We’ve been trying since the start of last year to figure out how to get you up on to this part of the Great Wall for a hike.
The trail follows rough and rocky early Ming Dynasty-era wall up on a high ridge, with awesome views all the way.
The wall here is similar to what we see on hikes in the hills in Hebei, northwest of Beijing, and it’s in a similar state – there aren’t any towers to see, just the red rock foundations.
There is a short part of roughly repaired wall at the beginning and end, and we finish up at the “General’s Pass”, where we’ll see the remains of a fort that blocked a narrow pass through the mountains.
We’ve scouted this hike three different ways already—once we were foiled by fire season protection rules, another time by a locked gate, and on the third time we made it, but the hike was maybe a wee bit too difficult. It’s still going to be fairly difficult. Read on for details!
It’s a little bit difficult to get on to the trail here. Before we do this hike we’re going to go out and take a good scout around for a hassle-free option.
We might start off with a short walk up a farmed valley, and then cut through some trees to get on to roughly repaired Great Wall. The repaired wall would take us up to the peak of the southern end of this part of Great Wall. There are some obstacles on the way up – ‘steps’ that are more than one metre tall – and we may have to do some teamwork to get everybody up.-
Or we might need to do a longer walk through some farmland before hiking a rough track up a hill to get to that same peak.
We’ll figure it out in the weeks before the hike. Once we’re on the trail, either way, we’re all good.
We’ll follow the unrepaired Great Wall along a ridgeline, with some steep ascents and descents on rocky bits.
The hills become more forested, and the stones and rocks used to build the wall become a lovely red colour.
We’ll make a detour around cliffs and crags, hiking down into a terraced valley and then back up a scratchy trail to get back on the wall.
After more ups and downs on the wall, and another off-wall detour around more cliffs, we’ll be on the last leg of the hike and heading for the tall tower above the General’s Pass.
The climb down the wall from that tower is difficult – a steep slope instead of steps – and there is a shortcut available if you want to make the descent a little bit shorter. Do try to make that climb though – the views will definitely be worth it.
We finish the walk by the remains of the walled fort that blocked off the pass through this part of the mountains.
Scroll down to see more photos from the hike.