Longquanyu Great Wall Loop
Hike a recently repaired section of Great Wall that offers amazing long views before checking out an unrepaired 'wild' stretch, finishing with a hike up and out of 'Big Cloud' Valley to end at a small village.
The Longquanyu Great Wall is about 20km north of the Ming Tombs, and was constructed during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). The Longquanyu Great Wall is the beginning of a long, uninterrupted stretch of Great Wall that passes through Huanghuacheng, Jiankou, and Mutianyu.
Parts of the Great Wall at Longquanyu have been repaired, and the hike will also take us along an unrepaired ‘wild’ section, making this hike a great way to see both repaired and unrepaired Great Wall.
We’ll begin the hike on a repaired section. On the wall here we’ll have long views of the mountains and valleys to the north and west, and looking east we’ll be able to see all the wall that we’ll be hiking on later.
The first repaired section is flat for the most part, but there are two very steep descents, including a steep dive down into a valley—not a lot of fun if you are not good with heights.
We follow the Great Wall up into the mountains on the other side of the valley, hiking on to the first of the unrepaired sections we’ll pass on the hike.
The wall leads up to a cliff and stops—no need to build Great Wall when a cliff will do the job. We’ll make a 30-minute detour around the cliff to get back on to the wall.
This next part of the hike follows the last little bit of unrestored ‘wild’ wall in the area. We’ll make a short, steep climb up on the wall, and then follow a path along a relatively flat section that is overgrown by trees and other foliage. After about 1km we’ll be back on to restored Great Wall. To get around another cliff we’ll follow a thin dirt trail down the hill, into ‘Big Cloud’ Valley.
Instead of hiking out through the Little West Lake park area, we’ll turn up ‘Big Cloud’ Valley. The lower part of the valley is narrow and bordered by tall cliffs; our trail zig-zags up the valley, crossing the stream and winding around boulders.
Further up, the valley gets wider, and we pass a few weird little farm houses before arriving at the village where the hike ends. We’ll head to a village restaurant for our post-hike meal before boarding the bus to head home.