Shunyi Hikers: Hemp Village to Chaoguan Village via Gubeikou Great Wall

Hike in to Hemp Village and then over the hills and Great Wall to reach Chaoguan Village. Shunyi Pinnacle Plaza pickup

Level 4
5–6 hours start to finish over 16km. (Can I do it?)

This hike is not currently scheduled

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Gubeikou Great Wall
A long line of Great Wall at Gubeikou.

Shunyi Pinnacle Plaza pickup. The meeting point for this hike is at the Starbucks at Pinnacle Plaza in Shunyi. An earlier pickup at the Lido Hotel is available on request.

UPDATE 2015/08/28: We’re actually finishing the hike in Chaoguan Village, saving us the 2km walk of on roads to East River Village.

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 part of the hike we’ll be on the wall, except for a short detour along a trail through a small pine forest.

We’ll end up on the Great Wall above Gubeikou Village. Today we’re going to extend the hike another four kilometers to finish on the other side of the river, in Chaoguan Village. To get there we’ll follow a newly-scouted ridgeline trail, passing a few more towers before crossing a bridge to meet our bus in Chaoguan Village.

Shunyi Pinnacle Plaza pickup. The meeting point for this hike is at the Starbucks at Pinnacle Plaza in Shunyi. An earlier pickup at the Lido Hotel is available on request.

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.

COVID-19 and participation precautions

The brief version:

  • Please 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/is.
  • 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

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