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5-day Great Wall hike

Beijing - Jinshanling - Gubeikou - Huanghuacheng - Jiankou - Mutianyu

ruined watch tower on Great Wall

A 5-day hike along some of the best sections of wall, comprising both reconstructed sections and 'wild wall' with both moderate hiking and some tougher sections as well. Overnight at simple local accommodation near the wall.

Day 1 From Beijing travel eastwards by road to the Eastern Qing Tombs, about a 3-hour drive. These tombs include some of those of China's later rulers and are magnificent structures, far excelling the better-known Ming Tombs. Then travel onward to the Huangyaguan Pass and hike on the wall here and visit the garrison fortress. Drive to Jinshanling Great Wall for stay at simple hotel (L)

Day 2  After breakfast, start hiking eastward from Jinshanling toward the Simatai section of the Wall (about 3 hour hike). Our hiking on Jinshanling stops at Wuyan tower where you can enjoy a good view of Simatai Great Wall. Then we will take a short drive to Wohushan section of the Great Wall for another 2 hours hiking. Wohushan (Crouching Tiger Mountain) Great Wall straddles on the rocky mountains of Wohushan, so named because two distinct peaks resemble a pair of tigers, one looks up and the other bends down. Return to Jinshanling for overnight stay. (B, L, D)

Day 3  Today hike westward from Jinshanling to the General Tower in Gubeikou (about 5 hour hike). On the way, pass a military area which involves a detour away from the Wall. Drive to a small village at the bottom of the Huanghuacheng Great Wall. Overnight in a local family-style guesthouse. (B, L, D)

Day 4   A short drive will take us to the starting point of our hike on the Huanghuacheng section of the Great Wall, where we will head towards Xishuiyu. The first half-hour of hiking will take us to a watch tower on the cliff overlooking the moon-shaped Huanghuacheng reservoir, down below, a great place to take photos. After a gentle up-and-down, we will then start a steep climb upwards, our goal being the highest tower of the route. We will have to pick our way carefully along the broken wall until we arrive at a cliff over looking Xishuiyu Lake. From here, you can see the broken wall running directly down into a lake, with the endless mountain range in the background. From this point on, the Wall is too dangerous to continue our hike - instead we will turn back a little bit in order to take a small mountain trail downwards, into the Xishuiyu village, where our bus will be waiting to the small village at the bottom of Jiankou Great Wall. Overnight in a local family's guesthouse. (B, L, D)

Day 5  The Jiankou section of the Wall is known to be one of most beautiful parts of the Wild Wall near Beijing, loved by photographers. After a half-hour climb upwards, through a gentle wooded area, we will clamber out onto a portion of the Wall in quiet and and unreconstructed state. After about four hours you reach the well-known restored section of the Wall at Mutianyu. From here transfer back to Beijing. (B, L)