TOUR 3AC: Great Wall Hiking of 6 Famous Sections

Route 3AC: Gubeikou-Jinshanling-Jinshanling-West Simatai-Lakeside Huanghuacheng-Xishuiyu

 Guaranteed camping inside the watchtower!

A few agents claim they can do so but that's not true. What they usually mean is that they may take you to the foot of the Great Wall to camp on the ground or to sleep at a guesthouse. Not us. For each participant (even children), we must pay a hefty relic preserving fee to the Great Wall administration office. This fee allows for you to camp on the Great Wall, hence why the price for this program is higher than most. Great Wall Adventure Club (GWAC) is the only company approved by the Great Wall Administration Office to offer camping for international guests. This is what sets us apart from other operators.



If you are looking for breathtaking views with a relatively peaceful walk, then the Jinshanling-West Simatai Great Wall hike is perfect for you. You’ll also get breathtaking views of the sunset from the vantage point of the Great Wall. This will without a doubt be one of the highlights of your entire China trip.

Huanghuacheng was built in Ming Dynasty with very sophisticated technology and thus the Wall was very solid and strong. In 1930's, Japanese invaders tried to break the Wall and they had to raze the Wall in order to enter Beijing. They finally made it and made partial of Huanghuacheng Great Wall felt down to water. 

The Xishuiyu Great Wall is partially under the water. Therefore, both Huanghuacheng and Xishuiyu are unique in that the Great Wall is under a lake or reservoir. No other section of the Wall has this feature. 

Sleep overnight on the Great Wall! This is the once-in-your-life experience that you never want to miss!  This is sure to be an unforgettable experience! Watch the sunrise and sunset from the best seat in the house!

All necessary camping gears such as tents, pads & bags are provided. For those of you curious about Great Wall camping conditions, please be advised that camping on the Great Wall is very rugged and adventurous, and you should expect a relatively low comfort level from what you're normally used to. Following dinner, we'll walk about 20-30 minutes to the camping site in the Great Wall watchtower. It is there we will set up the tent, sleeping bags, etc.

 [Read the day-by-day full itinerary below]


Prices and Inclusions


1 solo trip: $939

2 people: $589 each

3 people: $559 each

4 people: $499 each

5 people: $489 each

6 people: $479 each

7 people: $459 each

8 or more: $419 each


* Personal transfers from and to hotel in Beijing
* Entry fees to the Great Wall
* Three lunches, two dinners and two breakfasts
* The privilege of camping on the Great Wall and exclusive access to the camping watchtower
* All necessary camping gears such as tents & bags
* Quality vehicle, professional driver and English-speaking tour guide
* Free membership card
* A credit of $15 when you reserve the next tour with us 


Trust our local support team at the Great Wall who can help you with the trekking and camping. Explore this option and see how much you can save. Contact us for the details. 

Day 1

Majestic Gubeikou-Jinshanling

Hiking Distance: 10km/6miles

Hours to Take: 4.5

Accommodation: Hostel at Jinshanling

Meals: Lunch and dinner

Water: Unlimited bottles

We will leave Beijing at 9:30 am and drive 2 hours to Jiankou. 

 From your pick up we will drive directly to the Gubeikou Great Wall. The drive should take a little over 2.5 hours. The Gubeikou Great Wall occupies a strategically important location, which is difficult to access. Situated between Shanhaiguan Pass and Juyongguan Pass, and about 62 miles to Beijing, it is the bastion protecting the northern gateway to the capital. There are 14 beacon towers, 143 watchtowers, 16 strategic pass, three citadels and many other military constructions.

In the afternoon we will eventually cross over into the Jinshanling Great Wall. The Great Wall at Jinshanling is one of the best preserved parts of the Great Wall with many original features. It got its name because it was built on the Greater and Lesser Jinshan (‘Gold Mountain’) Ranges. A tablet with the Chinese inscription for Jinshanling Great Wall was set into this section. The Jinshanling Great Wall has not been repaired since 1570. It is a remote and relatively isolated section of the Great Wall. As there are relatively few tourists at Jinshanling Great Wall, it is a good place to explore on foot. 


Day 2

Jinshanling-West Simatai-Beijing

Hiking Distance: 8 kms/5 miles

Hours to Take: 3.5

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Accommodation: Camp at Huanghaucheng Great Wall 

Water: Unlimited bottles


The first thing we'll do today is to watch the magnificent sunrise early in the morning. After a brief breakfast, we will resume our hike on Jinshanling's right wing, where we will hike until we reach Simatai West called Second Valley. As we head west the wall will start to gradually deteriorate, making the hike progressively more challenging, but also interesting to observe and compare.

The Jinshanling Great Wall has not been repaired since 1570. It is a remote and relatively isolated section of the Great Wall. If you are looking for breathtaking views with a relatively peaceful walk, then the Second Valley of Jinshanling can't be better, so we hope that you remembered to bring your camera! 

Simatai West, called the Second Valley, is the left wing of Simatai. It is also in a serious state of ruins and is thereby a perfect example of the true Great Wall, while also being extremely beautiful and rustic. The wall is 7.8 m high and 5 - 6 m thick at the bottom. In addition to the gorgeous scenery on your hike, you'll also get to see how the wall was designed for practical purposes, that being the defense against outer enemies and how the Great Wall was supposed to keep them out. There are 'obstacle-walls' built perpendicular to the parapets - a feature quite unique to the Second Valley part of Jinshanling Great Wall. 

Today, we'll camp on the Great Wall at Huanghuacheng, the quietest and zero crowded part of the Great Wall with lakes down the mountain. Enjoy the peace under the moonlight and wake up to welcome the sunset. Have a Chinese breakfast delivered to the Wall before you walk down. 


Day 3

Lakeside Huanghuacheng-Xishuiyu

Hiking Distance: 10km/8miles

Hours to Take: 4.5

Accommodation: Great Wall Farmotel

Meals: Breakfast and lunch 

Water: Unlimited bottles

We will wake up at 7:30AM with breakfast at the hotel. We will then continue our trek, this time from Huanhuacheng to Xishuiyu.

Huanghuacheng, like Jiankou, is fast becoming popular with hikers and tourists who are looking for something a little different in their Great Wall experience. The wall here is a combination of both restored and unrestored areas, giving your hike a little more variety and adventure. When you reach the middle of the wall you will be able to see that the countryside is swathed in yellow, as masses of wild flowers come into bloom. We will then cross over onto the Xishuiyu section.

Today’s hike is quite special-part of the wall is under water! In 1974 China built the Xishuiyu Reservoir, and when the water level rose, some low-lying sections of the wall were submerged under water. Seen from the dam of the reservoir, this stately sunken wall is still visible under the water’s smooth and glimmering surface.

Following our hike today our driver will take us back to Beijing, where you will be dropped off at your hotel, ending the tour.

In the afternoon, we will drive back to Beijing and arrive at your hotel at around 5:00 PM.

Great Wall 3-day trek map

3AC Great Wall Trek Map



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