# of Head
IN THE PRICE
transfers from and to hotel
* Entry fees to the Great Wall
* One-night camping on the Great Wall
* Accommodation of 5 other nights in local hostels or farmer's
* 7 lunches, 6 dinners and 6 breakfasts
* Quality vehicle, professional driver and English-speaking tour
* Complimentary airport or train station pickup
* Free membership discount card for future tours
* A credit of USD30 for your next tour with us
Guaranteed no detours to shops,
markets, factories, etc.
1-day Beijing Group Tour
Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and
Complimentary Airport/Train Station
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.
We use high-quality vehicles!
convenient and comfortable
TOUR 7X: Unrestored Badaling-Stone Gorge
EXTREME Seven Day
Beijing Great Wall Odyssey
5-6 Hours of
Walking Every Day!
Warning: This tour is not for the
faint of heart as it is our most challenging program. This seven
day adventure is truly designed for the most experienced of
hikers and may not be suitable for families with small children.
During this program, you’ll put your mind and body to the limit,
as you’ll endure seven consecutive days of 5+ hours of hiking.
For those up to the task however, the reward is more than
suitable, as you’ll be treated to a cornucopia of Great Wall fun
You’ll have the opportunity to try your at hand at every single
challenging Beijing-area Great Wall hike. Jinshanling-Simatai,
Huanghuacheng-Xishuiyu all of the most popular
hikes are here for you to encounter. For these hikes, we will be
taking the long route, so your endurance will be put to the test.
You’ll also get to experience a long overlooked hike-Badaling-Shixiaguan.
To top it all off, you’ll get to camp overnight on the Great Wall
itself-which is sure to be one of your most cherished memories of
your China trip.
So for those of you that are man (or woman) enough, give this seven
day Great Wall challenge a try, you won’t be sorry that you had.
Explore the best of the Beijing-area Great Wall with these 5
See amazing panoramas and vistas that can only be seen by hiking
these areas! This tour is perfect for amateur photographers you want
to show their friends some amazing photos
See sections of the Great Wall which exemplifies the entire wall
in architecture, scenery, ruggedness, and military importance.
Camp overnight on the Great Wall (summer and fall)
All meals and home-stays/hostels are included!
Chinese life in authentic villages
Complimentary airport pickup!
Send us your arrival information and you'll meet with our
friendly driver after you claim your baggage!
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.
about 9 am, your guide and driver will pick you up
from your hotel. From there we will be driven to the Badaling 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 only partially
restored and more adventurous, while not being easy to
climb. Its hikers are mainly foreign travelers instead of
domestic travelers, who prefer hiking at the more relaxing
and easier-to-climb restored Badaling Great Wall.
After about 3-4 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. Once a key strategic location, the Shixia Pass was
home to a grand castle, and the clay and brick walls of the
castle and a number of official residences can still be seen in
Shixia Guan Village. This section of the Wall was originally
built around 1600 AD during the reign of Ming Emperor Wanli and,
according to legend, played a crucial part in the overthrowing
of that same dynasty during the Li Zicheng Rebellion. The story
goes that in 1644, Li Zicheng tricked the Ming army stationed at
Badaling into thinking he was leading his rebel forces to the
the pass at Shixia Guan. With the official army otherwise
distracted, Li actually led his troops through the pass at
Badaling and on to Beijing where they would successfully depose
the emperor and unintentionally make way for the Manchu army
that founded the Qing Dynasty.
The hike covers a total of 7.5 km (4.7 mi) and takes anywhere
from 3-4.5 hours, so wear proper shoes. Although relatively well
preserved, many segments are steep and crumbling, steps are
often lacking and loose bricks frequently shift under your feet.
Along the wall, from tower to tower, overgrown bushes and shrubs
have sprouted up amongst the ancient ruins, giving it a more
authentic feel of exploration and adventure. The climb can be
tough, but it’s manageable and the scenery and sense of
accomplishment once finished are unforgettable.
After our hike we will drive to the village of Huanghuacheng.
We'll stay in a “farmotel” called "Good Fortune Restaurants &
Lodge" which has been approved by Great Wall Adventure Club and
which is located at the foot of the Huanghuacheng Great Wall.
(B, L, D, 5 hours)
We will wake up at 7:30AM with breakfast at
the farmotel. We will then continue our trek, this time from
Huanghuacheng is fast becoming popular
with hikers and tourists who are looking for something a little
different in their Great Wall experience. The wall here is a
combination of both restored and unrestored areas, giving your
hike a little more variety and adventure. When you reach the
middle of the wall you will be able to see that the countryside
is swathed in yellow, as masses of wild flowers come into bloom.
We will then cross over onto the Xishuiyu section.
Today’s hike is quite special-part of the
wall is under water! In 1974 China built the Xishuiyu Reservoir,
and when the water level rose, some low-lying sections of the
wall were submerged under water. Seen from the dam of the
reservoir, this stately sunken wall is still visible under the
water’s smooth and glimmering surface.
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 of this inn.
So, try it!
Day 3: Jiankou Trekking (B, L, D,
3.5 hours of walking)
In the late morning you will be picked up
from your hotel and will be driven to the Great Wall at
Jiankou. In order to hike on Jiankou, first we have
to climb up a path for about 30-40 minutes (2km) to reach it.
Our hike today will take about 2.5 hours and will cover 4km.
Jiankou is translated as 'Arrow Nock' in English, for the shape
of the mountain is like an arrow, with the collapsed ridge
opening as its arrow nock. 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
This part of the wall is often empty, so
you will have some peace and serenity on your hike today. Our
hike will begin in earnest from the watchtower known as
“Defending General”, and over the course of our trek we will
pass through seven to eight different watchtowers. Over the next
two hours we will be moving from west to east. As
we trek we’ll be able to see “Ying Feng 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 stunning! Other
landmarks will include the “Beijing Knot “ and the “Heavenly
Ladder”, but we will not be able to scale these peaks as they
are not accessible due to its toughness and dangerous footing.
The toughest challenge that this hike presents is a
portion known as the “38 Steps”, where the Wall vastly increases
in steepness, to the point that it is near 70 degrees! It is due
to this feature that we advise those with heart problems or a
phobia of heights not to go on this trip. The rest
of the hike is mostly smooth sailing.
We’ll end today’s hike at “Jiankou”, or
“Creek Pass” in English, which although pronounced the same as
the Great Wall section, has a different meaning in Chinese and
is composed of different characters. At “Jiankou” we’ll scale
down the wall, which, like the walk to get on, should take
roughly 30 minutes (2km). Once we descend from the Great Wall we
will spend the night at a farmer’s inn. The farmer’s family will
prepare for you a dinner of traditional Chinese dishes. Be sure
to get a good night’s sleep, for tomorrow we descend the wall
again at Zhengbeilou, where we will eventually cross over into
the Great Wall at Mutianyu.
Optional Camping on the Great Wall Tonight
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 4: Jiankou-Mutianyu (B, L, D, 5 hours of
After waking up we will again scale up the mountain to
reach the Jiankou Great Wall. After hiking for about 4 hours we
will cross over onto Mutianyu, a section of the wall that has
been largely restored. Of all the hiking we have done so far,
the hiking on Mutianyu is probably the easiest. Although it has
gotten a face-lift, Mutianyu 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 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 China).
You can hike down to the parking lot, take
a cable car, or take a toboggan ride (highly recommended, and
lots of fun!) down to meet our driver. We will then drive to a
farmer's hostel for tonight and get ready for the longer hiker
*Mutianyu cable car or toboggan is
extra. Not included in the package price.
Day 5: Gubeikou-Jinshanling (B, L, D, 10 kms,
5-7 hours of hiking)
our goal is to complete the hike from Gubeikou to
Jinshanling. 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. Being
unrestored, the Gubeikou Great Wall is a challenging hike, but
it’s not harder than anything you’ve hiked so far on this tour.
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. However, some of the parts
of Jinshanling are rather steep, making for lots of climbing.
Jinshanling has five main passes and 67 watchtowers.
Following our day of hiking on the Great
Wall we'll take you to have a gorgeous Chinese countryside-style
dinner at Mr. Duan's Restaurant. Mr. Duan is a famous Great Wall
photographer and is the winner of several national photographing
competitions. His wife (middle in the left photo) and her niece
will cook traditional Chinese dishes and dumpling for you. Mrs.
Duan will 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 lots of vegetables (great
for vegetarians), and soup. She changes her menu daily, so you
may have different dishes from the above. What's more important
is that all the vegetables she uses are planted in her yard, so
it is organic and fresh! Rice and Chinese
dumpling are also fresh and of genuine local flavor.
Beer and other drinks are free!
Before it gets dark, we'll set up our tents
and other equipment 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. If you prefer
sleeping in a local hostel or a farmer's house, you certainly
can without extra charge. However, during the winter, we'll only
overnight in a local hotel for safety reasons, because the
temperature on the Great Wall is usually 10 degree Celsius lower
than it is on the ground.
Day 6: Jianshanling-West Simatai-Huangyaguan
(B, L, D. 5 hours)
The first thing we'll do today is to watch the magnificent sunrise
early in the morning. After a hearty breakfast we will resume our
hike on Jinshanling's right wing, where we will hike until we reach
Simatai West (aka 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.
As there are relatively fewer tourists at the
Second Valley part of the 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.
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.
Following our hike today we will head down the
wall to meet our driver, you will drive us to an inn near the foot
of the Huangyaguan called Taipingzhai, from where we'll have two more
hours of hike.
Six miles southeast of Huangyaguan Pass is the Taipingzhai
Great Wall, another important mountain stronghold of the
wall during the Ming Dynasty. It is also called
Taipinganzhai, meaning "a village of peace and prosperity".
Starting from Banlagang Mountain in the east and arriving at
Guafu Tower (Widow Tower) in the west, it winds through the
precipitous mountains for about 955 yards. There are six
watch towers, one battlement, and one shortcut leading to
the wall. The architectural styles of the military towers
vary considerably. There are square, round, solid and hollow
towers, with some inside and others outside the wall. Beside
the shortcut, there is a small citadel where an 8.5-meter
statue of Qi Jiguang, the chief commanding officer of Ji
Garrison (one of the eleven garrisons in the Ming Dynasty)
is located. To the west of the citadel, a section of the
wall extends 33 yards out to where a sentry post was
situated. At the western end of the wall is a square stone
tower called Guafu Tower, "Widow Tower" in English, built by
twelve wives whose husbands died during the construction of
the wall in the Ming Dynasty. Besides these cultural points
of interest, Taipingzhai Great Wall is also famous for its
amazingly impressive scenery. Zigzagging along the mountain
ridge for over 984 yards, the wall looks very much like a
giant dragon flying through clouds.
We'll over night in an inn small downtown Huangyaguan. At night,
you can walk around to tour the old town by yourself.
Qianganjian Village (about 6 hours hiking)
almost made it! Following breakfast at the inn we will begin our
hike of the Huangyaguan Great Wall. 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. 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. 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 drop down into the nearby valley
and clamber along the Wall as it gradually descends to the valley
below. After our descent we will find ourselves in the village of
Qiangjanjian, a small village where life has gone on in mostly the
same way for hundreds of years. You’ll be able to learn some
traditional arts and crafts, while also having a lunch of basic
village dishes. After our time to Qiangjanjian you will be driven
back to your hotel in Beijing, this ending your seven day Great Wall
You'll probably get back to downtown Beijing
before 5 pm.