The Best Short Hikes in China

The Best Short Hikes in China

When setting out on your hiking adventure it is very important that you cover all your necessities. Unlike guided tours, when hiking through trails, you can go at your own pace and really get to enjoy the beauty that China has to offer. The following backpacking routes will be for your self-guided enjoyment.

Li River Hiking

Li River Hiking Map

The Li River, in Guilin, is known to be one of the most stunning rivers in China. The Li River can be explored with three different possibilities. It offers a boat, raft, and hiking route for travelers to enjoy. When traveling through the hiking route you will be going through bamboo groves, rice fields, and even catch the sunset if you time it just right. For those that like to get more hands on and would like to explore the rice fields or meet some of the local farmers by taking the Yulong Valley Route, you will see just that. If you are feeling tired from the hike some of the locals are known to return hikers back to the start of the trail so don’t be ashamed to ask if needed.

The hike itself is about 4-5 hours long.


The Great Wall


The Great Wall of China has to be one of the most known backpacking destinations in the world. The Badaling Great Wall is situated in Yanqing County, Over 43 miles north of Beijing. This section of the Great Wall is one of the most preserved and restored. The section that is open to Hikers is about 4,091 yard (3, 741 meters) in length.  This is a highly recommended trail for starter hikers or anyone wanting a great experience.

The wall, if hiking at a steady pace, should take about 3-4 hours to complete. Usually the best time to visit this hiking spot is around April to June; September to October.

Three Gorges of Yangtze River

Yangtze River Hike

The beauty of the Three Gorges is really unexplainable. With all beauty comes a risk. The Three Gorges also known as Qutand, Wu, and Xiling add up to be 192 km or 119.3 miles long. There are many backpacking tours available for this location as it’s a very popular tourist attraction, but they also allow self-guided tours. The elevation is relatively low so it makes it easier to breath but you should always stay aware for other possibilities to avoid any harm.

When out and about you should use phone applications to help you find the start of trails or possibly small pit stops for drinks. It is highly recommended when using such apps to try and mask your phone for privacy and protection.



Medog country is located in the southeast Tibet Autonomous Region. It was once only reachable by foot, until recently, where they built a tunnel to help with transportation.  Motuo is incredibly beautiful and the perfect place to backpack. If you enjoy free roaming adventures, it contains waterfalls, immense forests, and alpine lakes all ready for exploration.

When backpacking anywhere in China, whether it be guided or self-guided, make sure to be safe. These places are beautiful but can also be dangerous if not taken seriously.

Thanks so much to the awesome and amazing Matt Cooper for inviting me to provide a guest post for his blog! I have been a fan ever since Matt’s article about Xian.


Written by Jess Singet

I'm Jess and I am nuts about traveling! I'm never in one place for very long. My parents were travelers before I was born. Even in the womb, I was able to travel all over the place! Boy, did things NOT change as I grew older!

Knowing there’s more to the world than the bubble I live in made me want to travel even further. Traveling is my drug and I’m addicted. (Please, no intervention!)


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    • Really glad you enjoyed the article!

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