An epic Great Wall trek that covers 3 fantastic sections of the Beijing Great Wall. We will hike the amazing Wild Jiankou Great Wall and pitch our tents on the Great Wall or beside a watchtower. On the second day, we are going to hike 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: 6:00 pm (day 2)
Price: RMB 1700 (RMB 1530 for kids 7-17, RMB 1360 for membership, RMB 850 for kids younger than 7)
From our meeting point (Lama Temple subway station), we drive for about 2 hours till we reach on the picturesque Dazhenyu village. Before we start this Great Wall trek, we will enjoy a good farmhouse lunch in a yard that surrounded by chestnuts and with a view on the Jiankou Great Wall. The trip 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.
Jiankou Great Wall Trek
The view from the beginning of the Jiankou Great Wall trek is love at first sight. The Great Wall drops down into WangQuan (Spring valley) and climbs back out almost vertical. We ascend about 500 meters and follow a small trail up the mountain for about 1 hour till we reach the Great Wall at the second beacon tower. From this point of the hike, it’s all about enjoying the scenery.
As our trek on the Great Wall continues you can enjoy fantastic views of the valleys and the middle part of the 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.
Just before we reach at the 6th tower, we will pitch our tents on top of the Great Wall, cook dinner on a wood fire and watch the sunset with a glass of local wine. A small campfire will keep us warm while we watch the stars.
Jiankou Great Wall Camping
After breakfast, we pack our tents and leave this beautiful place without a trace. We hike down the mountain on an easy dirt trail for about 1 hour. Down in the Valley, our driver will pick us up and drive us to Jinshanling Great Wall.
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 every 100 meters.
As we walk toward 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 hike 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 a bush at the General Tower of the Gubeikou Great Wall. Here is where 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, walk through the bush till we reach a small lake where our driver will be waiting for us. By 7pm we will be back at our meeting point in Beijing.
Gubeikou Great Wall Trek
Level 3: Medium-strong
We rate this Great Wall trek level 3 because both days of the hike include an intense 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 a medium strong rating. People with normal physical condition will be able to enjoy this trip.