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Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

In Brief: 35 photos from a long and tough hike through the mountains of Beijing’s northwest.

Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate, 2017/9/16

Hiking the Great Wall near Big Camp Plate.

The Zhenbiancheng to Big Camp Plate hike is one of our best long trails, following a rough line of early Ming Dynasty Great Wall through the mountains northwest of Beijing.

The day started out foggy, but a big wind came along to blow the skies clear. By the time we got halfway the views were superb.

All ready to set out - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

All ready to set out.

Hiking up into the mountains - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Hiking up into the mountains.

The first part of the hike was on old farming roads - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

The first part of the hike was on old farming roads.

Flowers still out - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Flowers still out.

As we got further into the hills the path got more overgrown - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

As we got further into the hills the path got more overgrown.

Into the forest - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Into the forest.

Taking a break in the forest - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Taking a break in the forest.

Here they come - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Here they come.

Boots - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Boots.

Ready to set out again - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Ready to set out again.

The hiking crew - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

The hiking crew.

Up on the Great Wall at Zhenbiancheng - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Up on the Great Wall at Zhenbiancheng.

Getting ready to head on - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Getting ready to head on.

From this point we were on the wall most of the way, first heading for the high point in the background - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

From this point we were on the wall most of the way, first heading for the high point in the background.

Flowers, bees, and blue skies - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Flowers, bees, and blue skies.

We think this line of wall would date back to the early Ming Dynasty, based on the rock and stone construction - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

We think this line of wall would date back to the early Ming Dynasty, based on the rock and stone construction.

Hiking up a steep part - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Hiking up a steep part.

Rough and rocky - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Rough and rocky.

Looking back down - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Looking back down.

We saw a lot of nice flowers on the hike; surprising, given the high altitude - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

We saw a lot of nice flowers on the hike; surprising, given the high altitude.

Approaching the first high point - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Approaching the first high point.

We took a break before heading on to our lunch spot - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

We took a break before heading on to our lunch spot.

Heading on again - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Heading on again.

The wall follows the high ridgeline through the mountains - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

The wall follows the high ridgeline through the mountains.

A few more hills to come before lunch - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

A few more hills to come before lunch.

Butterfly on flowers - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Butterfly on flowers.

Hiking up another steep section - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Hiking up another steep section.

And then down the other side - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

And then down the other side.

More flowers on the wall - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

More flowers on the wall.

Peeking through the battlements - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Peeking through the battlements.

We took another break here, on a high point - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

We took another break here, on a high point.

We made a detour around the steep part in front, a detour which required rather a lot of bushwhacking! - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

We made a detour around the steep part in front, a detour which required rather a lot of bushwhacking!

Here’s where we left the Great Wall for the day, on the top section of the Big Plate Camp Great Wall - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Here’s where we left the Great Wall for the day, on the top section of the Big Plate Camp Great Wall.

Local rock used to make the foundation of the Great Wall - Zhenbiancheng and Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2017/9/16

Local rock used to make the foundation of the Great Wall.

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