What makes our hikes different from the others ?
- Our tours are private – no delays picking up other tourists from various hotels around the city. We pick up, then go!
- Your English-speaking guide stays with you the entire trip (including the hiking).
- Our guides carry 2-way radios (and a cell phone) in case of emergencies.
- We use safe, reliable, government-licensed vehicles (e.g. mini-vans), not a dubiously-maintained family car or taxi.
- We use professional drivers, not a “friend” making some extra money.
- We save time by taking the direct routes, even if there are charges (rather than navigating back roads trying to avoid tolls).
- With us, there are NO “forced shopping” stops !
- There are NO hidden costs ! (e.g. fuel surcharge)
- We are proud of our Wall. We want YOU to become an ambassador of Great Wall hiking too!
- We not only want our customers to return – we want them to tell their friends!
Join us for a real Great Wall adventure – this abbreviated excursion from the ocean all the way to Beijing will allow you to experience the best of the eastern portion of the Great Wall.
- See amazing vistas that can only be seen by hiking! Great photos!
- Explore a section of the Wall which typifies the entire Wall in architecture, scenery, ruggedness, and military importance
- No camping! Accommodation en route will be a combination of small hotels and local families’ guest houses, with clean rooms and showers
- No cooking required (meals provided)
- Separate transportation of all equipment and luggage by support vehicle
- A more detailed information will be available after you confirmed the tour.
This is an abbreviated version of our more-comprehensive 12-day hike. It is carefully designed for the Great Wall enthusiast who would like to experience the best parts of the eastern Wall, but who has only limited time. We start on the ocean, at Dragon’s Head, and hike eastward to Dongjiakou, where descendants of the original builders still proudly maintain “their” section of the wall. From here, we hike to the massive fortress at Huangyaguan, which includes part of the Wall which is constructed over a body of water. One of our last stops is Simatai, the best example of the Ming Dynasty wall, which is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. A really unique experience!
(B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
Day 1. Beijing - Old Dragon’s Head – Shanhaiguan Great Wall (BLD)
After an early breakfast we will have a four-hour drive on good roads from Beijing to Old Dragon’s Head, over 400km away. After lunch, we will visit the Old Dragon's Head fortifications, where the Wall meets the sea, and which is considered the easternmost point of the Great Wall. After our visit, we will hike from Old Dragon's Head directly to Shanhaiguan Pass (also known as the First Pass Under Heaven). This pleasant hike of 1- 1½ hours will take us through some small villages until we see the Gate Towers of the Shanhaiguan Pass Fortress, far away. A short drive will take us to the Fortress itself. After a one-hour's visit of the Fortress and the Great Wall Museum inside, we will be transferred to the First Pass Hotel (a simple but clean courtyard hotel with private washroom and hot showers) for our first overnight stay near the Wall.
Day 2 Jiaoshan- Sandaoguan Great Wall (BLD; 12 km, 6-7 hrs)
Refreshed after a good sleep, a short drive will take us to Jiaoshan Mountain . We will hike from the bottom of Jiaoshan Mountain upwards, directly to the Wall, where, on a clear day, we will be able to enjoy a beautiful bird’s-eye view of Shanhaiguan city in the early morning sunlight, far below. We will then strike off for the next 3-4 hours, travelling in a north-easterly direction, hiking partly on the wall and partly on a wild mountain trail, until we come to our destination - a beautiful valley overlooked by Mt. Longevity. This peaceful valley is characterized by huge stones, a quiet forest, and crystal-clear creeks. In the shadow of Mt. Longevity sits the little village of Sandaoguan (“Three-layer-wall Pass”) with about 35 families living in it. We will walk down to the village, where we will enjoy a short rest and meet our vehicle. Then we will drive about one-and-a-half hours to a village named Dongjiakou, where we will have the unique experience of staying in a local family’s guest-house, very simple but clean (furnished with “kang” beds, common in northern China). Although washrooms are outside, they still have hot water for showers.
Day 3 Dongjiakou - Great Wall village (BLD; 10 km, 5-6 hrs)
This is a special day! In the early morning, we will take a short hike up the mountain from Dongjiakou village to see the Cihou Tower, a special structure that is only seen at this portion of the Great Wall. Although this Dongjiakou section is relatively short, with a length of only 8.9 km, it has remained one of the best-preserved sections of the original Ming Dynasty Wall, built more than 600 years ago. Then we will return to the Donjiakou village to visit the ruins of the fortress and to chat with the villagers, who are the descendants of the builders and guards of the Great Wall, and who have proudly maintained this section of the Wall themselves, generation after generation, without government funding. In the late morning, we will start our 3-hour hike westward along the Wall, stopping to have a simple lunch along the way. At the end of our hike, we will start our long 4-hour drive to the site of the East Qing Tombs, where we will stay in a nice hotel nearby (two beds per room, with private washroom).
Day 4 East QingTomb-Huangyaguan Section Great Wall (BLD; 1 ½ hrs)
This morning, we will visit the East Qing tombs, which far-surpass their more famous predecessors, the Ming Tombs, both in splendor and in majesty. These tombs form a countryside version of the Forbidden City and are nearly as elaborate. Tastefully restored for the most part, this Imperial City is vast, grand, and less crowded. After lunch, a half-an-hour-drive will bring us to a small village near Huangyaguan Pass. From here, we will hike for about one hour-and-a-half, westward, to Huangyaguan. Overnight at the courtyard hotel in Huangyaguan (two beds per room, with private washroom).
Day 5 Huangyaguan – a small mountain village (BLD, 8 km, 4-5 hours hiking)
Huangyaguan is situated in a beautiful valley in the heart of the Yanshan Mountains. As we start our walk heading up the steep renovated steps, we will come to what appears to be a sheer cliff face. This is where we encounter "Heaven’s Ladder", a steep climb of over 200 steps leading up the precipice to the top! Once at the top, when we have caught our breath, the path continues gradually up onto the ridge, where we will once again meet the old Wall which follows the highest contours of the mountain. After this climb, you will surely appreciate the difficulties the builders must have had constructing this massive defence! As we continue our hike during the afternoon, we will find ourselves following the Wall as it gradually descends to the valley below, where our vehicle will be waiting. We will then drive to Jinshanling, where we will overnight in the hostel at the bottom of Jinshanling itself (two persons per room, with private washroom).
Day 6 Jinshanling Great wall and Wohushan Great Wall (BLD; 8 km; 5 hrs)
After breakfast, we will continue to hike eastward from Jinshanling toward the Simatai section of the Wall. Our hiking on Jinshanling stops at Wuyan tower where we could enjoy a good view of Simatai Great Wall and overlook the surrounding. Then we will down to meet our driver in the parking lot at the bottom of Jinshanling. Lunch in a local restaurant.
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. The Wall winds through Wohu Shan for 13.6 kilometer; along the way, 20 towers decked its spine. Our hike will cover part of them. This is the Wall which is not seen by tourists!
Day 7 Jinshanling-Gubeikou Section Great Wall (BL; 10 km, 5 hrs)
On our last day, we will make our last trek westward from Jinshanling to the General Tower in Gubeikou, although we will have to trek a short distance awcay from the Wall, along a country road, to bypass a restricted military area. But today's trekking will be fairly easy, because the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall is still kept well. With our drive back to Beijing, we will come to the end of our 7-day hike along the Great Wall, an experience to remember for a lifetime!
The first 5 days are same with Line A, while different itineraray on day 6 and day 7.
Day 6 Gubeikou –Jinshanling Great Wall (BLD;10km, 5-6 hrs)
After breakfast, We hike from Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall and enjoy the breathtaking views with a relatively peaceful hike. At the end of the hike, a short drive will take us to the Watertown at the bottom of Simatai Great Wall. Check-in the comfortable traditional style room in the Watertown. In the late afternoon we could hike up the Simatai section of the Great Wall to see the sunset, if the weather and time permit, or we will stroll around the water-town with a massive backdrop of the world famous Simatai Great Wall. Tonight you will be treated with a great dinner.
Day 7 Gubei Water Town – Simatai Great Wall (BL; 6 km, 2-3 hrs)
This morning is left free for us either to climb to the top of Simatai Great Wall for the sun-rising panoramic view of the whole area, or to explore the Watertown and take part in some culture activities(e.g. learning tie-dye, kite painting, need to be booked ahead of time) .
The Simatai Great Wall is not only recognised as the World Culture Heritage Sites by UNESCO, but also the No. 1 site on the list of the "must-see-in-your-life-time" by The Times. This water town is a rare combo of Great Wall, Mountains, Lakes and old villages.
We will drive back to Beijing after lunch, the end of the tour.