Home > Hike in Beijing

Book your place

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.

Switchback Great Wall camping | Early evening views from the campsite

Early evening views from the campsite.

Key information

  • 1,690 RMB (1,520 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
  • Main 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!

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. If the weather forecast says it's going to be very hot, we may need to do the easier version of the hike up to the campsite.

Exploring the Great Wall
Exploring the Great Wall. (Click for larger image)

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.

All set up at the campsite
All set up at the campsite. (Click for larger image)

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.

Night falls on the Great Wall
Night falls on the Great Wall. (Click for larger image)

At night

The sun will set at around 7:11pm, and from the campsite we’ll be able to watch as the sun slowly sinks below below the mountains.
Moon phase: New Moon, great for stargazing.

The sun will rise in the hills behind our campsite at around about 5:10am.

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.

BBQ marshmallows
BBQ marshmallows. (Click for larger image)

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.

Kid's prices

8–12 years old: 900 RMB
13–16 years old: 1,300 RMB

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

Ready to sign up? Book your place
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: 10–12km over two days
  • 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 27
Book it

Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: April 27–28 (Sat–Sun)
Book it

Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

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

Shuiquan Canyon

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, May 1
Standby

Great Wall Spur

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

Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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

Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 4
Book it

The Pinnacle Tower

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 4
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: May 4–5 (Sat–Sun)
Book it

Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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

Silver Pagoda Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, May 8
Book it

Great Wall Spur

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

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 11
Book it

Miaofengshan Super Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 11
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

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

Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, May 15
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 18
Book it

Yanqing Great Wall and High Tower Challenge

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 18
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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

Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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

Cuandixia ‘Ming Village’ day trip

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

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

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, May 22
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, May 23
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 25
Book it

Heituo Mountain Crossing

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 25
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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

Kids Club: Yunmeng Gorge play and picnic

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, May 29
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 1
Book it

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 1
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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

Yinmeng Temple and Sujia River

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

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, June 5
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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

Switchback Great Wall

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

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 8
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 8
Book it

Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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

Great Wall Spur

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

White River hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, April 6
Book it

Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, June 12
Book it

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 15
Book it

Chinese Knot Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 15
Book it

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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

Immortal Valley Loop

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

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, June 19
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 22
Book it

White River hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 22
Book it

Gubeikou and Jinshanling Great Wall overnight

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

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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

Kids Club: The Silver Pagodas

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, June 26
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 29
Book it

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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

Great Wall Spur

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

Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

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 through the huge dunes of the Tengger Desert in Inner Mongolia
Trip dates: April 28–May 1, 2019

Tengger Desert Lakes, Inner Mongolia (4 days)

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 »
The coloured hills of the Zhangye Danxia Landform
Trip dates: June 5–9, 2019

Zhangye Danxia Landform, Gansu Province (5 days)

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 »
Hiking down from a peak
Trip dates: June 14–16, 2019

Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province

In Brief: Clean and cool grasslands near the border of Hebei and Inner Mongolia: hikes, BBQ lamb, and more.

Book trip
More info »