Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Beijing

Beijing's foilage season begins in middle October and ends in early November. Mountains and hills in the suburbs of Beijing are really spectacular in the autumn season. Listed below are the best places close to Beijing to see fall foilage. Visit these places to catch a glimse of great colors.  See China Highlights' tours to see fall foilage in Beijing.

Fragrant Hill

 Red leaves in Fragrant Hill

Best time for watching: Middle October to early November

Features: the most famous place to see autumn leaves in Beijing.

When it comes to watching the red autumnal leaves in Beijing, the first place to go is Fragrant Hill. Fragrant Hill is on the east side of the West Mountain, northwest of Beijing. The hill is 20 kilometers away from the city, is covered by smoke trees that turn dark red-purple after a frost, and its layer upon layer of peaks and knolls sit 577 meters above sea level.

When the frost descends, the tens of thousands of fields around Fragrant Hill look as red as fire. Seen from a distance, one could assume that the red were flower petals. Only when near the mountain can one tell that they are actually oval leaves.

The best season to view the red autumnal leaves is from mid October to early November, and viewing lasts for about one month. The Fragrant Hill Red Autumnal Leaves Festival is held in mid October every year and goes for about 20 days. Activities include climbing the mountain, viewing the red leaves, and participating in a cultural exhibition. There are also many scenic spots on Fragrant Hill, including Glasses Lake, the Jianxin Building, Zhao Temple, Banshan Pavilion, Fragrant Hill Temple, Hongguang Temple, and Senyu Tablet, among others.

Planning a tour to see red leaves in Beijing this year? See China Highlights' Beijing tours.

Transportations Lines:

Tourists can take the following buses: 318 (Laogucheng – Fragrant Hill), 331 (Xinjiekou Huokou – Fragrant Hill), 360 (Beijing Zoo – Fragrant Hill), 634 (Xi Zhimen- east gate of Fragrant Hill), 714 (Fuchengmen – Fragrant Hill), 696 (Shangxinpu – Fragrant Hill), 698 (ChengnanJiayuanbei – Fragrant Hill)

Self Driving Route:

From Fifth Ring Road to Fragrant Hill: Take the Fifth Ring Road exit at Fragrant Hill Road. Then drive another five minutes northwest after you reach Xiangquanhuandao (according to the signpost).

From Fourth Ring Road to Fragrant Hill: Take the Fourth Ring Road exit at Sihai Bridge. Drive in the northwest direction (according to the signpost). After passing Minzhuang Road, move to Hanhe Road and you will see Xiangquanhuandao. Drive another five minutes heading northwest.

From Fragrant Hill South Road to Fragrant Hill: Drive north and turn west when you reach the WO Fosi gate. Drive another five minutes, and you will find Fragrant Hill.

From Summer Palace to Fragrant Hill: Drive west from Qinglong bridge. After passing Xianghongqi and Niangniangfu, you will find Xiangquanhuandao, and then go another five minutes in the northwest direction.

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Badaling Forest Park 八达岭森林公园

Best time for watching: from late September to late October

Beijing Badaling National Forest Park covers 56 hectares, and is planted with more than 50,000 maple trees. The park is near Badaling Great Wall, located on the south hill along with the first Chinese railway and a bronze statue of Zhan Tianyou. Every autumn, the place is full of red color and visitors. Autumn is the best time to enjoy the red leaves at Badaling Great Wall, and the viewing period is half a month earlier than that of the urban cities.

From late September to late October, Badaling Forest Park demonstrates a natural, colorful beauty. The yellow maples make the park a treasure spot. As time goes by, those yellow maples turn red transforming the park into a sea of red.

Transportation: Take line 919 at Desheng Gate or take the trains at Xizhi Gate.

Visiting Badaling Great Wall? See China Highlights' Great Wall tours.

Mutianyu Great Wall

Best time for watching: from middle October to late November

Mutianyu Great Wall is a famous scenic spot in Beijing, around 20 kilometers away from Huairong District. One can find more than 280,000 colorful trees here, and the best season to view the red leaves is between October and November. During this time, the place becomes a fairytale world filled with red, golden, and green leaves.

Public Transportation: Tourists can take bus line 916 or 936 at Dongzhimen, then transfer and get off at Mutianyu station.

Also Read Top Nine Hiking Mountains around Beijing

simatai-great-wall-red-leaves

Baiwang Mountain 百望山

Best time for watching: from middle October to middle November

Features: The closest place to see red leaves from urban Beijing.

Baiwang Mountain Forest Park is located three kilometers from the Summer Palace. Many kinds of red leaves are planted there, such as red maple from the U.S. and Dutch red leaves, which can be enjoyed three seasons in a year. After the first frost, the entire mountain is covered with the red color of these leaves, creating a spectacular sight.

There are two excellent places to view red leaves. The first one is Friendship Pavilion, which offers a flat terrain. Tourists are surrounded by red leaves while walking along the path. The other place is Lanfeng Pavilion at the top of Baiwang Mountain. Here, you can get an overview of the beauty of red leaves.

Walk along the stone path atop Baiwang Mountain. There is a small hill to the west of Baiwang Mountain where a fairy statue made of white marble stone stands. Here, you can enjoy a different view of red leaves.

Compared with the crowded Fragrant Hill Red Leaf Festival, enjoying the beauty of the red leaves at Baiwang Mountain is a quieter and more comfortable experience. For tourists who drive, you do not need to apply for a gate pass. In addition, it takes only a few minutes to drive west from Qinghe Xiaoyinghuandao or Shangdihuandao. Tourists can also drive from the Anhe Bridge and the summer palace.

Public Transportation: Tourists can take line 330, special 4, special 5, special 6, 933, and 697 and get off at the Baiwang Mountain station.

See China Highlights' Beijing tours to see autumn colors this year.

Beigong Forest Park 北宫森林公园

Best time for viewing: from early October to middle November

Beigong Forest Park is in Changxindian town of Fengtai District. It is another place for local residents to view red leaves and natural beauty. Every autumn, the 1,800 hectares of Beigong Forest Park are covered with colorful leaves. Hulu Lake in the center and the colorful leaves create a natural watercolor image. Beigong Forest Park demonstrates different views in each season, and is a good choice for foreign visitors.

In addition, tourists can play at the water park, which is full of south China characteristics, and pick fruits at the park. It is a good place to exercise, pick fruit, and spend your vacation.

Transportation: Tourists can take line 310 and get off at Xinzhuang station or take line 385 and get off at Huagongqichang station.

Labagou Gate 喇叭沟门

Labagou Gate Summer Recreational Palace is located in the core area of the virgin forest of Manzu town of Labagou Gate in Huairou District.

Given the high elevation and short duration of the frost, the original oak forest gradually turns red in color. From a distance, the forest appears full of red color. The maple and white birch forest demonstrates a natural and beautiful image. Red maple, yellow leaves, and white trunk form a fairytale environment.

Public Transportation: Tourists can take a long distance bus at Dongzhi Gate or take 936 to get to the park.

Hongluo Temple 红螺寺

Hongluo Temple is located in the middle of Hongluo Mountain. It is the best place for a close view of the red leaves. The colorful leaves cover an area of 4,000 mu, and most of them are planted on mountains around 300-400 meters high. Tourists can reach the best place by taking the special red leaf line. Here, tourists can enjoy deep red leaves and the feeling that one gets under those colorful leaves.

In addition, tourists can take the cableway to reach Guanyin Temple and walk about 300 meters to reach the best place to view the red leaves. Tourists can enjoy scenery that only shows up in the fairytale world.

Transportation: Tourists can take line 91 or 936 at Dongzhi Gate, then transfer on the public bus to Hongluo Temple.

Miaofeng Mountain 妙峰山

Best Time for watching: from early October to early November

Miaofeng Mountain is famous for its ancient temples, unique pines, spectacular rocks, and roses. It is the highest mountain in west Beijing. The vegetation coverage rate is more than 90%. Here, tourists can enjoy the spectacular mountains, deep valleys, as well as the colorful leaves. While walking along stone paths, tourists can experience the beauty of red leaves and green pines. Enjoying the red leaves in Miaofeng Mountain is a traditional custom dating back to Yuan Dynasty.

Public Transportation: Tourists can take the tourist line at Pingguoyuan subway station.

Continue to read best places to see fall colors in China.

Questions and Answers About Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Beijing

ANGELINA F. LEAL 2013-08-04
Show Answer
Hi I am angelina we are planning to visit china mid of october what attire we are to bring? thank you
Dear Angelina, It is comfortable to travel China in October. The average temperature is about 25℃(77℉). It is usually sunny in most cities. In daytime it's a bit hot, but at night it becomes cool. You could take some T shirts, shirts,some coats and jeans. Lussie Lu replied on 2013-08-04
Sunny 2012-10-30
Show Answer
Hi,Reaching Guangzhou on 17th November. Plan to travel by train to Beijing, for fall color photography. I know it is late for fall foliage, but no way, can''t come earlier.In China which places are ''Late Autumn'' zones?Where can I photograph red foliage by 20th of Nov?Any cheap conducted tour available in Beijing

Hi Sunny, you can visit the great wall of Mutianyu section. There may still be  fall foliage at that time. You can take a one-day Mutianyu Great Wall tour, it is only USD123/PP for group of 2-3 people. The price includes entrance fee, lunch, private transfer, driver and English speaking tour guide. please check details here: http://www.chinahighlights.com/beijing/day-trips/bjalc-39.htm If you are interested in it, please feel free to contact me.

Whitney Liao replied on 2012-10-31
Lu LG 2012-10-27
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Hi there, we wish to visit Beijing on end of December, may i know where is the best places to visit, we plan to go there for 5 to 7 days. thanks,

Hi Lu, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, Tian'anmen Square, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, etc. are all can’t missing in Beijing. More attactions, please check here:http://www.chinahighlights.com/beijing/attraction/

Four tours, please see our 6-Day Beijing Culture Experience tour http://www.chinahighlights.com/tour/beijingtour/bj-4/ If it doesn't fit you, we can also tailor make it for you.

Whitney Liao replied on 2012-10-28
YF 2012-10-21
Show Answer
Hi there. we are planning to visit Beijing early Nov? would it be cold weather and how cold is that will be?

Hi YF, in November Beijing slowly begins to turn wintery, and the first snow usually falls in this month. It is very dry. The average low and high temperatures are respectively at -1 °C (31 °F) and 10 °C (50 °F). You can prepare winter clothes such as sweaters and a padded coat.

Whitney Liao replied on 2012-10-22
OMAR 2012-10-13
Show Answer
I WANT TO COME IN NOVEMBER TO SEE GREAT WALL WHAT IS THE BEST TIME,I WILL GO TO SHANGHAI ALSO

Hello OMAR, for visit the Great Wall in November, the earlier the better as it will be too cold in later november. I am glad to arrange a visit to the Great Wall and Shanghai for  your group if you could tell me how many persons are there in your group and when you plan to come to CHINA?

Simon Huang replied on 2012-10-13
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I updated this article on March 20, 2014
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