The Gubeikou Great Wall is one of the most accessible stretches of ‘wild’ wall in Beijing. Even if there was a cable car – there’s not – you wouldn’t need it.
The hike is picturesque, offering views without too much hard work. You’ll have long views of ‘wild’ Great Wall running along ridgelines, and as you crest high points the wall unfolds in front of you – perfect for your photos.
Surprisingly, Gubeikou is seldom-visited. There’s a great chance it’s going to be just you and your guide, with the wall all to yourself.
English-speaking Beijing Hikers guide
• Round-trip transport in private vehicle from central Beijing
• Tickets and entry fees
• Bottled water, snacks, lunch and drinks
• Hiking sticks
Not included: surprise shopping trips.
The Great Wall in Beijing
Beijing Municipality has more than 600km of Great Wall, found mainly in the mountains north and northeast of the city. The majority of Beijing’s Great Wall dates back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), but there are remnants of much older wall to be found, too.
The Great Wall at Gubeikou
The Great Wall fortifications at Gubeikou date back to the Northern Qi Dynasty (550–577 AD), and the Great Wall here is positioned to block one of the main passes through the mountains to Beijing from China's northeast.
There's not much of the Northen Qi Great Wall left to see now, apart from a rough pile of stones on a ridge on the west side of Gubeikou. The Great Wall seen today at Gubeikou was built during the later part of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 AD), with large-scale additions made after Mongolian ruler Altan Khan broke through to attack Beijing in 1550.
The Gubeikou Great Wall was the scene of a large battle between Chinese and Japanese armies in the 1930s.
The majority of the Great Wall here is unrepaired, with just a few places having had light reconstruction work done.
For this hike we’ll be on the eastern side of the Gubeikou Great Wall, which is also known as Panlongshan—the ‘Coiled Dragon Mountain’.