One-Day Great Wall Hiking from Gubeikou to Jinshanling

Highlights:

  • Gubeikou was a strategic fort to protect the capital in ancient times. This section of the wall meanders through the countryside and mountains, and you will be rewarded by the scenery along both the Gubeikou and Jinshanlng sections.
  • Gubeikou, along with the passes at Shanhaiguan and Juyongguan, was a key strategic target in military campaigns since ancient times. Protecting these three passes was considered vital for keeping Beijing safe from the Mongolian nomads. The vistas of the sinuous Wall snaking its way over the ridges of the Yanshan are breathtaking.
  • The Jinshanling Great Wall, while much of it is restored, is not nearly as crowded as Badaling or Mutianyu, allowing you to have a more intimate experience with the wall. Jinshanling is known for it many beautiful watchtowers, as well as the way it winds and snakes its way along the mountains. When you first get up on Jinshanling you will be stunned.

Detailed Itinerary: (10km/6miles, 5-6 hours of hiking)

Our car or minivan will pick you up anywhere within the 3rd ring road, probably between the times 7:00-7:30am. and from your pick up we will drive directly to the Gubeikou great wall. The drive should take a little over 3 hours. Gubeikou Great Wall occupies a strategically important location, which is difficult to access. Situated between Shanhaiguan Pass and Juyongguan Pass, and about 62 miles to Beijing, it is the bastion protecting the northern gateway to the capital. There are 14 beacon towers, 143 watchtowers, 16 strategic pass, three citadels and many other military constructions. Many of them are famous cultural relics, such as the Big Flower Beacon Tower of the Northern Qi Dynasty, Fairy Tower, General Tower, and the dominant Wangjing Tower.

Today we will hike for around 10 km/6 miles. Gubeikou is covered with over 140 watchtowers, all differing in size and design. From the wall here you will be able to witness how the wall twists and winds along the steep mountain ranges. This is as dramatic a view on the Great Wall as you’ll find. If the weather is clear, you will be able to see the shimmering blue lake of the Miyun Reservoir. There is a section on the wall that is part of a military base, so you will be able to walk and explore a quaint nearby local village and re-enter the wall at Jinshanling.

Much of the hiking that we will do on Jinshanling today is relatively easy, as much of the wall here is restored and the surface smooth. Jinshanling has five main passes and 67 watchtowers. Every 100 meters (328 feet), there is an enemy tower each of which is about ten meters (33 feet) high. Featuring various structures and having various functions, those watchtowers are either one tiered or two-tiered. Among them, the most celebrated are the Big and Small Jinshan Watchtowers. The Wangjinglou Tower, the General Tower, the Black Tower and the Taochun Tower are also must-sees on the Jinshanling Great Wall. Each tower has its legend. Legend has it that the stone bars used to build the Wangjinglou Tower were carried to the mountaintop by Er Lang Shen, the nephew of the Jade Emperor. The general tower was named to commemorate Wu Guihua, a heroine who sacrificed herself to resist northern invader's invasion in the Ming Dynasty. The Black Tower and the Taochun Tower were christened to commemorate two girls, Heigu and Taochun, who made great contributions to the construction of the Great Wall.

Note: Please remember to bring your own snacks, drinks, and lunch, as a meal will not be provided on this hike. Stuff you should bring with you:
  • Tough hiking boots, sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Backpack, and snacks or energy/protein supplements you want to have before lunch
  • Extra cash for driver/guide tips
  • Don’t forget your camera!

Cost of A Private Tour Includes

The price includes entrance fees to all the three parts of the Wall, the car and the guide fee. It does not include water, snacks, personal items, tourist Insurance (RMB30/pax) , cable car (gondola) or other extra cost for unforeseen event.