Summit of Great Wall Challenge Hiking: Two-day from Simatai West to Lianhuachi (private)
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Trip name: Summit of Great Wall Challenge Hiking:
Two-day from Simatai West to Lianhuachi (private)
Trip code: GWTA27
Trip length: 2 Days
Hiking sections: Simatai West, Jinshanling, Gubeikou, Jiankou, Mutianyu & Lianhuachi
Meeting point and time: Your hotel at 7:00 Day 1
Finishing point and time: Your hotel at 17:00 – 18:00 on Day 2(Dependent on traffic)
Hiking duration: 7 – 7.5 hours on Day 1; 6.5 – 7 hours on Day 2
Hiking distance: 14 km on Day 1; 10 km on Day 2
Best time to go: April/May/September/October, it’s very hot (30-35 C) in June/July/August
Physical rating: ★★★★★Strenuous
Departure: Your selected date, start and finish in Beijing, March to November

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Price

Group Size 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Price USD (2016) 360 370 380 400 420 420 450 690

All Prices shown are in USD (United States Dollar) and based per person and for twin-shared accommodations for multi-day hiking.

For group sizes over 9 please send us an email request to obtain the best possible rate.

Children under age 12 receive 50% discount. Children under 5 are free. Children’s price is based on adult travelers. Please send us children’s details in email.

Remember when comparing price, you get what you pay for. We don’t earn money by taking you to commissioned shopping stops, a common practice in China, wasting your time. Our guides are carefully selected, highly trained  and well-paid to be friendly and patient travel companions. We are not the cheapest, but we are one of the best.

Highlights

  • Wild Great Wall at Gubeikou, Simatai West, Jiankou & Lianhuachi
  • Partially restored Great Wall at Jinshanling & Mutianyu
  • Stunning photo opportunity of the Great Wall
  • Countryside-style food at local farmer’s guesthouse
  • Challenging hiking route

 

Detailed itinerary

In this 2-day challenging hiking, you will complete what the regular hikers walk for 4 days at Simatai West, Jinshanling, Gubeikou, Jiankou, Mutianyu and Lianhuachi, all photogenic sections of the Great Wall around Beijing. Every section of the Wall is different from the other, as well as the scenery. There are many ups and downs, as well as some big and steep steps. You have to be prepared for this lifetime adventure!

Day 1 Beijing – Simatai West – Jinshanling – Gubeikou
(7 – 7.5 hours, 14 km hiking)

Pick you up at your Beijing hotel at 7am and drive 2.5 hours to Simatai West. A 40-minute walking up will lead you to East-Five-Eye watchtower at Simatai West. You may take a few breaths before reaching the Wall, and will be rewarded by the breathtaking panoramic view of this amazing human constructions. Once standing on the top of the Wall, you could see Simatai, Jinshanling and Gubeikou in a clear day, what a spectacular view! We will walk mainly on brick steps at Jinshanling section and some of them are big. This section of the Wall is very popular among keen photographers for its intact watchtowers, beacon towers and other solid constructions. The steps rise up and down constantly and scenery is changing at every watchtower. Take a short break and some photos here, we will then walk westward to Jinshanling. We will get through Shalingkou and Zhuanduokou and then off the Wall at West-Five-Eye watchtower for 2.5 hours. A half-hour walking downhill will come to a farmer’s house in the valley, where we will have a basic and light lunch due to limited availability of food materials in this isolated location. As descendant of Wall soldiers, Mr. Chow’s family has lived here for centuries and now most of his neighbours had moved out of the valley for a better life. He enjoyed the peaceful life here and established a simple guesthouse for travelers. We will climb up the mountain again after lunch break at Chow’s house and walk on hilly path and then farmer field for 1.5 hours. Coming back to the Wall again at 24-Eye Watchtower at Gubeikou, we could see the panoramic view of the Crouching Tiger Hill in a distance if weather permits. The rest of 1.5 hours’ walking on the Dragon Hill is relatively flat and easier. Our driver is waiting for us at the end of Gubeikou. We will drive 2.5 hours back to our hotel in Beijing.

Jinshanling & Gubeikou Great Wall

Jinshanling is the name given to the wall situated on the Jinshan Mountains. Its earliest section was built in the 6th Century but most of what you see now also dates from the Ming Dynasty. The walkway along the top is paved with square bricks providing a level surface wide enough to construct batteries. Poems and tablet writings can be found here, left from the time General Qi Jiguang directed building of this section of the Great Wall. Barrier walls were built leading to the enemy to protect the towers. Some of the towers were storerooms for food, hay and weapons.

In 1378 (the 11th year of Emperor Hongwu’s reign in the Ming Dynasty), General Xu Da ordered this section of the Great Wall rebuilt. Gubeikou has probably seen more battles than any other parts of the Great wall, including some of the most famous in Chinese history. On the southern slope of Gubeikou stands a temple dedicated to Yang Ye, a famous Great Wall garrison general of the Song Dynasty. this is one of the oldest temples dedicated to this general in China. In WWII there’s fierce flighting between Chinese and Japanese armies for weeks, and a cemetery for some 300 Chinese soldiers is preserved close to the Wall.

Meals: lunch/dinner

Accommodation: local farmer’s guesthouse at Jiankou village (western toilet & shower)

Day 2 Jiankou – Mutianyu – Lianhuachi – Beijing
(6.5 – 7 hours, 10 km hiking)

Have a big breakfast at 7:00am and then make up sandwiches for today’s hike. We will drive 40 minutes to Jiankou. Our hike starts from a small village at the foot of the mountain. The first hour is a challenging straight up to Zhenbeilou Tower where we will have panoramic view of all Jiankou section. We will be rewarded by stunning scenery by the hard walk, and this is a great photo spot. The superb views, dense vegetation and many watch-towers make this a memorable trek. After refreshment and photo taking, we will continue eastward for Mutianyu. We have walked 2 hours so far and will approach Mutianyu soon which is a popular section among regular tourists hordes. The rest of walking today is mainly downstairs. There’s a sharp contrast between original Jiankou and restored Mutianyu. Keep walking on Mutianyu for 2 hours and we will leave the tourist behind and come across remote section at Lianhuachi. The last 1.5 hours steps are crumbling and we have to watch our feet carefully. Our driver is waiting for us at the end and we will then drive 2 hours back to the city.

Jiankou & Mutianyu Great Wall

Jiankou or the Arrow Nock is probably the most steep and dangerous section of the Great Wall around Beijing. We will skip the dangerous section, but not losing the beautiful scenery. The Wall was build on very narrow ridge, some part is just half-meter wide. Some part is almost vertical. The builders collected local stone for construction. We will check the basement of the Wall and find that one piece of stone will exceed two tons. Thanks to the solid stone and hard work of hundreds of thousands of builders, the Wall still stand here and we could walk today.

Both Jiankou and Mutianyu sections of the Wall were built in the Ming Dynasty (1368 A.D.-1644 A.D.). Mutianyu is well-known for its dense vegetation and wit fine stonework. It benefits from a recent restoration in 1980s. The brickwork is elaborate, with crenellations on both sides and finely curved eaves on some watch- tower roofs. There are decorative gables with animal statues, and tablets bearing calligraphy above some entrances.

Meals: breakfast/picnic lunch

Additional Information

IncludedNot IncludedWhat to take
  • Air-con vehicle with experienced driver
  • Personal expert English-speaking hiking tour guide
  • Entrance fees for the Great Wall
  • One night twin-shared accommodation at local farmer’s guesthouse
  • Unlimited bottled water; snacks; late lunch at farmers restaurant after hike
  • A certificate of completion for hiking on the Great Wall of China
  • Travel insurance
  • Cable car, chairlift or any other additional local facilities
  • Personal expenses
  • Tipping of hiking guide/driver recommended on good service on a 2:1 ratio separately
  • Comfortable hiking boots,
  • Sunscreen,
  • Sun-glasses,
  • First aid kit,
  • Lip balm, cap
  • Day pack

Notes

  • There is no toilet along the path on the Wall. There are toilets at the entrance of Gubeikou, Simatai West and Jiankou. Please prepare before hiking and always carry toilet paper by yourself.
  • Please don’t make any appointment after the trip as the return depending on the traffic between 5-6 pm.
  • You will be followed by local farmers at Jinshanling. The farmers will give you help along the way, as a reward they will sell some souvenirs. If you don’t like this, you have to say NO firmly at the beginning (MAYBE LATER does not work in Chinese culture) or just ignore them and not speak a word with them; otherwise they can be persistent and follow you all the way on the Wall.
  • Unlimited bottled waters are stored in our car/van today, and you need a day pack to carry them.
  • We will bring trekking poles in our car/van and please tell your guide if you need one.
  • It’s recommended to prepare some snacks before your departure from Beijing if you don’t like snickers.
  • Travel insurance is optional and is the sole responsibility of travellers. It is encouraged to have coverage of injury or accident.
  • As responsible travellers, we “take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprint”.

 

Gallery

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GWTA27- Summit of Great Wall Challenge Hiking
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