Great Wall: Walled Village to the Little West Lake
Begin with a stroll through chestnut orchards on the way to the Great Wall, then follow the wall up along a big ridge, finishing up with stunning views of the Little West Lake.
Regular hikers: our trails in this area overlap quite a bit, and if you’ve done any of our Zhuangdaokou or Huanghuacheng hikes you may already have walked a lot of this trail.
On this hike we’ll hike a pretty-but-steep stretch of the Huanghuacheng ‘Yellow Flower’ Great Wall, following it over a big hill towards the Little West Lake, a reservoir in the hills of Huairou District.
To begin we’ll take a quick look at the thick walls of what was once a Ming Dynasty-era barracks, we’ll take an easy stroll through chestnut orchards on the way to a stretch of the nearby Huanghuacheng Great Wall.
It’s a pleasant twenty-minute walk through the orchards, and easy – a good thing, because we’ll have some steep climbs on the wall to warm up for.
We’ll stop for a rest as we reach the Great Wall, and will have time to climb a few towers of the restored section here. The restored section leads over to the other reservoir in the area, and it’s quite steep!
It’s not too tough to climb up to the first tower on the restored side, though, and by doing that you’ll get great views of the line of unrestored ‘wild’ Great Wall that we’ll be following to finish the hike.
After a steep climb on the last little bit of restored Great Wall we’ll be up onto the wild wall and climbing up to the highest tower in the area.
The trail is slippery in a few places, and we make a detour around a tricky section. We’ll take it slow as you like heading up, and we’ll take another break at the highest tower – an excellent place to take a few photos of the surrounding mountains.
We’ll follow the wall towards the Little West Lake, and on a clear day the views here are amazing, with a line of wall plunging down toward the deep water of the reservoir.
Before the wall gets too steep we’ll branch off on to a hill trail that leads us down to the bottom of the hill, where our hike will finish.
What to bring on this hike
- Snacks to eat
- Sun protection: long-sleeved shirt, hat
- A bottle of sports drink with salt content (Gatorade, Pocari Sweat)
- Rain coat or poncho, just in case
- Good hiking boots
- (Click here to read our full What to Bring on a Hike list)
Reasons you might not enjoy this hike
- While we’re on the wall, the climbing is steep.
- It’s quite a short hike, and if you’ve done the Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village hike or Walled Village to Huanghuachenge hike you’ve done most of this one already.
The last few photos in the trip report below are of the last part of this hiking trail, very scenic when the reservoir is frozen.