Harbin Ice and Snow Festival 2022/2023: Dates, Tickets, Tips & Tours Learn more
      The Overhanging Great Wall

The Overhanging Great Wall

Written by Chris QuanUpdated Oct. 18, 2021
great wall on the cliffOverhanging Great Wall

The Overhanging Great Wall, was built on a steeply sloping valley mouth. When viewed from afar, the wall looks like a magnificent painting hanging over the cliff, which is how it got its name.

Because it is very similar in appearance to the Great Wall at Badaling, it is also known as "Western Badaling".

Quick Facts

  • Chinese Name: 悬壁长城 Xuánbìchángchéng
    /sshwen-bee-channg-chnng/ 'Hanging Wall Great Wall'
  • Location: north of Black Mountain, Shiguanxia, 14 kilometers (9 miles) north-west of Jiayuguan City center, Gansu Province
  • Built: 1539–1540 by Gansu patrol commander Li Han to strengthen the Jiayu Pass defences, rebuilt in 1987.
  • Length: originally1.5 km (0.9 miles); only 750 m (0.5 miles) has been rebuilt
  • Open: 8:30 am to 8:00 pm summer/autumn; 8:30 am to 6:00 pm winter/spring

Where Is It

The Overhaning Great Wall is 14 km northwest of Jiayuguan City center, and about 8 km north of the Jiayu Pass Fort. It is an extended part of the Jiayu Pass military defense system, protecting water resources and acting as a northern lookout point.

The Overhanging Great Wall

Recommended Tours:

Who Built It and When

The magnificent Suspended Great Wall, completed by Gansu Patrol Commander Li Han in the 19th year of the Emperor Jiajing's reign (1540) during the Ming Dynasty, defends the northern entrance to Black Mountain Valley.

The Hanging Wall was built on a ridge with a gradient of 45 degrees, and it was made of tamped local gravel and yellow earth.

The wall was originally 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) long, but it is only 750 meters (0.5 miles) long now; it was renovated in 1987 with three towers, two at the ends of the wall and one in the middle.

What to See

the great wall on the cliffThe Overhanging Great Wall in the picture was rebuilt in 1987.

The Overhanging Great Wall Military Defense System Area comprises the Hanging Great Wall on the steep ridge, the Water Gate in the valley, and the Ancient Weaponry Exhibition.

You can see austere panoramas from the Suspended Great Wall. For the convenience of climbing, steps were built on the wall. Despite these, it is still a steep climb to the top of the 400 steps, but it is worth the effort when looking out from the top.

The scenery is strikingly arid - north the desert extends to the horizon; there are a few oases north of Jiayuguan to the east; to the south and west are steep dry mountains and gullies.

Recommended Tours:

The Best Time to Visit

Jiayuguan has a temperate continental desert climate, influenced by the towering Qilian Mountains to the south. The temperature difference between day and night is large. UV-radiation is high, but it can be chilly and breezy.

Winter is bleak with temperatures well below zero. May to September is the cutoff period for comfortable temperatures (average range (8–22°C or 47–72°F). In July the average temperature range gets up to 15–29°C (59–84°F).

How to Get There

It is about 14 km from Jiayuguan City center to the Suspended Great Wall. There is no bus to the Suspended Great Wall. You can rent a car or take a taxi from Jiayuguan City to the wall. It takes about 30 minutes.

Or you can use China Highlights' private transfer service - contact us and we will help you take the hassle out of getting to the wall by using high-quality, air-conditioned private transport, with an experienced driver and an English-speaking tour guide.

Recommended Tours:

Where to Stay

There are many hotels of various levels in central Jiayuguan, but nothing near the Overhanging Great Wall.

Visit Overhanging Great Wall with China Highlights

If you want to see the desert scenery of the west end of the Great Wall around Jiayuguan, China Highlights can help you. Contact us with your interests and requirements, including anywhere else you'd like to visit, and we will tailor-make your China tour.

Further Reading

China Highlights' wechat
We are here to help you...
start planning your tailor-made tour with 1-1 help from our travel advisors. Create Your Trip

The China Highlights Experience

1-to-1 Expert Planning

1-to-1 Expert Planning

Your tour will be tailor-made by your personal travel advisor — a destination expert. Every reply will be within 24 hours.

Personal Journeys

Personal Journeys

Enjoy your personal local guide and ride. Explore destinations at your own pace. Have unparalleled flexibility, which is impossible on a group tour.

Authentic Experiences

Authentic Experiences

Discover the hidden gems. Experience local culture by practicing it. Try new and exciting activities, and unveil the stories behind the sights and people.

Well-Selected Local Guides

Well-Selected Local Guides

Knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and attentive — your personal local guides will share interesting stories, insider information, and even create unexpected highlights!

China Highlights tailor-makes China tours to help travelers discover China their way. We're a passionate team of one hundred avid travelers who love to share our knowledge of China with those looking for a more authentic travel experience, more ...
China Highlights International Travel Service Co., LTD
Corporate Number: 914503003486045699
Featured on