Code: GW21

One-Day Hiking of Hefangkou Great Wall

Hefangkou Great Wall was founded during the Northern Qi Dynasty (550 - 577) along dangerous mountain ridges and rebuilt under the command of General Qi Jiguang in the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). After hundreds of years, this section has been severely damaged. Presently, a section measuring 3.5km (2.2mi) has been repaired. While hiking along the rest wild sections, one must be very careful. 
How to Get to Hefangkou Great Wall from Beijing
Hefangkou is located 75 kilometers (47 miles) north to the Beijing city center, in the Huairou District. 

→ Take subway line 2 or line 13 and get off at Dongzhimen Station. 
→ Get out from Exit H and reach the Dongzhimen Transit Hub.
→ Take bus no. 916 Express to Huairou Zhongyiyuan; the bus leaves about every 15 minutes.  
→ Change to local bus no. H58 to Hefangkou; the bus departs with an interval of about 40 minutes.  

Note: It is advised to set off early today if you plan to return the same day. 
Hefangkou Great Wall Hiking Route
 Route: Hefangkou Village - Jiugukou - Jiabian Watchtower - Back of Carp - Donggao Watchtower - Shentangyu Watchtower - Guandi Village 
 Distance: about 10 km (6.2 mi)
 Time needed: about 6 hours

Hefangkou Village

It is a historical village which has accompanied Hefangkou Great Wall for over 600 years. Residences of the village were all newly-built courtyards following the architectural style during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368 - 1911).

Jiugukou Great Wall

After stepping on the wall, climb up westward and you will soon find this well-renovated section. 

Jiabian Watchtower

Keep hiking westward, the next highlight is the Jiabian Watchtower. Different from other cubic watchtowers, this one seems like being squashed and is in the shape of a matchbox. There are three arrow holes on the two wider sides and two holes on the other two walls. 

Back of Carp

The following section is kind challenging, steep and narrow, before reaching the Back of Carp. It refers to a giant piece of exposed rock on the mountain ranges. Seen from afar, it is just like a swimming fish with plants dividing its surface into several parts resembling fish scales, and hence the name. Although there is no rampart or watchtower, it is actually a natural barrier for being the steepest part of the whole Hefangkou Great Wall. There is no obvious stair on its smooth surface, so it usually requires backpackers to use both their hands and feet to climb on it.

After, you may just hike along the wall. It is not difficult for experienced hikers. For green hands, always balance yourself before taking the next step.  
How to Get Back to Beijing Downtown
After getting down from Shentangyu Watchtower, you may walk to the roadside of Guandi Village to hire a cab back to Huairou North Avenue, costing around CNY30. Yujiayuan. Then take bus no. 916 Express back to Beijing downtown.
Travel Tips
1. You are suggested to set out this trip during spring (March - May) or autumn (September - November) when the weather is comfortable and the Great Wall looks more obvious among the sea of leaves.
2. It is suggested you wear a pair of hiking boots and take a climbing rope as there is seldom ramparts from the Back of Carp to Donggao Watchtower but only bare rocks. Besides, it is better not to wear shorts, short sleeves, or skirts to avoid getting scratched by branches.
3. If it’s too late after getting down from the Great Wall, you may stay one night in Guandi Village or Hefangkou Village. There are farmyards providing accommodation and dining service. 
 More Great Wall Hiking Routes: 
Badaling Hiking: itinerary and tips to Beijing Badaling
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
Juyongguan Appreciation: A visit to Juyongguan to appreciate the famous stronghold of the great wall
Jinshanling Hiking: Guided one-day Jinshanling hiking, starting from $69 per person

More Beijing Independent Packages:
Forbidden City: 4 routes to discovery the world's largest imperial palace
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