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Great Wall Trekking
for 9 Days Including Camping



     9A from the Ocean to Beijing
>> 1 DAY HIKES (15)


(each person)

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* 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.


There are no unscheduled or
mandatory shopping stops.

Climbing Pole Rental:
$6/each/day; $10/pair/day.


Complimentary Airport Pickup


Old Dragon's Head (Laolongtou), the beginning of the Great Wall on Google Earth

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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 $49.95 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.


TOUR 9A: Great Wall Trekking & Hiking for 9 Days

Not to miss any important sections of the Great Wall from the ocean to Beijing

This program has been crafted for serious Great Wall enthusiasts. In addition to being a test of strength and endurance, this tour shows you the best sections of the Great Wall in northeast China.


9-day Highlights:


For Great Wall enthusiasts, this is the ultimate experience. This 9-day tour takes you to every popular Great Wall hike in northeast China. You’ll see every example of Great Wall architecture and structure on this trek.
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!
Your private guide will be with you every step of the way, ensuring that your tour is both safe and informative.
Visit the Qing Tombs, the resting place of China’s last ruling dynasty.
Our program we’ll also include a trek from Jiankou to Mutianyu, which features restored and natural Great Wall as well as a toboggan ride!



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.




See this thrilling route on the map.


Day-by-day Itinerary


DAY 1 |  DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9


Day 1: Beijing - Old Dragon’s Head - Shanhaiguan (L+D, 4 hours)




We will meet you in the morning at 7:30 a.m. You’ll enjoy a combination of a Western and Chinese breakfast on the first floor restaurant of your hotel. 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.


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 - Dongjiakou (B+L+D, 12 kms/7.5 miles, 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. 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.


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 about one and a half hours to the village of Dongjiakou, where we will stay in the local farmer's home. It’s very simple but clean (two-bed, with no private washroom and hot water for shower).



Day 3: Eastern Qing Tomb-Huangyaguan Section Great Wall (B+L+D, 6 kms/3.5 miles, 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.


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. 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.


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-Peace Fortress –West Simatai Great Wall (B+L+D, 10 kms/6.2 miles, 4 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. With the hike of 2.5 hours, you will reach Peace Fort the east gate of Huangyaguan.


Peace Fortress, the other stronghold of Huangyaguan with an altitude of 500 meters, serves as the other end of Huangyaguan Great Wall. The Fort is known about its various architectural style of watchtowers called Duntai built with stones and wood. One of the famous watchtowers called Guafulou was built by twelve widow wives whose husbands died in the battles.  


This part of the Great Wall was first constructed in the Northern Qi Dynasty (550 – 577) and was retained in 1466 supervised by General Qi Jiguang, the chief commanding officer of Ji Garrison (one of the 11 garrisons in the Ming Dynasty). There are six watch towers, one battlement, one barbican, and one shortcut leading to the Great Wall. 


 In the afternoon, we’ll drive to the West Simatai Great Wall, where we will overnight in one of our partnership hostels at the foot of the Great Wall.



Day 5: West Simatai-Jinshanling Section Great Wall (B+L+D, 9 kms/5.5 miles, 3 hours)




Following breakfast in the hotel we’ll scale up the wall to begin our trek today at the West Simatai Great Wall. Constructed under the supervision of Qi Jiguang, a famous general in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), it is the only part that still has the original appearance of the Ming Dynasty. The wall is celebrated for its steepness, queerness and intactness. The main tourist attractions include the Stairway to Heaven, the Fairy Tower, the Heaven Bridge and the Wangjing Tower. The Simatai section of the Great Wall is one of the few sections to retain the original appearance of the Great Wall. Incorporating a variety of characteristics of other sections of the Great Wall, Simatai also displays some unique features of its own.


In the afternoon we will eventually cross over into the Jinshanling Great Wall. The Great Wall at Jinshanling is one of the best preserved parts of the Great Wall with many original features. It got its name because it was built on the Greater and Lesser Jinshan (‘Gold Mountain’) Ranges. A tablet with the Chinese inscription for Jinshanling Great Wall was set into this section. 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 few tourists at Jinshanling Great Wall, it is a good place to explore on foot. The Jinshanling Great Wall was initially built from 1368 to 1389 in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and in 1567 and 1570 rebuilding of the Wall was mainly directed by General Qi Jiguang (1528-1588). Poems and tablet writings can be found on the Jinshanling Great Wall left from the time when Qi Jiguang directed the rebuilding of this section of the Great Wall. There are more than 100 watch towers along the Jinshanling Great Wall. ‘Watching Beijing Tower’ is on the highest point, from which you can see Beijing. The Jinshanling Great Wall is second only to the Badaling Great Wall in its completeness.


After viewing the sunset over the Great Wall, we’ll set up our camping facilities and sleep in a watch tower tonight!




Day 6: Jinshanling-Gubeikou Section Great Wall (B+L+D, 12 kms/7.5 miles, 4.5 hours)


After waking up early to catch the sunrise over the Great Wall, we’ll pack up our things and get ready for our hike today. Today we’ll be continuing our hike on the Jinshanling Great Wall. After about 1.5-2 hours of hiking we will cross over into the Gubeikou Great Wall. The 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.


Gubeikou is completely unrestored, covered with over 140 watchtowers, all differing in size and design. From the wall here you will be able to witness how the wall twists and winds along the steep mountain ranges. This is as dramatic a view on the Great Wall as you’ll find. If the weather is clear, you will be able to see the shimmering blue lake of the Miyun Reservoir. There is a section on the wall that is part of a military base, so you will be able to walk and explore a quaint nearby local village while taking a detour and re-enter the wall.


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 Adventure (B+L+D, 11 kms/7 miles, 4.5 hours)




After waking up in the morning we will have a Chinese-style breakfast first.  In order to hike on Jiankou, first we have to climb up a path for about 30-40 minutes (2km) to reach it. Our hike today will take about 2.5 hours and will cover 4km. 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. Our hike will begin in earnest from the watchtower known as “Defending General”, and over the course of our trek we will pass through seven to eight different watchtowers. Over the next two hours we will be moving from west to east.  As we trek we’ll be able to see “Ying Feng 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!  Other landmarks will include the “Beijing Knot “ and the “Heavenly Ladder”, but we will not be able to scale these peaks as they are not accessible due to its toughness and dangerous footing.  The toughest challenge that this hike presents is a portion known as the “38 Steps”, where the Wall vastly increases in steepness, to the point that it is near 70 degrees! It is due to this feature that we advise those with heart problems or a phobia of heights not to go on this trip.  The rest of the hike is mostly smooth sailing.


We’ll end today’s hike at “Jiankou”, or “Creek Pass” in English, which although pronounced the same as the Great Wall section, has a different meaning in Chinese and is composed of different characters. At “Jiankou” we’ll scale down the wall, which, like the walk to get on, should take roughly 30 minutes (2km). Once we descend from the Great Wall we will spend the night at a farmer’s inn. The farmer’s family will prepare for you a dinner of traditional Chinese dishes. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep, for tomorrow we descend the wall again at Zhengbeilou, where we will eventually cross over into the Great Wall at Mutianyu.





Day 8: Jiankou-Mutianyu (B+L+D, 10 kms/6.2 miles, 4 hours)




In order to hike on Jiankou, first we have to climb up a path for about 60 minutes to reach it. 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. 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). After our visit to Mutianyu, we will drive back to the inn at the slope of Jiankou, where we will spend the night before embarking on more Jiankou hiking the next day.



Day 9: Huanghuacheng-Xishuiyu-Beijing (B+L, 11 kms/7 miles, 4 hours)



Following breakfast we will be driven directly to Hunaghuacheng (or Huanghua Great Wall). After a short walk around the dam on the Huanghuacheng Reservoir, we will start our hike westward to Xishuiyu.


Going to the Huanghuacheng Great Wall, you have four things to do at least. First, you should take photos. Since the lake breaks this section of the Great Wall into three segments naturally, its uniqueness might surprise you. And the Huanghuacheng Reservoir lies here, shaped like a curved moon. Second, go to visit the chestnut garden under the Great Wall, dating back to the Ming Dynasty. The ancient chestnut trees still grow very well. Third, climb up the steepest section of the Huanghuacheng Great Wall, Shibadeng. It is like a dragon, ready to fly into the blue sky. Fourth, look at Yaoziyu Castle. It was built in the Ming Dynasty, still well preserved. In the castle, there is an ancient Chinese scholar tree. It is said that touching it could bring you a blessing.


The highest point of the wall is a broken watchtower, and from there you will have a wide panoramic view of the whole valley. From this summit the Wall dives steeply downwards into the valley. The Gate is located at the bottom, an opening in the wall, which connects the Zhuangdaokou village on the inside, with the still-well-preserved Yaoziyu Castle, built in the Ming Dynasty, on the outside. Over the top of the passageway is another watchtower where we will rest a short while before continuing on. On the inside of the gate you will notice three large characters carved in the stone, indicating the name of the village – ZhuangDaoKou. On the outside is written the name of the passageway - “ZhenNu Pass” - meaning “Defeat to Invaders”, a warning to potential attackers in ancient times.


From here we will continue to trek westward, climbing towards the broken wall to our destination, a peak overlooking Xishuiyu Lake. From our vantage point, we will see a real treat, the broken wall running underwater! From this point, the wall is in too bad a condition to walk, so we will follow a delightful mountain trail to Xishuiyu village, where we will have a gourmet country-style Chinese lunch and have a break. We’ll then drive back to Beijing, where you will be taken back to your hotel, ending your nine-day Great Wall tour with us.



Stuff you should bring with you:

* Passport copies
* 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!



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