UPDATE 2021/11/15: This hike has replaced our planned visit to the Stone Valley Great Wall due to new border crossing restrictions.
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.
COVID-19 and participation precautions
The brief version:
Please DO NOT participate if you are sick or showing symptoms of fever and/or have an elevated temperature, or have been in close contact with someone who was/is.
With clouds flying over and rain coming and going, with blue skies in front and black clouds behind, this walk was an experience in fast-changing weather—see 15 photos from an out-and-back hike at the Gubeikou Great Wall.