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When the weather is nice, the best way to relax is often by hiking in beautiful areas and climbing mountains. Around Beijing, there are numerous high mountains and hills with hiking paths. There are some good hiking places along the Great Wall, and many more hiking paths in other mountain park areas.
Here are 10 mountains around Beijing that we recommend for hiking, ranked 1 to 10.
You'll enjoy these hiking areas, and each has a special attraction. You can see the highly-recommended Great Wall sections at Mutianyu and Jinshanling, big caves at Shangfang, beautiful fall foliage at Hongluo, Fragrant Hills, and Baiwang, and the Beijing skyline from high above at Mangshan.
This is the tourists' most popular mountain hike in Beijing, as it offers variety and challenge on a famed scenic Great Wall section. Hike where Ming troops patrolled 400 years ago.
On the Jiankou leg of the hike, you'll start with the challenge of the steepest section of the Great Wall. Most dramatic, Jiankou is most seen on postcards. The Jiankou to Mutianyu route is one of the two most popular Great Wall hikes.
Jinshanling is our second most recommended Great Wall section, after Mutianyu. The Great Wall there has both restored and original lengths, and is known for being particularly photogenic and hikable.
Censer Peak is known as "devilishly hard to achieve” as its steep hills are famously hard to climb.
Large numbers of Beijing citizens come here to hike the hills almost every weekend. There are range upon range of mountains and murmuring streams and "28 famous attractions". You can enjoy a walk amongst trees, small lakes and ponds, and old buildings.
There is also a gondola that can takes you to the top for a wonderful view. It runs only when weather allows. When the sun sets, you can see the whole city with its dazzling lights.
Fragrant Hills park is not far from the Summer Palace, so you can visit both places in one day. It is famous for the Maple Leaf festival that starts around October and lasts for one month.
The fore slope is gentle and easier to climb. The hind slope is quite steep. With 900,000 trees of a variety of kinds, the air is fresh and humid on the mountain, and it is said to be "very good for your health".
Car Route: Drive along Jingshun Highway from the Sanyuanqiao Bridge to Huairou County (怀柔县), and then turn north to drive along Huaifeng Highway (怀丰公路). Turn left when you see a railroad bridge.
Bus Routes: Take bus 916 from Dongzhimen to Huairou District or the special line for tourists, bus 6 and 16 from Xuanwumen (宣武门), or take the “Huairou One-day Tour” bus from Qianmen (前门) to reach the mountain directly.
Mangshan has a variety of landscapes. The 1,299 stone steps on the mountain are paved with 3,666 big stones, the longest mountain-climbing stairs in the Beijing area. The park is covered by forest. With 8,700 hectares (21,000 acres) of forest and 176 different kinds of trees and flowers, Mangshan National Forest Park is the largest national park in the Beijing area.
Car Route 1: Jingchang Highway (京昌高速) to West Changping Exit (13C, 昌平西关), Changping Government Road (昌平政府街) east to Dongguan roundabout, north to Shuiku Road (水库路), then follow the signs in Mangshan Vocational Village to the park.
Car Route 2: From Exit 13C to the Ming Tombs, over Seven-Arch Bridge (七孔桥), turn right on the Ming Tombs Reservoir (十三陵水库) North Ring Road to reach the park.
Bus Routes: Bus 643 from Andingmen (安定门), bus 845 from Beijing West Railway Station or bus 919 from Deshengmen (德胜门) to the Ming Tombs Reservoir (十三陵水库) dam terminus. Then walk through the dam to the park.
The mountain is high and beautiful. In the summer, green grass covers the gentle slope that is over dozens of kilometers long and dotted with various colorful wild flowers. The climate on the mountain is rainy, and the air is fresh. There are over 700 kinds of plants around the mountain, so it is also known as the “natural botanical garden”.
Car Route: West on National Highway 109 to Zhaitang Town, then Qingshui Town (清水镇). Follow signs for the mountain, and Tahe Village (塔河村), turn left up the mountain at the fork for the ticket office. Be careful on the mountain roads.
Bus Route: Take the subway to Pingguoyuan Station and transfer to bus 326 to Hetan (河滩), where you will find many minibuses to take you to Baihua Mountain.
Miaofeng Mountain is a tourist resort combining religious pilgrimages with mountain hiking. Jiangou Village (涧沟村), at the foot of the mountain, is called the “Land of Roses”. Thousands of hectares (acres) of Miaofeng Roses are cultivated there. Lots of other fruit trees and flowers decorate the area. It is thought of as one of the best hiking areas in the mountains west of Beijing.
Car Route: West on Hushi Road (阜石路) to Shimen Road (石门路), left at Sanjiadian (三家店) to Longquan Hotel (龙泉宾馆), National Highway 109 to Danli Village (担礼村), and right to Miaofeng Mountain at Jiangou Village (北京门头沟区妙峰山镇涧沟村).
Go to Shangfangshan for green mountains and caves. It's called “the way to the stars”, and often compared to Suzhou and Hangzhou's scenery. The most unique features are the nine caves. The most famous is “Cave of Cloud and Water” with 108 natural landscapes. In the six enormous caverns, each one is seemingly bigger; one is nearly 70 meters high. Use the cable car or hike up a trail for access.
Car Route: Jingshi Highway (京石高速) to Liulihe (琉璃河), then west for 20 kilometers to the mountain; or to Hancunhe (韩村河), then west 12 kilometers to the mountain.
Bus Route: Take bus 917 from Tianqiao (天桥) to Liangxiang (良乡) or Fangshan and then take minibus 15 on the Changyang (长阳) to the Shangfang Mountain route.
Baiwang Mountain is a lush, heavily forested park, the nearest forest parkland to Beijing. In fall it's beautifully decorated with splendid red foliage. There are several paths to the top of Baiwang Mountain: some rough, others flat. You may see pheasants, squirrels, and sakers (a type of falcon). This mountain is appropriate for people of all age groups and physical conditions to come and exercise.
This area is a treat for those who like hiking on natural paths instead of stone/concrete. There are gentle slopes, and the top of the mountain is quite dry due to high permeability. Huangcaoliang means "Yellow Grass Ridge", which describes its sparse, dry vegetation, allowing magnificent mountain views. It's also known as "the Pearl of the Ancient Road". You can see a beautiful sunrise from the mountaintop.
Car Route: West on National Highway 109
Bus Routes: Bus 929 from Pingguoyuan (苹果园) to Zhaitang (斋堂镇); or bus 326 to Wentan (问滩) and the long-distance bus to Zhaitang. After arriving in Zhaitang, take a minibus (about 15 yuan) to the mountain.
Advantages of a private tour: Instead of taking public transportation or a taxi, you can go to these mountains with our private vehicles and a guide to interpret. The most pleasant, direct, and interesting way to go is with a private tour company such as ours.
Our tours are known for being hassle free and individualized for our customers. You can save time and money too.
Visit the places you want and create your own dream trip. Let us help you plan a personalized Beijing tour.