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Seven-day Trekking
on the Great Wall


 
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7A: Trekking
         
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          7X: Extreme Odyssey         
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PRICE TABLE

(Per Person)

 

# of Head USD
1 2889
2 1619
3 1579
4-5 1399
6-9 1299

 

INCLUDED IN THE PRICE

 

* Personal 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 courtyards
* 7 lunches, 6 dinners and 6 breakfasts
* Quality vehicle, professional driver and English-speaking tour guide
* 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.

Complimentary 1-day Beijing Group Tour

Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace!

 

Complimentary Airport/Train Station 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.

 

We use high-quality vehicles!

 

 

 

convenient and comfortable shuttle vehicles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The
EXTREME Seven Day Beijing Great Wall Odyssey

TOUR 7X: Unrestored Badaling-Stone Gorge Pass-Huanghuacheng-Xishuiyu-Jiankou-Mutianyu-Gubeikou-Jinshanling-Huangyaguan-Qianganjian


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 and excitement.


You’ll have the opportunity to try your at hand at every single challenging Beijing-area Great Wall hike. Jinshanling-Simatai, Jiankou-Mutianyu, 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.


Highlights:


Explore the best of the Beijing-area Great Wall with these 5 memorable routes
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!
Experience traditional 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!

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-Unrestored Badaling-Shixiaguan (L+D. 5 hours)


At 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.



Day 2: Huanghuacheng-Xishuiyu (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 Huanhuacheng to Xishuiyu.

 

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 scenery.

 

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

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 4: Jiankou-Mutianyu (B, L, D, 5 hours of walking)

 

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 tomorrow.

 

*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)

Today, 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 (Taipingzhai)
(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.

 

Day 7: Huangyaguan- Qianganjian Village (about 6 hours hiking)

You’ve 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 odyssey.

 

You'll probably get back to downtown Beijing before 5 pm.

 

Congratulations!

 

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! 


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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