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This hike is not currently scheduled, and the information on this page may be incomplete or out of date.

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

In Brief: An easier version of one of our tough Great Wall hikes in Yanqing District – the same great scenery, but less of the steep climbs up and down.

The General’s Tower on the middle route of the Switchback Great Wall

The General’s Tower on the middle route of the Switchback Great Wall. View more photos »

Key information

  • 3–4 hours start to finish over 7.5km.
Bring your passport / ID card (or a copy) with you on this hike in case the border crossing guards decide they want to check us on the way home.

This stretch of Great Wall in Yanqing County is extremely picturesque and seldom visited, but the steepness of it makes it difficult for casual hikers. On this visit we’ll do the ‘middle route,’ cutting out the toughest parts to make it a little easier. There are still some steep climbs to do, but overall this hike isn’t long enough to rate as difficult - we’ll take our time climbing up and down and make sure that we have a relaxed and enjoyable visit.

We’ll begin this hike with a reasonably easy climb up the hill behind Stone Valley Village. At the crest of the hill we’ll be in a great spot for photos, with a line of Ming Dynasty Great Wall on the ridgeline right in front of us and the rocky remains of a much older line of wall under our feet.

The line of wall we can see in front of us is the same section of Great Wall we’ll be walking today, and we’ll head on over that way, following another ridgeline trail down into a valley and then through a pass where the wall dips steeply down into a gap in the hills.

A shorter, steeper climb gets us on top of the main line of Ming Dynasty Great Wall here, and after a break to catch our breath we’ll head on, hiking on the wall as we head for the ‘General’s Tower’, the highest point of the hike.  Far below, we’ll see the small village where we’ll be finishing the walk.

We’ll be on the wall for around about 3km, with a few steep climbs up and down as well as two short detours off the wall to avoid broken sections.

Eventually we’ll leave the wall and follow a valley trail that will take us down to the small village we spotted earlier. We’ll take you to a countryside restaurant for a tasty hot meal before we start the drive back to the city.

What to bring on this hike

Reasons you might not enjoy this hike

  • It’s not a very long hike, but parts of it are rather steep.
  • We occasionally meet bad traffic on the way, going through the Badaling pass.

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: 3–4 hours
  • Start height: 682m
  • Peak: 1,036m
  • Finish height: 686m
  • Location: Yanqing

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, May 23
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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

Shuitou Village Loop hike

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

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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

Great Wall Spur

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

Shunyi Hikers: Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

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

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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

The High Tower Loop hike

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

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

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

Camping: Great Wall Spur

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

Waste-Free Wall: Clean up the Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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

White River hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: June 9–10 (Sat–Sun)
Book it

Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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

Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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

Great Wall Spur

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

White River hike

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

Over the Hills to Dajuesi

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

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Monday, June 18
Book it

Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Monday, June 18
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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

Yinmeng Temple and Sujia River

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

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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

Shunyi Hikers: Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, June 27
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, June 28
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 30
Book it

Walk Down the Pilgrims’ Trail

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 30
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, July 1
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, July 1
Book it

White River hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, July 4
Book it

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, July 5
Book it

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, July 7
Book it

Immortal Valley Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, July 7
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, July 8
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, July 11
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, July 12
Book it

Shunyi Hikers: White River hike

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

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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

Great Flood hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, July 15
Book it

Ming Village day trip

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, July 15
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, July 18
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, July 19
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, July 21
Book it

Flower Wood to Haizi Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, July 22
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, November 5
Book it

Intelligence Valley and Liyuan Library

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, July 25
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, July 26
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, July 28
Book it

Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, July 28
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, July 29
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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

Hiking in grassy meadows near Qinghai Lake
Trip dates: May 24–27, 2018

Qinghai Lake, Kumbum Monastery, and the Gangshika Snow Mountain (4 days)

In Brief: Take a hike near the shores of Qinghai Lake; join the pilgrims visiting Kumbum Monastery; hike up to a high altitude glacier on Gangshika Mountain.

Book trip
More info »
The coloured hills of the Zhangye Danxia Landform
Trip dates: June 6–10, 2018

Zhangye Danxia Landform, Gansu Province

In Brief: See the fantastically-coloured mountains and cliffs in an all-but unexplored area of Gansu; visit Horse Hoofprint Temple, Jiayuguan Fortress, and more.

Book trip
More info »
Mountains and clouds in Xinjiang
Trip dates: June 13–18, 2018

Bayinbuluke Grasslands, Xinjiang Province (6 days)

In Brief: Camp out overnight in the beautiful high-altitude scenery of the Bayinbuluke Grasslands in northwestern Xinjiang; see Silk Road sights, big mountains, and desert while on the road to and from the grasslands.

Book trip
More info »