The Gubeikou section of the Great Wall is a bit over 2 hours outside Beijing and connects to the Jinshanling section. Unlike Jinshanling, Mutianyu and Badaling, where the Great Wall has been restored to a picture perfect and safe state, Gubeikou is in its original condition.
The Great Wall at Gubeikou is crumbling, much of it has no safety ledges and it has a lot of loose rock. However it gets many visitors and if you are accustomed to hiking in wild areas, then you will enjoy Gubeikou.
Gubeikou functioned as the north gate of Beijing and thus has important military significance, being the site of many battles throughout history. The most recent one was the Defense of the Great Wall, a campaign between the armies of the Republic of China and Empire of Japan in 1933. Today, when you stroll along the Gubeikou Great Wall, you can still see the marks of war on the Great Wall.
Defense of the Great Wall
This hiking route starts from the west end of Panlongshan Great Wall and ends at the famous 24-eye Watchtower, at the east end of Panlongshan section. This route is about 5 kilometers long and takes about 2.5 hours.
Following this hiking route up and down low hills, you will pass through many watchtowers, including the famous General Watchtower and 24-eye Watchtower. This hike is a moderate difficulty and suitable for most visitors including children. However, since this section is unrepaired and there are many loose bricks and unprotected drops, you will still need to be very careful.
Hike Gubeikou Great Wall
This hiking route also starts from the west end of the Panlongshan Great Wall. However, after the 24-eye Watchtower you will have to make a detour away from the Great Wall to bypass a prohibited military zone and then get back on the Great Wall and continue hiking to Jinshanling. If you cannot speak Chinese and are unable to ask for directions along the way, we highly recommend you go with a guide since the detour winds through vast corn fields and villages.
This route is about 14 kilometers long and takes about 5-6 hours. This route is not difficult but the long distance makes it more suitable for keen hikers.
If you want to spend a night atop the Great Wall (weather permitting), we can take you to a well-preserved watchtower at Gubeikou Great Wall. You will wake up, enjoy the sunrise, and have breakfast on the Great Wall, making for an unforgettable experience. It Includes the Great Wall entry ticket, dinner, tents, sleeping bags, mats and a simple breakfast.
If you are interested in Great Wall hiking or camping, please refer our Great Wall hiking and camping tours.
Admission Fee : CNY 45
Average time for this activity : 1 day