We will embark on an exciting 18km Great Wall trek from the picturesque wild Gubeikou Great Wall, over the Jinshanling Great Wall all the way till the western section of the Simatai Great Wall. We stay overnight at a farmhouse located right in the middle of the wild Jinshanling Great Wall. It’s a trek where the views go from excellent to simply fantastic. In the end of day 2, you will feel the muscles, but the hike is enjoyable for everyone with an average physical condition.
Hiking Distance: 18km
Hiking Duration: 4h/day
Hike level: 4 strong
Departure time: 8:30 am
Back in Beijing: 7-8 pm/next day
Price: RMB 1700 (RMB 1530 for kids 7-17, RMB 1360 for membership, RMB 850 for kids younger than 7)
Gubeikou – Jinshanling – Simatai Great Wall Trekking
From our meeting point (Lama Temple Subway exit B), our driver will drive for 2-hour to get to the border of Beijing and Hubei. In our first stop, we will meet our longtime friends at the Gubeikou Great Wall. They are local farmers that 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 will enjoy a delicious meal in their backyard. From here our adventure starts.
It takes us only 15-minute to arrive the hill behind the farmhouse before we have our first glimpse of the Gubeikou Great Wall. We will get to the top of the Great Wall after a few turns on a dirt trail. We hike from tower to tower, we will take breaks on top of different watchtowers and take some great photos on this 1400-year-old section of the Great Wall.
3 hours later, we arrive at the highlight of today’s trail, the Gubeikou General Tower. From this tower, you can see the “whole Gubeikou-Jinshanling-Simatai Great Wall trek” from the head to tail. In a clear day, we can even see the highest tower at the end of the Simatai Great Wall. We side track a bit from the wall to get around the restricted military section of the wild Gubeikou and Jinshanling Great Wall. The side track is just as beautiful as we hike on the hill ridges and through the farm fields next to the Great Wall till we reach the farmhouse where we will rest for the night. The farm fields have gotten quite dry in this area so this farmer had the splendid idea to renovate his farm into a cozy homestay right next to the Great Wall.
We get up early next morning, and head straight for the Great Wall again after a good breakfast. A small trail will bring us pas an excellent view point and 15 minutes later we are on the wild Jinshanling Great Wall. The 10-km long Jinshanling Great Wall shows some amazing defensive features like barrier walls, battlement walls, watchtower, gun emplacements, shooting holes, horse blocking walls. We hike down 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 during the Ming Dynasty.
Our last hike is all the way to the uphill again. We will pass the General tower with its intoxicating views over miles and miles of the Great Wall and head to the last of the 67 watchtowers of the Jinshanling Great Wall. Here we reach the Simatai Great Wall. We visit 4 more towers at the Simatai Great Wall and take a last spectacular picture of the Fairy tower, the highest tower on the Simatai Great Wall. A small trail through the forest will bring us to the end of the valley. An excellent lunch will fill our hungry stomachs and a few beers will quench our thirst. After lunch, we can have a nap in the van while our faithful driver brings us back to our meeting point in Beijing. The estimated arrival time is at 4 pm.
Level 4: strong
It is a challenging trip for people in good shape. They are often multi-day trekking or trips with more dangerous uphills and downhills.