Shunyi Hikers: We’ll be picking up people from the Starbucks at Pinnacle Plaza in Shunyi for this hike. If you’re not based in Shunyi but fancy a visit to the Walled Village trail today, we can still make it work – write us a note when you make your booking.
We’re going to offer two options on this hike: the easy option that we usually have, and a steeper option that follows the unrestored Great Wall up and over a mountain. Both hikes finish at the same place.
This is a nice easy walk with views of countryside and village life, a short visit to the Zhuangdaokou section of the Great Wall, and a look around a village that has sprung up in and around an old army barracks that used to house soldiers tasked with guarding the Great Wall.
We will start with a look at the ‘Dragon and Phoenix’ pines at Zhuangdaokou, a pair of trees that are over 300 years old. From there we will walk up a stone-paved trail to a gate in the Erdaoguan Great Wall. It is an ascent of moderate grade—perhaps 30°—and will take no more than 30 minutes.
We can climb up on the Great Wall for a look. It’s a good place to have a snack; adventurous hikers can climb the steep steps to visit a few of the towers. The wall here has been partially restored. We will usually stop here for about 45 minutes to allow a bit of exploration.
From the Great Wall we’ll take an easy stroll through orchards of chestnut trees on the way to the Walled Village. As we walk, we will be able to see how the Great Wall we just passed continues along the ridge, heading for the village as well.
If you’re doing the tougher option, instead of strolling through the orchards you’ll follow one of the guides up a steep set of stairs and on to an unrestored section of wall, ending up at a peak with views of the surrounding mountains. From the peak a hill trail takes us down to the Walled Village where we’ll meet the others.
After a look around the Walled Village we will walk out to the road and meet our bus, and then drive to our lunch spot, a restaurant at the foot of the Huanghuacheng Great Wall. Hikers with extra energy have the option to finish lunch early and take a short climb up on to the Great Wall.
What to bring on this hike
- Warm clothes, gloves, and a hat
- Good hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes
- (Click here to read our full What to Bring on a Hike list)
Reasons you might not enjoy this hike
- It’s a very short hike, and if you’re looking for a Great Wall experience it might not be perfect.
- The Great Wall here is steep to begin with, and the first section has no ramparts between you and the edge of the wall.