The Jinshanling Great Wall is a mix of fully-restored and lightly-restored wall where you’ll see picturesque views of large towers and sweeping lines of wall along the ridgelines.
We’ll start off by hiking up paved trails and steps to get on to the eastern end of the Great Wall at Jinshanling.
Starting on the east side of Jinshanling makes the hike slightly easier—we’ll be hiking down the steepest sections instead of up. And because the east side is higher than the west, we’ll have excellent views of all the Great Wall we’ll be hiking later in the day. If it’s a clear day, we’ll easily see all the way to Gubeikou.
We’ll stay on the Jinshanling Great Wall all the way over to Taochunkou Tower, on the west side of the Jinshanling park area.
It would be great to continue on the Wall all the way to Gubeikou—it’s all connected—but part of the Great Wall here borders military land and that section of it is blocked off.
From Taochunkou Tower we’ll leave the wall, walking beside it before turning off to follow dirt tracks through farmland and up a valley to get around the military area.
After a slow climb up that valley we’ll be back up on the Great Wall at Gubeikou’s 24-Eyes Tower.
24-Eyes Tower is the tallest tower on the Panlongshan ‘Coiling Dragon Mountain’ part of the Gubeikou Great Wall, and 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.
We’ll take a break at 24-Eyes Tower before following the wall down to Haowang Tower, passing through several more towers, with views of a long line of Great Wall in front of us.
After reaching Haowang Tower we’ll finish the walk by following a paved park trail down to the carpark. We’ll warm up with some soup and snacks at a restaurant near the carpark.