An epic Great Wall trek that covers 3 fantastic sections of the Beijing Great Wall. We hike the Wild Gubeikou Great Wall and stay overnight at a farmhouse with view on the Wild Jinshanling Great Wall . Day 2 we hike Wild Jiankou Great Wall and pitch our tents inside a Great Wall watch tower. On the 3rd day we finish in style climbing the restored Mutianyu Great Wall.
Hiking Distance: 25 km
Hiking Duration: 4h /day
Hike level: 4 strong
Departure time: 9:30 am
Back in Beijing: 4:00 pm (days 3)
Price: 2700RMB ( 2430 RMB for kids 7-17, 2160 RMB, 1350 RMB for kids younger than 7)
Day 1: Gubeikou to Wild Jinshanling Great Wall Hike and Homestay
From hour Meeting point (Lama temple subway exit B ) we drive about 2 hours to our farmer friends next to the Gubeikou Great Wall. They run a small homestay at the back of a valley surrounded by the Great Wall. With a view of the Crouching Tiger Great Wall, we enjoy a delicious lunch in their backyard. It’s only a 15-minute hike up the hill behind the farmhouse to get our first glimpse of the Gubeikou Great Wall. After a few turns on the small trail over the hill we arrive on top of the Great Wall. We hike from tower to tower and take breaks on top of the watchtowers, a great chance to take some awesome pictures of this 1400 years old section of the Great Wall.
3 hours into the hike we arrive at the highlight of today’s trail, the Gubeikou General Tower. From this tower, you can see the entire Gubeikou-Jinshanling-Simatai Great Wall ”. On a clear day, we can even see the Fairy tower, the highest tower at the end of the Simatai Great Wall. This view point is the best picture opportunity of the day.
From this view point we follow an small trails that meanders trough farm fields an over the hill ridge next to the Wild Jinshanling Great Wall. Just when you think “we are in the middle of nowhere’ we will arrive at our homestay with view on the Wild Jinshanling Great Wall. The rooms here are nice and clean with toilet and shower in the room. After dinner you have the chance to go for a 20 minutes hike to a viewpoint to catch the sunset over the Jinshanling Great Wall.
Day 2: Wild Jiankou Great Wall Hiking and Campin
Hike 10-km on Jiankou wild Great Wall, passing numerous watchtowers overgrown by flowers and trees. We pitch our tents on the Great Wall or in a watchtower and gaze at the stars around the campfire. This Great Wall hike has total ascent of 600 meters. You’ll need a fair bit of energy to reach top but your efforts will be rewarded as this trail is a mecca for photographers.
After a 2 hour driver, we arrive at a local farmhouse in the middle of a chestnut orchard where we enjoy a royal organic meal. We put on our backpacks with camping gear (tent, mat and sleeping bag) and head for the mountains.
The start of the Jiankou Great Wall hike is immediately beautiful. Just 100 meters away from the Echoing Lake, the Great Wall drops down into WangQuan valley and climbs back out almost vertical. We follow an uphill trail trough the bush for about 1 hour until we reach the Great Wall at the second beacon tower. During the first part of this hike, we will ascend about 500 meters. Once we arrive on the Great Wall, our uphill hiking is mostly done.
As the hike continues on top of the Great Wall, we enjoy fantastic views of famous Great Wall sections known as “The Wall Bow”, “Arrow Nock” and the “Beijing Knot”. We pass 7 beacon towers on this Jiankou Great Wall hike. The best-preserved ones are called the 5-eye watchtower and the Jade tower. We pitch our tents in front of the 6th tower and cook dinner over a wood fire. At night, a small campfire will keep us warm while we watch the stars.
We pack our tents and leave this beautiful place without a trace. We hike down the mountain on an easy trail for about 1 hour and go for a strong farmhouse breakfast.
Day 3: Mutianyu Great Wall Hike
The Mutianyu Great Wall ,built in the Tang dynasty (618-907), is our destination for today. The Mutianyu Great Wall was reinforced during the Ming dynasty and restored by Deng Xiao Ping in the 198o’s making it today’s best preserved section of the Beijing Great Wall
After 2 days of strong hiking we deserve a relax approach of the Great Wall and take the cable car up to the 14th tower of the Mutianyu Great Wall. From this platform we have a fantastic view over the 26 Mutianyu Great Wall watchtowers and we can still see the Jiankou Great Wall sneaking over the mountains tops we hike yesterday.
We walk on top the nicely paved Great Wall passing through 8 watchtowers. From watchtower number 6, Zhengguan Terrace, we slide our way down the Great Wall on the Tobogan. and go for a late but good lunch. The celebration beers are on us By 4 pm our driver will drop us of at our Beijing meeting point.
The first day of this trip we give a medium rating as it is a long hike but there are no steep ascends. The hike and camping day on the Jiankou deserves a medium strong rating as we carry our camping gear to the campsite. The second day starts with a strong uphill hike with our backpacks on the Jiankou Great Wall. The reset of the hike is fairly easy. So the second day we give a medium/strong rating. The last day is an easy hike so this day we give an easy/medium rating. If we add up all the 3 days we end up with a level 4 rating because of the 3 consecutive days of hiking.
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