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 climb the watch towers of Jiankou Great Wall and stay overnight at a farmhouse with view on the Wild Jiankou Great Wall. Day 3 we finish in style with an easy hike on the restored Huanghuacheng Great Wall.
Hiking Distance: 25 km
Hiking Duration: 4h /day
Hike level: 3 medium/strong
Departure time: 8:30 am
Back in Beijing: 4:00 (days 3)
Price: 2600RMB (2340 RMB for kids 7-17, 2080 RMB for membership, 1300 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.
great wall trek
View of Gubeikou from our first break on top of a Great Wall watchtower
3 hours later 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.
Jinshanling-Simatai Great view from the Gubeikou Great Wall General Tower
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 minute hike to a viewpoint to catch the sunset over the Jinshanling Great Wall.
Day 2: Wild Jiankou Great Wall Hiking and Homestay
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 ascend 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.
The start of the Jiankou Great Wall hike is imediately 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.
From the top of the last watchtower of todays hike we can watch the sunset before we make our way down the mountain towards our homestay for the night. The homestay is very nice with shower and and toilets in the renovated rooms. The host are super friendly and their organic food comes right from their own backyard.
Day 3: Huanghuacheng Great Wall Hike
The Huanghuacheng Great Wall is almost 11 kilometers long and joins with Mutianyu Great Wall in the east, Juyongguan Great wall Pass and Badaling Great Wall in the west. The trail we hike is about 6 km long and gives us an excellent opportunity to see some restored Great Wall away from the crowds. Make sure to keep some space on your memory card because you might snap your perfect picture right here
We drive 40 minutes to Huanghuacheng Great wall and start with a 30 minute easy hike till we the reach Huanghuacheng Great Wall at this lowest.
A 1 hour uphill hike on the wall will bring us to a very well preserved and impressive section of the Huangcheng Great Wall. From here you can see the whole picture of the west and east Huanghuacheng Great wall , and Huanghuacheng Lake ,
The west part of Huanghuacheng Great Wall itself is quit unique as it doesn’t have any of the famous big stairs so hiking up the steeper parts of Huanghuacheng Great Wall can be a bit tricky. The Great Wall is very well restored and the patch nicely paved so you will not have to much trouble.
We hike on top of the west Huanghuacheng Great Wall for about 1.5-hours till the Wall drops in into Huanghuacheng Lake. We cross the lake and go for a late but good lunch. The celebration beers are on us
By 4 pm we will be back at our Beijing meeting point.
Level 3: Medium-strong
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 3 medium/ strong rating because of the 3 consecutive days of hiking.
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