At the start of this hike in Huairou County north of Beijing, our group met Mr. Mao, our guide, near a village and started hiking toward a ridge. Although the hike is not too strenuous overall, it does have some short steep uphill sections, but as we got higher, the views got better and better!
As we made our way up the ridge, we encountered a variety of things related to the flora and fauna of the area, like praying mantis cocoons, abandoned wasps’ nests, cicadas, birds’ nests, and interesting plants, all of which were explained by our resident naturalist, Betsy.
We continued hiking toward a wall of high peaks but later descended into a shady valley where there was a frozen stream at the bottom. We had some snacks there before continuing to the end point of the hike. After having a hearty, filling lunch at a restaurant in a village not far from the base of a section of Great Wall, some members of the group hiked up the Wall for about 20 min. in order to get more views of the closest peaks and frozen reservoir below before we all returned to the city.