Great Wall Encompassed Hiking from Huangyaguan to Xishuiyu (5 Day)
PA51-1

Trip name: Great Wall Encompassed Hiking
from Huangyaguan to Xishuiyu
Trip code: GWPA51
Trip length: 5 Days
Hiking sections: Huangyaguan, Gubeikou, Jinshanling, Simatai West, Jiankou, Mutianyu, Huanghuacheng, Xishuiyu
Meeting point and time: Your hotel at 08:00 on Day 1
Finishing point and time: Your hotel at 16:00 – 17:00 on Day 5
Hiking duration: 3 hours on Day 1, 5 hours on Day 2, 3 hours on Day 3, 5 hours on Day 4, 4 hours on Day 5,
Best time to go: Late March to early November
Physical rating: ★★★★★Strenuous
Departure: Your selected date, start and finish in Beijing, all year round

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People travelling between 1st June and 30th September 2017 will be offered alternative itineraries due to closure of Jinshanling. Every section of the Great Wall is different from the other, and we try to offer the best possible experience. Please download alternative itineraries and the price is the same. You can reserve directly on our booking engine and we will confirm the atlernative plans.

Group Size 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Price USD (2016) 800 825 850 875 900 1020 1080 1780

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

  • Hike on less-visited, wild, original, restored and safe sections of the Great Wall
  • Try varied home-made food at local farmer’s guesthouses
  • Learn Chinese dumpling-making at one local family
  • Optional sunrise watching if weather permits
  • Optional camping by the Great Wall if traveling between May and September
  •  Insight visit to local villages near the Great Wall

 

Detailed itinerary

Day Wall Sections
Day 1 Beijing to Huangyaguan
Day 2 Gubeikou to Jinshanling
Day 3 Jinshanling to Simatai West
Day 4 Jiankou to Mutianyu
Day 5 Huanghuacheng to Xishuiyu – Back to Beijing
Day 1: Beijing to Huangyaguan (3 hours, 4 km hiking)

In the morning at 8am we will depart to Huangyaguan, a 2.5-hour journey. We will walk the Wall from Taipingzhai to Huangyaguan in 3 hours. If you’re energetic, you may challenge yourself by climbing up to the top of Sky Stairs. A lunch will be organised after the hike and then we will drive to Gubeikou village and stay overnight in this traditional walled village.

Originally built in 557 AD, the Huangyanguan Great Wall was repaired for the first time in Ming Dynasty with bricks and then restored again in 1985. It is 41 kilometres in length with its walls and towers built on mountain ridge with an average altitude of 738 metres. The name Huangyaguan translates to “Yellow Cliff Pass” and is named after the yellowish hills and rocks nearby. It is unique in that it has various different-shaped watchtowers. There are not many tourists in this area, as it is a remote and seldom visited location. The most unique feature here is the Street of the Eight Diagrams, an architectural wonder of the Ming Dynasty lying just below the pass. A labyrinth set up to confuse and entrap invading armies, this fortification design is based on the ancient trigrams of the Book of Changes. UNESCO placed Huangyaguan Great Wall on the UN list of the World heritage. In May each year marathon runners from around the world come here to participate in one of the world’s most demanding courses, with exhausting ascents, steep descents and more than 5,164 steps. We only walk this section once, rather than completing the circuit twice as is required of the marathon runners.

Accommodation: local farmer’s guesthouse at Gubeikou village (western toilet & shower)
Meals: lunch/dinner

Day 2: Gubeikou to Jinshanling (5 hours, 10 km hiking)

We drive for 10 minutes after breakfast to the entrance at Gubeikou, from where we trek to Jinshanling. Gubeikou is located 146 kilometres north of Beijing. It has the Panlong (Coling Dragon) and Wohu (Crouching Tiger) mountains in the background. In 1378 General Xu Da ordered this section of the Great Wall rebuilt.

Gubeikou has probably seen more battles than any other part of the Great Wall including some of the most famous in Chinese history. Our trek takes us eastward along the old city wall passing numerous watchtowers and other parts of the wall that have not yet been restored.

After 2 hours hiking on the wall of Gubeikou section, we have to get off the wall to avoid a military area nearby. Going through the path in the field for 1.5 hours, and then we will come back to the wall again on the Jinshanling section. We will then off the wall to have fresh Chinese dishes in a local farmer’s restaurant. We will drive back to Gubeikou village. A Chinese dumpling-making learning will be organised in the afternoon.

Accommodation: local farmer’s guesthouse at Gubeikou village (western toilet & shower)
Meals : breakfast/lunch/dinner

Day 3: Jinshanling to Simatai West (3 hours, 6 km hiking)

We will drive to Jinshanling in 20 minutes after breakfast at 8am. (Optional sunrise watching can be organised upon request without additional cost if weather permits, please advise your guide.) It will take about 3 hours hiking on the wall. We will get off the wall at East-five-eye Tower at Simatai West Great Wall.

This section offers arguably the finest hiking anywhere on the Great Wall. It is extremely photogenic, with over 15 watch-towers, and steep gradients that give constantly changing perspectives and wide, open views. There is fascinating variety in the watchtowers here. Some have two storeys, others three. Some have flat roofs, others rounded and others again are pitched with upturned eaves. The walkway along the top is paved with square bricks providing a level surface wide enough to construct or erect batteries. This section of the wall is wild, ruined, preserved and original. On a clear day, it is difficult to fail to take good photographs here.

We will drive (2 hours) to Jiankou village after lunch.

Accommodation: local farmer’s guesthouse at Jiankou Village (western toilet & shower)
Meals: breakfast/lunch/dinner

Day 4: Jiankou to Mutianyu (5 hours, 10 km hiking)

We will drive 40 minutes to start the hiking at Jiankou, and it will take 5 hours hiking on the wall. You will hike on both restored and original walls. We will drive (1.5 hours) to Huanghuacheng village after lunch.

Jiankou to Mutianyu section offers a wonderfully satisfying experience of the Wall. It has superb scenery, dense vegetation and many fine watch-towers in an excellent restored section which is about six metres broad. 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. The first one hour is going straight up and reaches the wall, and then hikes unrestored towers. The wild Wall to the west is the original Ming Dynasty with fine stonework, and there are almost no other people. You will be rewarded when you approach Zhenbeilou Tower, where you will have a breathtaking view of Jiankou section. There will be a sharp contrast when you arrive at Mutianyu with the restored wall and towers.

There’s a chance to try toboggan (optional) when finishing the hike at Mutianyu. We will then drive to Huanghuacheng village for the camping experience.

Basic shower is available at the guesthouse and we will also have home-made local dinner here. Our host will lift up all camping gears to the watchtower on the Wall after dinner. We will go back to the watchtower on the Wall by 30 minutes walking. Torch is necessary to find the way at night. You have to go toilet before ascending the Wall. Alternative accommodation at local guesthouses are available in case of bad weather in summer.

Accommodation: camping on the Great Wall
Meals: breakfast/lunch/dinner
Camping gears: twin-share tent, 1 sleeping bag & 1 rolling mat per person.

Day 5: Huanghuacheng to Xishuiyu (4 hours, 6 km hiking)

Wake up and enjoy breakfast on the Great Wall as the sun rises around you. It’s the right time to produce amazing photographs. At this time there are usually no other tourists on the wall, you have the wall to yourself. We will finish our breakfast on the Wall and then start the hike for 4 hours today.

Originally built in the Beiqi Dynasty (550 A.D.-577 A.D.), Huanghuacheng was extended and consolidated in the Ming Dynasty due to its close distance to the Ming Tombs area. It was critical to protect the imperial tombs area in the Ming Dynasty. There are four defence walls at this area and Huanghuacheng is the commanding center. The Wall was built on steep mountain ridges and it can be seen from a far distance. Two reservoirs were built in 1970s and the Wall was cut down at two positions, thus there’s reflection of the Wall on the lakes/ reservoirs.

The Wall at the beginning is steep and you have to take many breaks to ease your pace. You will meander through jungles and bushes after halfway. A stunning view is waiting for you  when you reach the last watchtower at today’s hike. You feel like you stand on the top of the Wall and enjoy a beautiful lake scenery.

A unique Hotpot lunch is followed the hiking at noon. Hotpot is originally from Sichuan Province and now is popular all over China. You can choose Plain or Spicy one as you like. This is also a good opportunity to practice your chopstick skills.. You will get back to hotel at 2-3 pm.

Meals: breakfast/lunch

Accommodation Overview
Day Location Accommodation Style
Day1 Gubeikou village Local farmer’s guesthouse comfort
Day 2 Gubeikou village Local farmer’s guesthouse comfort
Day 3 Jiankou village Local farmer’s guesthouse basic
Day 4 Huanghuacheng village watchtower on the Wall basic

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
  • Unlimited bottled water; snacks; meals as listed
  • 4 nights twin-shared accommodation in local hotels or guesthouses
  • Travel insurance
  • Cable car, chairlift, toboggan (slideway), flyingfox (zipline) or any other additional local facilities
  • Personal expenses
  • Tipping of hiking guide/driver recommended on good service on a 2:1 ratio separately
  • Passport (with photocopies)
  • Travel insurance (with photocopies, is required to show us before tour departure) USD cash and travellers’ cheques
  • Credit card or debit card
  • China entry visas (or vaccination certificates) required
  • Day pack (with water tank, or water bottle) for daily personal items Wet wipes/Moist towelettes
  • Alarm clock Flashlight/torch
  • Sun hat, sun block, sunglasses Insect repellent
  • Ear plugs for light sleepers Small towel
  • Toiletries (biodegradable)
  • Sturdy walking shoes/sports sandals/hiking boots Money belt
  • Shorts for summer months (June-August) Zip-off hiking pants/track pants
  • Shirts/T-shirts
  • Fleece, jacket, hat and gloves (in winter) Waterproof jacket
  • Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry
  • Camera and memory card Reading/writing material First-aid kit

Notes

  • You will hike the Wall from A to B and you need a day pack to carry water, snacks and other personal stuff.
  • Travel insurance is optional and is the sole responsibility of travellers. It is strongly encouraged to have coverage of injury or accident.
  • There is no toilet along the path on the Wall. There are toilets at entrances of all sections of the Great Wall, otherwise be prepared to commune with nature. Please prepare before hiking and always carry toilet paper by yourself.
  • Unlimited bottled waters are stored in our vehicle.
  • We will bring trekking poles in our vehicle and please tell your guide if you need one.
  • Since this trip will go through jungles and bushes, then long pants with zip-off legs will be the best in summer time and shorts are not recommended.
  • You will be followed by local farmers when starting the hike on Day 3. 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.
  • It’s recommended to prepare your own 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”.

 

Customized Pick-up & drop-off:

If you plan the hike on the first or last day of your duration in Beijing, we can include a customized pick-up or drop-off at the following points without additional cost. It’s safe to store your luggage at our car/van.

  • Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK at T1/T2/T3): arrival before 7am or departure after 7pm
  • Beijing Railway Station: arrival before 8am or departure after 7pm
  • Beijing West Railway Station (train to/from Xi’an): arrival before 8am or departure after 7:30pm
  • Beijing South Railway Station (train to/from Shanghai): arrival before 8am or departure after 8pm

Gallery

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GWPA51- Great Wall Encompassed Hiking
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