On this trip we’ll explore the village of Changyucheng, looking at old shrines, defensive walls, and a temple with a big old tree, before taking a good long walk up a long valley to a tablet that marks the border of Beijing Municipality and Hebei Province.
We’ve got several tough Great Wall hikes that either finish or begin at Changyucheng—the ‘Long Valley City’—but the village has some interesting sights in itself.
In the 1520s, this village was an important military base. The village was encircled by stone walls, some leading up the steep hills of the valley, and some of the arched entries and exits still remain. The thickness of the remaining walls give some indication of the level of fortification, and the importance of securing this pass, a sort-of shortcut around the heavily fortified Badaling mountain pass.
As well as the old city walls, the village has several other sights to see: an old shrine which is alleged to cause difficulties for cameras; a restored-but-closed temple with a large bell inside, and a giant old tree just outside the temple entrance.
Before taking a stroll around the Long Valley City, we’ll head up the long valley itself, passing a large reservoir and walking through a forested valley on a gradually rising path that leads up to the Beijing-Hebei border. A short walk from the border tablet is a tumble-down stretch of Great Wall, and if the day is clear we should be able to see the High Tower off in the distance.
We’ll follow a trail around a hillock, and then down another valley, passing cliffs and boulders on the way back to the reservoir.
What to bring on this hike
- Snacks to eat along the way
- Warm clothes, in case it gets cold
- Good hiking boots
- (Click here to read our full What to Bring on a Hike list)