Great wall trekking
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As we walk toward the south, the Great Wall becomes less renovated, tourists become sparse and new views unfold. Just before we reach the restricted military zone, we take a detour of the wall and go up to a hill top where you have a fantastic 360 degrees view of the Great Wall winding on the mountain ridges.
We head down a small dirt trail that leads to a local farmer who will serve us an excellent lunch. With renewed strength, we follow a 5-km trail that curls alongside the wall, over the hills, through a small forest and pops out of the bush at the General tower of the Gubeikou Great Wall. Here we have reached the highest point of the day and another magical place for pictures.
The whole Winding Dragon and Crouching Tiger section of Gubeikou Great Wall are stretched out in front of you. We hike the Gubeikou Great Wall till the 5th watchtower and take a small dirt trail down the ridge, through the bush till we reach a small lake where our driver waits for us. By 7pm we will be back at our meeting point in Beijing.
Level 3: Medium-strong
We rate this trek to the Great Wall a level 3 as both days include a strong hike. The trail on the first day includes a good uphill hike and the trail on the second day is long enough to give it at medium strong rating. Everybody with a 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...
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 and long trousers are recommended.
A small daypack to carry water
Your camera & your favorite drink for during/after dinner
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
Food (lunch, dinner, breakfast) & water
Transport, guide, entrance tickets
Overnight stay at a farmhouse
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.
Meeting point maps
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 – Jinshanling – Gubeikou Great wall trekking (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
Overnight stay in the farmhouse t,
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.