China

Best walks, hikes and treks in China [View list of walks]

About China

A long and wondrous civilization interrupted by cataclysms of unimaginable horror, the most recent being Maoist Communism and the Cultural Revolution. Since the Deng Xiaoping reforms, China has been developing frantically, achieving the “biggest event of mass poverty relief in human history”, but with many environmental and human casualties along the way.

The Cultural Revolution did desperate damage to the country’s cultural fabric, and much that you will see has an ersatz, Disneyfied feel, but there are still unforgettable things to find and do.

So a China expedition needs to include some of the great cultural gems, but, as well as the obvious places - Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guilin – there are many less-known places (well, outside of China anyway: you will struggle to escape internal tourists nowadays) which are too good to miss, the main limitation being time. Think Silk Road, Tibet, the mountains of Sichuan and Yunnan, the time-honoured sacred mountains, the vast rivers, outlandish geological features like the Guilin countryside or the Stone Forest near Kunming, historic cities like Hangzhou. And of course the one-and-only Hong Kong.

The vast mountains of the west, the deserts of Tibet and the Xinjiang-Inner Mongolia strip, the extraordinary topography of the Huangshan mountains, marsh, lake and river: China still retains, despite all its despoilation, wonderful scenery and wildlife.

So, China has things to fascinate everyone, children included. The variety of travel and tours is as a result huge. We tell you about walking below, but have a look here [link to infohub deep-linked page] for a huge selection of the range of China travel, tours, holidays and activities available.

See Walking Stories' Thoughts in China

Walking, hiking and trekking in China

China has some of the world’s best walks, hikes and treks, ranging from famous mountain trails such as the Mount Kailash Kora, our top walk in the world (see our Top 100 list), to geological and natural absurdities like Guilin, to ancient sites such as the Great Wall and the unmissably atmospheric if crowded lakeside at Hangzhou, Song dynasty capital and origin of willow pattern china.

Famous walking regions include:

  • Tibet – Everest north face, Shishipangma base camp; Mount Kailash amd great monastery and lakeside sacred kora walks
  • The mountains of the western fringe: Tiger Leaping Gorge, Jiuzhaigou, Gonggashan
  • The Tian Shan in the far northwest
  • the historic sacred mountains (Huangshan, Tai Shan, Emei Shan etc)

We intend that our walk pages contain detail and photos on walking, hiking or trekking routes, including books, best times and weather, how to get there, possible problems, walking, trekking and hiking firms, organisers and guides in China, accommodation in China and useful links. But this takes a lot of research, so if they are not "there" yet, please give us any suggestions you may have.

Central Ridge
Central Ridge - Tai Tam Reservoir© Copyright Flickr User David Bailey MBE Leshan Grand Buddha
Leshan Dafu - © William Mackesy Shishapangma Base Camp
Shishapangma as seen from the Thong-La pass, 5100m © flickr user- allanv

Best walks, hikes and treks in China

You can sort the walks by category by clicking on the category titles.

(The rating of walks marked * is currently provisional.)

Region Walk Name Walkopedia Rating Difficulty Day Walk
Possible?

  Around Yangshuo, Guilin
88
Moderate Yes
  Beijing
81
Straightforward Yes
  Great Wall
92
Variable Yes
  Hua Shan
85
Strenuous Yes
  Jiuhuashan
85*
Variable Yes
  Lushan
83*
Yes
  Wu Tai Shan
84*
Strenuous Yes
  Wulingyuan
88*
Yes
 Eastern Huangshan
90.5
Strenuous Yes
 Eastern Kong Lin (Confucian Forest)
79
Straightforward Yes
 Eastern Tai Shan
84
Strenuous Yes
 Eastern West Lake, Hangzhou
79*
Straightforward Yes
 Gansu Labrang Kora (Xiahe)
85
Variable Yes
 Gansu Mingsha Dunes, Dunhuang
76*
Moderate Yes
 Hong Kong Buffalo Hill/Ma On Shan, Sai Kung
78
Moderate Yes
 Hong Kong Central Ridge
83
Strenuous Yes
 Hong Kong Double Haven
82*
Strenuous Yes
 Hong Kong Dragon's Back
67*
Yes
 Hong Kong Maclehose Trail
80*
Yes
 Hong Kong Over and Around Mt Violet
79
Strenuous Yes
 Hong Kong Pat Sin Leng
80
Strenuous Yes
 Hong Kong Po Toi
83
Moderate Yes
 Hong Kong The Peak
84
Straightforward Yes
 Sichuan Emei Shan
87
Strenuous Yes
 Sichuan Gonggashan
83*
Yes
 Sichuan Jiuzhaigou and Huanglongsi
87.5
Moderate Yes
 Sichuan Leshan Grand Buddha
81
Straightforward Yes
 Sichuan Qingchen Shan
83*
Strenuous Yes
 Tibet Barkhor Kora, Lhasa
81
Straightforward Yes
 Tibet Ganden Kora
91
Moderate Yes
 Tibet Ganden to Samye
80*
Difficult No
 Tibet Lake Manasarovar
87
Difficult Yes
 Tibet Mount Kailash Kora
100
Very Difficult No
 Tibet Ruins of Guge Capital, Tsaparang
83
Yes
 Tibet Samye Kora
82
Moderate Yes
 Tibet Shishapangma Base Camp
84*
Difficult No
 Tibet Tashilhunpo Kora
84
Moderate Yes
 Tibet Tibet's Monastery Koras
91
Variable Yes
 Tibet Tsurphu Kora
91
Variable Yes
 Tibet Tsurphu to Yangpachen
83*
Difficult No
 Xinjiang Lake of Heaven
83
Variable Yes
 Yunnan Stone Forest
82
Moderate Yes
 Yunnan Tiger Leaping Gorge
88
Strenuous Yes


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