Five-day Great wall Hiking: East Qing Tombs-Mutianyu
When arriving at Mutianyu section, the view is totally different. First of all, this part has been renovated and it is much easier to walk here compared with the last part. Secondly you are already on the highest part of Mutianyu and during the rest of the hiking you will walk always down. In the end you have the option of walking, taking the cable car or the toboggan down to the parking lot of Mutianyu. Taking toboggan is a lot of fun and therefore is strongly recommended. After meeting the driver we go directly back to your hotel in Beijing.
D1: Visit East Qing Tombs, Hike from Taipingzhai to Hangyaguan
The guide and the driver will pick you up from your hotel in Beijing and then we drive to East Qing Tombs. It takes about 2.5 hours to get there. Unlike the Ming Tombs in Beijing, this place is much less famous and has not as many tourists as its predecessors. However, it is a very good place for you to learn and appreciate the ancient Chinese culture. There is a seven-kilometer-long sacred way here with splendid gateways, decorated pillars, and pairs of stone statues of human beings and animals, leading to the tombs of the Qing Dynasty Emperors. We will spend about 1.5 hours here and then drive to a small village near Huangyaguan to have lunch.
After lunch, we begin our afternoon hike, which is quite easy. We will walk from Taipingzhai to Huangyaguan on the Great Wall and it takes about 1.5 hours. You may take as many photos as you like on the way. Tonight we will stay overnight at the hotel located at the bottom of Huangyaguan Great Wall.
D2: Huangyaguan to Qianganjian
After breakfast we continue our hike from Huangyaguan section of Great Wall. Today will be a hard day and we will walk for about 5 hours. We will pass the Heaven of Ladders near the top of Huangyaguan and there are about 300 steps leading us up the cliff. It is quite challenging and breathtaking to conquer them. After that we will walk along the old wall and in the end arrive at the village of Qianganjian where we will have lunch in a local farmer’s restaurant.
After lunch we drive directly to Jinshan Hotel at Jinshanling.
After breakfast we drive to Gubeikou section of Great Wall, which is located at the town of Gubeikou. The town of Gubeikou served as the northern gate of Beijing in ancient times. Therefore it was quite important both strategically and militarily and numerous wars happened here in history when minority groups from the northern part of China tried to invade Beijing. The most recent war happening at Gubeikou was in the year of 1933 when the Japanese troops tried to invade Beijing. On the over 40-kilometer-long Great Wall in Gubeikou area, there were 172 beacon towers, 16 passes in the mountains, 3 water passes over the river and 6 military bases, some of which are still preserved very well nowadays.
Today we will walk for about 10 kilometers (6miles) and the whole trek will take almost 6 hours. When arriving at the village near Gubeikou Great Wall, we will walk to the wall and it is quite easy, as the mountain there is not so high. From the wall you will be able to see how the wall winds on the mountain ridges to the faraway Jinshanling and Simatai areas. Most parts at Gubeikou section of wall have not been renovated but not so difficult to hike. Today you will also pass a military area where it is not allowed to walk on the wall, therefore you need to get off the wall and trek for about one and half hours on the mountain path before you return to the wall. When reaching Jinshanling, you will walk on the restored part for about half an hour before going down to the hotel. We stay overnight also at Jinshan Hotel today.
D4: Hike at Wohushan Great wall
After breakfast we drive for about 15 minutes to Wohushan Great Wall, which is also located at the town of Gubeikou. Today’s hike is much shorter but more difficult, as the mountain here is quite high and steep.
Wohushan in Chinese means Crouching Tiger, and this mountain looks like a big tiger protecting the town of Gubeikou, hence the name. Today’s hike will last about 2 hours, during which we sometimes walk on the Great Wall and sometimes on the mountain path along the wall. Most parts of this section have not yet been restored. When reaching the top, which is about 900 meters above sea level, you will be able to have a very good view of the faraway Jinshanling and Simatai sections of Great Wall as well as the Chaohe River, the villagers’ houses and the railway station at the town of Gubeikou. After taking some photos we walk down through a mountain path to the parking lot. Then we drive for about one hour to a restaurant at Miyun District of Beijing and have lunch. Then we drive to our hotel at Jiankou.
After breakfast we drive to a village near Jiankou Great Wall. It takes about half an hour and we will drive on the winding mountain road. You will be amazed by the views on your two sides and you will see the real and beautiful countryside of north China.
From the village at the bottom of the Great Wall it takes about one hour to get to the top, which has a height of about 1,000 meters (3000feet) above sea level. Zhengbeilou, which is the name of the tower at the top, is a nice place to take photos of the view. You will see the authentic and wild wall constructed on the curvaceous and breathtaking mountain ridges. It is hard to imagine how much hard work and efforts it took the ancient Chinese people to build this part of wall.
From Zhengbeilou we are going to hike to Mu+tianyu section of Great Wall and it takes about two hours, during which you will trek on the old and original wall where numerous trees and plants are scattered around because of a long history and no restoration during the past 300 years. There are also lots of wild fruit trees growing on the two sides in the mountains, such as chestnut, walnut and apple trees, which attract a lot of squirrels. If you are lucky enough, you can see some squirrels looking for food on the Great wall.