Great Wall Trekking from Old Dragon's Head to Gubeikou
Seven-day Camping and Hiking Tour from the China Sea
Hiking on the Great Wall for seven days is design for the Great Wall lover. Built to ward off enemies in ancient times, today the Great Wall brings together people from all corners of the world. Hiking along the Great Wall, is substantially different than simply making the usual short visit. You will not only accept a challenge physically, but also obtain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Chinese history and culture, as well as man's creative power. In the tour, we will start from the Old Dragon Head in Hebei province, the eastern starting point of the Ten-thousand-li Great Wall, to Huangyaguan Pass in Tianjin, and trek on to Simatai, Jinshanling and Gubeikou in Beijing. The sections of the Wall you will visit are typical in architecture, scenery, wildness, and military importance. The total length we will trek in the trip is about 60km. Some part of the wall is too broken to walk, please prepared to experience some hardship on the way. You have the chance to visit and explore beautiful sections of the Great Wall that most people will never see.
Day by Day Itinerary
Beijing-the Old Dragon Head-Shanhaiguan-Jiaoshan Great Wall
Meet at the airport or railway station, and then we will have a four-hour drive from Beijing to Old Dragon Head(400km away). After lunch, we will visit the old Dragon's Head where the Wall meet the sea and also considered as the eastern starting point of the Great Wall. After the visit of Old Dragon's Head, we will hike from Old Dragon's Head directly to Shanhaiguan Pass(also know as the First Pass Under Heaven). It will take us 1-1.5 hour on the way to pass villages until we see the Gate towers of the Shanhaiguan Pass. After one-hour's visit of Shanhaiguan Pass and the Great Wall Museum inside, we will be transferred to the hotel to have a rest. We will stay at First Pass Hotel in Shanhaiguan Pass (a simple but clean hotel with private washroom and hot water shower).
Jiaoshan-Sandaoguan Great Wall
Today we will hike from Jiaoshan to Sandaoguan (Three-layer of wall Pass), it will take us 5-6 hours. (as the cable car will not open until May holiday) Hiking from the bottom of Jiaoshan Mountain up directly and enjoy the beautiful bird-view of Shanhaiguan city in the early morning sun-light. Hiking partly on the wall and partly by following a wild mountain trail in a northeasterly direction for about three to four hours, you will find yourself in the beautiful valley overlooked by Mt. Longevity: huge stones, quiet forest and crystal creeks. In the shadow of Mt. Longevity sits the little village of Sandaoguan with about 35 families living in it. Walk down to Sandaoguan village. After a short rest, we will drive about one and a half hours to Dongjiakou village, stay in the local farmer's home, very simple but clean (two-bed, with no private washroom and hot water for shower.).
Dongjiakou-Chengzhiyu-Xiaohekou Great Wall
In the early morning, we will hike up the mountain in Dongjiakou village for the beautiful arch-stones with relief and Cihou, a special structure on the Wall could only be seen in this part of the Wall (about one hour). Then we will go around the Donjiakou village for the ruin of the fortress and chat with the villagers, who are the descendants of the builders and guards of the Great Wall. The rest of the trek to Xiaohekou takes us about 5 hours, passing Chengziyu village on the way (where we will have our lunch at). At the end of the trek, we will drive from Xiaohekou to Eastern Qing Tomb, stay in Qingfeng hostel nearby (two-bed one room, with private washroom).
Eastern QingTomb-Huangyaguan Section Great Wall
In the Morning, we'll visit to the Eastern Qing Tomb which far surpass in splendor and majesty of their more famous predecessors, the Ming Tombs, They form a countryside version of the Forbidden City and are nearly as elaborate. Tastefully restored for the most part, this Imperial city is vast, grand, and less crowded. A half-an-hour-drive will take us to Huangyaguan Pass, after our lunch in the hostel. After a brief rest in the hostel (two-bed one room with private washroom) We will drive to Taipingzhai and hike for about one hour westward to Huangyaguan. Overnight at the hostel of Huangyaguan (two-bed one room with private washroom)
Huangyaguan- Qianganjian 2# Village (about 4-5 hours hiking) -Simatai Section Great Wall
Huangyaguan is situated in a beautiful valley in the heart of the Yanshan Mountains. We start our walk heading up the steep renovated steps towards what appears to be a sheer cliff face. This is where we encounter "Heavens Ladder", a steep climb of over 200 steps leading us up to the cliff face. Once we have caught our breaths, the path continues gradually up to the top of the ridge and once again the old Wall, which follows the contours of the mountain. We drop down into the nearby valley and clamber along the Wall as it gradually descends to the valley below. Meet our bus waiting and drive from Qianganjian village to Simatai (about 3 hours). Overnight in the Youth hostel at the bottom of Simatai (three-bed one room, with private washroom).
Simatai-Jinshanling Section Great Wall
Today we will trek westward for about 12km on the wild wall until we arrive at our camping site in Jinshanling Section. Have picnic lunch on the way. Then we will trek until we arrival at Jinshanling part of the Wall. Enjoy the breath-taking sun-setting and sky dotted with stars. Stay in the hostel at the bottom of the Wall.
Jinshanling-Gubeikou Section Great Wall
Continue trek west from Jinshanling to General Tower in Gubeikou, on the way, you will pass a military area where you have to trek a short distance country road away from the wall. Today's trekking is easy because the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall is still kept well. At the end of the trek drive back to Beijing, the end of the tour.
- Transportation: a van/car will accompany us for the whole tour. While we are trekking on the way, it will transfer our food and big packages to the appointed site or hostel and wait.
- Equipment: rope (very necessary in some part of the wall), water(4 liter per day), two walkie-talkies, compass, first aid kit.
- One experienced tour leader (English-speaking) and several service persons along the wall. The service person will bring the package, food and other necessaries to the appointed place waiting.
- All the entrance ticket to the scenic spots mentioned in the itinerary.
- Accommodation: twin and tri-share clean hostel in the small county and village; 3star hotel in the city.
- All the meal in the itinerary with simple picnic lunch while trekking on the wall. Water: 4 liter per person per day.
- Travel service liability insurance.
- Personal stuff: sun - cream, sun-glasses, pocket knife, cap, rain coat, hiking boots, camera, bag, etc.
- Personal expenses: snakes, soft drinks, laundry, local or long-distance call.
- Tips to tour guide and driver;
- Tourist accident insurance: you are strongly suggested to buy tourist insurance before you start out from your home country.
- Service persons to carry personal belonging while trekking.
- Single supplement cost for those who want to accommodate on a single basis
- Visa to China, international flights and related airport taxes,;
- Supplementary trips and services not mentioned, and extra cost due to the unforeseen events;
A brief introduction of what to note while hiking the wall:
- Walk slowly in the first hours to have your body get used to the trekking. Never run or walk fast.
- It is very important to buy tourist insurance before taking the Great Wall hiking tour. The wall is on the top of the mountain broken and loose, some part is very difficult and strenuous. Be very careful.
- In summer, thunder shower or storm is common while hiking on the Wall. Be sure to have your cell phone (mobile phone) powered-off in the bad weather. Using cell phone while thundering could be fatal!!!
- Keep distance while walking up the steep broken wall to avoid the possible rolling down stone. Never follow each other one by one in a line closely, climb or walk down this part side by side with distant.
- Keep distance from any edge of the wall and the opening on the wall, because part of the wall is loose and broken.
- While passing the bridge, don't run, jump, shake or push.
- Don't lean against the wall to rest, the stone on the wall is loose.
- It is really hot to walk on the wall under the Sun. Drink enough water to keep yourselves from dehydration.
- Please take care of everything on and around the wall. Leave nothing except your footprints, take nothing except photograph and garbage.
- Though our leader have radios with them on the way, but limited coverage in the area. Some parts of the wall are really rough, so behave as a team, help each other on the road. This trip is to "smell the fresh air", rather than a competition.
- Many parts of the wall are broken and loose, so sensible footwear is essential.
- As most of this tour is in really wild outdoor, we reserve the right to alternate the itinerary for the second best in case of any unforeseen event or government regulations. The participants are expected to take the extra payment if there is any.