Day One—Hike the Gubeikou Great Wall, explore Gubeikou Village, overnight in hotel. Day Two—Visit Gubeikou's 'Sister Towers', hike from Hemp Village to the Jinshanling Great Wall
Bad weather plan
We'll have a fairly good idea of the weather by about three days before the hike. If it's forecast to be dangerous, we'd need to call off or postpone the hike. If it changes suddenly while we're out there, the guides will change the plan on the spot.
Day 1: Explore the Gubeikou Great Wall and Gubeikou Village
We’ll explore the Great Wall at Gubeikou, doing a relatively easy hike that offers magnificent views of the Great Wall running through the hills. Starting near the North Gate of Gubeikou village, we’ll follow the Great Wall through the hills, taking a few short detours on side trails. After passing the General’s Tower, we’ll continue up to the highest tower in the area, and then walk back down to finish with a late lunch at a countryside restaurant. 6-8km, 3-4 hours
After checking in at a hotel in the village, we’ll have the afternoon free to explore the lanes and temples of nearby Gubeikou village.
A short walk from the hotel is a small village that contains several temples and historical sites. After we’ve checked into the hotel, we’ll take a stroll through the village.
The part of the village just outside the Great Wall has several temples, including temples for the God of Wealth, and the God of Medicine. The temples (and the village) date back to the Ming Dynasty, and developed along with the Great Wall in the area. Further past the temples, we’ll find the ‘modern’ part of the village, a small street with shops and stores and some 60s-era buildings.
We’ll be back at the village hotel for dinner, and can plan our time to watch the sun set from Gubeikou’s North Gate, a large repaired tower and arch.
Day 2: Gubeikou’s ‘Sister Towers’ and the Jinshanling Great Wall
After breakfast at the hotel we’ll check out and then take a short drive to see the ‘Sister Towers’: two towers side by side, with a ‘big’ sister and a ‘little’ sister. We can climb up to get views of the Gubeikou Great Wall across the river.
We’ll then drive 30 minutes to Hemp Village, the starting point of our hike over to the Jinshanling Great Wall.
Hemp Village is an isolated settlement in the hills on the border of Beijing and Hebei Province. There are about 100 people living in this area, surrounded by hills on all sides. They mostly grow corn in this area, but in the right season you can spot hemp and tobacco, and there are donkeys, cows, chickens, and dogs about the place as well.
Not far past the main part of Hemp Village is a trail that leads up to the western end of the Jinshanling Great Wall. We'll follow trails through farmland and up along a low ridgeline to reach a trail that runs beside the Great Wall, aiming for a lookout point that gives views of a long line of Great Wall that runs along ridgelines and disappears over distant mountains.
We’ll get up on to the Great Wall on the west end of Jinshanling, and will hike all the way over to the east end, finishing with a walk down a park trail to the car park. We will end the hike with a delicious meal at a countryside guesthouse.
7-9km, 3-4 hours