This hike, which is located northeast of Beijing, starts with an ascent to gain access to the Gubeikou section of the Great Wall.
The name Gubeikou means “Old North Entrance” and this part of the wall dates back to the Ming dynasty, which existed from 1368-1644. It has not been recently restored, so parts of the Wall and its towers are in their original form and are starting to crumble. As a result, there are places on this wall where there’s rubble and debris underfoot from the bricks that went into its construction, so care is needed in order to walk safely and not dislodge any more bricks from the wall.
One of the rewards of hiking on this section of the wall is that it allows each visitor the chance to see firsthand the effects of the ravages of time. Still, this section of wall still does not fail to impress as an engineering marvel, especially for its day and age.
One other advantage of visiting the Gubeikou Great Wall was that, with the clear skies and great weather that we had that day, we could see other, distant sections of the Great Wall on high ridges many kilometers away, plus countless other rugged peaks near and far. This section of the Great Wall also has numerous uphill sections, ensuring that we got decent exercise in addition to great views.