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This hike is not currently scheduled, and the information on this page may be incomplete or out of date.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

In Brief: Camp overnight in a scenic spot on the Great Wall. You’ll hike easier with just the essentials in your day pack; we’ll arrange delivery of the heavy stuff to the campsite.

Our campsite on unrestored wild wall below a Great Wall tower

Sunrise at the campsite. View more photos »

Key information

  • approx. 3 hours of hiking each day

On this Great Wall overnighter you’ll hike a picturesque stretch of the wild Great Wall, and camp at a nice quiet spot on the Great Wall, deep in the hills of Yanqing District.

We’ll organise delivery of tents and sleeping bags direct to our campsite; you’ll just need to carry your clothes, water, and food and snacks.

Maximum group size of 12 hikers; book early to make sure you get a spot! Sign up early: For best results, book in on this trip before our office closes for the holiday on October 1.

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, we'll look at changing the route to somewhere where the weather is more suitable. If it changes suddenly while we're out there, we can shelter at a guesthouse in the village at the foot of the Great Wall.

The hiking trail

We're going to take it slow and easy on this hike: the hike to the campsite is fairly short, but there are some steep sections to climb up and down. Plus, there are a lot of places where you'll want to stop to enjoy the views.

If you'd like to do some extra hiking on the first day, it's possible to hike a bit further along the wall after we've set up camp.

On the second day, we'll see how keen you are to explore! There's a steep section of wall nearby, and we'll see how you feel about climbing up to the highest point for even better views.

The campsite

Our campsite is a nice flat area on a line of rough and unrestored Great Wall, with superb views of mountains to the front and the back, and climbing up a little further along the wall will open up views of more mountains and the line of Great Wall that runs right through the middle.

The towers in this area are not so suitable for camping in due to their deteriorated condition or distance from the access points, but you will certainly be able to explore plenty of them while hiking, and the campsite will be a great place to watch the sunset.

At night

The sun will set at around 5:49pm, and from the campsite we’ll be able to watch as the sun slowly sinks below below the mountains.
Moon phase: Full Moon.

The sun will rise in the hills behind our campsite at around about 6:16am.

Meals

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

Dinner: We'll supply basic camp food: things like bread and rolls, ham and salami, pickles and cheese, and some cup noodles and soups. We’ll bring gas burners to boil water for hot drinks. We'll also bring a bottle of red wine! Dinner will be tasty but fairly basic, and we’re not able to have open fires.

Breakfast: We’ll bring bread and jam and fruit, tea and coffee.

Snacks: We’ll supply an apple, and nuts and things to make trail mix.

Water: We’ll provide 4 litres of bottled water per person, plus an electrolyte drink.

After breakfast on the second day we'll break camp and hike a little further on the wall. We'll then follow a hill trail down to the nearest village to have a light meal at our local guide's place. We expect to be back in Beijing around mid-afternoon.

Equipment

We supply: one tent for each person, sleeping bag and liner, ground pad, hiking poles.

What you need to bring

  • Hiking pack to carry your food, water, and clothes.
  • Sun protection: long-sleeved shirt, hat
  • 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

Essentials (water, snacks, food, extra clothes, things you can’t do without) in your hiking pack.

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

Level3

Level of difficulty

Level 3 hikes are the type we do most often. Level 3 hikes will take around 3 hours, and can be either reasonably easy, or challenging, depending on how often you exercise.

Is the level of difficulty suitable for me?

Hike statistics

  • Distance: 5-10km
  • Time to complete: approx. 3 hours each day
  • Total ascent: 407m
  • Total descent: 118m
  • Start height: 676m
  • Peak: 1,030m
  • Finish height: 965m
  • 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


Find a hike

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


All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Saturday, January 20
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, January 20
Standby

White River Ice Hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, January 21
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, January 24
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, January 27
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, January 27
Book it

White River Ice Hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, January 28
Book it

Immortal Valley Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, January 28
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, January 31
Book it

Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, February 3
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, February 4
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, February 4
Book it

Walk Down the Pilgrims’ Trail

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, February 7
Book it

Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, February 10
Book it

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, February 10
Book it

Bricks In The Wall hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, February 11
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, February 14
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, February 15
Book it

White River Ice Hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, February 17
Book it

High Rise to Longquanyu

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, February 17
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: February 18–19 (Sun–Mon)
Book it

CNY Overnight: Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, February 18
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Monday, February 19
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Tuesday, February 20
Book it

Zhuangdaokou to Moss Mountain

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Tuesday, February 20
Book it

Longqingxia Ice Festival and Tang Dynasty Caves

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, February 21
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, February 24
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, February 25
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, February 28
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 3
Book it

Yudu Mountains and Sujia River

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 3
Book it

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: March 3–4 (Sat–Sun)
Book it

Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, March 4
Book it

Shunyi Hikers: Immortal Valley Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, March 4
Book it

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, March 7
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, March 8
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 10
Book it

Chinese Knot Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 10
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, March 11
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, March 11
Book it

Big Black Mountain to the Walled Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, March 14
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, March 15
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 17
Book it

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 17
Book it

Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, March 18
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, March 18
Book it

Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, March 21
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, March 22
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 24
Book it

Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs (Route Two)

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 24
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, March 25
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, March 25
Book it

Tanzhe Temple and the Abandoned Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, March 28
Book it

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, March 29
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 31
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, March 31
Book it

Great Flood hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: March 31–April 1 (Sat–Sun)
Book it

Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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

Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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

The lights of Fenghuang Ancient Town, Hunan
Trip dates: February 17–20, 2018

Fenghuang Ancient Town and Fanjing Mountain (4 days)

In Brief: See Hunan’s beautiful Fenghuang Ancient Town; summit Guizhou’s 2,572m Fanjing Mountain; see Tujia and Miao customs and culture.

Book trip
More info »
Monks unveiling a huge cloth thangka
Trip dates: February 27–March 2, 2018

Labrang Monastery’s ‘Unveiling the Buddha’ Ceremony, Xiahe, Gansu Province

In Brief: Visit Xiahe to witness a giant Buddha tapestry being unveiled on the hillside above Labrang Monastery and to join the crowds watching the lively performances in the town square. Trip also includes hikes and walks in nearby grassland areas.

Book trip
More info »
Terraced hills covered with flowers
Trip dates: March 15–18, 2018

Wuyuan ‘Fields of Flowers’, Jiangxi Province

In Brief: See fields of yellow flowers and ancient river towns in southern China. Cultural focus, nothing too strenuous.

Book trip
More info »