Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Yunmengshan National Forest Park

Is it possible to climb a mountain by accident?

Last Saturday we decided to go on an easy hike to a part of the Great Wall. The plan was to hike for about an hour and a half, have lunch at an ancient watch tower, and return to the car.

Instead, we ended up climbing all of Yunmeng Shan, Beijing's second largest mountain.

It turns out that there must be two places with similar names. There is a Yunmengshan National Forest Park (also known by its catchy title, 云蒙山国家森林公园 or Cloud Covered Mountain Park), and--supposedly--there is a Yunmengshan Great Wall Ruins Park.

For those of you looking for the Great Wall Ruins Park, I cannot help you. I don't know where this park is, or where the ruins are hidden. It's just that my hiking book says it must be somewhere up north from us.

What we did find, online and for real, was the beautiful Yunmengshan park. It is a gorgious place and there were actually a couple more small trails than just the one to the top. But we couldn't resist, so along with many others, we made our way all the way up Yunmengshan's 1,400 meter (4,600 feet) high peak.

(An earlier blog post, Saturday Temple Hike, also describes the problem of hiking in China. You never know where the trail is, if there even is a trail, if it's open today, or possibly already developed into a shopping mall. For other Beijingers interested in this hike, I'll add: Take the JingCheng expressway North towards Huairou, exit 15. Follow Rt 111 North in the direction of the town of Liulimiao. You might also set your GPS to Latitude 40.566667 or 40° 34' 00" N, Longitude 116.7 or 116° 42' 00" E).

The boys in orange make it to the top. We salute you Queen Beatrix!

Si Ming at Yun Meng Shan

The view near the top is stunning. Glad we made it!

It's good to have a sign to tell you where to go...

We're definitely not the only ones making it up the mountain. Lots of people were scattered across the viewing platform to recover from the hike and eat some lunch or snacks.

On the way down... (I didn't actually manage to take pictures on the way up.)

Mountain guide.

You can see how fast the path goes down -- note the guy just in front of Simon.



The path was easy to follow. Never too scary. This time I did not fear for the boys' lives (as I do on so many other hikes).

I rest my case.

The peak we climbed was even higher than this  :-)

View back to the starting point.

Cool climbing down.

Excellent facilities.

Little store with snacks and drinks. We were soooo happy to buy a cold ice tea and a "Kekou Kele" (Coca Cola)!

In het Nederlands: Afgelopen zaterdag hebben we een super wandeling gemaakt. Wel lang en wel veel klimmen, maar het uitzicht was de moeite waard. Als nou alleen nog maar die spierpijn eens ophoudt...


  1. Great set of pictures, Anna, as usual. Loved the guided tour. I didn't know that China had set itself up for tourists so well at least in this area.

    Are they thinking about dry toilets and solar-powered remote installations and other environmentally better improvements? Could that be another blog post subject?

    Your kids are certainly getting a huge and obviously useful life education like ours did. What do they think about this experience? Maybe have the kids blog post if they want.

    Glad that you are still with us online, of course.

  2. great photos and what a fun experience for your whole family!