Lakeside Great Wall | Views over the reservoir at the Lakeside Great Wall
Views over the reservoir at the Lakeside Great Wall.

Lakeside Great Wall and Longquanyu sundown hike

Hike up and over repaired Great Wall and cross the glass bridge in the Lakeside Great Wall Scenic Area, hike out the back of the park area to find quieter trails and unrepaired Great Wall at Longquanyu, finish back at the Lakeside Great Wall for great photos in the soft light of ‘golden hour’.

Level 3
Some steep descents on repaired Great Wall, plus some fences to get around and a stream to cross. Approx. 4 hours start to finish over 8km. (Can I do it?)
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Booking info

Sunday, July 14

¥460 / ¥415 for members / ¥240 for kids

  1. 12:00pm departure from the Liangmaqiao subway area
  2. 12:30pm departure from the Lido Metropark Hotel Starbucks
Post-hike dinner included
Payment in advance required for this hike. More about payments

This hike might be a tough Level 3. We think it’s almost worth a 3+.

On this hike you’ll see both repaired and unrepaired Great Wall, as well as lakes, mountains, and streams.

The Lakeside Great Wall is a park area that features repaired Great Wall that both rises above and dips down into the Xishuiyu Reservoir.

Out the back of the park area is the Longquanyu Great Wall, where you’ll hike along the last part of unrepaired Great Wall in the area as well as some that has been repaired more recently.

After exploring the unrepaired wall we’ll hike back into the park area and take our time to get some great photos of the Great Wall in the soft light of ‘golden hour’.

After the hike we’ll head to a nearby village restaurant for a big hot meal and cold drinks.

Bad weather plan—if the weather forecast looks unsafe (lightning/heavy rain/extreme heat) we’d need to change the plan for the hike. We’d let you know if there was going to be a change.

Planned itinerary

Itinerary for the hike
12:30 Driving to the hike
14:30 Start the hike
14:45 Hike up to the Great Wall
15:45 Cross the glass bridge and up the other side
16:30 Hike out to the unrepaired Great Wall
18:15 Back into the park area to find our photo spot
19:00 Finish the hike, short drive to the restaurant, dinner time
19:42 Actual sunset
20:00 Driving back, stopping for a bathroom break
21:30 Arrive at Lido, then on to Liangmaqiao

The hike

As we’re doing this first part of the hike we’ll keep an eye out for the best place for ‘golden hour’ sundown photos.

At the Lakeside Great Wall we start off by crossing over the ‘70s-era dam that created the reservoir here, and then we make a short climb to get up on to the repaired Great Wall. From atop the wall here we’ll be able to see wall all around – an unrepaired section of Great Wall climbing a cliff above the reservoir, and more of the repaired wall on the other side of the lake. The views of the reservoir itself are also excellent – the wall runs high above the lake, and we’ll see little paddleboats dotting the water.

We’ll come down off the wall and follow a park road around the corner a little way before taking a turn to get back on the Great Wall, first passing the ‘Great Wall in the water’ before hiking up and over a peak. The climb up to the top is fairly steep, and the climb down the other side is even steeper. We’ll take our time here.

The wall dips down to the water again, and we’ll cross over the Glass Bridge to find the Ming Dynasty Chestnut Orchards and the beach area. The chestnut orchards have some trees that are more than 600 years old.

Small stalls by the beach sell cold drinks and ice creams, plus chestnuts when in season. After a break at the beach we’ll head on to Longquanyu.

The ‘wild’ section of Great Wall at Longquanyu
The ‘wild’ section of Great Wall at Longquanyu.

Just outside the Lakeside Great Wall park area is a short stretch of repaired Great Wall that soon turns rough and wild. We’ll follow the wall up to a large tower on a hill top, and then over and along to a dip in the hills. A short, steep, and somewhat tricky descent takes us down into the dip.

Beyond the dip the Great Wall heads up to cliffs and then dead-ends. We won’t hike up that way; we’ll instead follow field trails down into a valley, and then down a narrow track to get back to the Lakeside Great Wall scenic area.

We’ve timed it so that the hike will be finishing in the Golden Hour, and we expect to get some great photos of the wall as the light fades.

COVID-19 and participation precautions

The current precautions are minimal. Please read in full here: Operating hikes under COVID-19 precautions

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