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HomeGreat Wall HikingGreat Wall Adventure Tour: End to End in 24 days

Great Wall Adventure Tour: End to End in 24 days

Hiking from Jiayuguan in the west to Shanhaiguan in the east

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Tour Code: GW24-01
Duration: 24days
Hiking Distance: about 212-230km
Hiking Time: from 4-7 hrs a day
Good time to visit: from Apr to May, from Sep to Nov
Departure date: On request 2016
Effort Nature Culture

Quick inquiryTailor - madeJoin the tourPhotos 

What makes our hikes different from the others ?

  • Our tours are private – no delays picking up other tourists from various hotels around the city. We pick up, then go!
  • Your English-speaking guide stays with you the entire trip (including the hiking).
  • Our guides carry 2-way radios (and a cell phone) in case of emergencies.
  • We use safe, reliable, government-licensed vehicles (e.g. mini-vans), not a dubiously-maintained family car or taxi.
  • We use professional drivers, not a “friend” making some extra money.
  • We save time by taking the direct routes, even if there are charges (rather than navigating back roads trying to avoid tolls).
  • With us, there are NO “forced shopping” stops !
  • There are NO hidden costs ! (e.g. fuel surcharge)
  • We are proud of our Wall. We want YOU to become an ambassador of Great Wall hiking too!
  • We not only want our customers to return – we want them to tell their friends!

  Join us for the adventure of a lifetime - we are the only company offering an end-to-end Great Wall Adventure tour!

  • Hike the interesting portions from one end to the other, vehicular transport between hikes
  • Accommodation en route will be a combination of tents and small hotels
  • No cooking required (meals provided)
  • Separate transportation of all equipment and luggage
  • Airport pickup and optional drop-off; first and last night in comfortable 4-star hotel; pre- and post-tour extensions available (optional)


   The Great Wall is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. None-the-less it is slowly disappearing – 30% is in now in ruins, only 20 percent is in reasonable shape, and only 10 percent is protected. To have the opportunity to hike it from one end to the other is the experience of a lifetime. This excursion will also allow the hiker to witness a wide variety of both architecture and topography, as well as to sample the culture and food of various minority groups as we hike from west to east across one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Additionally, there will be countless opportunities for photography as we hike along, crossing half of the 4th largest country in the world, a country full of innumerable treasures and unsurpassed grandeur!

This Great Wall Adventure tour for 24-day will start at the immense Jiayuanguan Fortress in the west, surrounded by harsh, inhospitable desert, and we will hike eastward to where Old Dragon’s Head wades into the vast ocean. Along the way, we will also experience special activities as we pass through the different regions, from a camel ride in the west, a visit to the magnificent Qing tombs in the centre, to swimming at the beach resort of Beidaihe, with its delicious seafood and refreshing ocean breezes. Great Wall Adventure tours will not only provide you with a physical challenge, but also with memories to last a lifetime!

Shanhaiguan_great_wall_2.jpg Huangyaguan_great_wall_3.jpg  Dongjiakou_great_wall_6.jpg

(B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
Day 1 Home-Beijing
A CnAdventure representative will meet you at the airport and will transfer you to a 4-star hotel (e.g. Jade Garden Hotel or similar) in the downtown area. Dinner on your own.

Day 2 Beijing, Lanzhou, Jiayuguan (BLD; 2200 km by air)
Our Great Wall Adventure tour will start with flying 2000 km westward from Beijing, half-way across China, first to Lanzhou and then onward to Jiayuguan, where we will be met at the airport by our local guide, and transferred to our hotel. At our Welcome Dinner, we will have a briefing of the Great Wall Adventure coming.

Day 3 Jiayuguan-Hanging Great Wall, Zhangye (BLD; driving: 244 km; hiking: 7-8 km, 3 hr)
In the morning we will be met by our Land Cruiser(s) which we will use until Day 10 inclusive. We will first visit the Jiayuguan Fort, the western terminus of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall. The desolate desert surroundings and the snow-capped Qilian Mountains form a dramatic backdrop to the impressive Fort, which was built in 1372, and enlarged in 1539, to keep out the remnants of the defeated Mongols. It also served as logical place to collect duties from caravans traveling the Silk Road. One “must see” at the Fort is the famous “one remaining brick”. Our first hike of the tour will be from Jiayuguan Pass to the Hanging Great Wall, some. 8 km to the north. Built from sandstone and clay, it is a rich sandy-brown colour, and quite different from the gray bricks seen elsewhere. We will then drive to Zhangye and visit the Giant Buddha Temple. Here is the largest reclining Buddha in China, built in 1098 - its ears are over 2 metres long! Overnight in a hotel in Zhangye.

Day 4 Zhangye, Shandan, Wuwei (BLD; driving: 257km; hiking: 16-20km, 6 hr)
This morning we will first drive about 1.5 hours to Shandan, the starting place for today’s hike. The scenery during the hike is quite varied: grassland, Gobi Desert, red stone mountains, and the ruins of both a fortress and a beacon tower. At the end of the hiking we will drive to Wuwei, a city famous for the widely-recognized  Bronze Galloping Horse, known in Chinese as 'Ma Chao Long Que'’. The horse is depicted in a full gallop supported on just one foot upon the back of a bird in flight. Overnight in Wuwei.

Day 5 Wuwei, Zhongwei – campsite#1 (BLD; driving: 280km, hiking about 10km)
This morning we will drive for half a day along the Old Silk Road to Zhongwei, a desert city in Ningxia Province which is surrounded by sand dunes. We will also stop briefly at the highly-photogenic “S” bent of the Yellow River. We will start our hike in the late after noon, half of which will be in the desert and the other half on and along the ruins of the Wall. Partway we will pass a beautiful lake which provides an oasis for thousands of migrating birds in spring. Overnight in tents in the desert.

Day 6 Camel Riding, campsite#2 (BLD)
Today is our day to imagine life in the camel caravans that traveled the Silk Road so many years ago. We will ride woolly Bactrian camels from our morning campsite to our evening one, across what appears to be the endless Tengger Desert. That evening, we will view the setting sun from our campsite, and wake up to a magnificent sunrise the next morning, before our busy Day 7 activities start. Overnight camping in tents.

Day 7 Campsite#2-Qingtongxia-campsite#3 (BLD; driving 90km; hiking 8km)
This morning we will take an exciting trip down the Yellow River (the second-longest river in China) by sturdy sheep-skin raft! Disembarking at Qingtongxia, we will have a short visit to the curious 108 Dagobas stupas, arranged near the bank of the river in the shape of an equilateral triangle. We will hike on the wall for about 8km in the afternoon, seeing both Pigeon Mountain and a ruined beacon tower along the way. Overnight in tents.

Day 8 Campsite#3-Wuzhong(BLD; hiking about 20km)
The scenery on the way: the biggest wind power site in the Gobi in China, the interesting junction of the Han and Ming Dynasty portions of the Great Wall, and Helanshan Mountain. At the end of the hiking day, we will arrive at Wuzhong where, after 3 days of camping, we will enjoy the amenities of a good hotel in town. Wuzhong is a special area for the Hui minority people, who are Muslims - therefore one highlight will be a visit to their local Bazaar after dinner. It is sometimes said that the Hui enjoy a special status in China, that being that they are represented on the national flag. The claim states that the red banner of the People's Republic bears a large yellow star for the Han majority, and four smaller yellow stars for the Manchus, Mongols, Tibetans and Hui respectively. However, there being over 200 minority groups in China, this assertion is somewhat exaggerated. None-the-less, it will be a very interesting visit. Overnight in hotel.

Day 9 Wuzhong, Gaoshawo-campsite#4 (BLD; hiking about 15-20km; 5-6 hrs)
Drive to Gaoshawo, then hike to our No.4 camping site, about 5-6 hours on the way. By this time you will be enjoying the fresh air, the healthy life-style, and being at one with Nature. Today’s hike will give you an appreciation of the stark beauty of the Gobi desert, with its sparse animal and plant life. The Gobi is the largest desert in Asia, and the fifth-largest in the world. It is, in essence, a “rain shadow” desert, formed by the Himalaya mountain range blocking rain-carrying clouds from reaching the area. Although we may see an occasional Steppe Eagle during the day, jerboas, geckos, and other desert inhabitants normally emerge after dark, when it is cooler. Overnight in tents.

Day 10 Campsite#4-Yinchuan (BLD; hiking about 15-20km)
The scenery on the way becomes greener as we enter an area of grasslands, dotted with small lakes, villages, and along the Wall, ruins of fortresses built so many years ago!. At the end of our hiking day, we will drive to Yinchuan, the capital of Ningxia Province. Overnight in a hotel in Yinchuan.

Day 11 Yinchuan-Taiyuan (by air), Shuzhou (BLD)
This morning we will take a sightseeing tour to Xixia Wangling (West Xia King’s Tombs), which are heralded by the Chinese as the "Pyramids of China". The tombs were originally created by the founder of the Western Xia Kingdom (1038-1237 AD), Li Yuanhao, who built over 70 tombs, one for himself, a number for his relatives and more to be left empty, presumably against theft. In the afternoon we will take a flight from Yinchuan to Taiyuan, where we will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel in nearby Shuzhou.

Day 12 Shuzhou-hiking eastward through small villages (BLD; hiking about 17km, 8 hours)
We will drive about 2 hours to a small village, where we can see another junction of the Han portion, made of rock, and the Ming Dynasty Great Wall portions, made of brick. Overnight in tents or at a local family’s home stay.

Day 13 Hiking on the Great Wall for about 13 km,(BLD; 13 km, 7 hours)
Today we will hike from one small village to another about 13 km away, where our vehicles will meet us and drive us to Shahukou village, 3.5-4 hours away. “Shahukou” means “kill tiger pass” – one can only imagine how this area got its name! Overnight in tents or with a local family.

Day 14 Shahukou-ruins of a Fortress, Datong(BLD; hiking about 23 km)
Today’s hike is easy but long. We will cover 23km on the Wall. At the end of hike, drive to Datong, overnight in a 4 start hotel in Datong.

Day 15 Datong- Beijing(BLD; by train)
Today we will visit the famous Yunguang Grottoes, and then take the train at noon hour to Beijing. Transfer to a nice 4 star hotel in downtown of Beijing. 

Day 16 Gubeikou Great Wall-Jinshanling Great Wall (BLD; 12 km, 5 hrs)
After a nice western breakfast,  we will drive to the village at the bottom of the unique double-walled, and strategically important, Gubeikou Great Wall.  This part of the Great Wall has one of the oldest sections still-standing, dating back to the Qi Dynasty, more than 2000 years ago. As we hike, we will take time to notice examples of why this section of the Wall is considered such an architectural achievement. As we leave the Gubeikou section of the Great Wall and hike into the well-kept Jinshanling section, we will see why today’s hiking is fairly easy – the terrain along this section is gently undulating, unlike the sharp peaks we will encounter further east. This is a good opportunity to see everyday life in the simple villages through which we will pass, where the locals may be busy drawing water from wells, grinding corn, and going about their daily activities. Overnight in a nice courtyard hotel at the bottom of the Great Wall, with private washroom.

Day 17 Jinshanling Great Wall-Simatai Great Wall (BLD; 10 km, 5-6 hours)
Today, we will have some hard trekking eastward, on and along a very wild section of the wall. For our own CnAdventure guides, this is really one of their favourite sections! Although the route is challenging, the view is simply marvellous! We are sure it will be one of the highlights of your entire trekking adventure! This will be a strenuous day with its steep climbs and knife-sharp ridges, but the effort will be worth it! At the end of the afternoon, we will arrive at the bottom of the Simatai Great Wall, where we will stay in the fine hostel (two persons per room with private washroom), at the bottom of the Wall.

Day 18 Simatai –Great Wall Village#1 –Great Wall Village#2 (about 4-5 hours hiking)
Rather than spending time trekking on the reconstructed section of the Simatai Great Wall, we will instead drive for about 3 hours directly to the 1st Mountain Village. From here, we will hike along the wall until we arrive at the junction where Heibei province, Tianjin City and Beijing meet together. At the end of the day, we will walk down a trail and across a farmer’s field to the 2nd Mountain Village, where we will stay overnight with a local family, enjoying a hot shower.

Day 19: Great Wall village#2 – Huangyaguan (BLD; 8 km; 4-5 hrs)
The first half is easy. At the end of the hike, we will look down what appears to be a sheer cliff face. This is where we will encounter "Heaven’s Ladder", a steep climb of over 200 steps leading us down to Huangyaguan Pass.  Huangyaguan is situated in a beautiful valley in the heart of the Yanshan Mountains. We will enjoy a well-deserved overnight in the comfortable courtyard hotel at the Fortress at the bottom of the Wall (two-beds per room, with private washroom). 
Day 20 Huangyaguan Section Great Wall, East QingTomb, #3 Great Wall village (BLD; 2 km, 1 hr)
This morning we can finally sleep in! We only have a one-hour hike on the Wall in the morning, and then we will drive to the immense East Qing Tombs, which far-surpass in splendor and majesty their more-famous predecessors, the Ming Tombs. This necropolis forms a countryside version of the Forbidden City and is nearly as elaborate. Tastefully restored for the most part, this Imperial city is vast, impressive, and certainly less crowded. After our visit, we will make more than 3-hour drive to the  Dongjiakou section of the Great Wall and stay overnight in a local family’s home.

Day 21 Great Wall village #3 –Great Wall village#4, Great Wall village #5 (BLD; hiking about 6 hrs)
Today is a full day, but will illustrate a good example of community pride. In the early morning, we will make a short hike up the mountain from #3 Great Wall Village to see the Chihou Tower, a special structure on the Great Wall only seen in this one place. At the same time, we will visit the ruins of the huge  Fortress that protected travel through the Pass. We will start our 3-hour trek in the late morning, almost-immediately stopping for lunch at another little mountain village on the way. When we arrive at our #4 Great Wall village, at the end of the trek, we will drive to the Great Wall village #5, where we will camp overnight, or stay in a local hostel.

Day 22 Great Wall village #5-Jiaoshan Great Wall- Shanhaiguan pass (BLD; 6-7 hrs)
Today’s hike from Great Wall village # 5 to Jiaoshan is not easy, but it is very beautiful. We will first find ourselves in a picturesque valley overlooked by Mt. Longevity, characterized by huge stones, a quiet forest, and crystal-clear streams. In the shadow of Mt. Longevity sits the little village of Sandaoguan itself, with about 35 families living in it. We will climb up the mountain gradually and then carefully hike along the wild Wall on the range of the mountain until we arrive at Jiaoshan Section, over looking a blue lake at the bottom. If the weather is good enough we could even see the sea far away. Overnight in the hotel at Sanhaiguan pass, it is a nice courtyard hotel just out of Sanhaiguan Pass.

Day 23 Shanhaiguan- the Old Dragon Head -Beidaihe
This morning we will first visit the Shanhaiguan pass beside our hotel, then we will drive to the only rest part of the wild Wall in the town, hike from there to the Old Dragon’s Head where the Great Wall meet the sea, it takes about 1.5 hours. The end of our Great Wall hiking adventure from west to east. Transfer to the Beidaihe beach and relaxe yourself. Stay in a 4 star hotel. Transfer to the hotel on the beach. Relax yourself.

Day 24 Beidaihe-Beijing
Free in the morning, transfer back to Beijing in the afternoon. The end of the Great Wall Adventure tour.

Jiumenkou_great_wall_1.jpg Simatai_great_wall_1.jpg Dongjiakou_great_wall_1.jpg

Tour Cost:    Currency Converter
 4-5 person6-9 personOver 10 personSingle Supplement
Tour CostCNY32600/P
(The cost for the child of 2-12 year old is based on 15 % discount of the adult's tour cost.Any baby less than 2 year old is free of any charges. If it turns out there is cost involved, we reserved to collect the cost.)

Quick inquiryTailor - madeJoin the tourPhotos 

  • Please reserve at least ONE WEEK before the departure time.
  • We are ready to extend your tour in Beijing if you want. Please click Tours in Beijing for reference or contact our expert!
  • As the exchange rate of CNY to USD is floating, we reserve  the right to adjust the quote in USD according to the exchange rate on the date you pay the tour.

The tour cost includes:

  • Local transportation: A private vehicle (land cruiser in the desert, bus or mini-van elsewhere) will accompany us for the entire tour. While we are trekking, our vehicle will transfer our food and luggage to the appointed site or hostel and wait.
  • Equipment, as required: tents and mats for sleeping bags when camping, rope (very necessary in some parts of the Wall), water (4 liters per person per day), 2-way radios, compass , first aid kit, GPS
  • Leader: Experienced English-speaking tour leader and one or more service persons along the Wall as needed.
  • Entrance fees: All first-entrance tickets to the tourist spots mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Accommodation: 4-star hotels in the big cities, twin and tri-share clean hostel in the small counties or villages, occasionally private home if indicated, and tents in the desert and at certain unique camping spots mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Meals: All meals as indicated in the itinerary, with some simple picnic lunches while trekking on the Wall.
  • Common carrier tickets: All domestic airfares and train tickets (soft sleeper) as listed in the itinerary, if applicable
  • Travel agency liability insurance.

The tour cost does not include:

  • Personal gear required: if camping, a sleeping bag sufficiently warm to protect against minus 20°C (-4°F) in Jan-March, against -10°C or -5°C (14°F- 23°F) in April and May, against 0-5°C (32°-41°F) in June. Also: hiking boots; raincoat; cap; camera; sun-cream; sun-glasses; pocket knife; day-pack, etc.
  • Expenses of a personal nature: favorite snacks, soft drinks, laundry , local or long-distance calls, etc.
  • Tips to tour guide and driver.
  • Tourist accident insurance. NB - you are strongly suggested to buy travel and health insurance before you start out from your home country.
  • Any service persons to carry personal belonging while trekking (although this can be arranged, it should be unnecessary - participants should find that trekking with a single day-pack for personal items should suffice.)
  • Single supplement costs (for those who want accommodation on a single basis)
  • Visa to China
  • Domestic and international flights and related airport taxes not listed in the itinerary
  • Supplementary trips, entrance fees and services not mentioned, and extra costs due to unforeseen circumstances

What makes our hikes different from the others ?

  • Our tours are private – no delays picking up other tourists from various hotels around the city. We pick up, then go!
  • Your English-speaking guide stays with you the entire trip (including the hiking).
  • Our guides carry 2-way radios (and a cell phone) in case of emergencies.
  • We use safe, reliable, government-licensed vehicles (e.g. mini-vans), not a dubiously-maintained family car or taxi.
  • We use professional drivers, not a “friend” making some extra money.
  •  We save time by taking the direct routes, even if there are charges (rather than navigating back roads trying to avoid tolls).
  •  With us, there are NO “forced shopping” stops !
  • There are NO hidden costs ! (e.g. fuel surcharge)
  •   We are proud of our Wall. We want YOU to become an ambassador of Great Wall hiking too!
  •  We not only want our customers to return – we want them to tell their friends! 


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What Our Clients Say

Really enjoy the trip!

Really good English guide.

Hiking was quite tough though. 

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