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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. 7km.

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 Erdaoguan 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. 7km
  • Time to complete: 3–4 hours
  • Total ascent: 444m
  • Total descent: 414m
  • Start height: 274m
  • 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

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Departure date: Saturday, October 27
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