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Hiking photos – Cypress Wells Canyon and Yongning, 2012/10/31

Our Cypress Wells Canyon hike follows a trail through a canyon into a bowl in which there are several abandoned villages. The hike continues up to a ridgeline where there’s a stretch of broken-down Great Wall to look at.

We started off at the entrance of an old park that looks like it’s not open so often any more. We’ve never seen other hikers in there, but there must have been more in the past.

The first half of the hike is the ‘canyon’ part, following an old gravel road between the canyon walls. The road leads in to a village which is mostly abandoned – there are occasionally a few farmers about, but not all the time—especially not during winter.

From the village, we followed a trail through forest, taking a turn off to climb up to a stretch of old Great Wall, said to date back to the Warring States period (pre-BC), but certainly extended and improved during the Ming Dynasty.

We took a break to explore the broken down wall, and then followed a trail down a steep hill, walking out to the main road where our bus was waiting to take us to lunch.

The weather was great, with clear blue skies above – an excellent day for a hike!

 prepares for the hike, Beijing Hikers Cypress Wells Canyon hike, October 31, 2012

Getting ready to start the hike.

A flat dirt, Beijing Hikers Cypress Wells Canyon hike, October 31, 2012

A flat dirt path leads into the valley.

first break, Beijing Hikers Cypress Wells Canyon hike, October 31, 2012

Midway, we took a break at an all-but-abandoned village.

A stone house, Beijing Hikers Cypress Wells Canyon hike, October 31, 2012

A stone house is frozen in time in a peaceful setting.

Our local guide, Beijing Hikers Cypress Wells Canyon hike, October 31, 2012

Our local guide found a young walnut tree in trouble; he plans to graft it onto another tree to see if it will grow.

a beautiful panoramic view, Beijing Hikers Cypress Wells Canyon hike, October 31, 2012

We climbed up to the ridgeline for a beautiful panoramic view of the countryside.

the Great Wall, Beijing Hikers Cypress Wells Canyon hike, October 31, 2012

This part of the Great Wall was mainly built using large rocks. Only the tower was built using bricks.

a tower, Beijing Hikers Cypress Wells Canyon hike, October 31, 2012

We climbed on top of a tower to take a look at the nice views.

Photo time!, Beijing Hikers Cypress Wells Canyon hike, October 31, 2012

Photo time! Great location, with the Great Wall in the background.

taking a break, Beijing Hikers Cypress Wells Canyon hike, October 31, 2012

A nice place in the sun to rest.

a rocky slope, Beijing Hikers Cypress Wells Canyon hike, October 31, 2012

After a look at the Great Wall, we followed a hill trail out a valley.

the blue sky, Beijing Hikers Cypress Wells Canyon hike, October 31, 2012

A look back up the valley.

Geology, Beijing Hikers Cypress Wells Canyon hike, October 31, 2012

Time for a lesson in geology.

the end point of the hike, Beijing Hikers Cypress Wells Canyon hike, October 31, 2012

The hike ended with a walk along a gravel road.

fall leaves, Beijing Hikers Cypress Wells Canyon hike, October 31, 2012

Big cliffs behind us, with the beauty of fall leaves.

A local herder, Beijing Hikers Cypress Wells Canyon hike, October 31, 2012

A happy herder with his goats.

the wonderful weather, Beijing Hikers Cypress Wells Canyon hike, October 31, 2012

All finished, and here’s the bus!

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