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Great Wall Spur

In Brief: A steep climb up a hillside trail gets us on to a well-preserved line of 'wild' Great Wall. We follow the wall up to a high point and then down the 'spur', passing through big towers on the way.

A stretch of Great Wall

Clouds over the Great Wall Spur.

Key information

  • 3–4 hours start to finish over 7.5km.

On this hike we will visit a remote stretch of the Great Wall that was completed around 1580 AD and not touched again since. It’s in surprisingly good shape after 400 or so years of weathering.

We’re doing this hike in the opposite direction than usual—it’s a shorter (but steeper) climb up to the wall, and we finish the hike with a nice stroll down through a forested valley.

We do this hike a lot, but not often this way. If you’ve done the Great Wall Spur before, it might be interesting to get a new angle on it!

The hike begins with a short walk up a valley road, followed by a climb up a hillside path to reach the Great Wall. This steep climb will take about forty minutes, and is the most difficult part of the hike.

A stretch of Great Wall

A view of the ‘spur’ section.

After reaching the top we’ll follow the Great Wall as it winds along and up a ridge. Because the Great Wall was designed as a defensive fortification we will get excellent views, with mountains, villages, and other stretches of the Great Wall all in sight as we walk. We will pass through towers along the way, and stop for a snack break at the highest point.

Our walk on the Wall will finish at a big tower – from there we’ll follow a trail down another valley, finally arriving at the countryside guesthouse with a distinctive red roof. We may have been able to spot the red roof from up on the wall!

On a clear day we’ll have great views of the Great Wall to the northeast and west as we walk.

What to bring on this hike

Reasons you might not enjoy this hike

  • The climb up to the wall is steep in places – no problem if you’re into exercise!

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
  • Total ascent: 567m
  • Total descent: 649m
  • Start height: 311m
  • Peak: 782m
  • Finish height: 229m
  • 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


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All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Wednesday, November 21
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, November 22
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, November 24
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Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, November 24
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, November 25
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, November 25
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Intelligence Valley and Yanqi Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, November 28
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Thursday, November 29
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, December 1
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Shuiquan Canyon

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, December 1
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, December 2
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, December 5
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, December 8
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High Rise to Longquanyu

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Departure date: Saturday, December 8
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, December 9
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, December 9
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Silver Pagoda Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, December 12
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, December 15
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, December 15
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Triangle Hike

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Departure date: Sunday, December 16
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, December 19
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, December 22
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The High Tower Loop hike

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Departure date: Saturday, December 22
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, December 23
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‘Almost Christmas’ on the Great Wall: Hemp Village to Gubeikou

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Departure date: Tuesday, December 25
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Great Wall Christmas: Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, December 29
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, December 30
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Monday, December 31
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Immortal Valley Loop

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Departure date: Monday, December 31
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Tuesday, January 1
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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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

Bridges and pagodas in Lijiang’s Black Dragon Pool park
Trip dates: December 12–16, 2018

Lijiang and Shangri-La, Yunnan Province

In Brief: See the highlights of Lijiang and Shangri-La: cobbled streets and watercourses of ancient towns, Naxi and Tibetan culture, plus amazing views of snow-capped mountains. Cultural focus, nothing too strenuous.

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Lanzhou Danxia Landform
Trip dates: December 29–January 1

Lanzhou Danxia Landform, Yellow River Stone Forest, and Bingling Temple, Gansu Province (4 days)

In Brief: Head out to Gansu Province for a four-day trip that features hikes and walks around the Lanzhou Danxia Landform, the Yellow River Stone Forest, and Bingling Temple.

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