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Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

In Brief: A relaxing and easy 2–3 hour stroll between two villages on either side of the Great Wall, with an option to get a little more exercise by taking a climb on the wall that we pass on the way.

A path leads through chestnut orchards, with the Great Wall on the ridge behind

The trail leads through chestnut orchards, with the Great Wall on the ridge behind.

Key information

  • 2–3 hours start to finish over 4–6km.

Early start! We’re leaving early to avoid the worst of the holiday traffic. We may still get stuck in a traffic jam at some point, and we recommend you don’t make fixed plans for the evening. Bring a book or something to keep yourself entertained, just in case!

Regular Beijing Hikers: this is the easiest version of this walk. A great way to try a hike if you’re not sure about your fitness, or if you have kids who would like to get outside.

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 nearby towers. The wall here has been partially restored, but only a small part – after a bit of a climb it quickly reverts to its ‘wild’ appearance. 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.

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

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. (But the wall is 3–4 metres wide, there’s no way to fall off.)

There are risks involved in hiking. Please read our Risk Acknowledgment and Waiver and inform yourself before participating.

Level2

Level of difficulty

Level 2 hikes are not too tough: maybe a bit hilly, but no very long climbs. This type of hike will usually be suitable for children – but please check with us if you are not sure.

Is the level of difficulty suitable for me?

Hike statistics

  • Distance: 4–6km
  • Time to complete: 2–3 hours
  • Start height: approx. 200m
  • Peak: approx. 500m if you climb the wall
  • Location: Huairou
  • Drive time: 2 hours each way

Hikes in Beijing

We publish our hike schedule month by month, with updates around the 10th of each month.

If you're interested in hikes and trips during a month that's not yet listed, use our contact form to let us know and we'll send you a quick email when the schedule is online.

Hike in Beijing calendar

See the Hike in Beijing schedule in our calendar


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All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: February 16–17 (Sat–Sun)
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Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

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Departure date: Sunday, February 17
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 20
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, February 23
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Departure date: Saturday, February 23
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, February 24
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Wednesday, February 27
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, March 2
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 2
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, March 3
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Sunday, March 3
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 6
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Thursday, March 7
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, March 9
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 9
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 10
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 10
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Big Black Mountain to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 13
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, March 14
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, March 16
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, March 16
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Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs (Route Two)

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Departure date: Sunday, March 17
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, March 17
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Tomb Raiders hike and Ding Tomb’s ‘Underground Palace’

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 20
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Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Thursday, March 21
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Saturday, March 23
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Heituo Mountain Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, March 23
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, March 24
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 24
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Kids Club: Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Wednesday, March 27
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Thursday, March 28
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, March 30
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Saturday, March 30
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Great Flood hike

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Departure date: March 30–31 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 31
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, March 31
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Silver Pagoda Loop

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 3
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Thursday, April 4
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Friday, April 5
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Thursday, April 5
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War Tunnels and the old Gold Mines

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Departure date: Saturday, April 6
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: April 6–7 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, April 6
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 7
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, April 7
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 10
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, April 11
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Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, April 13
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Over the Hills to Dajue Temple

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Departure date: Saturday, April 13
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, April 14
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 14
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Kids Club: Gubeikou Wall and adventure playground

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 17
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, April 18
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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: Saturday, April 21
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall and Big Camp Plate Challenge

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Departure date: Saturday, April 20
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

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Departure date: April 20–21 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 21
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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Wednesday, April 24
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, April 25
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, April 27
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Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: April 27–28 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, April 28
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Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: Sunday, April 28
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Shuiquan Canyon

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Departure date: Monday, April 29
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Tuesday, April 30
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Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

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Departure date: Tuesday, April 30
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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, May 1
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Great Wall Spur

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Trip dates: April 3–7, 2019

Guizhou: Miao and Dong culture in the mountains (5 days)

In Brief: Hike between villages and enclaves in the mountains of Guizhou Province to get a up-close look at the well-preserved rituals, traditions, and architecture of the Miao and Dong (and more) ethnic groups.

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