Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

Camp overnight in a private spot next to the Great Wall. You’ll hike easier with just the essentials in your day pack; we’ll arrange delivery of the heavy stuff to the campsite.

Level 3+
3–4 hours’ hiking each day (Can I do it?)

This hike is not currently scheduled

Contact us for schedule updates or set up a private hike

Camping by the Great Wall

On this two day Great Wall adventure you’ll hike picturesque stretches of the wild Great Wall and camp at a private and quiet spot beside the Great Wall, deep in the countryside.

We’ll take care of the heavy lifting and main supplies; all you’ll need is a day pack to carry your essentials while hiking, leaving you free to enjoy the scenery, sunset, stars, and sunrise as we hike along the Gubeikou and Jinshanling sections of the Great Wall.

Maximum group size of 10 hikers; book early to make sure you get a spot!

The campsite

Our campsite is a nice flat area beside a line of unrestored Great Wall, up on a ridge. With the wall at our backs, we’ll have broad views to the west, north, and east, and you’ll be able to see the sunrise by poking your head out of your tent at around about 5:00am.

Restrictions in this area mean that we can’t camp on the wall itself, and we won’t be able to have a campfire.

Camping beside the wall is not a bad thing, though – we think the grass and dirt is a bit nicer to sleep on than all those old rough bricks! Also, no need to worry about sleepwalking your way off the side.

At night

The sun will set around 7:30pm, and if we climb a small rise right next to the campsite we’ll be able to watch as the sun slowly sinks below below a tall ridge of mountains.
Moon phase: Just before the new moon, great for star gazing!

Meals

Lunch, day one: We'll supply a big sandwich, prepared by the Delicatessen at the Lido Hotel, as well as a banana and a snickers bar. You might like to supplement this with extra snacks.

Dinner: We'll supply basic camp food: things like bread and rolls, ham and salami, pickles and cheese, and some cup noodles and soups. We’ll bring gas burners to boil water for hot drinks. We'll also bring a bottle of red wine! Dinner will be tasty but fairly basic, and we’re not able to have open fires. If we make dinner in our local guide's courtyard, we'll have less cleaning to do at the campsite.

Breakfast: We’ll bring bread and jam and fruit, tea and coffee.

Snacks: We’ll supply another Snickers bars, an apple, and nuts and things to make trail mix.

Lunch, day two: We’ll head to a local restaurant and celebrate with a big meal and plenty of cold beer.

Water: We’ll provide 4 litres of bottled water per person, plus an electrolyte drink.

Equipment

We supply: one tent for each person, sleeping bag and liner, ground pad, hiking poles.

What you need to bring

  • Day pack to carry the essentials.
  • Standard hiking gear and boots, and a waterproof jacket just in case.
  • Warm clothes for the evening, spare socks and underwear.
  • Hat and gloves.
  • Flashlight or head lamp.
  • Toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
  • Toothbrush, small towel.
  • Suncream.
  • Personal medicine and basic first aid supplies.
  • Entertainment: a book, cards, a bottle of something.
  • Extra food and snacks ie chocolate.

Recommended packing method

Essentials (water, snacks, food, things you can’t do without) in the day pack.
Pack everything else in a small duffle bag, which we’ll have delivered to the campsite for you.

Please keep the weight of your extra things to 5kg or lower, and help us keep it organised by packing it all into one bag that can be fully closed.

Hiking trail

On the first day of the trip we’ll hike along a 6km stretch of unrestored Great Wall at Gubeikou, a relatively easy hike that grants magnificent views of the Great Wall stretching beyond the horizon in the east and west. There are some sections of this hike where you’ll need a good head for heights. After reaching a high point on the wall, we’ll follow a trail that leads through valleys and farmland. The trail will slowly climb a long ridge, and coming round a corner we’ll find our campsite.

On the second day of the trip we’ll hike on to the Jinshanling Great Wall, passing a spot that offers one of the best views of the Great Wall we’ve seen anywhere. We’ll walk all of the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall, and finish with a walk down a park trail to the carpark where our bus will meet us.

Maximum group size of 10 hikers; book early to make sure you get a spot!

Bad weather plan

We'll have a fairly good idea of the weather by about three days before the hike. If it's forecast to be dangerous, we'd need to call off the hike. If it changes suddenly while we're out there, we can shelter at our local guide's house.

Planned itinerary

  1. Day 1
    09:00 – Meet at Liangmaqiao Subway Station
    09:05 – Depart for Lido Hotel
    09:30 – Departure from Lido Hotel
    11:30 – Arrive at Gubeikou and begin the hike
    12:30 – Lunch break on the wall
    13:00 – Hiking to the campsite
    15:00 – Arrive at the campsite and start setting up our tents
    18:00 – Cook and eat dinner by our local guide's house, take snacks and drinks up to the wall
    18:57 – Watch the sunset

  2. Day 2
    05:22 – Watch the sunrise (optional)
    07:00 – Breakfast
    08:00 – Pack up the tents and prepare snacks and water for hiking
    09:00 – Hike on to the Jinshanling Great Wall
    12:00 – Reach the end of the Jinshanling Great Wall
    12:30 – Arrive at the car park
    12:45 – Lunch at local restaurant
    13:30 – Finish lunch, start the drive back to the city
    15:30 – Arrive at Lido Hotel
    15:45 – Arrive at the Liangmaqiao Subway Station

Reasons you might not enjoy this trip

  • There are a few places along the way that are either narrow, steep, slippery, or all three.
  • On this trail we're not able to camp on the Great Wall or in a tower, we'll be beside the wall.

Because of the COVID-19 situation we have some extra terms and conditions for participation.

In particular:

  • DO NOT participate if you are sick or showing symptoms of fever and/or have an elevated temperature, or have been in close contact with someone who was.
  • DO NOT participate if you have not completed any required quarantine after your return to Beijing.
  • You MUST agree to the mitigation and prevention measures outlined here and that Beijing Hikers will not be held responsible if any participants become sick.

Please read in full here: Operating hikes under COVID-19 precautions

Related content

Photos and trip reports: Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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