Great Wall Hiking
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Gubeikou Great Wall Hike (Winding Dragon) 1 day
Gubeikou Great Wall was built in the Qi dynasty (AD 555), it is the oldest Great Wall in Beijing (1460 years old). We will hike 10 km on top of the wild Great Wall and climb on and through Great Wall Watchtowers that have conquered the enemies during that time. With views from the whole Gubeikou Great Wall, the Jinshanling Great Wall and the Simatai Great Wall from this trip are mind-blowing Great Wall experience. It’s a family friendly hike with never ending photo opportunities with the Great Wall winding over the top of the hills.
A 2-hour drive brings us to a farmhouse in a small folk village on the border of Beijing and Hebei province. The local “chief of the Great wall” will serve us tasty lunch and tea.
From the farmhouse, we hike further into the valley, pass a small pond and an old village which is long forgotten. Here we head to the beaten track, into the woods and up to the ridge of small hill. 30 minutes later, we will arrive at the Great Wall. A short hike on the Great Wall brings us to the General Tower of the Winding Dragon section of the Gubeikou Great Wall. The General Tower is the highest point of the area to overlook the Gubeikou Great Wall and the Jinshanling Great Wall. If the weather is good, you can see all the way till the Jinshanling Great Wall. Picture time!
From the General Tower, we hike about 6-km on top of the Great Wall. We pass numerous very well-preserved watchtowers and beacon towers. On a rainy day they give us shelters, and on a sunny day we sit and relax on the rooftops.
After 3 hours of hiking on the Great Wall, we reach at the end of the Winding Dragon section of the Great Wall and it will show you different building styles carried out by the different dynasties.
After we take a small break at the last intact watchtower, we will head to a tiny hidden trail through the brush and walk into the valley till we reach at a small road where our driver will be waiting to bring us back to Beijing. Around 7 pm, we will be back in Beijing at our meeting point.
Level 2: Easy-medium
We rate this trip level 2 as it is a 1day hike on a fairly easy trail. There is one uphill hike of about half an hour to start with. The rest of the trail is just slightly going up and down. It’s a perfect trip for families with kids and people with an average physical condition will enjoy the trip as well. It is a safe trail but there are a few slippery spots so its good to wear shoes with a good grip.
Gubeikou Great Wall is located in Miyun county, 140 kilometers away from downtown Beijing.
Gubeikou was first built during the Northern Qi dynasty (550-557). In the early Ming dynasty (1368-1644), General Xuda was ordered to rebuild it. To enhance its defensive capability,...
Meeting point and Hiking location:
Trip and booking information
What to bring – Booking and Payment info
Discounts – What’s included - What’s not included –
Cancelation policy – Meeting point maps
What you should bring:
Comfortable hiking or sport shoes are recommended.
A small daypack to carry water
From October till April: warm jacket
From May till September: sun lotion & hat
Booking and Payment
You can reserve your place for the trip by clicking on “join this trip” and filling out the 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
Lunch & water
Transport, guide, entrance tickets
Not included in the price:
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 3 days before the trip will entitle the participant 100% refund.
In case of cancelation by the participant 3 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.
Meeting point maps
April was a month where we went to Gubeiko Great Wall quit a few times And every time it was completely different.
The second week of April is the week where everything is changing in the mountains around Beijing.
A few days later we were hiking on the same Gubeikou Great Wall…. This time the sun was shining and the hills were filled with white Apricot flowers.
Again a few days later the Apricot flowers where almost gone and and the strong wind give us rapid changes between sunshine and clouds during our hike from Gubeiko to Jinsanling.
Yesterday we went back again to Gubeiko Great wall and this time the sky was so clear we could see as far as the eye could reach. In this area of the Great wall that means that the landscape becomes so picturesque that it feels like you’re walking in a movie scene.
As you see this is times the same hike in the same month and yet every thing was so different each time we went there. Collors changed form yellow to white to green to blue…. a slow painter would have a hard time keeping track I guess
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
Sometimes people ask “me how many times we have been to this part of the great wall?” I honestly have to answer that I lost count. Than they ask me “don’t you get bored than?” My answer is always “absolutely not” This part of the great wall is just to beautiful to become boring. The surroundings change color every month, the people we guide change every time and sky we walk under every day. On this great wall camping trip the they sky was filled with fog and gave the scenery a very surreal feeling, specially in the evening when I was sitting a bit by myself in the evening watching the great wall disappearing in the fog. Well just have a look at the picture below… would you ever get bored?
As usual Panglonshan never fails to amaze our guests. The name Panglonshan is Chinese for laying dragon. This part of the Gubeikou Great wall has one of the most beautiful never ending winding stretches of great wall around Beijing. So it needs only a little fantasy to see it as a huge dragon laying curled up on the mountain ridges.
After a a few hours relaxed hiking on this dragon’s back we headed back to farmer house. Just in time. The humidity that was hanging in the air transformed in big shower rain the moment we stepped into the farm.
A nice local meal, a few beers and a game of poker with our spanish friends made this a very nice day.
Hope to see you again guys!
The winding dragon Great Wall is stil one of the most beautiful places for a 1 day great wall hike. Together with the Jewel family we visited this wild great wall. As usual we started with a good lunch with our favourite farmer family. Friendly as ever they spoiled us with a variety of vegetables dishes, chicken, pork,tofu, corn pancakes, tea and beer. Nothing tastes better than a home grown and cooked meal! Altough we felt more like taking a nap than going hiking after this meal we started hiking up the wall when the sun was at it’s highest.
The sky was clear so we were spoiled with a view of the winding great wall as far as the eye could reach. During summer the mountains surrounding this wall turn in to a lush green carpet making the scenery even more beautiful. Standing on one of the watchtowers I was wondering why people keep going to those tourist places and leave the most beautiful part for their imagination… My second thought was, please keep going there so we can keep walking here for a whole day without seeing a single soul! We didn’t rush on this hike but took our time to sit down and take in all the historical and natural beauty this places offers us.
After about 6 km hiking on the wall the explorer in us woke up again and we start hiking down the mountain trying to find a new route to turn this hike into a nice loop. All went as smooth as one can hope. some advise from the local farmers set us straight to the main road where we only had to wait a few minutes before our driver showed up.
It was another great hiking day with great people. Thanks for the great day guys! Hope to see you again one day in China, Belgium or California!
Fred & Heidi
The summer rain has arrived in Beijing and in no time the landscape surrounding the mountains carrying the Great
wall changed dramatically. The dry yellow mountains made place for a lush green landscape.
We made or way trough the farm fields where the first corn started coming up. A short climb and we reached the Yuan Dynasty Great Wall. This 1000 year old wall is just made of earth. 500 years later, during the Ming Dynasty, this wall was fortified with bricks. As we continued or hike the Winding Dragon Great Wall became bigger and bigger and half an hour later we could see the farm where we had lunch far beneath us.
During our walk on the Great Wall we found some old pottery and and saw salamanders hunting for ants that where hiding under some of the Ming Dynasty roof tiles. The Dandelion where dancing with the wind throwing their seeds over bypassing caterpillars and grasshoppers. Life is definitely different on the mountains around Beijing than in the city.
Visiting the Great Wall is a must when you re in Beijing and hiking on top of it a great experience. But while you’re there…don’t rush. Go and sit on top of one of the watch towers watch the amazing scenery and all the small life it hosts. It will give you without a doubt a very special feeling.
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 this Hike
The price is per person ,Students & kids <18 get 10% discount , includes: Pick up and drop of by private bus, entree tickets, English speaking guide, lunch and water. ( Please let us know the pick up address )
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.