Home > Hike in Beijing

Standby list

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 camping equipment to the campsite.

Our campsite on unrestored wild wall below a Great Wall tower

Sunrise at the campsite. View more photos »

Key information

  • 1,600 RMB (1,440 RMB for members)
  • 10:00am departure from Lido Hotel Starbucks; Liangmaqiao subway area pickup at 9:30am. (Find the meeting points)
  • approx. 3 hours of hiking each day
  • Some meals included.

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.

Holiday traffic: There's a chance we'll get stuck in bad traffic at some point during the drive, and we might be back to Beijing later than estimated. We'd recommend not making fixed plans for the Sunday evening, 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, 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 7:05pm, and from the campsite we’ll be able to watch as the sun slowly sinks below below the mountains.
Moon phase: almost Full Moon.

The sun will rise in the hills behind our campsite at around about 5:17am.

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.

It's fully booked, sorry. Standby list
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, April 21
Standby

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, April 21
Standby

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: April 21–22 (Sat–Sun)
Book it

Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, April 22
Standby

Earth Day Cleanup: Jiankou Great Wall

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

Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

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

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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

Heituo Mountain Loop

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

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: April 28–29 (Sat–Sun)
Standby

Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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

The Pinnacle Tower

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

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Monday, April 30
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Monday, April 30
Book it

Lily Village to Flower Wood

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Tuesday, May 1
Book it

Immortal Valley Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, May 2
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, May 3
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 5
Book it

Ming Village day trip

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 5
Book it

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 6
Book it

Big Camp Plate Village and Hengling Valley

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 6
Book it

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, May 9
Book it

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, May 10
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 12
Book it

Yellow Grass Plateau and Seven Towers

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 12
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: May 12–13 (Sat–Sun)
Book it

Camping: Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 13
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 13
Book it

Tomb Raiders hike and Ding Tomb’s ‘Underground Palace’

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, May 16
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, May 17
Book it

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 19
Book it

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 19
Book it

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: May 19–20 (Sat–Sun)
Book it

Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 20
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 20
Book it

Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

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

Camping: Great Wall Spur

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

A person walks through the sandy dunes of the Tengger Desert
Trip dates: April 28–May 1, 2018

Tengger Desert Lakes, Inner Mongolia

In Brief: Travel by foot and jeep through the desert, visit desert lakes, ride camels, camp in the desert, and more.

Book trip
More info »
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 »
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 »