Great Wall Camping
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ChinaHiking Founders’ Favorite 3 Days Wild Great Wall Camping
We will trek to the Great Wall of china for 3 days. This 26-km hike is one of our harder ones but also one of the most beautiful ones. There really is no better place than this Yangbian Great Wall. We will set up ours tents and enjoy dinner with a bottle wine. This Yangbian Great Wall is really of the beaten path and it connects the Border Defense Great Wall with General Xu Great Wall. If you are in good condition, love hiking and would like to see some excellent wild Great Wall, then this is your trip! Have a look at the pictures and you will understand what we are talking about.
Day 1: Hiking and Camping at the Great Wall (General Xu Section)
Explore with us to the fantastic stretch of Great Wall built by General Xu in the Ming Dynasty as an example of how all the Great Wall around Beijing should look like. For this trip, we drive about 2 hours northwest to Hebei province. A farmhouse at the foot of the hills is our first stop. The farmer/great chef will cook us a delicious lunch and will bring the camping gear to our camping spot. No need to carry anything on this camping trip.
A 1 hour hike through the bush and on a gentle slope brings us to the Great Wall. We take a short break and prepare for a 2-hour gentle uphill hike on top of the Great Wall. There are a few parts where the Wall is crumbled, so make sure to wear some sturdy boots. The higher we get, the more fantastic views we can get. At the highest point of the day, about 1000 meters above sea level, we have amazing views over mountains, lakes and miles and miles of the Great Wall.
From the start of the hike, it takes us about 3 hours walking to reach our camping spot, a nice flat field right next to the Great Wall. If you still have energy, you can continue hiking for a bit till the next view point where you can see the Border Defense Great Wall curling over the mountain ridges. Or… you can relax with a beer and watch our chef cook for a fantastic meal over a wood fire. We finish the evening by watching the sunset, sharing hero stories and tasting some wine around the bonfire.
Day 2: Border Defense Great Wall Hike
The early morning sun will shine right in your tents and the smell of coffee will lure you out. We have breakfast, pack our gear and start hiking the Great Wall again. Today we hike with just a day pack. Our backpacks will be delivered to our next campsite. This 16km Great Wall hike is one of the most beautiful trails in Beijing. We will hike for 6 to 7 hours on top of the Great Wall with stunning scenery.
On the halfway of the hike, we will relax on top of a watchtower and have a simple packed lunch. Later, we continue hiking on the entire Border Defense Great Wall. This section of the Wall has never been restored and is seldom visited. Chances that we meet other hikers here are closer to zero. We strongly recommend bringing good hiking boots as we will meet some crumbled sections of the Great Wall on the way.
In the late afternoon, we will reach at the lowest point of the Great Wall and follow a small dirt trail that leads to an apricot orchard, our camping spot for tonight. We celebrate our trek with a good dinner, some beers around the campfire.
Day 3: Heading Back to Beijing
We pack up our tents and head to the village for a good local breakfast before we drive Back to Beijing. By noon we will be back at our Lama Temple meeting point.
Level 3: Medium-strong
A good physical condition is required for hiking in these designed trails. Hikes marked as level 3 are usually long day hikes or day hikes that include a steep uphill hike and/or trails where some balance is needed. Usually kids from age of 10 are all right with these trips.
General Xu Great Wall is about 100 kilometers west of Beijing, in Huailai county northeastern of Hebei province. It it located in the mountain near Miaogang Village, it’s also called the Miaogang Great Wall.
It was built during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). It stretches for more than 10 kilometers after the renovation under the supervision of General Xu Da. The original section accounts for 2.5 kilometers.
It was built by stones and rocks in irregular shapes from the mountainside. The Wall is sturdy. The tops are paved with large slabs of stone. Ochre moss grows on the stones form different patterns. Legend said that...
Border Defense Great Wall camping map:
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
General Xu Great Wall camping (2days) June 18 2016
————— Blog written by our guest Gerale
Back in the days when, if you had talent and influence, you appointed yourself project leader, General Su had a vision for a section of the Great Wall. It was designed and built to set an example to all other areas. Today, this defiantly intact, majestic structure testifies to the quality of the design and workmanship. It was grander and wider, harder to scale and more daunting to any prospective invaders from the North. Undulating across the hilly landscape it remains unashamedly photogenic. And, apart from your fellow Dandelion Hikers, there’s not a soul around. Where the wall has crumbled, it has been through the interference of humans. Were the towers still in place, this would be a contender for mass tourism.
It’s that beautiful.
But those towers were systematically dismantled during the Cultural Revolution. To complete this section of the wall we didn’t need too much talent or influence. The initial ascent was steep – and we were grateful for the energizing lunch Heidi and Fred had organized for us in a local village, but we were quickly on the wall and rewarded with stunning views. Grateful for our decent footwear and reserves of water on this sunny day, we followed the wall’s course in a westerly direction for another hour or so, until we reached an impressive, flat section. We pitched our makeshift base camp for the night – a vantage point from which we could admire the sunset, moon rising and stars. Apart from the odd hoot from nocturnal birds of prey and the wind there was no other sound to be heard. There was the general feeling we were a million miles away from the big city.
Far from being a military operation Dandelion Hiking’s Heidi and Fred guided us through the General Su section with sensitivity and flexibility. Nobody felt rushed and there were frequent breaks to admire the work of dozens of farming generations, who had carved terraces for the cultivation of apricot seeds, dates and apples. Heidi’s enthusiasm for the land, flora and fauna and Fred’s affable personality (he seemed to be interested and knowledgeable about any topic you cared to bring up) made for stimulating company as we perched on the wall and raised a glass of Great Wall wine to toast General Su at the end of a massively rewarding day. Definitely not to be missed.
August has been a great month for hiking and camping on the great wall. The heat and humidity made us lose a lot of build up winter fat and we became fitter than ever. We explored new places on Zhenbianchen great wall and discovered new valleys with smiling farmers on Gubeiko great wall. Heidi took cooked exellent chinese lunches and I did what I m best in “bbq roasted beijing duck with and serve great wall wine” on top of the wild great wall.
We are always happy to show people our favourte spots on Beijing’s great wall. On most of our trips we didn,t see any body at all. Except maybe a farmer collecting herbs on top of the mountain or some local hikers who dont want to see tourist parts of the great wall.
I sometimes ask myself the question why everybody goes to Badalin, simatai or muntianyu. But before I can even think of the answer, a smile comes on my face and realize that is such a good thing that all tourists go there leaving the real gems all for us.
Befor Juli we were doing more 1 day hiking trips to the great wall. Which is good but definitely not as good camping. To reach the great wall (no matter what section) it takes at least 1,5 hours by local or private transportation. So a return trip takes for sure 4 hours which means on a one day trip you spend more time on transportation than actually hiking on the great wall. That’s why we thought lets just go always camping. This way we have relaxed time on the wall, out of the bustling metropolitan. Now we are just taking small groups camping, letting everybody absorb the beautiful surroundings and watch the sun rise and set with a glass of wine and new friends.
Now august has passed and perfect september weather has arrived in Beijing. While the collours will be slowly changing from green to yellow september will all about multiple days hiking and camping on the great wall. Cooler weather does not only mean more comfortable great wall hiking but also that the season for a good desert hike is cloosing in. In october we will go for a 6 day adventure in the Badajilin desert. Including a 3 day hike trough the sand dunes, camel rides and jeep rides to some of the desert most beautiful oasis and temples. A true china higlight!
Great wall hiking in Beijing can be done in different ways. This great wall hike & hot spring combinations is one of my favorites ones.
Hengling village, where our hike starts is about 200km from Beijing. The village itself doesn’t look very important now, but in the Ming Dynasty it was a double walled defense village in a valley that was called the northern gate to Beijing. Numerous attack where executed here by the Mongols. For this reason the Chinese army ordered General Xu to build an extra strong wall in this area. Xu was known for his engineering and made this wall as an example of how other parts of the Beijing great wall should be build. Even today, this great wall still stands as strong as as it did 600 years ago
From Hengling village we follow the Great Wall for a while till we reach an old classic farmer village. It’s quit a magic place surrounded by great mountains and Great Wall. Only a few families live in this Ming dynasty village. We had healthy lunch at the village, a little chat with an old lady and her grand daughter and watched a 76 year old farmer taking care of is apple trees.
After lunch we headed straight for the mountains. At the highest point of this area(1350 meter) we had a fabulous view of the great wall winding over the ridges of mountains that surrounded us. From here it was only a 30 minute hike to one of the strongest parts of great wall around Beijing. Once on top of this great wall everybody us always amazed by the magic of this place, Heidi and me included.
Taking pictures on the way we follow the great wall for a couple km before going down in the valley and trough the orchards. At the end of this valley our driver is waiting for us with his usual smile, ready to drive us to our reward ” A top notch natural hot spring”.
And this is way this is one of my favorite trips. What is better than relax in hot spring and have a foot massage after an 18km hike on some superb great wall with great scenery and not one other tourist! Nothing can beat this I guess.
This location is called General Xu Great wall. General Xu became famous for the Yangbien great wall as an example of how all parts of the great wall in Beijing should be build. Most towers of this great wall have been destroyed during the cultural revolution but the mighty Yangbien great wall still stands very robust in a magnificent scenery. Weather conditions on this trip where just perfect. Have a look at what probably will go in to our top great wall camping trips of this year.
Our great wall trek went trough orchards and past a picturesque mountain village close to wall.
After 10 km hiking trough the mountain we arrived at the mighty Yangbien great wall.
As the sun went down the fog came up and started flowing over the mountain ridges like a magic potion.
By the time the sun set we pitched our tents and just enjoyed the surreal scenery.
And of course no camping trip is complete without dinner at a campfire.
No big effort needed to take an early morning picture 😉
And there we have early bird number 2&3
We are already looking forward to guide you!
Heidi & Fred
Camping on the Great Wall is always a great experience but if you can finish it off with a relaxing overnight stay at a spa resort than you just gave yourself a treat of a lifetime. No need to tell much about this relaxed hike on the Great Wall. Just have a look at the pictures and they will speak for themselves…
To give you the best Great Wall hiking and Camping trip in Beijing Chinahiking keeps Exploring as much as possible.
There is 630km of Great Wall in Beijing and Chinahiking has explored almost every section but there are always new parts of Great Wall to explore. For this hike we tried out new valleys to enter and exit and what an experience that gave us. When trying to reach the Yangbien Great Wall you have to be pretty care full as the valley’s that reach towards it are long and confusing. One wrong turn on a little road and you end up on a totally other mountain range than you intended. And even if you take the right trail it might just suddenly stop and this was exactely what happen on this Great Wall exploring trip.
The valley we entered was beautiful like a fairy tale. It was a clear spring day so we were walking trough orchards of white and pink flowers untill… the trail ended.
An ending of a trail never means ending of exploring but the start of adventure. We made our way trough bush and dry leaves and often had to climb on hands and feet over steep mountain flanks. It was hard… very hard work. With only 30 minutes before sunset we still hadn’t reached the great wall. Our gps told us that we had to climb no more than 30 meters to reach the top of the mountain so the confidence was still there. Slowly but surely we made our way up the mountain and soon we got bricks of the Great Wall in sight. At that point we had been climbing that mountain for about 6 hours but no steep hill with dense thorny bush could keep us from reaching our destination ‘one of the most beautiful great wall parts in Beijing”
No victory tastes as sweet as the victory you had to work and suffer for and this victory was very sweet. We reached the Great Wall at it’s highest point of the area 1300m above sea level.The view was so amazing. The wild great wall lingering over the mountain ridges as far as we could see, Just amazing. We pitched our tents on nice flat piece of grass and watched the sun painting an orange glow on the Great Wall as it slid behind the mountains. A simple dinner and bit of scotch prepared us for a deep sleep on the Great Wall hiking in beijing
Next day the birds woke us up and rays of sunlight started warming up the fresh mountain air. Waking up in a scenery like is really refreshing when you’re living in the heart of Beijing.
In no time we were up for day 2 of our great wall trek. This day was just easy enjoyment as we did all the climbing the day before. About 5km downhill hiking on top of the wall passing tower after tower, valley after valley until the wall touched the valley.
It was only a short walk trough the fields before we saw our faithful driver waiving. We reached civilisation again, had a great adventure, a camera full of pictures and a new part of the Great Wall.If you d like to hike this part of the Wall (without the heavy climb in the start) than check our webiste www.chinahiking.cn and look for the Great Wall camping trip ” Border Defence great wall to General Xu Great Wall” Trough this hike we found the connection and the best valleys to take (and not to take) for a great 2 day camping trip on the Yangbian Great Wall. Have a look at more pictures of this trip on this link
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 ChinaHiking Founders’ Favorite 3 Days Wild Great Wall Camping
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)
Price per person in CNY
Price per person in USD
|Nr of people||Adults||Kids < 18||Adults||Kids < 18|
|4||2600 ¥||2340 ¥||430 $||387 $|
|5||2450 ¥||2205 ¥||406 $||365 $|
|6||2300 ¥||2070 ¥||381 $||343 $|
|7||2150 ¥||1935 ¥||356 $||320 $|
|8||2100 ¥||1890 ¥||348 $||313 $|
|9||2050 ¥||1845 ¥||339 $||306 $|
|10||2000 ¥||1800 ¥||331 $||298 $|
|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.