Jiaoshan (the Horn Mountain) is the first "mountain" peak (at 519 metres) of the Great Wall, about three kilometres north of the Shanghaiguan Pass(the First Pass Under Heaven). The Jiaoshan Great Wall is 1536 metres long from its entrance to Dapingding Peak (Flat Peak). As it is steep in some parts, it normally takes about one-and-a-half hours of hiking to reach the flat top (a good place for camping). Looking westward from the top of Dapingding offers a very beautiful view of the Yansai Lake with small
islands scattered across its peaceful surface. Hiking partly on the wall and partly by following a wild mountain trail in a northeasterly direction for about three to four hours, you will find yourself in the beautiful valley overlooked by Mt. Longevity: huge stones, quiet forest and crystal creeks. In the shadow of Mt. Longevity sits the little village of Sandaoguan with about 35 families living in it.
Sandaoguan Pass of the Great Wall was built in 1569 (during the Ming Dynasty). The name means "a pass with three layers of Wall". From its name you can surmise that the pass must have been a very important place in history, if, by attacking here, the enemy must have had to pass through three defensive walls to enter. The first layer of the Wall, made of stone, served as the first layer of defense. The second layer of the Wall is the main body of the Wall; it connects the faces of two cliffs. With high cliffs on both ends, it is impossible to hike on this part of the wall. Therefore we recommend that hikers should take the trail north of the pass for about 2 kilometres to Wangjiayu Village. Shortly you will pass orchards and fields peacefully surrounding the village and arrive at the next section Jiumenkou, a very important Pass of the Great Wall in the history.
a. The entrance fee to the Jiaoshan section is RMB15/person. No entrance fee needed for Sandaoguan section.
b. Although we have previously said the top of Daoingding Peak supports camping, it should be noted that because many of the stones are either concave or convex; very few are flat. Therefore the camping area is only big enough for a maximum of 3-4 tents; it is not suitable for a big hiking group.
c. Dapingding is a good place for the serious photographer to take pictures. In the early morning Yansai Lake is often misty, and the setting-sun turns the distant mountains a beautiful golden color.
d. Warning: The hike from Jiaoshan to Sandaoguan is arduous. Many parts of the Wall are in poor condition and often craggy, forcing the hiker to use mountain trails to bypass dangerous parts. In the hiking season (summer, spring, and autumn), the trails are often overgrown with shrubs and bushes; one can easily get lost. Therefore this section of the Wall is considered extremely dangerous. Always have an experienced hiking leader for this part before going. Contact us for information in detail and/or to engage a hiking leader.