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Seven-day Trekking
on the Great Wall


 
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7A: Trekking
         
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PRICE TABLE

(Per Person)

 

# of Head
USD
1
3129
2
1629
3 1599
4-5
1429
6-9
1289

 

INCLUDED IN THE PRICES

 

* Personal transfers from and to hotel
* Entry fees to the Great Wall
* One-night camping on the Great Wall
* Accommodation of 3 other nights in local hostels or farmer's courtyards
* 5 lunches, 4dinners and 4 breakfasts
* Quality vehicle, professional driver and English-speaking tour guide
* Free airport or train station drop-off
* Free membership card
* A credit of RMB200 when you reserve the next tour with us

 

Guaranteed no detours to shops,
markets, factories, etc.

 

Climbing Pole Rental:
$6/each/day; $10/pair/day.

Complimentary 1-day Beijing Group Tour 

Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace!

 

FREE AIRPORT PICKUP! 

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 For assistance, you can also send email to greatwall@greatwalladventure.com
TRAVEL INSURANCE

If you currently don’t have travel insurance then you will be required to purchase our PICC (People's Insurance Company of China) travel and accidental insurance.
The fee will be $7.99 per person, and will cover the duration of your hiking/camping/trekking in order to ensure that you are comprehensively protected if injured.

For more information about our travel insurance policy please see our insurance page.

 

 

convenient and comfortable shuttle vehicles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Seven-day Epic "Wild Wall" Odyssey

TOUR 7B: Shixiaguan-Huanghuacheng-Xishuiyu-Jiankou-Mutianyu-Gubeikou-Jinshanling-Huangyaguan-Baiyangyu

If you're looking for a rough and tumble hiking experience than this is the tour for you. You'll get to explore the best of the unrestored "Wild Wall" sections. Please keep in mind that this is a physically and mentally challenging program, so please make sure that you are in the right physical and mental condition, as each day averages at least five hours of hiking.

While hiking the fan-favorite paths of Jiankou-Mutianyu and Jinshanling-Simatai, you'll also get to experience some of the more overlooked trails, like the unrestored Badaling to Shixiaguan and Huanghuacheng-Xishuiyu. For those looking for that extra special memory-you'll be able to camp overnight in one of the Great Wall watchtowers, allowing you to view both the sunset and sunrise over the Great Wall. To top it all off, we end your adventure with a visit to Baiyangyu, which features an especially rare trait-a 1.5km piece of the wall that is pure marble. As always, this tour comes with your own English-speaking guide and driver.


Highlights:

  • Explore the best of the Great Wall's dramatic ruins while pushing yourself to the limit both mentally and physically
  • Trek the two most popular Great Wall hikes, while also experiencing some of the more underrated gems
  • Camp overnight in one of the Great Wall watchtowers!
  • Witness elusive such sites as the Great Wall underwater and the marble Great Wall
  • Free airport pickup!

 

Departure:

 

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.


 

Day-by-day Trekking Itinerary

 

Day 1: Beijing-Shixiaguan-Badaling (L+D, 5 hours)


shixiaguan great wall beijingYou will be picked up at your hotel (or a nearby area) from 10:00 am by your English-speaking guide and driver, and from there we will drive to the Shixiaguan Pass Great Wall. It is about 70km away, and will take us approx. 1.5 hours of driving.  After we arrive in the Great Wall area, we'll have some lunch at a local restaurant. Following lunch we’ll start our hike.

 

We;ll start with the Badaling section of the Great Wall. The ruined Badaling Great Wall (now officially named “Ancient Badaling Great Wall”) is 10km southwest of the restored Badaling Great Wall. So, as its name hints, this section of the Great Wall is partially restored and more adventurous, while not being easy to climb. It is the least touristy section of the Great Wall around Beijing, which is officially opened to the public (you are not advised to hike the wild section of the Wall in Beijing). Its hikers are mainly foreign travelers instead of domestic travelers, who prefer hiking at the restored Badaling Great Wall.

 

After about 2-3 hours of hiking, we’ll cross over into Shixiaguan (Stone Gorge) Pass, 5km southwest of the Badaling section of the Great Wall. It is one of the most intact parts of the whole Great Wall. In spite of serious damage, the winding wall set in the lofty mountains reveals its grandeur. However, a castle in Shixiaguan was pulled down during the Great Leap Forward. Nevertheless, the wall remains relatively intact because of its strategic location. Shixiaguan Pass was originally built in the reign of Ming Emperor Wanli (about 1600 AD), which was then a key pass guarded by a large number of soldiers. There are sites such as official residences, the ancient castle, clay walls and brick walls in the village. Most of the villagers know stories about the site as well as the Great Wall. One of the tales is about the peasant's uprising during the Ming Dynasty. After the founding of Dashun State in Xi'an in 1644 during the reign of Ming Emperor Chongzhen, Li Zicheng was the leader of the peasants from northern Shaanxi Province, who wanted to overthrow the emperors and the Ming Dynasty. Li led his army east to Badaling Pass. While the rebels were trying to think of a way to occupy Badaling Pass, an old man advised them to pretend to lead the army to Shixiaguan Pass. The general of the official army in Badaling was cheated into going to Shixiaguan Pass, which gave Li the opportunity to enter Beijing through Badaling successfully. Emperor Chongzhen committed suicide, ending the Ming Dynasty. Li proclaimed himself Emperor of the Shun Dynasty which was short-lived, as about a month later, his army was defeated by the Manchus, who established the Qing Dynasty.

 

We'll drive to Huanghuacheng after the hike to have a delicious dinner and overnight in a local hostel.



 

Day 2: Huanghuacheng-Xishuiyu (B+L+ D, 4.5 hours)

 

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. From our vantage point, we will see a real treat, the broken wall running underwater!

 

Tonight, we'll sleep in an inn called "Deep Missing," a certified hostel by Great Wall Adventure Club. You'll enjoy the typical Chinese country-style dinner and breakfast. One of the favorite food they serve is the Green Onion Wheat Pie made by the chief chef, who is also the boss fo this inn. So, try it!

 

Optional Camping on the Great Wall Tonight

Spend the night under the stars on the Great Wall for an Optional Camping on the Great Wall additional fee of 540 RMB/person (USD $89/person)

You have the unique opportunity to camp in a watchtower at Jiankou tonight! You'll be able to spend the night on the Great Wall under the glow of the stars. Our local supplier, who owns a local restaurant and inn, will carry the tent and sleeping pads for you and place them in the watchtower. This will takes about 40 minutes, as he has to reach the Great Wall by climbing a mountain path from his restaurant at the foot of the mountain. He will also cook for you a BBQ dinner, which will include Chinese wheat buns or pancakes, kebabs (beef, pork or chicken), vegetables, photo chips, and fruits, along with two bottles of local beers, spirits and other colas. While he is setting up your camping equipment and making your meals, please make sure to let him know your gratitude for all of his hard and dedicated work!

 


Day 3: Jiankou-Mutianyu (B+L+D, 3 hours)

 

The day starts at 7:30 AM for breakfast in the hotel, and then we will head over to the Jiankou section and continue to hike its striking and rugged terrain. Along the way we will encounter some watchtowers that have fallen into a state of disrepair. It is an interesting contrast compared with the restored section you will see later at Mutainyu.

From Jiankou you will cross over onto Mutianyu, a section of the wall that has been mostly restored. Although it has gotten a face-lift, it avoids the army of tourists that plague Badaling. 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 Chairman Mao”.

You can hike down to the parking lot, take the cable car, or slide down on the toboggan* (Lots of fun and highly recommended!). Our driver will be waiting to take you to lunch at a local farmer’s restaurant! After lunch we will drive back to your hotel. At the hotel you will have a chance to refresh yourself and have dinner. You will probably sleep like a rock after today’s hike!

 

*Mutianyu cable car or toboggan is extra. Not included in the package price.
 

Day 4: Gubeikou-Jinshanling (B+L+D, 10 kms, 4 hours)

After breakfast, we will head to the Great Wall at Gubeikou to start our hike. 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.

In 1933, when Japanese forces invaded  China, the Chinese army at Gubeikou fought hard to resist the enemy. it marked the beginning of China's eight-year-long war to fight against Japanese invasion in the World World II.


After walking on Gubeikou we will cross over to 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.

This afternoon, you'll watch the sunset while walking along the Wall. Then we'll take you to have a gorgeous Chinese countryside style dinner served by a local guesthouse owner and also the master chef. The chef used to work in large company's canteen for 28 years! He is going to serve you Kong Pao Chicken, Stewed beef and potato, Green Pepper and Pork, Fried Tofu in Spicy Sauce, Fried Egg Tomato, Sweet and Sour Chicken, and vegetables (great for vegetarians), and soup. What's more important is that all the vegetables he uses are planted in his own yard, so it is organic and fresh!  

Then, before it gets dark, we'll go up to the mountain and sleep overnight in a watch tower.  We'll prepare the necessary camping facilities such as sleeping bags so you don't have to bring anything but yourself. Here it is the sound sleeper's paradise - let the mountain valley and the Great Wall echo your snoring sound! We'll prepare the necessary camping facilities such as sleeping bags so you don't have to bring anything but yourself. If you prefer sleeping in a local hostel or a farmer's house, you certainly can without extra charge. However, in cold winter, we'll only overnight in a local hotel for safe.

Temperature on the Great Wall is usually 10 degree Celsius lower than it is on the ground.

 


Day 5: Jianshanling-West Simatai (B+L+D, 3 hours)

The first thing we'll do today is to watch the magnificent sunrise early in the morning. After a hearty breakfast (You can have your breakfast delivered to the watchtower and enjoy your Great Wall breakfast for just RMB 100/person.)  with eggs, bread, milk etc., we will resume our hike on Jinshanling's right wing, where we will hike until we reach Simatai West called Second Valley. As we head west the wall will start to gradually deteriorate, making the hike progressively more challenging, but also interesting to observe and compare.

The Jinshanling Great Wall has not been repaired since 1570. It is a remote and relatively isolated section of the Great Wall. As there are relatively even fewer tourists at Second Valley part of Jinshanling Great Wall, it is a good place to explore on foot. If you are looking for breathtaking views with a relatively peaceful walk, then the Second Valley of Jinshanling can't be better, so we hope that you remembered to bring your camera! The Second Valley features a complicated and well preserved fortification system at Jinshanling. The Second Valley Great Wall meanders through fantastic natural scenery and connects to the Gubeikou Great Wall to the west.

Simatai West, called the Second Valley, is the left wing of Simatai. It is also in a serious state of ruins and is thereby a perfect example of the true Great Wall, while also being extremely beautiful and rustic. The wall is 7.8 m high and 5 - 6 m thick at the bottom. On the top, the wall is about 4 meters wide with 2 meters high parapets on each side. On the side facing the enemy were 2 m high crenels called Duokou. On the upper part of the Duokou were large openings used to watch and shoot at attackers. On the lower part were small openings ('loopholes') through which defenders could also shoot while in greater safety from incoming fire.

In addition to the gorgeous scenery on your hike, you'll also get to see how the wall was designed for practical purposes, that being the defense against outer enemies and how the Great Wall was supposed to keep them out. There are 'obstacle-walls' built perpendicular to the parapets - a feature quite unique to the Second Valley part of Jinshanling Great Wall. These 'walls-within-walls' were used for defense against enemies who might have succeeded in scaling the outer wall. The steps of the Great Wall at Second Valley are rather steep and rocky with loose stones at times. It is important to choose comfortable footwear with a good grip and support for the feet.

After about 2-3 hours of hiking on Second Valley, we’ll again meet up with our van and you’ll be taken back to Beijing, where you will be dropped off at your hotel to have a rest.

At 6 pm, we'll pick you up from your hotel to watch the famous Chinese acrobatic show at Chaoyang Theater to relax and have a wonderful visual treatment. We'll send you back to your hotel after the show. It officially ends the 5-day Great Wall adventure!



Day 6:
Huangyaguan Section (B+L+D, 3 hours)

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.

We'll sleep in a local hotel or a farmer's hostel whichever is available during the time.

 

Day 7: Baiyangyu Marble Wall (B+L, 3 hours)

 

After breakfast, we will make our way west along the wall into Baiyangyu. Baiyangyu enjoys the unique reputation of marble Great Wall.  “Baiyangyu” 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 and West.

 

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 back to Beijing after the hike and at about 4 p.m., you'll be in the city again.  




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! 

*Bonus: Free Chinese acrobatic show or Kungfu show.

Read complete itinerary of Route 5A: Gubeikou-Jinshanling-Panlongshan-Xiangshuihu-Jiankou-Mutianyu-Huanghuacheng-Xishuiyu
Read complete itinerary of Route 5B: East Qing Tombs-Huangyaguan-Panlongshan-Jinshanling-Gubeikou-Huanghuacheng-Xisuiyu-

 

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