The Great Wall Trek on Jiankou, Jinshanling and Gubeikou Great Wall (2 days)
An epic Great Wall trek that covers 3 fantastic sections of the Beijing Great Wall. We hike the amazing wild Jiankou Great Wall and stay overnight in a local farmhouse with views of the Great Wall. The second day we hike on the restored part of Jinshanling Great Wall and the Wild Gubeikou Great Wall.
- Hiking Distance: 18 km
- Hiking Duration: 4h /day
- Hike level: 3 medium/strong
- Departure time: 9:30 am
- Back in Beijing: 6 PM (day 2)
- Price: 1700￥ (1,530 RMB for kids 7-17, 1,360 RMB for membership, 850 RMB for kids younger than 7)
Day 1: Jiankou Great Wall Trek
From our meeting point (Lama Temple subway station) we drive for about 2 hours till we reach picturesque Dazhenyu village. Before we start this Great Wall trek, we enjoy a good farm house lunch in a yard surrounded by chestnuts trees and with a view on the Jiankou Great Wall. It will be an 8-km hike with a total ascend of 600 meters, so you will need a fair bit of energy to make it to the top.
The start of the Jiankou Great Wall trek is amazingly beautiful. The Great Wall extended down into WangQuan (Spring Valley) and climbs back out almost vertical. We ascend about 500 meters following a small trail up the mountain for about 1 hour until we reach the Great Wall at the second beacon tower. From here it’s all about enjoying the scenery and relaxing with the fresh air.
As our trek on the Great Wall continues, you can enjoy fantastic views of the valleys and the middle part of Jiankou Great Wall. We will walk through and over 7 beacon towers, the best-preserved ones are called the 5-eye watchtower and the Jade tower.
At the highest point of our hike we reach a Great Wall intersection and follow the wall towards the middle part of Jiankou. This part of the hike is all downhill till the end of the hike. You’ll need a little balance occasionally, but it’s all safe. At the wall’s lowest point, we follow a small trail that curls through the forest and ends up right at our guesthouse in Zhuanghu village. The guesthouse is a farmhouse run by a friendly local couple. The Chinese country style rooms are clean and the chef will cook us an excellent organic dinner.
Day 2: Great Wall Trek from Jinshanling to Gubeikou Great Wall
We get up early and enjoy a good local breakfast before we step into our van and head for the Jinshanling Great Wall. It’s a 2-hour drive through the countryside. By 10.30am, we are ready to make our first ascend of the day.
The hike starts with a climb of the infamous staircases of the Jinshanling Great Wall. The Jinshanling section has a total length of 10km with intact watchtowers almost in every 100 meters.
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.