Beijing is the capital city of China. It is a big cosmopolitan city that functions as China’s economic hub and political city. Life in China is fast-paced, dynamic, busy and vibrant and not for a minute would you stop to think of nature and put it in the same sentence as Beijing. It’s incredible how Beijing manages to present us with natural wonders amidst all the chaos and fast-lane life in the city.
Beijing has always been on the map and takes pride in being home to the Great Wall, which has a variety amazing hiking places along it. There is also a myriad of hills and high mountains with hiking paths around Beijing.
During perfect weather, there is no better way to relax than climbing mountains, hiking in magnificent areas, and soaking in the fresh air experienced out of the city. A private hiking trip can also be such a great way to celebrate life’s milestones with friends, colleagues, and family whether it is a birthday, anniversary, or even just a leisure travel. It is also ideal for individuals looking for a physically-oriented experience in a magnificent outdoor setting. If any of this appeals to you then a hiking challenge might just be all you need.
Having fun on such trips is a given since each hiking area has a unique attraction. Whether you are just a casual walker or super fit, below are the top ten highly-recommended sections on the Great Wall at Jinshanling and Mutianyu, spectacular fall foliage at Hungluo, huge caves in Shang fang and so many other natural wonders that Beijing and its environs have to offer. Get your boots on.
1. Jiankuo to Mutianyu through the Great Wall
This is the most popular tourist mountain hike around Beijing since it gives challenge and variety on a highly famous and spectacular Great Wall section. It is a tough hike that follows the Great Wall from Jiankou’s General’s Tower all through to Mutianyu Great Wall, starting on unrestored part of the wall and finishing on a restored section. It is a level 4 hike that usually takes 4 hours to complete and might be difficult if you are not used to hiking or are out of shape. It is quite a long climb up to the wall and gets steeper as you go. The hike can be quite challenging if you are not used to long hikes due to a lot of down hills that result in sore knees.
2. China’s Great Wall Hiking
China’s Great Wall is among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and every tourist’s must-see destination. One can have a tour of a lifetime along the splendid Great Wall – Mutianyu, Simatai-Jinshanling, and through the world-famous Forbidden City. This trip allows you to pass through beautiful scenery including canals, farms, orchids, meandering streams and fruit farms. This can take a day whereby you can bike through the picturesque areas surrounding China’s Great Wall and hike along the wall itself. It also provides a great opportunity and perfect scenery to take brilliant photographs that you will cherish for life.
3. Jinshanling Great Wall Mountain Hiking
This area of the Great Wall has both original and restored lengths and its particularly popular because of being hikable and photogenic. This hike will give you spectacular views of the mountainous countryside around the magnificent feat of human endeavor. The hike will take about 4 hours, but you will be immersed in the rugged hills and steep inclines of the wall where natural beauty and grandeur coincide with the spectacular feet of engineering.
This trip is the perfect way of escaping the crowds by taking a remote, challenging hike throug the Great Wall. You will also be able to see unique features including the densely spaced watchtowers and the Barrier Wall, as well as learn why some sections are referred to as Heavenly Ladder by the locals.
4. The Fragrant Hills
Censer Peak, which is also referred to as ‘devilishly hard to achieve’ because of its steep hills that are quite famous for being hard to climb. A lot of people come here on weekends to go hiking on the hills. They range from mountain to murmuring streams and “28 famous attractions.” The walk among old buildings, small lakes, and trees is quite enjoyable. There is the availability of a gondola that when weather allows, can take you to the very top of a beautiful view and after sunset, you can see the city with the dazzling lights.
5. Baihua Mountain
This is the third highest peak outside Beijing. Baihua Mountain is such a beautiful retreat with dense vegetation and winding creeks which make the temperature here approximately 10 degrees lower than Beijing. The forest is dominated by various pine trees and the ground is marked with flowers. The mountains name means a mountain boasting hundreds of flowers in Chinese. The climate is usually rainy while the air is very fresh. Around this mountain, there are over 1,110 plant species hence, it’s referred to as “natural Botanical Garden.”
6. Lingshan Mountain
This is a natural tourist attraction, and it’s situated in the west of Mentougou District. It is mountainous and has the highest peak in Beijing at 2,300 meters in height. It has become such a great travel destination for tourists, and its average temperature is 12 degrees lower than downtown Beijing. It has stunning views all the way through to the mountain summit with meadows thriving with green grass and in the clear sky. You can even view the outline of distant mountains.
7. Mangshan National Park
This is the biggest national forest park in Beijing located in the East side of Ming Tombs Reservoir in Changping District and has the highest peak at 659 meters. It has a myriad of landscapes with 1,299 stone steps spaced with 3,666 large stones, and its mountain climbing stairs are the longest in the whole of the Beijing area. It has forest cover and is home to 176 plant species and flowers. The mountain also has an ancient tower that is around 37 meters tall made from wood faced with brick during Ming Dynasty.
8. Shangfangshan National Forest Park
It is located in Fangshan District.This is where you go for caves and green mountains. It is also referred to as “the path to the stars”, it is characterized by a vast area of woods, twelve stupendous peaks, seventy-two ancient temples, nine marvelous caves and the largest stupa group in northern China.
9. Xiaolongmen Forest Park
It is located in Xialongmen Village of Qingshui Town in Mentougou District, and it’s a national scenic spot for scientific research/teaching and vacations. It displays totally different scenery of all the four seasons. In winter, the park is all covered with pure snow sparkling in bright sunshine while in spring, the trees turn green and flowers bloom. In autumn, the spectacular area is a world of fruits and red leaves whereas during summer it becomes quite a popular spot thanks to its natural air conditioning.
10. Baiwang Mountain
This is located 3 km away northwest of Summer Palace Beijing. It is quite a lush and heavily forested park perfect for individuals of any age groups to come over for exercise since it has the appropriate physical conditions. During fall, there is a beautiful decoration of red foliage painting the park. There is a mixture of rough and flat paths that can take you to the peak of Baiwang Mountain. With a height slightly more than 200 meters above sea level, it is the lowest mountain in the Beijing area.
Beijing is spectacular; the city is the truest epitome of life, but the natural wonders that it has to offer make it the ultimate city to mix business and pleasure. Beijing hiking is vast with a myriad of options to choose from, whether you are doing it for fun, team building, exercise, or just a pastime. There are a million reasons why Beijing is the place to be but is its over-the-top hiking game the best reason yet?