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Huangyaguan Great Wall Hiking
Transportation from Beijing to Huangyaguan tourist area is very convenient. There are shuttle buses from the Beijing Sihui Bus Station to Jixian County, running daily every fifteen minutes from 06:00 to 19:30. A ticket costs CNY 30 - 40 per person and the trip takes about 3 hours. You can disembark at Nanlou (South Tower) Station near the hillside road, and then take a local minibus to the tourist area. The minibus charge is about CNY20-30 and the ride takes 40 minutes, dropping you off at the entrance to the tourist area.
The area includes three major scenic spots: the Strategic Fortification Area composed of the Pass Tower, the City Wall and Eight Diagrams Street; the Great Wall; the cultural tourism area including a Great Wall Museum, Longevity Garden and the Forest of Stone Steles. The entrance fee for the scenic area is CNY 45 from November to February, and CNY 50 from March to October. The ticket hall is beside the parking lot.
Walking through the gate, you enter the Strategic Fortification Area. The first sight you can visit is Eight Diagrams Street, also called Eight Diagrams Maze. At the center of the maze is the Great Wall Museum. If you are not sure whether you can find your way out of the maze, ask one of the staff for help. After leaving the maze, you can visit the Longevity Garden. Here, the word "longevity" is engraved in Chinese in thousands of styles.
After touring the Longevity Garden, you can go to the Stone Steles Forest. In the forest, there is a 1.226-meter tall stele with an inscription reading "Stone Steles of President Mao's Poems" by President Jiang Zemin. There are 28 of Mao's poems which, altogether, have 1,893 characters. The numbers 1.226 and 1,893 represent the birth date of President Mao, December 26, 1893.
The west section is not very long, and a small segment of the wall is in ruins. Constructed on steep cliffs, the wall was built with stones and huge blue bricks. Most of this part is well preserved and in good condition. Climbing along this section, you will find a single-sided wall segment, with a parapet only on one side. This part of the wall was built along the ridge of the mountain and connects two cliffs at either end. A handrail has been installed along the way for safety purposes. Soon you will pass a sightseeing platform called Fairy Peak. Continue to climb and you will see a steep pathway about thirty meters (33 yards) long with 300 steps. At the end of the pathway is Wangmaoding Peak. The west section ends here. Retrace your steps, and return to the pass tower.
You can take the shuttle bus from Taipingzhai Village to the Jianxian County bus station. From there you can board shuttle buses back to the Beijing Sihui bus station.
More Great Wall Hiking Routes:
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Mutianyu Hiking: Mutianyu Hiking routes with practical tips
Simatai Exploration: One day hike tour to Simatai and Gubei Water Town
Gubeikou Hiking: One day exploration to the wild Gubeikou
Jinshanling Hiking: Guided one-day Jinshanling hiking, starting from $69 per person
Beijing Independent Travel To Tianjin
Extension to Tianjin: Three-day Beijing to Tianjin extension trip