Lupiguan Great Wall | A tower atop a cliff
A tower atop a cliff.

Lupiguan Great Wall

New hike! Hike up to Great Wall towers high above the White River for superb views of mountains, the White River canyon, and the Miyun Reservoir.

Level 3+
Some descents on tricky sections of broken Great Wall. 4–5 hours start to finish over approx. 8km (Can I do it?)

This hike is not currently scheduled

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Too cold this weekend? We might end up doing just one hike this weekend, an easy walk to see snow on the Great Wall at Gubeikou. Click the ‘Updates list’ button to let us know if you’d like to hear about options.

The Lupiguan ‘Deerskin Pass’ Great Wall was built during the Ming Dynasty to block off a pass in the mountains north of Beijing.

The Great Wall across the floor of the valley – a tall wall, with an arch called a ‘Water Pass’ to let the water through – was demolished to make way for a modern-era bridge over the river. The ruins of the Water Pass are now completely submerged by the Miyun Reservoir.

The large towers atop the ridges on either side of the bridge are still visible, and if you’ve done our White River hike before then it’s likely you will have spotted them high up on the cliffs as we drove past on the way home.

On this hike we’ll explore the east side of the pass, getting a look at the towers and nearby wall and checking out an internet-famous viewpoint of a horseshoe bend in the lower reaches of the White River.

Great Wall on the rim of the White River canyon
Great Wall on the rim of the White River canyon. (Click for larger image)

The hike

We start off at a nondescript turn of a narrow road, getting onto a hill trail that leads up to a higher ridgeline.

As we get higher, the views open up. To the south we’ll spot the Miyun Reservoir, and in front of us, to the north, we’ll get glimpses of the White River canyon.

After about an hour’s ascent from the start point, we’ll reach the first of the big towers. We’ll take a break here to take in the views, including that internet-famous bend in the river.

We’ll then keep going up the ridge, passing the highest point of the hike on the way to the second of the towers. If we’ve timed it right, we’ll be able to have our lunch break in a sheltered spot by the tower.

From here we’ll follow rough and rocky Great Wall down a dip, crossing a few tricky sections. We’re going to look for detour around the worst of tricky parts, but we’ll need to be careful where we put our feet.

After going down the dip, we’ll hike up the other side, aiming for another of the towers.

Not long after this last tower we’ll hike down through a forested area to finish the walk.

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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