Great Wall Trek

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Hike a classic section of the Great Wall in Hebei Province. Camp, explore and trek between small villages after exploring the iconic sights of Beijing


Duration: 8 Days
Starts in: China
Group Size: 5-16

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.


Arrive in Beijing

On arrival in Beijing you will need to make your own way to the group hotel, the Beijing Dong Fang Hotel, or similar. The afternoon is free time for sightseeing in the central city district. Perhaps barter for a bargain in the colorful silk markets or do as the locals do and hire a bike for a spin through the bustling back roads of this vibrant city. This evening we will meet in the hotel lobby at approximately 6.30pm (please check with reception to confirm this time) for a group meeting before we head out to enjoy our first meal together. Overnight: Dong Fang Hotel or similar

Gubeikou Great Wall trek

This morning we depart Beijing and travel by bus to Gubeikou at the border of Hebei Province to begin our walk. The Great Wall is one of mankind’s most extensive structures and in total length, including early walls, it totals over 5000km from the Bohai Gulf in eastern China to Gansu Province. After lunch at Gubeikou we explore a section of the wall on a high ridge above the township where several prominent towers afford great views of the terrain. This section of the wall has not been restored and therefore has a wild frontier feel with few visitors. We will walk at a leisurely pace with plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the scenery and take photos of this majestic structure. Our campsite is about 300m from the Great Wall, by a small creek and around 400m away from a village. We will erect twin share tent for you, a dining tent and toilet tent with hand washing facilities. The highest bacon tower is 670m in elevation. Ground elevation is 180m. Hiking distance: 9km. Total ascent: 515m. Hiking time ~3/4hrs. Overnight: Gubeiko tented camp

Trek the Inner Great Wall

Following a hearty cooked local breakfast we venture out from our campsite and climb up onto a spectacular section of the wall above the Gubeikou Valley. Today’s walk will be around the inner circle of the Great Wall which formed the second line of defense in the event that the main wall was breached. This section is again is unrestored and in places is quite overgrown with vegetation. This is a scarcely-visited section offers fantastic views of the surrounding rugged landscape. We climb to the junction of the Ming Dynasty wall where we explore before descending back down on a small trail to our camp from the night before. Like all nights, our crew prepare a meal of fresh local dishes for us to enjoy. Hiking distance: 11km Total ascent: 709m Hiking time: 4/5hrs Overnight: Gubeiko tented camp

Trek Gubeikou to Jinshanling

For today’s hike we return back on to the main outer Great Wall. We are well off the beaten track, walking along sections which are wild and unrestored through beautiful mountain scenery. We'll enjoy a rest and picnic lunch picnic on the wall. In the afternoon we reach to a military restricted zone where we are required to leave the wall for a short detour through a village which provides a great opportunity to witness rural village life. As we return back to the wall, we will be approaching the Jinshanling section, which has been carefully restored and therefore represents the wall as it would have been when originally built. Hiking distance: 15.4km Total ascent: 866m Hiking time: 4/5hrs Overnight: Jinshanling tented camp

Hike Jinshanling to Simatai West

Breaking camp we climb up on to the Great Wall and begin our day's walk towards Simatai, along the beautifully restored Jinshanling section. This section of the wall was originally constructed in the 15th century and the restoration has truly returned it to it's former glory. You gain a real sense of the grandeur of this mighty structure and the barrier it would have formed against the raiding Mongol armies. As with each day, we will walk at a comfortable pace allowing ample opportunity to really explore, photograph and enjoy our time on this mighty man-made structure. Hiking distance: 7.67km Total ascent: 697m Hiking time: 3/4hrs Overnight: Lao Dong Po village tented camp

Hike to Beijing Tower, return to Beijing

We head off early this morning to hike to Wang Jing Tower, often referred to as Beijing Tower which is at the summit of Mt Simatai. Today’s walk is challenging with a rugged climb to the summit. Our efforts are well worth it as we are rewarded with stunning vistas and awe inspiring views back across to Hebei. The Great Wall was built by over a million people who were largely soldiers, local villagers or prisoners.Today as we trek this ancient section of crumbling wall, we can imagine the hard work and structural genius that went into creating what is now a national treasure in modern day China. Following lunch, in the afternoon we transfer back to Beijing. Hiking distance: 6.24km Total ascent: 539m Hiking time: 2/3hrs Overnight: Dong Fang Hotel or similar

Tiananmen Square & the Forbidden City

Today we have a full day in Beijing to explore some of the most majestic and historically significant sites of this immense city. We start with Tiananmen Square and the “Forbidden City” so called as it was off limits to the general public for over 500 years. Its ancient buildings served as the imperial palace for two dynasties, the Ming and Qing. We take a full tour of this marvelous enclave, inspecting the massive courtyards. We also visit a courtyard district at the Bell Tower, Hou Hai, in northern Beijing, for a traditional lunch. Please note: should the Forbidden City be closed for an official visit (which happens often and suddenly) your tour leader will adjust your daily itinerary accordingly to try to ensure a visitation without losing any listed activities. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner of classic Peking duck to celebrate a successful trip. Overnight: Dong Fang Hotel or similar

In Beijing, trip concludes

After breakfast our trip concludes in Beijing.

Additional Information

This innovative itinerary takes in a remote section of the Great Wall outside Beijing in Hebei Province. Hosted by local families, we camp in comfort in exclusive locations and explore the Great Wall over seven days, trekking between villages. The scenery is vast and diverse as we trek our way through tall swaying corn cropped field to distant green river valleys with one of the great wonders of the world as our backdrop. Host families provide us with true rural hospitality in the 'real China' and allow us rare interaction, including visits to family homes. In Beijing we visit the capital’s major historic sites such as the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. We also indulge in the culinary delight that Chinese cuisine is so famous for. The Beijing food experiences will no doubt compete with the trek itself as one of the highlights of this entirely unique adventure.


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