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Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

In Brief: Hike a recently repaired section of Great Wall that offers amazing long views before getting on to an unrepaired 'wild' stretch that will take us over to the Little West Lake.

A view of a tower on the Longquanyu stretch of Great Wall

A view of a tower on the Longquanyu stretch of Great Wall.

Key information

  • approx. 4 hours start to finish over 7km.

Note: there are some very steep descents in the first section of the hike.

The Longquanyu Great Wall is about 20km north of the Ming Tombs, and was constructed during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). The Longquanyu Great Wall is the beginning of a long, uninterrupted stretch of Great Wall that passes through Huanghuacheng, Jiankou, and Mutianyu.

Parts of the Great Wall at Longquanyu have been repaired, and the hike will also take us along unrepaired ‘wild’ sections, making this hike a great way to see both repaired and unrepaired Great Wall.

We’ll begin the hike on a repaired section. On the wall here we’ll have long views of the mountains and valleys to the east, and looking west we’ll be able to see all the wall that we’ll be hiking on later.

The first repaired section is flat for the most part, but there are two very steep descents, including a steep dive down into a valley—not a lot of fun if you are not good with heights.

We follow the Great Wall up into the mountains on the other side of the valley, hiking on to the first of the unrepaired sections we’ll pass on the hike.

A highlight of this section is a special spot where the wall meets a cliff that forms a natural barrier, the steps of the wall leading up to a sheer cliff. It makes a good spot for a short break, but there’s not much room for sitting. We’ll offer the option to climb up for a look, and then backtrack a little to take a hillside detour, walking through chestnut orchards to get back to the Great Wall.

This next part of the hike follows the last little bit of unrestored ‘wild’ wall in the area. We’ll make a short, steep climb up on the wall, and then follow a path along a relatively flat section that is overgrown by trees and other foliage. After about 1km we’ll be back on to restored Great Wall. To get around another cliff we’ll follow a thin dirt trail down the hill, into the valley, and then past the remnants of a water pass as we head for the Little West Lake.

From here the walking is flat and easy, following park trails over boardwalks and bridges and alongside the Little West Lake, a reservoir formed by a dam.

We’ll head out to the carpark to meet our bus, and take a short drive to the restaurant where we’ll have our late lunch.

What to bring on this hike

Reasons you might not enjoy this hike

  • Some parts of the Great Wall here are really steep.
  • We’re on the wall for about 3km, out of a total of 7km for the whole hike.

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

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: 7km
  • Time to complete: approx. 4 hours
  • Total ascent: 266m
  • Total descent: 544m
  • Start height: 553m
  • Peak: 571m
  • Finish height: 266m
  • Location: Yanqing
  • Drive time: 2 hours each way

Hikes in Beijing

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