We headed out to Huanghuacheng in Huairou for a Great Wall hike the day after a heavy snowfall. We were a little unsure of what we'd find, but we it's lucky we went – the views of a snow-covered Great Wall were amazing!
We started with a quick look about a walled village that dates back to the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), walking through the narrow lanes and getting a look from above by climbing up on the old walls.
From the village we headed for the Great Wall, following slippery snow-covered field trails through chestnut orchards.
We were able to climb up on the wall for more great views, but not as far as we might have liked to – the snow made the steep wall too slippery. To make up for it we climbed another nearby section after lunch, reaching the ridgeline high above a local reservoir.
Snow tops the walls of the walled village.
It will be a bit difficult to grind the corn today! This grindstone is used to make cornmeal and flour.
A derelict house.
The trail took us through chestnut orchards.
The Great Wall on the ridgeline behind the chestnut trees.
This chestnut tree is really old.
The Great Wall under the blue sky.
A young hiker amidst beautiful snowy scenery.
The Great Wall at Zhuangdaokou, covered with thick snow.
Some hikers carefully climb the steep wall.
Views of an unrestored Great Wall tower.
We met some people who were using a little helicopter to get birds-eye photos of the Great Wall.
Descending the trail on the other side of the Great Wall.
Clear footprints in the snow – looks like a rabbit has been through here.
After lunch we climbed up a narrow hill trail to another section of Great Wall.
The sun came out, and we enjoyed the views of the reservoir below.