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Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

In Brief: See the last sunset of 2018 from the Great Wall at Huanghuacheng.

Huanghuacheng Great Wall | Hiking the Great Wall at Huanghuacheng, just before sunset

Hiking the Great Wall at Huanghuacheng, just before sunset.

Key information

  • 420 RMB (380 RMB for members, 200 RMB kids 6–12)
  • 11:00am departure from Lido Hotel Starbucks; Liangmaqiao subway area pickup at 10:30am (Find the meeting points)
  • approx. 3 hours of hiking over approx. 5km.
  • Includes a meal after the hike.

See the last sunset of 2018 from the Great Wall at Huanghuacheng.

Note: The length of the hike is like a Level 2, but some of the climbing is more like what’s found on a Level 4. Just for a little while, though!

Bring all your warm clothes! We’re expecting sub-zero temperatures, and it could get very cold as we’re waiting to watch the sunset.

We start off near a walled village that was once an army barracks during the Ming Dynasty. The tall and thick stone walls remain, and it’s possible to explore inside.

Surrounding the village are fields and chestnut orchards, the main source of income for those who live nearby, and in the hills above the village runs a stretch of the Yellow Flower Great Wall.

We’ll follow the villagers’ field trails up into the hills, passing the chestnut orchards on the way to the narrow hill trail that will take us up to the Great Wall.

It’s here where the trail gets steep for the first time on the hike, with a good climb up the zig-zagging dirt path that leads to the wall.

This first stretch of wall that we’ll see is unrestored and hasn’t been touched since the Ming Dynasty. Parts of it are in good shape, and other parts are tumbled-down and in rough condition.

We’ll follow the wall east, passing through towers and using side trails to skip broken down sections. After 45-50 minutes, we’ll be on to the restored section – a good chance to see what the wall might have looked like when first built.

A climb down a steep set of stairs takes us to a big arch in the wall, and we’ll take a break to catch our breath before another steep climb. From this point, we’ll be on repaired Great Wall.

After a rest, it’s onward and upward, with another 45 or minutes of climbing to get to the highest point on the hike, a lookout point that offers 360° views of the surrounding countryside and more of the wall.

It’s here where we’ll watch the sunset, which will happen around 5pm. Bring plenty of warm clothes with you. Depending on how fast we hiked we may need to wait around for a little while, and we expect sub-zero temperatures and a bit of a breeze.

Below, we’ll see a local reservoir. The wall leads down to the reservoir, and back up the hills on the other side. We’ll follow the wall down to the last tower before the reservoir, and then exit to take a path down the hill, passing small guesthouses on the way to the road and the restaurant where we’ll have a big meal before heading back to the city.

Bad weather plan

If bad weather (i.e. snow, ice, extreme cold) means this hike wouldn’t be safe or fun we’d look at changing the hiking trail or moving to a different location.

Planned itinerary

10:30–bus departs from Liangmaqiao
11:00–bus departs from Lido Metropark Hotel Starbucks
13:00–start the hike
16:30–at the peak, waiting for sunset
16:58–sunset
18:00–dinner at restaurant
20:30–back at Lido Hotel
20:45–back at Liangmaqiao

Bring all your warm clothes! We’re expecting sub-zero temperatures, and it could get very cold as we’re waiting to watch the sunset.

What to bring on this hike

Reasons you might not enjoy this hike

  • It’s quite a short hike, but the climbing is steep—both up and down.
  • The length of the hike is like a Level 2, but the climbing is more like what’s found on a Level 4.

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

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Level3+

Level of difficulty

Level 3+ is a ‘tougher’ moderate hike. There may be long climbs up hills, and there may be steep sections.

Is the level of difficulty suitable for me?

Hike statistics

  • Distance: approx. 5km
  • Time to complete: approx. 3 hours
  • Total ascent: 402m
  • Total descent: 449m
  • Start height: 318m
  • Peak: 538m
  • Finish height: 271m
  • Location: Huairou
  • Drive time: 2 hours each way

Hikes in Beijing

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