7-Day Encompassed Hiking on the Great Wall

Encompassed Hiking on the Great Wall

7-Day Great Wall Hiking from Huangyaguan to Mutianyu

It is a considered tour designed for energetic people who plan to hike more on the Great Wall. China Highlights selects five sections of Great Wall, which can show you the changing perspectives of restored and original walls.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Beijing

Accommodation in Beijing: Beijing Ritan Hotel (with a good location, 4-star)

Your private guide will greet you in arrivals and you'll be taken by private, professionally-chauffeured car directly to your hotel.

Day 2The Historic Huangyaguan Section (3 hours, 4km)
Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation in Gubikou Village: A Local Farmer's Guesthouse

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Great Wall at Huangyaguan in Tianjin by your Great Wall specialist guide and driver. The journey takes about 3 hours. You will hike about 3 hours from Taipingzhai to Huangyaguan and have a late lunch afterward.

The Great Wall at Huangyaguan was first built in the North Qi Dynasty (550–577) over 1,500 years ago, and was restored in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). When hiking in this section of Great Wall, you will see various watchtowers built in different shapes, which is only found in Huangyaguan. It is unique in that it has various different-shaped watchtowers. There are not many tourists in this area, as it is a remote and seldom visited location.

GOOD TO KNOW

The Great Wall at Huangyaguan is the venue of the annual International Huangyaguan Great Wall Marathon Race, one of the world's most demanding courses with exhausting ascents, steep descents, and more than 3,700 steps. You will only hike this section once, rather than completing the circuit twice as is required of the marathon runners. Look out for the two types of bricks — ask your guide why two types were used.

Day 3The Rural Section at Gubeikou Coiling Dragon Hill (3 hours, 6 km)
Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation in Gubikou Village: A Local Farmer's Guesthouse

Get up at 8 am and finish breakfast by 9:00 am and then start the hike today. It will take about 3 hours hiking on the wall. This is a leisure day. We will come back to Gubeikou village again after the hike.

This part of the Wall at Coiling Dragon Hill is completely wild and untouched. It takes some 20 minutes walking on trail to reach the Wall and then another 1 hour to break at 24-eye-tower, the highest point and the picturesque spot where you could have a panoramic view of both Coiling Dragon & Tiger hills. We will not continue eastward as it's a part of military area.

We will do a return walk and pass by the starting point and keep going to the west, approaching Tiger Hill. The main Wall here has decayed (we will walk through 8 intact watchtowers) and only the foundation is left. It is relatively flat trail instead of many stairs on the Wall. The unrestored wall, the watch towers, the beacon towers snake on the mountain from east to west. You will have chance to meet local farmer friends, try local home-made food and learn local community development. It is one of the best places for keen photographers along the wall. On a clear day, it is difficult to fail to take good photographs here.

Day 4The Rugged Section at Gubeikou Crouching Tiger Hill (3 hours, 4 km)
Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation in Jiankou Village: A Local Farmer's Guesthouse

Start at 9am and drive 10 minutes to Crouching Tiger Hill. Arriving at the wall early, you can photograph the amazing scenery with balanced light and no other tourists.

The distance today is not long, however it's not easy as it's steep and strenuous. There will be wider view of the surrounding area by rising up gradually. Once ascending to the top, you could have a panoramic view of the village and the Coiling Dragon Hill in the east, even Jinshanling & Simatai in far distance in a clear day. If you're keen to sunrise, it's the perfect spot and please advise your guide.

We will drive (2 hours) to Jiankou village after lunch.

Day 5The Most Photographed Section — from Jiankou to Mutianyu (5 hours, 10 km)
Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation in Huanghuacheng Village: Camping on the Great Wall

We will drive 40 minutes to start the hiking at Jiankou, and it will take 5 hours hiking on the wall. You will hike on both restored and original walls.

Jiankou to Mutianyu section offers a wonderfully satisfying experience of the Wall. It has superb scenery,dense vegetation and many fine watch-towers in an excellent restored section which is about six metres broad. The first one hour is going straight up and reaches the wall, and then hikes unrestored towers. The wild Wall to the west is the original Ming Dynasty with fine stonework, and there are almost no other people.

You will be rewarded when you approach Zhenbeilou Tower, where you will have a breathtaking view of Jiankou section. There will be a sharp contrast when you arrive at Mutianyu with the restored wall and towers.

There's a chance to try toboggan (optional) when finishing the hike at Mutianyu. We will then drive to Huanghuacheng village for the camping experience.

Basic shower is available at the guesthouse and we will also have home-made local dinner here. Our host will lift up all camping gears to the watchtower on the Wall after dinner. We will go back to the watchtower on the Wall by 30 minutes walking. Torch is necessary to find the way at night. You have to go toilet before ascending the Wall. Alternative accommodation at local guesthouses are available in case of bad weather in summer.

Day 6Huanghuacheng to Xishuiyu (4 hours, 6 km hiking)
Breakfast and lunch

Accommodation in Beijing: Ritan Hotel (with good location, 4 star)

Wake up and enjoy breakfast on the Great Wall as the sun rises around you. It's the right time to produce amazing photographs. At this time there are usually no other tourists on the wall, you have the wall to yourself. We will finish our breakfast on the Wall and then start the hike for 4 hours today.

Originally built in the Beiqi Dynasty (550 A.D.-577 A.D.), Huanghuacheng was extended and consolidated in the Ming Dynasty due to its close distance to the Ming Tombs area. It was critical to protect the imperial tombs area in the Ming Dynasty. There are four defence walls at this area and Huanghuacheng is the commanding center. The Wall was built on steep mountain ridges and it can be seen from a far distance. Two reservoirs were built in 1970s and the Wall was cut down at two positions, thus there's reflection of the Wall on the lakes/reservoirs.

The Wall at the beginning is steep and you have to take many breaks to ease your pace. You will meander through jungles and bushes after halfway. A stunning view is waiting for you when you reach the last watchtower at today's hike. You feel like you stand on the top of the Wall and enjoy a beautiful lake scenery.

A unique Hotpot lunch is followed the hiking at noon. Hotpot is originally from Sichuan Province and now is popular all over China. You can choose Plain or Spicy one as you like. This is also a good opportunity to practice your chopstick skills. You will get back to hotel at 4-5 pm.

You will get back to hotel at 4-5 pm.

Day 7Depart Beijing

Your private vehicle, driver and guide will be ready and waiting at your hotel lobby to get you to the airport on time. Sit back and relax. They will help you check-in and escort you to the correct security gate. Have a nice homebound trip!

Our Service Includes:

  • One-to-one consultancy with our travel expert
  • Versatile and knowledgeable local guides
  • Your own chauffeur and comfortable vehicle
  • Hand-picked hotels to suit your preferences
  • Hotel buffet breakfasts and local restaurant lunches
  • Entry to all attractions on the itinerary
  • The booking of internal transportation per your preferences
  • A 24/7 helpline while you are traveling
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