Great Wall Camping
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Day 2: Great Wall trek from Jinshanling to Gubeikou Great Wall
After breakfast, we pack our tents and leave this beautiful place without a trace. We hike down the mountain on an easy dirt trail for about 1 hour. Down in the Valley we stop in our friends Chestnut yard for a good local breakfast.
After breakfast we drive to our friends, next to the Gubeikou Great Wall. They are local farmers than 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. Here our adventure starts.
It takes us 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 a watchtower, 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 a small trail alongside the wild Jinshanling Great Wall, pas the remnants of a few old abandoned farmouse till we reach the end of the valley. Here our driver will pick us up and drive us back to Beijing. By 7 pm we will be back at our meeting point.
Level 3: Medium-strong
We rate this Great Wall trek level 3 because the trail on the first day includes a good uphill hike and we carry our backpacks all the way up the the campsite. The trail on the second day is fairly easy. No strong climbs on this hike. People with normal physical condition will be able to enjoy this trip.
Jiankou Great Wall is located at Xizhazi village in Huairou district, about 80 km from downtown Beijing. It connects to the Mutianyu Great Wall in the east (10 km away) and Huanghuacheng Great Wall in the west.
It was first built in the Tang dynasty (618-907) and was restored largely in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Jiankou Great Wall was mainly built with...
Trip and booking information
How it works – What to bring – Booking and Payment info
Discounts – What’s included - What’s not included –
Cancelation policy – Meeting point maps
How it works:
After lunch we will give you a backpack filled with all camping gear (tent, mats, sleeping bag), and bottles of water you need for this Great Wall camping trip.
All our camping gear is small and light. All the gear for 2 or 3 people will fit in 1 back pack.
If you sign up with 2 people, 1 person can carry the backpack we provide. The other person can carry his/her own daypack with personal things.
If you sign up as 1 person you can expect the same set-up but obviously you can put your personal belongings in the provided the backpack.
A backpack with all gear and water for 1 person will weigh about 5 kg.
A backpack with all gear and water for 2 people will weigh about 7,5 kg.
A backpack with all gear and water for 3 people will weigh about 10 kg.
In the sign up form you can fill out what kind of tent you prefer and we will pack your backpack(s) accordingly.
We have 1 person – 2 person and 3 person tents.
Mats and sleeping bags we will bring for everybody.
Check FAQ for more info about our gear.
Anything you don’t need during the camping trip you can leave in our van.
Big travel bags or valuable items you can give to us at the meeting point and we will store them at our office.
What you should bring:
Comfortable hiking or sport shoes and long trousers are recommended.
For every 2 people 1 should bring a medium size daypack.
Your camera & your favorite drink for during/after dinner
Toilet paper and flashlight
From October till April: warm clothes for during the evening.
From May till September: bring sun lotion & hat
Booking and Payment
You can reserve your place for the trip by clicking on “join this trip” and filling out our online booking form.
You will receive an automatic reply with an overview of your reservation and a link to PayPal.
You can click on the PayPal link and follow the instructions to make your online payment.
If you live in China and you wish to pay online in CNY you can do that trough Wchat.
Our Wchat account is hikingchina
Kids younger than 18 receive 10% discount.
Members receive 20% discount.
Kids younger than 7 receive 50% discount.
Included in the price:
English speaking guide
All camping gear (back packs, tent, mats, sleeping bags),
Food (lunch, dinner, breakfast) & water
Transport, guide, entrance tickets
You need to have travel insurance when you engage in our activities. Organizing this insurance from your own country is the best choice as China has different rules.
If you don’t have any insurance yet you can request a quote from our insurance partner Worldnomads
Cancelation made by the participant more than 1 week before the trip will entitle the participant 100% refund.
In case of cancelation by the participant 7 days or less before the trip there is no refund but you can reschedule your trip to another date.
If a trip gets canceled due to unforeseen circumstances (very bad weather, closed trails, heavy pollution, not enough people signed up for a trip or other acts of god) you will of course get a 100% refund.
Bad weather plan.
In case of rainy weather we might change the location of the hike.
If the weather is too bad for camping we will go hiking but stay overnight in a farmhouse.
Meeting point maps
A delightful camping trip with China Hiking to an unfamiliar (to me) section of the Great Wall. Heidi and Fred have dedicated years to researching scores of hidden pathways leading from the villages and lonely sections of small rural roads to sections of the wall that can then be followed for a stretch before eventually descending again, sweaty but enriched.
After a delicious buffet lunch at a local eatery, everyone can go at their own pace. The triathlon-level athletes can go ahead, reach the top first and explore the watch towers and summit sections before the others arrive. Photographers, would-be athletes, lapsed athletes and complete non-athletes, children can go at their own pace. China Hiking has a team of guides on every trip to help those who need it and make sure everybody gets to the top in the end.
But don’t underestimate the power and stamina of children. Our two eleven year olds stormed ahead at times carrying their day packs and fluffy mascot animals that would later serve as pillows, leaving us in a cloud of dust!
Can a selfie stick also serve as a walking stick? That’s for you to find out….
The photographs you take home are of the wild wall. No smooth surfaces. Clumps of bushes, even trees growing out of the stonework. It’s amazing how much of this structure survives relatively intact after hundreds of years of neglect.
Charman Mao said “You’re not a hero until you have climbed the Great Wall”. Later he also encouraged the locals to harvest the stones for local building projects. But the Wall has always been way too mighty to yield to such actions. It’s simply colossal and magnificent. It follows an incongruous and irregular, often complex path across the landscape. It is still capable of keeping people from the north out! But Fred and Heidi have located hundreds of access points. Once you are on the wall you can admire the views and appreciated the refreshing breezes. Then off into the sunset to find a camping spot. In our case, this meant camping either on the wall itself or inside and on the roof of a watch tower. We feel privileged to be able to do this as sit around a blazing camp fire and exchange stories and banter. There is nobody else around for miles. The mule that carried our dinner has long returned to the valley. Below, the twinkling of village lights. Above the twinkling of the stars. The alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks you have diligently carried up here will taste marvelous in the open air. And if you’re lucky, somebody will have brought some marshmallows to roast on the embers.
Back at my workplace, I can look back on a superb trip. We had excellent weather conditions, dry enough to allow us to camp without the outer layer on the tent and gaze at the moon until we fell asleep.
I will be back for another trip with Fred and Heidi as soon as I can.
In the midst of rainy, humid and cloudy beijing there appeared a beauuuutiful day. The sky was clear and together with some young american professionals we went hiking on the wall. Our favorite farmers even surprised us with a delicious meal. Plate after plate filled with pancakes fish, chicken, noodles, vegetables….arrived at our table.
A short hike trough the high corn brought us to wall. We hike for couple kilometers on the wall, took some welcoming shadow brakes in the watchtowers and admired the beautiful scenery.
As heidi and I stayed a bit in a watchtower our american friends gave it their best and hiked a couple more kms on the to get the best out of their day. An easy hike down trough fields and farm villages brought us back to main road where our driver showed up the second we arrived. yeah I love it when things go smooth. Thank you for this beautiful day guys. I really enjoyed today’s talks. Good luck with the rest of your trip.
Fred & Heidi
- Camping on Jiankou great wall is something special. Special because the hike up the highest watch tower is only 6km but in that 6 km we our ascend is about 800m so this means … steep climbing. The hike is amazing though. Starting from a small village the hike goes over a picturesque path that lay under the shadow of some big trees. The end of the this road means the beginning of the climb. A little dirt trail curled up the mountain end led us to the famous Jiankou great wall. This west part of the Jiankou great wall is quit unknown for most people and that is off course why we like it. Once on the great wall we walked on small ledges, climbed steep staircases using all four or and more than once in while sat down to watch the breathtaking scenery. At the highest point of this part of Jiankou we turned the roof of a watchtower into our 4star room with a view camping spot, made a small bba and roasted our duck, potatoes and mushrooms. A bit of wine and a sip of bagio finished it off…. and off we went to sleep after a good days of exercise. Next day we brought or strength back up with sausagge bread an bacon and set of for a steep descend trough the forest. Clinging on rocks, plants and trees we climbed down till we reached an ancient Buddha cave with a magical tree in front of the entrance. From there a nicely paved staircase lead us to the valley where our driver was waiting for us. It was once more a “great” great wall camping adventure.
Are you planning far ahead but your favorite trip is not on our schedule at the time you’re coming to China? Are you an indepentdant traveler that wants to keep the costs as low as possible? Just let us know your favorite trip and starting date at least 6 weeks in advance and we will add your trip to our hiking agenda. As soon as we have 6 people joining the trip we are good to go!
Private tour prices for Jiankou – Gubeikou Great Wall camping (2 days)
Prices are per person and include:
Pick up and drop of by private bus at your hotel ( Please let us know the pick up address.)
English speaking guide, entrance tickets, hiking sticks
All meals as described in the itinerary and water for during the hike
All camping gear (tents,mats, sleeping bags, backpacks),
Are you planning far ahead but your favorite trip is not on our schedule at the time you’re coming to China?
Are you an independent traveler that wants to keep the costs as low as possible?
Just let us know your favorite trip and starting date at least 6 weeks in advance and we will add your trip to our hiking agenda.
As soon as we have 6 people joining the trip we are good to go!
Private tours are great ways to travel if you have a group of friends, family or colleagues ready to explore nature together.
Also for school trips or company team building activities, a private tour is the way to go.
We have experience guiding trips with up to 60 people from international schools and companies.
Price for private tours will vary depending on the number of people, the chosen transportation and accommodation.
Let us know your desires and we will customize a trip for you.