Celebrate Christmas with a Great Wall hike!
(Not free on Friday? How about a Great Wall hike on Boxing Day?)
On this hike we'll walk a picturesque section of wall that offers great views without too much hard work. As we follow the wall, we’ll pass through restored and unrestored sections, as well as taking a scenic detour through pines on a hillside trail.
We’ll start the walk with a short climb up to a dirt trail to reach the wall. Once we're up, we'll be able to see the roofs of a small town; past those, the old highway to Chengde; and even further, a stretch of Great Wall climbing a steep ridge.
Continuing along the wall, we'll pass through a lot of towers – some in good condition, some tumbled down to foundations only. Excluding one detour, we'll be able to walk on the wall just about all the way, climbing up, over, and down the hills and ridges.
The detour comes about thirty minutes into the hike, and takes us along a path through a pine forest and then up a dirt trail to get back to the wall - about 15 minutes all up.
After the detour we'll be back on the wall, and will continue along it, passing through towers and climbing up and down moderately steep sections. Some of the towers we visit are ruined, with only walls left. Others are in very good condition, and we can climb up on top for even better views of the surrounding area.
The wall in this area is built on ridges, and because there are not many trees on the ridgelines we will have broad views in every direction as we walk. We'll have the option to extend the walk a bit by continuing past the last tower on the loop, heading on a little way towards Jinshanling before turning back.
And then, after we're all done with the hike, we'll head to a local restaurant where we'll have a big (although maybe not so traditional) Christmas feast of Chinese food, washed down with a good amount of beer.
After lunch, we’ll have a dumpling-making contest, with prizes awarded for ‘Most Dumplings’ and ‘Best Dumpling.’ If your dumplings are up to scratch, we may be be able to eat them as well!
Photos from other Christmas hikes
- Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Christmas hike, 2014
- Gubeikou Great Wall Christmas hike, 2014
- Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Christmas hike, 2013/12/22
- Gubeikou Great Wall Christmas hike, 2013/12/21
- Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall Christmas hike, 2012/12/22
- Gubeikou and Jinshanling Great Wall Christmas hike, 2011/12/24
- Jiankou to Mutianyu, Christmas BBQ, 2010/12/25
What to bring on this hike
- Snacks to eat
- Warm clothes, gloves, and a hat
- Good hiking boots
- (Click here to read our full What to Bring on a Hike list)