We’ll start off nearby the small hamlet where we used to finish this hike, and hike up to the small reservoir further up the valley from the houses.
By the reservoir is a hill track that will take us up to the top section of the Great Wall at Gubeikou. It’s not a difficult climb, but once we’ve finished it we’ll be almost at the highest point of the whole hike.
The actual highest point of the whole hike is the 24-Eyes Tower, and we’ll follow the wall up for long views of more Great Wall and mountains all around.
24-Eyes Tower is the highest tower on the Panlongshan ‘Coiling Dragon Mountain’ part of the Great Wall, and was one of the largest, too. The name ’24-Eyes’ came from the number of windows—six on each of the tower’s four sides. The tower only has two sides now due to damage over the years, including explosions and gunfire during a 1930s battle between Chinese and Japanese armies.
After a break at 24-Eyes Tower we’ll hike down the Great Wall, heading for Gubeikou’s North Gate. We’ll be on the wall most of the way there, passing through Haowang Tower and the General’s Tower along the way.
Just after the General’s Tower we’ll take a detour off the wall to head for the North Gate, hiking hill trails to get back to the wall that encircled Gubeikou Village, and then along the wall to the North Gate, an arched gate in the wall.
Usually we’d head down to the village from the North Gate, but today we’ll hike on over to take a look at some of the towers on the wall beyond the gate. We’ll see where the wall went as it circled around the village, plus 2 or 3 of the towers on the cliffs above the river.
We’ll end the hike by following a hill track down to the War Memorial Museum car park, and then hike back under the highway to finish at Gubeikou Village.