This hike starts in a small village that is home to the Dragon and Phoenix trees, two pine trees that are said to be about 300 years old. From this village we started a gradual ascent up a valley floor until we reached an arch in the Great Wall which the trail passes through.
This section of the Great Wall is quite steep and partially unrenovated, so it presents a challenge for those who choose to hike up for better views rather than relax. But the scenery is well worth it, with views of the Huanghuacheng reservoir as well as a section of Great Wall that rises steeply on the other side of the valley beyond. After taking a break at this high section, we hiked back down to rejoin the rest of the group in the valley that we’d originally hiked up.
Refreshed after this short excursion, we continued to hike gradually up the valley, passing orchards and walking parallel to a high section of Great Wall as we continued on our way toward the walled village. Upon our arrival there, we climbed up the stairs to the top of the wall surrounding the village; from there we could look down on most of the buildings before going down into the village for a closer look. After taking some photos of the centuries old buildings there, we went to get a hearty Chinese lunch before heading back to the city.