The Best Hikes in China

If you are looking for a country in Asia that provides exciting, sometimes challenging but extremely stunning hiking trails, make it to China. China is the world’s most populous country offering the best things for travelers to see and experience including hiking in China.

Without doubt, hiking in the Land of Dragons will be one of the most memorable activities you will do in China. With such a vast land, the country will surprise you with the historical and cultural heritage, fantastic rivers and beaches and of course breath-taking mountains. 

Therefore, pack your backpack, put your hiking shoes on and off you go to experience the natural beauty of Zhangjiajie, Guilin, Huangshan or Beijing. Here is the best hiking in China you simply can’t afford to miss when planning your visit to China.

The Hallelujah Floating Mountains – Zhangjiajie

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hiking in china

I bet you have never heard of this place before, but you have certainly seen the Avatar movie directed by James Cameron. The reason I’m saying this is to make you realize that the World of Pandora really exists and it can be found in China, more precisely in Zhangjiajie – one of the most beautiful places in China. The Avatar Mountains are also known as the Hallelujah Mountains. This town is located in the Hunan province of south-central China and believe me, it will amaze you with its timeless natural beauty.

The Zhangjiajie National Park was named China’s first National Park in 1982 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.

The Zhangjiajie National Park is a perfect place for hiking. Certainly one day is not enough to see it all, so you should book 2 or 3 days there (feel free to bring your tent so you can stay overnight in this beautiful park). 

Beyond the mountains, the area is also home to a beautiful lake (which flows into the dam), an underground cave and glass bridge.

Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge

Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge, aka Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon skywalk, is the world’s longest and highest glass bridge, and it hangs over Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon.

Cost of Visiting Zhangjiajie National Park

  • The entrance ticket costs RMB 225-258 ($32-38 USD) and you can stay in the park for 3 days.
  • As for your accommodation, you can book a single room from RMB 150 – 200 ($21-29 USD), stay in dorms for RMB 80-100 ($11-15) or set up your own tent for free in the park. There are plenty of great places to stay in Zhangiajie.
  • Your budget food expense should not exceed the amount of RMB 50 a day ($7).

Planning a Trip to Zhangjiajie?

Find accommodationread accommodation reviews, and check flight prices.

Book attractions, tickets, or guides in advance. 

Research using this guide or read my other China posts.

See my packing list.

hiking in china

The Great Wall of China – Beijing

As Mao Zedong said, “He who has not climbed the Great Wall is not a true man”.

Yes, hiking in China really must include the Great Wall of China when visiting the Land of Dragons. When you finally make it there, the view will take your breath away and standing on top of this greatest engineering triumph will be the highlight of your visit to Beijing. 

More info

  • The best part of the Great Wall of China to explore is Badaling.
  • Take the bus no. 919 to get which costs RMB 8 ($1-2 USD) and it takes less than 2 hours to get there.

Planning a Trip to the Great Wall of China?

Find accommodationread accommodation reviews, and check flight prices.

Book attractions, tickets, or guides in advance. 

Research using this guide or read my other China posts.

See my packing list.

hiking in china

Longsheng Rice Terraces – Guilin, Guangxi Province

hiking in china

Another hidden gem for hiking lovers would be Guilin, a city located in Guangxi province commonly known for its beautiful Yangshuo River, Reed Flute Cave, and Longsheng Rice Terraces. 

Although most of the tourists make it to Yangshuo first, you should definitely add Longsheng Rice Terraces to your list. The place is a perfect getaway for solo trekkers, families, and couples. The landscape is so beautiful so don’t forget to take your camera to capture the moment. Moreover, Guilin is a very affordable place for backpackers, so don’t be afraid of spending too much money. 

More info

  • Entrance fee is 208 RMB ($30 USD) and a tour including entrance fee, guide and a 3 hour stop at Longsheng costs around RMB 450 ($73). 

hiking in china

Hiking in China – Final Thoughts

As you can see, China has a lot to offer in terms of hiking. The local food is extremely cheap and you should not have a problem with finding affordable accommodation. The Land of Dragons is certainly a perfect travel destination for everyone, no matter how much your budget is.

Planning a Trip to China?

Find accommodationread accommodation reviews, and check flight prices.

Book attractions, tickets, or guides in advance. 

Research using this guide or read my other China posts.

See my packing list.

Hiking in China

Agness Walewinder
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This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Marie-Carmen

    You also got loads of trails in Yunnan and Sichuan, well to be honest there is just so so many in China!
    If you get a chance to go there, you’ve got loads to do! Just be careful with the prices of national parks here, they are not cheap!

  2. Baskets Life Travel

    WOWOW stunning photos! We will be in Bejing in August, we will use your tips for sure – expecially about the great wall! Fantastic post thank you so much!

  3. jan

    All of these places sound appealing. Good to know the Number of the Bus to the Badaling Section of the Wall. Love the look of the rice terraces as well and the cheap accommodation at nearby Guilin.

  4. Molly S

    Wow – looks stunning. Certainly challenging, but well worth it!

  5. Mandie

    Climbing the Great Wall has always been on my bucket list, but actually I’v had Guilin on there too, ever since I met another backpacker who gushed about it to me! I feel like I could spend a whole year in China and not see all the incredible places I want to visit!

  6. Sabina

    Such lovely photos, this is making me miss China so much. I’ve only been to the Great Wall, but I’d LOVE to visit the others in the near future! Fantastic article 🙂

  7. I’ve only been to the Great Wall and Huangshan, but I definitely have Guilin and the Floating Mountains on my list. They look absolutely gorgeous.

  8. Travelling Penster

    That landscape looks absolutely stunning! The Great Wall is definitely on my list 🙂

  9. Jess

    Those pictures are amazing – but I feel like I would only hike on those mountains if I could do it very, very slowly. I’d be terrified of losing my balance!

  10. The Guy

    Some great recommendations. As someone who has already seen the Great Wall (and enjoyed the experience) I think those floating mountains would be high on my list of next things to see in China.

  11. [email protected]

    Agness knows her China! I have my eyes set on the tiger leaping gorge in Yunnan, seeing Langmusi in Gansu and Juizhaigou in Sichuan. China is AMAZING

  12. Marta Kulesza

    ZHANGJIAJIE has been long on my list. I love visiting destinations where movies were shot. Thanks for leaving such useful information as entrance fees and whether or not you can camp there.

  13. Hannah

    Love this post! I can’t wait to go to China – in big part because of the pandas- but also because it’s so incredibly beautiful! Thanks for sharing the info about the floating mountains- I’ve see the photos before so it’s great to get the info 🙂

  14. Christa Thompson

    Amazing and breathtaking Photos! Great Info! Your certainly not scaring me with a good time, me and the Fams Love, LOve, LOVE Hiking… 🙂

  15. Great post! I have only been ti the Great Wall, but it sounds like I need to get back to China for the floating mountains! Well done Ashley and Agness!

  16. Chris Boothman

    What a great collection of hiking trails Agness in China! Not one of the first places that I would think of for hiking but of course the Great Wall of China trail is as good as any the rest of the world can offer. Hopefully some day we will be able to get over to this part of Asia and explore some of China’s finest for ourselves. This post will certainly prove to be beneficial for us in the future.

  17. I would love to go to the Zhangjiajie National Park. It looks so mystical and eerie. Love it! Wandering around in a rice paddy would be interesting too – though I might be scared of getting bitten!

  18. I’d love to go to China for some hiking. The Great Wall is high up on my wishlist, I’ve heard some great stories for multi day trekkings. However the only thing that keeps me from it is the language … not the real traveler in me so I’m confident that one day we’ll make it over there for sure!

  19. Heather Cole

    Wow, the floating mountains look amazing! I’ve always thought China wasn’t really somewhere I was interested in visiting, but there have been so many blogs recently that have been showing just how incredible the place is, I might have to change my mind!

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