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 through a valley filled with fruit trees. After this relatively flat and easy section we made some short steep ascents, which soon brought us on top of a ridge. From there we got good 360 degree views of the surrounding hills, which were quite verdant even in spite of the dry weather throughout the area during the winter and spring.
We continued hiking along the ridge toward a wall of high peaks but later made a steep descent into a shady valley. We had some snacks there before making a leisurely stroll to the end point of the hike. This was followed by a hearty, filling lunch at a restaurant in a village not far from the base of a section of Great Wall before we returned to the city.