The city of Beijing is built upon a foundation of mountain ranges, flowing rivers and limitless greenery. The forest of skyscrapers and rivers of traffic to some degree shroud and yet have not replaced this floral scenery.
Beyond the metropolitan center Beijing's natural features, as unique and diverse as the culture contained within, burst into view.
Climbing the Great Wall
One cannot discuss the great outdoors in Beijing without mentioning the Great Wall. It offers magnificent, awe-inspiring treks that take visitors up the ancient steps to the views of the mountainous north.
During the winter months the frosted stone steps become a stairway to the snow sprayed peaks and during the warmer seasons the Great Wall slithers through a landscape diverse with valleys and mountain ranges burgeoning with greenery.
Yet at times the Great Wall's cultural shadow veils the countless other remarkable natural vistas lying beneath its international recognition. Check best Great Wall hiking routes and popular Great Wall hiking tours.
Beijing is not known for its lakes or rivers making them some of the best kept secrets of the Chinese capital. The Yongding and Chaobai are two of over 200 river and streams sprawling across the municipality offering plenty of water-fun-options.
Rafting is far from life threatening but offers enough thrills to please any water sports enthusiast. Sandwiched between mountain ranges and a natural garden of hanging trees and vines the view is at times more thrilling the ride.
For the less adventurous, dragon boat trips can be a relaxing afternoon over the lakes and calm rivers. An assortment of wines and tasty local snacks are offered on the boat as the visitor take in the views, the tastes and cool freshwater breezes, providing satisfaction for every sense.
Popular camping tour in Beijing: 2 Days Huanghuacheng Great Wall Camping Tour
- 4-Day Beijing Private Tour
- 7-Day Beijing Winter Olympics Travel Package
- Half-Day Beijing Walking Tour in a Neighborhood
The appeal of Beijing's diverse outdoor environment is in style every season of the year. Visitors fortunate enough to visit Beijing during the winter season may treat themselves to the icy slopes in the Changping district. Huabei, Nanshan and Snow World are just a few of the numerous ski resort options in the northern corner of the municipality.
Beginners can enjoy Snow World's recently renovated, ultra-modern facilities and lifts over the awe-inspiring white backdrops spanning in every direction; experts can battle the steeper slopes while finding a moment to witness the sprawling oriental landscape covered in sheets of white.
Also Read: Beijing Top 10 Ski Resorts
Northern Beijing is abundant with mountain ranges and snow frosted peaks. Changping has countless hiking paths that lead tourists in the same footsteps as Chinese emperors.
Scaling to the peaks of many of these hills and low mountain ranges rewards visitors with the majestic views of elevated nature juxtaposed vast floral vistas. Reaching these summits can also awards visitors with the ancient temples built at their peaks, filled with souvenirs like prayer beads and photo ops galore.
Not far outside the city, just west of the Summer Palace is Beijing's number one hiking trail, Fragrant Hill. Well known to locals but unknown to tourist, Fragrant Hill's name hails from the exquisite scent of the trees that grow on its slopes.
During autumn the colorful foliage along its slopes attracts twice just as visitors as some sections of the Great Wall.
Also Read: Top Nine Hiking Mountains around Beijing
- 4-Day Beijing Private Tour to Visit the Great Wall at Night
- 6-Day Beijing Chinese New Year Tour
- 1-Day In-Depth Beijing Culture Tour
Explore Beijing's Great Outdoors with China Highlights
We don't just cover the classic Beijing attractions. Our Beijing tours are varied, including the natural and wild side of Beijing as well as the city highlights. The best thing is they are totally customizable, so you can pick and choose what you want to do, and have our travel advisors put together the perfect package for you.