Twelve-day Great Wall Trekking & Camping:
from Old Dragon's Head of Easternmost Seashore to Mutianyu
Free airport transfers!
Great Wall is the longest
man-made structure in the world, stretching 8,851 km (5,500 miles)
long. It is
said to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
This is the longest and most comprehensive Great Wall tour that we
offer, and you'll be hard pressed to find a better constructed one at
any other travel agency. We've got you covered from the moment you
arrive in Beijing, as pick-up and drop-off from the airport is included.
Then, we'll set out on a nearly two-week odyssey that will take you from
the Great Wall's eastern most point, making our way slowly east back
In addition to the sections of the Great Wall you'll explore, you'll
also be able to take in numerous villages in the Chinese countryside,
giving you an authentic look into Chinese society. Besides the Great
Wall you'll be taken to the East Qing Tombs, the final resting place for
many emperors of China's last ruling dynasty, the Qing. You'll get to
trek on the two most popular Great Wall hikes (Jinshanling-Simatai and
Jiankou-Mutianyu), and when you get back to Beijing you'll get to pick
any kind of city tour you like (Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of
Please be advised that this program should be taken by those in good
physical condition, as there will be a great deal of physical activity
Explore the best of the eastern Great Wall, from the
sea all the way to Beijing
Gain a greater understanding of the Great Wall’s strategic and
military importance, as well as it’s architecture
Visit sections not well known to western tourists
Free Airport pick-up and drop off service
Decent accommodation at
Wangfujing Tianrui Hotel in Beijing's historic old Hutong area
for three nights
Our Great Wall hiking is a
private service. What this means is that you can hike on the Great Wall
at any time at your convenience. If
you would much
rather be part of a group for the experience
for economic and social reasons
we'll check to see if there are more signups for the same date as your
own. We'll keep you updated whenever there are more. If you would like
to keep your tour a private one, please let us know and we'll assign you
a guide and driver.
Great Wall Trekking Itinerary
|Day 1: Arrive in Beijing
Our Great Wall Adventure representative will meet you at Beijing
International Airport and drive you to your hotel we have booked
for you in the heart of Beijing. Our
guide will give you a briefing on the tour ahead, and the rest
of the night is up to your discretion.
|Day 2: Beijing-Old Dragon’s Head-Shanhaiguan
We will meet you at your hotel in the morning between 7:30-8am,
and from there we will make the 4 hour drive to the
Pass, which is in a town situated in the northeast of
Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province. It adjoins the Bohai Sea to
the southeast and the Yanshan Mountain to the northwest. We will
start our hike at Old Dragon’s Head, also known as
Laolongtou is the most eastern beginning of the Great Wall,
which extends into the Bohai Sea. Standing here is almost like
being on a peninsula as you can feel the overwhelming power of
the rolling sea.
After marveling at the scenery here, we'll have a lunch in a local Chinese
restaurant. After that, we’ll have a tour to the
Great Wall Museum
to learn about the history of the Great Wall. You’ll also learn
about the history and military strategy of this section of wall,
as well as see military relics.
We will make our way to the Shanhaiguan Pass Fortress, which is also known as “The First
Pass under Heaven.” We will enter the Shanhaiguan Great Wall Museum, where we will learn about the
history and military strategy of this section of wall, as well
as displaying military relics.
For the night we will stay at the Jinshan Hotel next to the
Shanhaiguan Pass and have a
tasty dinner of Northern Chinese cuisine to get you started for
tomorrow’s hike. After dinner, you can have a free tour to the
old town of Shanhaiguan. You can buy souvenirs or even watch a
street concert of the local residents.
|Day 3: Jiaoshan Great Wall
(B+L+D, 12km/6miles, 6-7 hours)
After getting up at 7:30 and eating breakfast, we will make a
short drive to the foot of a mountain and hike
Jiaoshan Section of the Great Wall.
kilometers north of Shanhaiguan, the easternmost pass through the main
section of the Great Wall, stands the 500- meter Jiaoshan Peak. Though
relatively diminutive in size, this is the first actual mountain the Great
Wall passes heading west, and so is known as “the first mountain of the
Great Wall.” Unlike the newly restored wall, Jiaoshan ancient wall
provides you a sense of historical vicissitude. Walking on the
dilapidated wall is a great challenge. The wall appears more and
more crumbled and deformed as you forge ahead.
We'll overnight in a local hostel in Dongjiakou area, our next
stop for continuous hiking.
|Day 4: Dongjiakou Great Wall
Village (B+L+D, 10km/6miles, 4-5 hours)
Our day will begin with breakfast with our local host family
and then we'll start hiking in Dongjiakou.
Dongjiakou is a pass of the Great Wall constructed in Ming
Dynasty (1368-1644) as well as an important fortress that guards
the Shanhai Pass, which is hailed as "the first pass of the
Great Wall" due to its strategic location in the ancient time.
Dongjiakou Great Wall is 8.9 km, with the complete wall
stretching for over 3 km, a broken section of over 1.8 km and
the other sections being natural steep mountains without wall.
Apart from the castles, about 60% of constructions of Dongjiakou
Great Wall including defense towers and beacon towers are still
in intactness on the whole.
In the afternoon, we'll drive to Baiyangyu for overnight sleep.
Baiyangyu Great Wall hike (B+L+D,
After breakfast, we will make our way west along the wall into
Baiyangyu enjoys the unique reputation of marble Great Wall.
literally means “White Sheep Valley”. A river called Baiyang
River passes the valley from north to south. There used to be a
grand water pass of the Great Wall bridging the valley which now
still divides the Baiyangyu Great Wall into two sections – East
Baiyangyu Great Wall has some unique features different from
other sections of the Wall. Firstly, its water pass town had a
double water wall – upper part and lower part, constituting a
solid water town which was easy for self-defense and attacking
invaders as well, part of the military defense system in
Baiyangyu Great wall. Second, the east section of the Wall has a
1.5km unique marble wall, 10km high
and 5m wide, rarely seen among other sections of the wall.
Third, among other towers, Shenwei Tower (Powerful Tower) on the
west section of Baiyangyu Great Wall is the most remarkable.
Unlike other watch-towers sitting on the wall, it was
constructed to the outer side of the wall. If you walk eastward
from Baiyangyu Great Wall, you will reach Xuliukou Great Wall
and on to Shanhaiguan Pass meeting the ocean; walking westward,
you get to Badaling Great Wall around Beijing.
We'll drive to East Qing Tombs area to
|Day 6: East Qing Tombs-Huangyaguan (B+L+D,
After waking up at 7:30, we will make the short trip to the East
Qing Tombs. The Eastern Qing Tombs, which is among the finest,
best-preserved and largest of the extant tomb complexes in
China. Along the south side of Changrui Mountain, the tombs of
five emperors, four empresses, five imperial concubines, and one
princess are arrayed based on the traditional concept of placing
the most senior and most distinguished in the center.
Of all the tombs, Xiaoling is the biggest and most elaborate,
standing as the focal point of the entire structure. The
grandeur of this tomb may be attributed to its having been the
first sepulcher constructed for a member of the royal family of
the Qing Dynasty, so the builders hoped to set the tone for a
prosperous future. Crossing through the Great Red Gate, you can
see buildings of different sizes, all with roofs of yellow
glazed tile, connected by the brick paths or 'sacred ways' that
converge in the area of Xiaoling.
An example of the most exquisite architecture of the Eastern
Qing Tombs is Qingdongling, the tomb of Empress Dowager Cixi.
Although she handled affairs of state for more than 45 years,
she never ascended the throne. (The only female ruler in Chinese
history was Empress Wu Zetian in the Tang Dynasty (618-907).
Elaborate and highly refined decorations and carvings inside
Qingdongling make it unique among the tombs of the Qing Dynasty.
The main material used in the tomb, which took six years to
build, was gold, the symbol of royal family.
Shortly after lunch we will drive to a small village, where we
will start our afternoon hike on the Great Wall on
It is designed as a miniature of the entire Great Wall of China,
thereby allowing you get an understanding of the entire wall in
a fraction of the time. The entire section is built on an abrupt
mountain ridge. Being endowed with both natural beauty and
cultural interest, it has become famous as a natural beauty spot
and a summer resort.
After about an hour’s walk we will reach a peak overlooking the
valley below. From the peak we can also see the Huangyaguan
Fortress, which was restored in 1984. From this vantage point,
we will be able to see its Baguan pattern, a specially designed
labyrinth designed to confuse and entrap the enemy. We will then
walk down to the fortress for a fascinating and informative
For that evening we will stay in a traditional courtyard hotel
built on the site of the fortress.
|Day 7: Huangyaguan-Qianganjian
(B+L+D, 8km/5 miles, 4-5 hours)
With breakfast in the hotel, we will then continue our hike on
Huangyaguan,. We will soon reach the major scenic point of
Huangyaguan, the “Heaven’s Ladder”. Ascend the steps of the
"Heaven's Ladder" to gain a ridge-top above Huangyaguan. We will
follow the trace of the Great Wall as it undulates across the
mountains before gradually descending into a valley. From here,
a vehicle will transport us north to the Simatai- Great Wall. We
will spend the night in a simple, courtyard-style hotel near the
|Day 8: Simatai-Jinshanling (B+L+D,
10km/6miles, 4-5 hours)
Our hike will start from Simatai, and we will make our way west
along the wall into Jinshanling. This is the classic Great Wall
hike that mostly wall enthusiasts have done. Unlike most hikers,
we will take this popular route in the opposite direction. At
first we will encounter deteriorated “Wild Wall” and the hiking
will be a little steep. But as we make our way west the wall
will gradually turn into a more restored state, and the hiking
will get progressively easier. The hike today allows you to
compare the differences between the two wall types, and this is
both highly enjoyable and informative.
After reaching Jinshanling we will have a brief lunch. Tonight,
we'll have the opportunity to camp on the Great Wall.
|Day 9: Jinshanling-Gubeikou (B+L+D, 10km/6
miles, 4-5 hours)
We will be continuing our hike westward from Jinshanling until
we reach the General Tower at Gubeikou. Gubeikou
is mostly “Wild Wall” so the hiking will be tougher than the
beginning of our hike.
In 1933, Chinese army fought against
Japanese invasion troops in Gubeikou. In
the four-month-long battles, over 5,000 Japanese soldiers were
killed while 9,000 Chinese soldiers died. It was amazing that
ancient wall was still useful in the World War II. You can see
that Gubeikou is not merely a relic but it remained as a battlefield
in modern world. Today, there is
still a military installation in Gubeikou and we'll take a side path
along the Wall to by pass that restricted zone.
We will have a late lunch in a local restaurant after we
complete today's hike. Tonight, we'll check into one of our
approved local farmotel to sleep.
|Day 10: Jiankou-Mutianyu-Beijing (B+L+SD, 10km/6
miles, 4-5 hours)
Our hiking will end on a high note as we will be visiting
hikers’ most favorite section of the Great Wall. . In order to
hike on Jiankou, first we have to climb up a path for about 60
minutes to reach it. Our hike will today will take about 4 hours
and will cover 10km/ 6 miles. The Jiankou section is known for
its ruggedness and wild beauty, and you will be in awe of the
marvelous views it affords. As soon as we reach Jiankou we will
see a deserted watchtower that gives you a panoramic view of the
entire valley. In the early morning the view is priceless with
its morning fog. This section of the wall is not well known by
tourists, although if you see a picture of the Great Wall from
exotic traveling magazines, chances are it is from Jiankou. This
is the pinnacle of exotic Great Wall scenery.
This part of the wall is often empty, so you will have some
peace and serenity on your hike today. Another highlight of
Jiankou is the enemy observation tower known as, "Ying Fei Dao
Yang", so named because this watchtower was erected on the
highest peak in the area, and eagles and hawks often perch on
it. Although the majestic wall is slowly being conquered by
small trees and brambles, but the view from the top is still
From Jiankou we will cross over onto Mutianyu, a section of the
wall that has been largely restored. Although it has gotten a
face-lift, it avoids the army of tourists that plague
Mutianyu offers some breathtaking views of the valley and wall
below, and if you look to your right you’ll see a large sign
engraved in the side of the mountain encouraging you to “Cherish
the teachings of Chairman Mao.” Mutianyu has also become popular
for visiting foreign leaders and celebrities (former U.S.
President Clinton visited Mutianyu on one of his trips to
You can hike down to the parking lot, take a cable car, or take
a toboggan ride (extra fee, highly recommended, and lots of fun!) down to
meet our driver. Before we go back to Beijing, we'll have a
Chinese lunch at a local
Your stay will be in a 3-star hotel located in the heart of
Sightseeing of Beijing's Must-sees
You may choose one of our exciting city tours to any of
Beijing’s great sights and attractions. If you like you can
visit the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace,
the three attractions that you shouldn't miss. If the hike has
worn you out, you can take a cultural tour of old Beijing such
as our daily tour of
Half-day Beijing Hutong Tour." It's your choice. This will give you an overview of
Beijing folk culture and daily life. You'll sleep in Beijing for
one more night.
That will end your unforgettable Great Wall and Beijing tour!
|Day 12: Exit Beijing
We will drive you to the airport for your flight to your next
destination, thus ending your tour with us. So long!