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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/23

In Brief: See 17 photos from a wild section of Great Wall in Beijing’s northwest.

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/23

Hiking the ‘middle route’ of the Switchback Great Wall.

A few mountains over from the super-touristy Badaling section of Great Wall is our ‘Switchback’ Great Wall hike, a short and sweet – and steep! – walk along an unrestored line of wall high up in the hills.

We hike a long trail up to the wall, and then hike up along the Great Wall to a tower on a peak. From the tower the views are super, with the Great Wall running north and south along the ridge and villages and roads far below.

We had a nice big group for the walk, spreading out as we hiked - Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/23

We had a nice big group for the walk, spreading out as we hiked.

The trail took us through forest - Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/23

The trail took us through a forest.

This young fellow was helping Kelvin collect the ribbons as we walked. Thanks! - Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/23

This young fellow was helping Kelvin collect the ribbons as we walked. Thanks!

The forest clears, and we're almost on the wall - Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/23

The forest clears, and we're almost on the wall.

Arriving at a dip in the wall - Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/23

Arriving at a dip in the wall.

We hiked on the wall, heading for the General's Tower - Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/23

We hiked on the wall, heading for the General's Tower.

Climb on top of the tower for awesome views - Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/23

Climb on top of the tower for awesome views.

Looking back down from the tower – a steep climb up! - Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/23

Looking back down from the tower – a steep climb up!

Up on top – great work - Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/23

Up on top – great work.

Coming down the other side of the General's Tower - Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/23

Coming down the other side of the General's Tower.

On this part of the hike the wall's foundation is solid, but the battlements have fallen down - Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/23

On this part of the hike the wall's foundation is solid, but the battlements have fallen down.

We kept on walking along the Great Wall - Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/23

We kept on walking along the Great Wall.

Framed in an arch - Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/23

Framed in an arch.

We'd finish the hike in the village below - Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/23

We'd finish the hike in the village below.

Leaving the wall - Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/23

Leaving the wall.

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