Huangyaguan (Yellow Cliff Pass) lies on a steep and abrupt mountain ridge, and got its name from the yellowish hills and rocks nearby. To the east there are cliffs, and to the west crags. The Great Wall at Huangyaguan encapsulates the essence of the Great Wall, with outstanding architectural variety and some of the unique features of the Wall.
With various forms of watch towers along the walls, the largest tower on the Great Wall, Phoenix Tower, and the most unique castle, Bagua ('Eight Trigrams') Castle, Huangyaguan Great Wall is considered to be a miniature representation of the whole Great Wall with the greatest variety contained within one section.
With its walls and towers built on a mountain ridge and an average altitude of over 700 meters, Huangyaguan has amazing scenery. It jumps its way up and down along the ridge between cliffs and crags. Amongst the mountain scenery, visitors enjoy the waterfalls and springs.
History: Originally built in the Northern Qi Dynasty (550 - 557), the Huangyaguan Great Wall has a history of over 1400 years. It was reinforced to a large extent with brick walls in the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). In 1985, reparation work was performed for the second time, including the walls , more than 20 watch towers and a water pass.
Dimensions: Built on a mountain ridge with an average altitude of over 700 meters, the Huangyaguan Great Wall stretches 42 kilometers (26 miles) long with 66 watch towers. Its defensive system is complete with drain holes, emplacements, forts and other military facilities arranged systematically along the wall.
Scenery: The scenery at Huangyaguan is great in every season. See "What is the best time to visit the Great Wall?"
When to go
The scenery of the Great Wall varies with the seasons and each season has its pros and cons. Click here for what you can expect on the Great Wall near Beijing.
Huangyaguan is located 126 kilometers (78 miles) north of Tianjin City Center, and 95km ( 59 miles) east of Beijing City Center. China Highlights use high-quality air-conditioned private transport to take the hassle out of getting to the wall.
The steps of the Great Wall at Huangyaguan are rather steep and some with uneven surfaces. Hikers need to be in good physical condition to complete this hike. Cable cars are not available at the Huangyaguan Great Wall.
What to Wear
Dress for hiking and dress for the weather. Choose comfortable footwear with good grip and support for the feet. Layers of clothes that can be taken on and off allow for greater comfort and temperature control. Wear/bring sun protection in the summer and dress for sub-zero temperatures in the winter.
What to Bring
Bring breathable waterproofs for protection from rain and wind. Umbrellas may be used here as the ascents and descents are not difficult, but may be inconvenient in strong winds. Bring snacks and water if you want to walk a long portion of the wall.
If you want to see more of the Great Wall near Beijing, see here for a list of the sections.