This stretch of wall is part of the Huanghuacheng (Yellow Flower) Great Wall, and contains restored and unrestored sections for us to explore.
We’ll start off near the Huanghuacheng Reservoir, and scramble up a hill trail to get on to the wall. This first section has been restored, and while a little steep in places, is good to walk on.
After around 40 minutes, we’ll reach the highest point on this stretch—the base of a ruined tower—and take a break to enjoy the amazing views: back the way we came, the steep and twisting Huanghuacheng Great Wall rises from the reservoir and snakes off into the distance; to the east, farmland and small villages in a broad valley surrounded by mountains; to the west, the stretch of Great Wall that we’ll continue along.
Following the wall, we dip down to the Zhuangdaokou Gate, an archway through which our Zhuangdaokou to the Walled village hike passes. The climb down to the archway is steep, and there are no ramparts or crenellations to hold on to - it’s necessary to take it slow and easy here.
We’ll take a break at the archway, and gather our energy for the climb up the steep and tall stairs on the opposite side of the pass. After climbing the stairs, we’ll be following unrestored wall along a ridgeline for a little more than an hour, passing through five or six ruined towers.
The trail is slippery in a few places, and we make a detour around a tricky section. We’ll take it slow as you like heading up, and we’ll take another break at the highest tower – an excellent place to take a few photos of the surrounding mountains.
We’ll follow the wall towards the Little West Lake, and on a clear day the views here are amazing, with a line of wall plunging down towards the Xishuiyu reservoir.
Before the wall gets too steep we’ll branch off on to a hill trail that leads us down to the bottom of the hill, where our hike will finish.