Great Wall Camping
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Day 2 : Gubeikou Great Wall to Jinshanling Great Wall Hike (camping or homestay)
A 12-km hike from the authentic fortresses of the Gubeikou Great Wall to wild Jinshanling Great Wall. The scenery here is stunning and the photo opportunities are endless.
After a cup of coffee on the roof top of the Great Wall watchtower, we hike down to a small trail through the forest where our driver will be waiting for us. We put our camping gear in the van and drive to the Gubeikou Great Wall.
After a great lunch with our friends from the local village, we start our hike on Beijing’s oldest Great Wall. The Winding Dragon section of the Gubeikou Great Wall is over 1500 years old. As we hike on the Great Wall, the scenery will become more and more stunning. Once in a while we climb on the rooftop of the watchtowers, and have a rest and take some memorable pictures.
We reach at the Gubeikou’s General Tower after a 7-km hike. It is a massive tower with views of the whole Gubeikou Great Wall, the Jinshanling Great Wall and even the Simatai Great Wall. It’s the highest point of today’s hike and a magical place for pictures.
From this 2-story height watchtower, we head down to a small dirt trail that leads to a local farmer who will serve us an excellent dinner. You can choose to have a rest and stay overnight at the farmhouse with view on the Great Wall or you can pitch your tent on a scenic spot right next to the Great Wall.
Day 3 Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall
After a good local breakfast, we start hiking again and within 20 minutes we set our first steps on the Wild Jinshanling Great Wall. The 10-km long Jinshanling Great Wall shows some amazing defensive features like barrier walls, battlement walls, watchtowers, gun emplacements, shooting holes, horse blocking walls. We hike down on the crumbled section of the Wild Jinshanling for about 30 minutes till we reach the most famous and best preserved section and partly restored section of the Great Wall. Here you can see how the Great Wall of China looked like during the Ming Dynasty.
The last part of our hike is all the way uphill again. We will pass the General Tower with its intoxicating views over miles and miles of Great Wall and head for the last of the 67 watchtowers of the Jinshanling Great Wall. We reach at the Simatai Great Wall. We visit 4 more towers on the Simatai Great Wall and take a last spectacular picture of the Fairy tower, which is the highest tower on the Simatai Great Wall. A small trail through the forest will bring us to the end of the valley where a good lunch awaits us. After lunch, our driver will drive us back to Beijing. We will be back at our Lama Temple meeting point at 4 pm.
Level 4: strong
We rate this hike level 4 because it’s a long 3-day hike where you for sure will feel your leg muscles after the climb to the Jinshanling staircases on day 3.
The first day hike includes a good uphill hike with backpacks but the hike is not too long. Everybody with a normal physical condition can do each day trip, but for completing the 3 days hiking trip with a smile you’ll need an above average physical condition.
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 dolomite which is different from the bricks used for building Mutianyu and Simatai Great Wall. So the base of Jiankou Great Wall is much harder and stronger, as well as steeper and higher compared with other sections of the Great Wall in Beijing.
This is not something like touristic Disney-style Walls restored to please you, but real Great Wall. Most Beijing people loving outdoor activities heard about it. Many people have seen a picture of it from books or postcards because it is well known for its unique...
Meeting point and hiking location:
Detailed hiking route:
Day 1: Jiankou Great Wall Hike
Day 2: Gubeikou to Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall Trekking
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
in The April 11 I been guide three people hiking from Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great wall and camping next to the Jinshanling Great wall
usually we hiking the opposite driection start from jianshanling Great wall and nighe camping next to GubeikouGreat wall but this time the day before i check the weather , the wind level is 4-5, so in the morning we decided start hiking from Gubeikou Great wall and night camping next to Jinshanling Great wall, because the Jinshanling Great Wallit camp site is more sheltered
together is four of us ,me Heidi and two Dutch Nicky and her boy friend , one Norwegian Hans there are so nice people ,i like then a lot , after we set up tens We talked under the moon and the stars. Nicky will traveling a one year in Asia, and Hans is law professor teach at Peking University short-term
during the day there are some cloudy and wind ,
but we are lucky afternoon around 4 clock the sky became clear when we arrived camping site we have a good sunset and beautiful moon and the stars at night
I bought a new camera, hoping to take the stars pic , because I often take guests camping on the great Wall, often see a very beautiful starts , Unfortunately my little camera is not good enough, maybe good enough , i just should learn good from camera manual . the Stares pic is not beautiful like a reality ,
The happy prospect of another expedition with China Hiking. We join the crowded highway heading out of Beijing. Many are leaving a crowded place in order to spend their free time among more crowds. But we are heading for solitude, to a wilder section of the wall where there are no vendors or garbage bins.
This solitude is remarkably easy to find. The watchtowers stand alone. There are two main seasons up here. The green season and the brown season. At this time of the year (the last part of the green foliage season in our case) wild apples and berries can be picked and enjoyed en route. The sun is shining and there is a pleasant breeze.
The wall never fails to impress as it snakes across the landscape. The shapes of distant hills layered into the horizon in various shades of grey. It is a photogenic place and I have never witnessed any hiker up here who has been disappointed with the views.
I have brought a bicycle with me. I like to think it’s the first one that has ever made it to this section of the wall. It’s not a real one, but a model. A gift from a friend who cannot be here because of work commitments, but who I hope will appreciate being remembered. This mini-bike looks remarkably at home nestled among the stones of the watch towers and crennelations of the wall borders. I can’t help thinking about the sentries and guards who watched over this place. They would have found these full sized metal and aluminum horses incredibly useful. It was to be hundreds years before other invaders brought bicycles to this land.
Fred and I rxchange comments of enthusiasm about the place. We never get bored of being here. As guide and customer respectively we feel privileged to be allowed to come back to the Great Wall.
It is our favourite wall in the world.
Heidi and Fred support the local people. A nearby farmhouse supplies dinner. The food is ferried up a steep path to the campsite on a huge wooden plank. Delicious. Later, this and the accompanying wine and beer, induce an exchange of songs from a variety of different countries. This takes place around the crackling campfire at this time of the year. During the brown season it is strictly forbidden as the risk of starting a bush fire is too great.
Banter joins the sparks on random trajectories when darkness descends. As the moon and stars appear the conversation topic switches briefly to constellations. Everyone is in a good mood. Our tents, mats and sleeping bags are in position to transport us to sleep.
. . .
After a sumptuous outdoor breakfast at the farmhouse, which includes noodle soup and current buns, we conclude the journey by hiking the remaining few kilometers to the minibus with our clothes smelling of campfire smoke and the desire to repeat this unforgettable experience at some point in the future. In my case hopefully before the green season is over!
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.
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-Jinshanling-Simatai West Great Wall Camping 3 Days (3 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)
|Group size||price per person in CNY||Price per person in USD|
|Nr of people||Adults||kids < 18||Adults||kids < 18|
|4||3900 ¥||3510 ¥||645 $||581 $|
|5||3600 ¥||3240 ¥||596 $||536 $|
|6||3300 ¥||2970 ¥||546 $||492 $|
|7||3000 ¥||2700 ¥||497 $||447 $|
|8||2800 ¥||2520 ¥||463 $||417 $|
|9||2700 ¥||2430 ¥||447 $||402 $|
|10||2600 ¥||2340 ¥||430 $||387 $|
|15+||please contact us for larger group prices|
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.