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Hiking photos - Intelligence Valley, 2011/05/11

This easy stroll of a hike passes through a scenic valley which is surrounded on all sides by towering rock walls and cliff faces. There are quite a few high, rugged peaks to be seen above the valley too. We started this hike from a small village and followed the valley to where it came to the banks of a river.

In the winter, we walked on the surface of this river, observing the unusual ice formations there, but in the spring we walk parallel to its banks for much of the distance of the hike. There were still flowers in bloom and now the vegetation is lush and there are various shades of green to be seen everywhere as new leaves unfurl. The clear, shallow water of the river that runs along the bottom of the valley forms a pool not far from the end of the hike, where we usually take a lunch break, resting on the rocks that encircle it and occasionally paddling one of the inflatable boats that are for rent there.

After arriving at the end of the valley, we had a short ride to a nearby restaurant where we had a filling lunch of hot and delicious traditional Chinese food before returning to the city.

The ducks, Beijing Hikers Intelligence Valley, May 11, 2011

The ducks were also out enjoying the nice weather that day.

The Intelligence Valley, Beijing Hikers Intelligence Valley, May 11, 2011

The Intelligence Valley hike takes us through a scenic gorge with towering rock walls and cliffs on both sides.

The new leaves , Beijing Hikers Intelligence Valley, May 11, 2011

The new leaves on the trees were a bright, verdant green.

A spotted beetle, Beijing Hikers Intelligence Valley, May 11, 2011

A spotted beetle at rest on top of some flowers.

The spring weather, Beijing Hikers Intelligence Valley, May 11, 2011

The spring weather has caused flower of all colors and shapes to bloom.

Some beautiful pink flowers, Beijing Hikers Intelligence Valley, May 11, 2011

Some beautiful pink flowers that we found along the trail.

Massive boulders, Beijing Hikers Intelligence Valley, May 11, 2011

Long ago, massive boulders fell from the cliffs above and came to rest on the bottom of the valley in an area near the end of the hike.

A weathered boulder, Beijing Hikers Intelligence Valley, May 11, 2011

A weathered boulder in the middle of a tranquil pond.

A narrow pathway, Beijing Hikers Intelligence Valley, May 11, 2011

A narrow pathway among the boulders at the bottom of the valley. Fortunately, they’ve been stable for many years now!

At an easy stream, Beijing Hikers Intelligence Valley, May 11, 2011

At an easy stream crossing in the forest.

The pond is the best place, Beijing Hikers Intelligence Valley, May 11, 2011

A moment of rest and relaxation at “Dragon Pond” after our snack break.
The pond is the best place to take a break during the hike.

A view looking back, Beijing Hikers Intelligence Valley, May 11, 2011

A view looking back at the pond as we continue the hike.

The level paths, Beijing Hikers Intelligence Valley, May 11, 2011

The level paths along the valley floor provide an easy and relaxing but beautiful hike.

Some turtles, Beijing Hikers Intelligence Valley, May 11, 2011

Some turtles came out to bask in the sun.

One of the villagers, Beijing Hikers Intelligence Valley, May 11, 2011

One of the villagers had brought some chicks out to enjoy the sunshine.

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