Hiking an older, less preserved part of the great wall was something I was desperate to do whilst in China. Originally, I had planned on doing a two day overnight hike, however, I didn’t manage to be able to arrange it in time.
This, turned out to be one of the best decisions I could have made. Not only was it an epic trip that I will never forget, it was just a really cool thing to do. Not only did you get to hike an amazing part of the wall called
“The Jiankou Great Wall” but you helped clean it up #savetheplanet and keep it nice and tidy and hopefully inspire others to do the same.
As a reward at the end of the hike, you get to sit down with your group of amazing hikers and enjoy Pizza, some drinks and great banter.
The day started like this. Up at 6am, get ready & head across town via the subway to a meeting point. Jump on a bus, stop at Starbucks for refreshments & continue your journey to the wall. It does take a few hours so I would suggest taking some reading material &/or podcasts etc
Once you get to the wall, off you go. Its about a 2hr walk to the peak of the wall you are going to, give or take. Along the way you are picking up anything you might see from plastic, cans, cigarette butts, lids, everything you would consider litter. You are given gloves, a bag for the rubbish & rubbish tongs which are super handy.
Some parts of this hike are really easy, other parts are a bit harder. Its slippers, rocky and very unkempt. As discussed earlier, this part of the wall hasn’t been rebuilt so it really is like ruins at the top. At one point you do have to scale down a bit of a steep part of the wall but the guys are very helpful and make sure you get through without injury.
After about 2hrs, you start to head back down to the Gung Ho! hut, to enjoy a rest & some good food! After all said and done, you jump on the bus and head back to Beijing. We ended up leaving slightly later than expected but it was no problem as we managed to see a beautiful sunset over the wall.
As far as experiences go, this is one of the coolest things I have EVER done. Bucket-list item TICK!! I can not recommend this enough. However, if by chance you don’t go to Beijing during a time that they are doing these hikes, still check out Beijing Hikers as they do many different hikes for different experience levels!