How Long Does It Take to Trek the Great Wall of China?
One of the world’s most famous landmarks and China’s must-see sight, the Great Wall of China is an ancient series of walls and fortifications. This iconic Wonder of the World winds its way for over 21,000km through rugged countryside and steep mountains – with some fantastic scenery!
Our Great Wall of China Trek see’s us trekking approximately 36km over five days – an amazing trekking adventure where we will experience a fascinating traditional Chinese culture, hidden away for centuries. What’s more is we help to build and restore the Great Wall of China – a unique experience exclusive to Global Adventure Challenges.
Upon arriving in Beijing, we transfer to Huangyguan where we have some free time to explore the military barracks complex - some parts of the barracks still linked to the Wall are over 600 years old! We then have a full event briefing, dinner and a good night’s sleep before taking on this epic trekking challenge!
We start our Great Wall of China trek at the east entrance and walk along the Taipingzhai section and return along the Great Wall back around to the old military barracks in Huangyaguan. This is a warm up walk – but with plenty of ups and downs, as we get used to the steps of the Wall.
Distance trekked: 4-5km. Trekking time: 3 hours. Maximum altitude: 310m
Gubeikou to Jinshaling
This section today gives us a completely different feel of the Great Wall from that of yesterday, as we trek the remote and stunning Gubeikou part of the wall. We have spectacular views of the wall, as it stretches for miles into the distance. Our challenge today is to cover the 27 watchtowers over the old brick-made steps. In the afternoon, we come off the Wall down to the valley and trek through remote villages and farms. We then re-join the Wall and trek through the remaining eight watchtowers to the Jinshanling section.
Distance trekked: 13km. Trekking time: 8 hours. Maximum altitude: 430m
Jinshanling to Simatai
Today we visit one of the most beautiful parts of the Great Wall of China as we trek from Jinshanling to Simatai; a remote original section of the Wall which is in very good condition. Most of the old towers are still standing along the mountain ridges and you will get a real flavour of the enormity of the task undertaken in building this incredible structure. Today will involve plenty of steps, with countless ups and downs – however the views of the Great Wall disappearing over the mountains is a truly memorable sight.
Distance trekked: 7.5km. Trekking time: 5-6 hours. Maximum altitude: 610m
Today will see us tackle one of the most famous parts of the Great Wall – the ‘Heavenly Ladder’, as we trek the Mutianyu section. To begin we have to climb 1,000 steps up to the Wall, this is followed by trekking through 11 watchtowers to the ‘Heavenly Ladder’. This last climb is close to a 45 degree angle and covers another 460 steps! Once at the top we are rewarded with amazing views of the mountains, the Great Wall and the beautiful landscape that surrounds this section. We then have three options of descent – follow the 1000 steps back down, hop in a cable car or take a toboggan slide!
Distance trekked: 7km. Trekking time: 6 hours. Maximum altitude: 780m
Juyongguan and Badaling
Today we take on the Juyongguan section of the Great Wall, which is very similar to the Huangyaguan section. It also had similar strategic importance 600 years ago. For our final mission, we carry on to the Badaling old section and help repair the Great Wall. We have been granted exclusive permission from the Chinese Government to help with reconstruction in this area. New bricks are carried up to a section that is currently being repaired and under the supervision of trained staff we will be able to place our own brick on the Wall.
Distance trekked: 3km. Trekking time: 3 hours. Maximum altitude: 480m
After a well-deserved sleep, we have a free day to enjoy the hustle and bustle of Beijing – and all it has to offer. Why not visit the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square or the beautiful Temple of Heaven; Beijing has a fantastic range of sights to explore, both ancient and modern. We will then celebrate our achievements as we indulge in an authentic Chinese food experience – and look back at our triumph of conquering the Great Wall of China!
Trek the Great Wall of China with us and come away knowing you have achieved something amazing! For more information, request a brochure HERE.return to adventure journal