Hike 8

The Brickyard - Great Wall

Time:1&1/2-2 hours
Difficulty level: medium

Tips: remember to wear sunscreen and a hat if you have sensitive skin. The first section of this hike offers no shade and there is no shade on the renovated section of the great wall.Do not attempt this hike if it is raining or looks like it is about to rain.

DISCLAIMER This Guide is provided by The Schoolhouse as a public service for armchair travelers to get a sense of the area around Mutianyu Great Wall. Actual conditions on the ground change constantly so we do not promise accuracy.

We strongly urge all readers to follow current government and park regulations regarding access to the Great Wall. We warn all readers that walking the Wild Wall is generally prohibited and that tourists are supposed to access the restored Great Wall only through officially designated places such as Mutianyu Great Wall Park. Consequences incurred for ignoring posted warnings are your own responsibility.

We urge anyone who goes exploring around the Great Wall to purchase park access tickets and keep with them while walking. The tickets are reasonably priced, pay for upkeep of the Great Wall, and allow employment of local people in the Park, keeping our area clean and safe.

We warn everyone that parts of the Great Wall and the surrounding mountains are very dangerous for walking or climbing, particularly in bad weather when the ground is wet or icy/snowy. Lightning strikes are common and every year people are seriously injured or killed around Mutianyu. If you are caught on the Wall in a storm, get off of it immediately and hug the ground. If you get stuck up on a mountain you or your family may be required to pay for rescue or body retrieval.

We remind you that the local agricultural roads and trails pass through orchards, farms, and communal lands. The local people depend on the produce of their land for their livelihoods. Taking anything, even a fallen chestnut, without permission is stealing. If you do steal you may be caught, fined, or otherwise punished.

The Schoolhouse accepts no responsibility or liability for any guest or other reader of this Guide who tries the route. By using/reading this Guide you explicitly indemnify and hold harmless The Schoolhouse for any injuries, damages or liability resulting from you walking the route and/or violating any official Chinese rules and regulations, trespassing on private or communal lands, or taking any property that does not belong to you.

1. Turn left when you exit The Brickyard, walk past the cornfields and head straight, down the main street of Beigou village. About 5 minutes from The Brickyard you’ll run into this bumble bee painted on a garage door on your right. The wall is visible on the mountains up ahead. 

2. At the end of this stretch you’ll see the village store. Buy water here if you forgot to bring some. It should cost 2-3rmb per bottle.

3. You’ll turn left at the store and then head to the right, towards the blue outdoor exercise equipment (swings!) 

4. About ten minutes into the hike you’ll see the first stone mill on your right.

5. You might also notice the interesting graffiti on a couple of electricity posts

6. Can you find the second stone mill in this picture? It’s easy to spot when you’re on the hike

7. Just after the second stone mill the road will veer to the left and you will encounter a sign which reads ‘this section of the wall is not open to the public’ Ignore the sign and keep going.

8. The uphill climb will become steeper and you’ll start to get views of the village below, enjoy!

9. Here’s the third stone mill, located near the end of the paved road.

10. Look for a dirt trail leading up the side of the mountain, it’s off to the right side of the stone mill

11. You should see this blue sign about 2 minutes up the trail. It reads “Danger, flood area”

*Do not go past this point if it is raining or looks like it is about to rain.

12. After about ten minutes you may or may not notice a split in the path. I took the one less traveled by.

13. They both end up at this green spray painted arrow

14. This small opening offers some welcome shade and a couple of nice rocks to sit on. You’re about halfway up the trail; remember to stay hydrated.

15. There are many loose rocks and pebbles as you get closer to the wall. Stay alert to the trail and your surroundings.

16. Option 1: Turn right when you reach the wall. You’ll see that the first entrance on your right has been blockaded. Keep heading downhill on the path just alongside the wall until you reach the next gate *there will be a steep step you need to climb to get up to the wall there. *this is a good option if you’re tired of going uphill and would like to head towards the toboggan or cable cars.

17. Option 2: turn left and follow the spray painted arrows uphill on the path alongside the wall. Soon (about five minutes up) you’ll reach this entrance with a metal handrail: *from here you may turn left on the wall and head up the steep section for the best views. If you keep heading in this direction you will eventually reach JianKou wild wall. *turning right will take you towards the cable cars and toboggan slide