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Silver Pagoda Loop hike, 2016/12/04

In Brief: See 14 photos from our Silver Pagoda Loop hike, a stroll through the countryside that passes by the serene site of the Silver Mountain Pagoda Forest.

The Silver Pagoda Loop hike is a countryside walk that is reasonably easy, except for the big climb up to the peak of Silver Mountain.

As well as getting a look at the pagodas, we had a glimpse of the lifestyle of Beijing’s rural residents as we walked through small villages.

We started our loop hike at Haizi Village, and hiking guide Mill pointed out the peak we were due to climb later in the day. From far below it looks very steep, but our hiking trail takes us around the back of the mountain and up a path that gives a slower climb up to the top. It’s still a fairly big climb, but easy enough if you take it slow.

We had great views from the top, with the far off Huanghuacheng Great Wall visible off in the distance – quite a surprise, as the smog in Beijing was nearly at airpocolypse levels.

From the peak we hiked down to the pagodas, and we had them all to ourselves. Beautiful and peaceful.

We stopped to take photos of a gaggle of geese perched on top of a stack of coal. The coal will keep the villagers warm through winter. Not sure what their plans for the geese are - Silver Pagoda Loop hike, 2016/12/04

We stopped to take photos of a gaggle of geese perched on top of a stack of coal. The coal will keep the villagers warm through winter. Not sure what their plans for the geese are.

Firewood stacked by a lane in the village - Silver Pagoda Loop hike, 2016/12/04

Firewood stacked by a lane in the village.

Bare trees with bird nests - Silver Pagoda Loop hike, 2016/12/04

Bare trees with bird nests.

The Shrine and the Pine. Locals tell us that people come up here to pray for good luck - Silver Pagoda Loop hike, 2016/12/04

The Shrine and the Pine. Locals tell us that people come up here to pray for good luck.

We took a short break to take a look at the shrine - Silver Pagoda Loop hike, 2016/12/04

We took a short break to take a look at the shrine.

We took another short break here to prepare for the big climb - Silver Pagoda Loop hike, 2016/12/04

We took another short break here to prepare for the big climb.

Starting to climb up an old quarry track. We were aiming for the peak in the far distance - Silver Pagoda Loop hike, 2016/12/04

Starting to climb up an old quarry track. We were aiming for the peak in the far distance.

Further into the valley - Silver Pagoda Loop hike, 2016/12/04

Further into the valley.

Super hiker Hartmut up at the peak, surrounded by prayer flags - Silver Pagoda Loop hike, 2016/12/04

Super hiker Hartmut up at the peak, surrounded by prayer flags.

Starting down the stairs to the pagodas - Silver Pagoda Loop hike, 2016/12/04

Starting down the stairs to the pagodas.

We made a detour to ring the big bell - Silver Pagoda Loop hike, 2016/12/04

We made a detour to ring the big bell.

Arriving at the pagodas - Silver Pagoda Loop hike, 2016/12/04

Arriving at the pagodas.

Two stupas - Silver Pagoda Loop hike, 2016/12/04

Two stupas.

Two of the smaller pagodas - Silver Pagoda Loop hike, 2016/12/04

Two of the smaller pagodas.

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