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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

In Brief: Walk both restored and unrestored sections of Great Wall on the way from the Huanghuacheng Reservoir all the way over to the Xishuiyu Reservoir. Some sections steep!

A stretch of the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Hiking the ‘wild’, unrepaired part of the Great Wall at Huanghuacheng.

Key information

  • 3–4 hours of hiking over approx. 5km.

Just so you know: There’s a lot of crossover with our other hikes in this area, and if you’ve done any of those then you will have probably done most of this hike already.

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.

What to bring on this hike

Reasons you might not enjoy this hike

  • While we’re on the wall, the climbing is steep.

There are risks involved in hiking. Please read our Risk Acknowledgment and Waiver and inform yourself before participating.

Level3+

Level of difficulty

Level 3+ is a ‘tougher’ moderate hike. There may be long climbs up hills, and there may be steep sections.

Is the level of difficulty suitable for me?

Hike statistics

  • Distance: approx. 5km
  • Time to complete: 3–4 hours
  • Total ascent: 457m
  • Total descent: 417m
  • Start height: 271m
  • Peak: 538m
  • Finish height: 307m
  • Location: Huairou
  • Drive time: 2 hours each way

Hikes in Beijing

We publish our hike schedule month by month, with updates around the 10th of each month.

If you're interested in hikes and trips during a month that's not yet listed, use our contact form to let us know and we'll send you a quick email when the schedule is online.

Hike in Beijing calendar

See the Hike in Beijing schedule in our calendar


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All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Wednesday, March 20
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Thursday, March 21
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Saturday, March 23
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Heituo Mountain Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, March 23
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, March 24
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 24
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Kids Club: Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 27
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, March 28
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 30
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, March 30
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Great Flood hike

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Departure date: March 30–31 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 31
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 31
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Silver Pagoda Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 3
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Thursday, April 4
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Friday, April 5
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Friday, April 5
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War Tunnels and the old Gold Mines

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Departure date: Saturday, April 6
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: April 6–7 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, April 6
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 7
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, April 7
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 10
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, April 11
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, April 13
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Over the Hills to Dajue Temple

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Departure date: Saturday, April 13
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, April 14
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 14
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Kids Club: Gubeikou Wall and adventure playground

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 17
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, April 18
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, April 20
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

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Departure date: Saturday, April 20
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Saturday, April 20
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Waste-Free Wall: Clean up the Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall for Earth Day

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Departure date: April 20–21 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 21
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Ming Village day trip

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Departure date: Sunday, April 21
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 24
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, April 25
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, April 27
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: April 27–28 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 28
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, April 28
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Shuiquan Canyon

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Departure date: Monday, April 29
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Tuesday, April 30
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Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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Departure date: Tuesday, April 30
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 1
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, May 5
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Yellow Grass Plateau and Seven Towers

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Departure date: Saturday, May 4
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: May 4–5 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, May 5
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, May 5
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Silver Pagoda Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 8
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, May 9
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, May 11
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Miaofengshan Super Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, May 11
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, May 12
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, May 12
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Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 15
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, May 16
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, May 18
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Yanqing Great Wall and High Tower Challenge

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Departure date: Saturday, May 18
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: May 18–19 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, May 19
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, May 19
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Ming Village day trip

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 22
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, May 23
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, May 25
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Heituo Mountain Crossing

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Departure date: Saturday, May 25
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, May 26
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Sunday, May 26
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Kids Club: Yunmeng Gorge play and picnic

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 29
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Thursday, May 30
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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