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.
Hiking up into the mountains.
The first part of the hike was on old farming roads.
Flowers still out.
As we got further into the hills the path got more overgrown.
Into the forest.
Taking a break in the forest.
Here they come.
Ready to set out again.
The hiking crew.
Up on the Great Wall at Zhenbiancheng.
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.
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.
Hiking up a steep part.
Rough and rocky.
Looking back down.
We saw a lot of nice flowers on the hike; surprising, given the high altitude.
Approaching the first high point.
We took a break before heading on to our lunch spot.
Heading on again.
The wall follows the high ridgeline through the mountains.
A few more hills to come before lunch.
Butterfly on flowers.
Hiking up another steep section.
And then down the other side.
More flowers on the wall.
Peeking through the battlements.
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!
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.