the wall and set up our campsite on a nice flat area between the battlements. Close by is a large tower.

After setting up camp we’ll have time to explore the wall – take a little look further down the ‘spur’ section, or head further up towards a high point.

We’ll return to the campsite before it gets dark, cook dinner, and settle in for the evening.

Day 2 hike: Over the Chinese Knot to Jiankou

Hike statistics: Day 2

Distance: 6km
Time: 3–4 hours
Start height: 694m
Total ascent: 500m

On the second day of the trip, we’ll pack up the tents, fill up with some water, and hike back up to the high point we saw the previous day.

Just before we reach that highest point we’ll turn off onto another section of wall and follow it down into a valley.

The section of the wall that leads down into the valley is a fairly tricky walk – the wall is not in good condition, and it’s rocky and slippery. We’ll take it slow heading down here, and regroup just before where the wall starts heading uphill again.

From there, we’ll follow the wall all the way up and over the mountain. There’s a particularly difficult part along the way where we’ll have to jump off the wall and scramble our way through trees up a steep dirt path to avoid a broken section. Depending on what you like in a hike, this is either a fun scramble, or an arduous climb. You’ll need to use your hands to pull yourself up a few steep bits, and the trail is slippery in places.

Soon after that we’ll reach the peak at around 1,000 metres above sea level.

After a rest, snacks, and the opportunity for some good photos we’ll continue along the wall, heading down towards the valley that will lead us down toward a small village where we’ll find our bus.

Holiday traffic: this weekend is a big holiday, and we might get stuck in traffic going there or coming back. Bring a book or other entertainment, just in case!

Reasons you might not enjoy this hike

  • There are some steep sections on this hike, and in one place in particular you’ll need to pull yourself over rocks and between trees on a steep hill trail.
  • You’ll be carrying at least 8–10 kilograms of gear in your pack.

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

Level4

Level of difficulty

Level 4 hikes will usually take 4 hours to complete, and will be difficult for people who are not used to hiking or are out of shape.

Is the level of difficulty suitable for me?

Hike statistics

  • Distance: 10–14km in total
  • 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

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


All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Wednesday, August 23
Standby

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, August 24
Book it

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, August 26
Book it

Big Camp Plate Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, August 26
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, August 27
Book it

Silver Pagoda Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, August 27
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, August 30
Book it

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, August 31
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 2
Book it

Yellow Grass Plateau and Seven Towers

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 2
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: September 2–3 (Sat–Sun)
Book it

Camping: Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, September 3
Book it

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, September 3
Book it

White River hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, September 6
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, September 7
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 9
Book it

2017 Hiking Festival: The Challenge (24km+)

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 9
Book it

2017 Hiking Festival: Hike for Fun (Stone Valley Great Wall)

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, September 10
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, September 10
Book it

Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, September 13
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, September 14
Book it

Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall Extra

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 16
Book it

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 16
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, September 17
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, September 17
Book it

Tanzhe Temple and the Abandoned Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, September 20
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, September 21
Book it

Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 23
Book it

Heituo Mountain Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, September 23
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, September 24
Book it

Cypress Wells Canyon and Yongning Town

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, September 24
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
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

Hillwalking Challenge: Big Black Mountain to Moss Mountain

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

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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

Silver Pagoda Loop

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

Mountains of Zhagana, Gansu Province
Trip dates: September 13–17, 2017

Xiahe, Labrang Monastery, Zhagana Tibetan area, Gansu Province

In Brief: See the Labrang Monastery, Tibetan Buddhist temples, and super high mountain scenery on this trip to the largely Tibetan remote area of Gansu Province. A similar feel to Tibet, without the hassle of getting the official permit.

Book trip
More info »
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.

Book trip
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.

Book trip
More info »