Great Wall Day Hike from Huanghuacheng to Xishuiyu - Featuring Great Wall Under Water

Highlights:

  • This hike is near Beijing, and easy to hike, so this tour is welcome to those of all ages and physical abilities.
  • The wall on this hike is made up both of restored and unrestored “Wild Wall”, which allows you to compare and contrast the wall in a way that most people can’t .
  • The “Wild Wall” section is almost devoid of tourists, allowing for a serene and intimate hike. This hike is great for a family day out!

Trip Overview:

While this hike will be a bit long, it will easily be the highlight of your time in China. For those of you who feel the need to stretch their legs after being cooped up in an office in Beijing (or wherever you may be from), this is the perfect opportunity to get some exercise and adventure, while also having loads of fun!

Because everyone one of us have different abilities and limits when it comes to hiking, we offer 3 levels of difficulty that will better suit your needs while getting the most out of your Great Wall experience.

Please note while this hike is not overly difficult, there are some points where the hike gets a little challenging. The challenges mostly include narrow and small steps, along with at times some very steep climbing. For those of you who have knee or lower leg problems, you might want to consider the leisurely and first-time hiker level. If you are under the age of 8 or over the age of 70, you should also strongly consider the leisurely and first-time hiker level.

In the morning your guide will pick you up from your hotel, and will be driven directly to Hunaghuacheng. After a short walk around the dam on the Huanghuacheng Reservoir, we will start our hike westward to Xishuiyu. Going to Huanghuacheng Great Wall, you have four things to do at least. First, you should take photos. Since the lake breaks this section of the Great Wall into three segments naturally, its uniqueness might surprise you. And the Huanghuacheng Reservoir lies here, shaped like a curved moon. Second, go to visit the chestnut garden under the Great Wall, dating back to the Ming Dynasty. The ancient chestnut trees still grow very well. Third, climb up the steepest section of the Huanghuacheng Great Wall, Shibadeng. It is like a dragon, ready to fly into the blue sky. Fourth, look at Yaoziyu Castle. It was built in the Ming Dynasty, still well preserved. In the castle, there is an ancient Chinese scholar tree. It is said that touching it could bring you a blessing.

The highest point of the wall is a broken watchtower, and from there you will have a wide panoramic view of the whole valley. From this summit the Wall dives steeply downwards into the valley. The Gate is located at the bottom, an opening in the wall, which connects the Zhuangdaokou village on the inside, with the still-well-preserved Yaoziyu Castle, built in the Ming Dynasty, on the outside. Over the top of the passageway is another watchtower where we will rest a short while before continuing on. On the inside of the gate you will notice three large characters carved in the stone, indicating the name of the village – ZhuangDaoKou. On the outside is written the name of the passageway - “ZhenNu Pass” - meaning “Defeat to Invaders”, a warning to potential attackers in ancient times.

From here we will continue to trek westward, climbing towards the broken wall to our destination, a peak overlooking Xishuiyu Lake. It is here that we will stop for a filling and refreshing lunch that will replenish your energy. From our vantage point, we will see a real treat, the broken wall running underwater! From this point, the wall is in too bad a condition to walk, so we will follow a delightful mountain trail to Xishuiyu village, where we will drive back to Beijing, completing your tour.

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!