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Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

In Brief: Hike from the tiny settlement of Hemp Village through the hills to the Gubeikou Great Wall.

On the Great Wall at Gubeikou

On the Great Wall at Gubeikou.

Key information

  • 3–4 hours start to finish over 12km.

The starting point for this hike, Hemp Village, is a tiny settlement hidden away at the end of a long valley. In the hills behind Hemp Village is the line of Great Wall that joins Gubeikou and Jinshanling, which we’ll follow through the hills.

To get to Hemp Village we walk in from the main highway, following a gravel road through small collections of houses until we get to the end of the road, where we’ll find the house of our local guide.

Houses at Hemp Village, Hebei Province

Arriving at Hemp Village from the Gubeikou side.

From our local guide’s house we’ll follow a trail he made that will lead us up towards the Great Wall. On this part of the hike we’ll have excellent views of the wall, but we won’t be able to climb on top – this stretch of wall is closed to hikers because it borders a military area.

Instead of walking on the wall here – and running the risk of soldiers joining our hike – we’ll stick to the trails that run through the hills and valleys in this area, walking through some pretty farmland, with views of the Great Wall all the while.

Eventually the trail will take us up to the wall, and after a bit of a hill climb we’ll reach the 24-Eyes Tower, the tallest tower of the Gubeikou stretch of Great Wall. It used to be that there were six big windows on each side of the tower, adding up to twenty-four. But during the fighting between the Chinese and Japanese armies in the late ‘30s, two of the sides of the tower were destroyed by bombing. As well as a few destroyed towers, you can also spot bullet holes in the Great Wall in this area.

From the 24-Eyes Tower we’ll follow the wall to the west, passing through a lot of towers – some in good condition, some tumbled down to foundations only. For most of this last part of the hike we’ll be on the wall, except for a short detour along a trail through a small pine forest.

As we near the end of the hike, we’ll see the highway in the broad river valley below, with another line of Great Wall on the other side of the river. Before we get that far we’ll reach the point where the road cuts through the wall, and we’ll follow the road down into the village where we’ll have a nice big lunch of country-style Chinese cooking before we head back to the city.

Weather note: if rain or thunder is forecast we might not be able to hike. We have another Great Wall hike the next day, just in case.

What to bring on this hike

Reasons you might not enjoy this hike

  • There are a few places along the way that are either narrow, steep, slippery, or all three at the same time.

There are risks involved in hiking. Please read our Risk Acknowledgment and Waiver and inform yourself before participating.

Level3+

Level of difficulty

Level 3+ is a ‘tougher’ moderate hike. There may be long climbs up hills, and there may be steep sections.

Is the level of difficulty suitable for me?

Hike statistics

  • Distance: 12km
  • Time to complete: 3–4 hours
  • Total ascent: 422m
  • Total descent: 449m
  • Start height: 253m
  • Peak: 441m
  • Finish height: 225m
  • Location: Luanping County
  • Drive time: 2 hours each way

Hikes in Beijing

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If you're interested in hikes and trips during a month that's not yet listed, use our contact form to let us know and we'll send you a quick email when the schedule is online.

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