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Seven-day Trekking
on the Great Wall


 
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The Old Dragon's Head (Laolongtou), the beginning of the Great Wall of China

 

 

PRICE TABLE

(Per Person)

 

# of Head
USD
1
3189
2
1639
3 1619
4-5
1439
6-9
1309

 

INCLUDED IN THE PRICES

 

* Free personal transfers from and to hotel/airport/train station and drop-offs
* Entry fees to the Great Wall sections
* Daily meals (when hiking on the Great Wall)
* The privilege of camping on the Great Wall and exclusive access to the camping watch tower
* All other accommodation along the Great Wall
* All necessary camping gears such as tents & bags
* Quality vehicle, professional driver and English-speaking tour guide
* Free membership card
* A credit of RMB100 toward your next China national 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!

 

FREE AIRPORT 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.

 

 

 

convenient and comfortable shuttle vehicles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Off-the-beaten Great Wall Long Trek

TOUR 7A: 7-day-long trekking to explore on the ancient wall from Laolongtou (Old Dragon's Head), where the wall meets the Ocean

 

In this tour, we will start from the Old Dragon Head in Hebei province, the eastern starting point of the Ten-thousand-li Great Wall, to Huangyaguan Pass in Tianjin, and trek on to Simatai, Jinshanling and Gubeikou in Beijing, and finally Jiankou and Mutianyu Great Wall. The sections of the Wall you will visit are typical in architecture, scenery, wildness, and military importance. The total length we will trek in the trip is about 60km. Some part of the wall is too broken to walk, please prepared to experience some hardship on the way. You have the chance to visit and explore beautiful sections of the Great Wall that most people will never see.

 

Free airport pickup!

 


Highlights:

* If you are looking for breathtaking views with a relatively peaceful walk, then the Jinshanling-West Simatai Great Wall hike is perfect for you. You’ll also get breathtaking views of the sunset from the vantage point of the Great Wall. This will without a doubt be one of the highlights of your entire China trip!
* You’ll have the option of sleeping overnight in one of the watchtowers of the Great Wall, which is sure to be an unforgettable experience! Watch the sunrise and sunset from the best seat in the house!
* Visit the Qing Tombs, the resting place of China’s last ruling dynasty
* Huangyaguan Pass is designed to be a composite of the Great Wall, therefore it’s like seeing the whole Great Wall of China in a fraction of the time!
* Our program we’ll conclude with a trek from Jiankou to Mutianyu, which also features restored and natural Great Wall as well as a toboggan ride!

 

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 - Old Dragon’s Head - Shanhaiguan (L+D)


We will meet you in the morning at 7:30 a.m. From there we will make the 4.5-hour drive to the Shanhaiguan Pass, which is in a town situated in the northeast of Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province. It adjoins the Bohai Sea to the southeast and the Yanshan Mountain to the northwest. We are reaching the seaside of China where the Great Wall starts.

 

After lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, we’ll have a tour to the Great Wall Museum to learn about the history of the Great Wall. You’ll also learn about the history and military strategy of this section of wall, as well as see military relics. We will start our hike at Old Dragon’s Head, also known as Laolongtou. Laolongtou is the most eastern section of the Great Wall, which extends into the Bohai Sea. Standing here is almost like being on a peninsula as you can feel the overwhelming power of the rolling sea. This hike takes about 40 minutes.

 

After marveling at the scenery here, we will make our way to the Shanhaiguan Pass Fortress, which is also known as “The First Pass Under Heaven”. Climbing up the Zhendong Tower, you will see that to one side of the tower is the rolling sea, while on the other lies the impressive Great Wall.

 

For the night we will stay at the First Pass Hotel in Shanhaiguan Pass (a simple but clean hotel with private washroom and hot water shower), and have a tasty dinner of Northern Chinese cuisine to get you started for tomorrow’s hike. Be sure to wear a long sleeve shirt, as we will be walking through lots of bushes tomorrow.


 

Day 2: Jiaoshan – Sandaoguan (B+L+ D, 4.5 hours)

 

After waking up and having breakfast, we will pick up where we left of yesterday, beginning at the Jiaoshan Great Wall we’ll head towards Sandaoguan. Unlike the newly restored wall, the Jiaoshan ancient wall provides you a sense of historical vicissitude. Walking on the dilapidated wall is a great challenge. The wall appears more and more crumbled and deformed as you forge ahead. In some sections, the wall is only built on one side, with the other side being the deep cliffs. In some sections, the mountain ridge is functioned as the wall, which is called by experts "mountain-supported wall". Watch your steps when you enter this zone. After a one-hour's difficult climb, you will arrive at Dapingding Peak, the main peak of Jiaoshan Mountain. You will get a panoramic view of the Changshou (Longevity) Mountain Scenic Area. To the south, you can see the full shot of Jiaoshan Great Wall and Shanhaiguan City, if weather permits, Laolongtou Great Wall and Bohai Sea can also be vividly recognized afar.

 

Jiaoshan Ancient Wall turns east from Dapingding Peak. It first noses down the eastern slope of Dapingding Peak, climbs over Liumianding Mountain and then arrives at Sandaoguan Pass, which is actually a twin watchtower. The travel from Dapingding Peak to Sandaoguan Pass takes about one hour, and also, it is a thorny track which is difficult to reach. You will have entered Changshou Mountain Scenic Area from Jiaoshan Great Wall at the end of this trekking.

 

It is no exaggeration to say Sandaoguan Great Wall is one of the most wondrous segments of the Great Wall. Amazingly, some segments of the wall here were builton cliffs at a 90-degree incline. It appropriately earned the nickname "The Wall Hanging Upside Down”.

 

After exploring Sandaoguan we will drive to East Qing Tomb area, where we will stay in the local hostel for tonight.  

 


Day 3: Eastern Qing Tomb-Huangyaguan
(B+L+D, 3 hours)

 

Following breakfast in the morning we will make the drive to the East Qing Tombs. The Eastern Qing Tombs, which is among the finest, best-preserved and largest of the extant tomb complexes in China. Along the south side of Changrui Mountain, the tombs of five emperors, four empresses, five imperial concubines, and one princess are arrayed based on the traditional concept of placing the most senior and most distinguished in the center.

 

Of all the tombs, Xiaoling is the biggest and most elaborate, standing as the focal point of the entire structure. The grandeur of this tomb may be attributed to its having been the first sepulcher constructed for a member of the royal family of the Qing Dynasty, so the builders hoped to set the tone for a prosperous future. Crossing through the Great Red Gate, you can see buildings of different sizes, all with roofs of yellow glazed tile, connected by the brick paths or 'sacred ways' that converge in the area of Xiaoling.

 

An example of the most exquisite architecture of the Eastern Qing Tombs is Dingdongling, the tomb of Empress Dowager Cixi. Although she handled affairs of state for more than 45 years, she never ascended the throne. (The only female ruler in Chinese history was Empress Wu Zetian in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Elaborate and highly refined decorations and carvings inside Dingdongling make it unique among the tombs of the Qing Dynasty. The main material used in the tomb, which took six years to build, was gold, the symbol of royal family.


Shortly after lunch we will drive to a small village, where we will start our afternoon hike on the Great Wall on Huangyaguan. 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. Being endowed with both natural beauty and cultural interest, it has become famous as a natural beauty spot and a summer resort.

 

After about an hour’s walk we will reach a peak overlooking the valley below. Form 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 walk down to the fortress for a fascinating and informative visit inside.

For that evening we will stay in a hostel that is located at the foot of Huangyaguan (two-bed one room with private washroom).


 

 

Day 4: Huangyaguan- Qianganjian  (B+L+D, 4-5 hours)

 

 After waking up and having breakfast we will resume our hike on the Huangyaguan Great Wall. We’ll eventually drop down into the nearby valley and clamber along the Wall as it gradually descends to the valley below.

 

 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. We drop down into the nearby valley and clamber along the Wall as it gradually descends to the valley below

 

Afterwards we’ll meet our waiting bus and drive to Qianganjian village, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore an authentic Chinese village and meet and interact with Chinese farmers. Afterwards we’ll drive to the West Simatai Great Wall, where we’ll spend the night at an inn located near the Great Wall.


Day 5: Gubeikou-Jinshanling (B+L+D, 10 kms, 4 hours)


We will head to the Great Wall at Gubeikou to start our hike after breakfast. 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.

In 1933, when Japanese forces invaded  China, the Chinese army at Gubeikou fought hard to resist the enemy. it marked the beginning of China's eight-year-long war to fight against Japanese invasion in the World World II.


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. Jinshanling has five main passes and 67 watchtowers. Every 100 meters (328 feet), there is an enemy tower each of which is about ten meters (33 feet) high. Featuring various structures and having various functions, those watchtowers are either one tiered or two-tiered. Among them, the most celebrated are the Big and Small Jinshan Watchtowers. The Wangjinglou Tower, the General Tower, the Black Tower and the Taochun Tower are also must-sees on the Jinshanling Great Wall. Each tower has its legend. Legend has it that the stone bars used to build the Wangjinglou Tower were carried to the mountaintop by Er Lang Shen, the nephew of the Jade Emperor. The general tower was named to commemorate Wu Guihua, a heroine who sacrificed herself to resist northern invader's invasion in the Ming Dynasty. The Black Tower and the Taochun Tower were christened to commemorate two girls, Heigu and Taochun, who made great contributions to the construction of the Great Wall.

This afternoon, you'll watch the sunset while walking along the Wall. Then we'll take you to have a gorgeous Chinese countryside style dinner served by a local guesthouse owner and also the master chef. The chef used to work in large company's canteen for 28 years! He is going to 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 vegetables (great for vegetarians), and soup. What's more important is that all the vegetables he uses are planted in his own yard, so it is organic and fresh!  

Then, before it gets dark, we'll go up to the mountain and sleep overnight 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. Here it is the sound sleeper's paradise - let the mountain valley and the Great Wall echo your snoring sound! 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, in cold winter, we'll only overnight in a local hotel for safe.

Temperature on the Great Wall is usually 10 degree Celsius lower than it is on the ground.

 


Day 6: Jianshanling-West Simatai (B+L+D, 3 hours)

The first thing we'll do today is to watch the magnificent sunrise early in the morning. After a hearty breakfast (You can have your breakfast delivered to the watchtower and enjoy your Great Wall breakfast for just RMB 100/person.)  with eggs, bread, milk etc., we will resume our hike on Jinshanling's right wing, where we will hike until we reach Simatai West called 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.

The Jinshanling Great Wall has not been repaired since 1570. It is a remote and relatively isolated section of the Great Wall. As there are relatively even fewer tourists at Second Valley part of 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.

Simatai West, called the Second Valley, is the left wing of Simatai. It is also in a serious state of ruins and is thereby a perfect example of the true Great Wall, while also being extremely beautiful and rustic. The wall is 7.8 m high and 5 - 6 m thick at the bottom. On the top, the wall is about 4 meters wide with 2 meters high parapets on each side. On the side facing the enemy were 2 m high crenels called Duokou. On the upper part of the Duokou were large openings used to watch and shoot at attackers. On the lower part were small openings ('loopholes') through which defenders could also shoot while in greater safety from incoming fire.

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 at Gubeikou we’ll drive to the Jiankou Great Wall, where we will spend the night at an inn nearby.


 

Day 7: Jiankou-Mutianyu-Beijing (B+L, 3.5 hours)

 

In order to hike on Jiankou, first we have to climb up a path for about 60 minutes to reach it. Our hike will today will take about 4 hours and will cover 10km/ 6 miles. 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. Another highlight of Jiankou is the enemy observation tower known as, "Ying Fei 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!

 

From Jiankou we will cross over onto Mutianyu, a section of the wall that has been largely restored. Although it has gotten a face-lift, it 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’ll then drive back to your hotel in Beijing, ending your tour.


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! 

*Bonus: Free Beijing group tour to Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, and Summer Palace

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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