In addition to our hiking tours, we have also added non-private bus tours to hike on Jinshanling, Badaling and Mutianyu. Some trips also includes a complimentary free tour to the Ming Tomb and Underground Palace. In order to make the cost as low as possible, we’ll group you and other travelers together into a Toyota mini-van. These tours are perfect for budget travelers.
CHOOSING YOUR GREAT WALL HIKING ROUTE: 1A, 1AA, 1AB, 1B and Their Sunset Versions 1S1, 1S2
Tour 1AA (the hike from Gubeikou to Jinshanling) is our best selling route. At Gubeikou, you can see Great Wall that was built both 2000 years ago and 400 years ago. So this tour lets you see the most ancient portions of the wall. In other sections such as Jiankou or Mutianyu on 1B and 1S, you can only see the parts built about 400 years ago. Also, Gubeikou was used as a battlefield during China's war of resistance against the Japanese invasion (WWII). It is a surprise to many hikers that the Great Wall was used as a battlefield during WWII. In addition, Jinshanling is a UNESCO Heritage Site and has all the unique features in construction and design that the Great Wall utilizes to defend the country effectively. 1S2 is fundamentally the sunset version of hiking from Gubeikou to Jinshanling (1AA) with dinner included.
For 1B and 1S1, both hikes from Jiankou to Mutianyu are the same, and 1S1 starts later around noon. For 1S1 you'll have the chance to finish your hike and view the Great Wall during the sunset. You can take photos of the sunset, which is a wholly unique opportunity. 1S costs a little bit more because of the late start time. For both tours, the Jiankou Great Wall is the greatest spot to take the most breath-taking shots (although you can take great pictures with 1AA, too) of the dramatic ruins of the Great Wall. However, Mutianyu is a rebuilt section of the Wall, so if you want to see the original Great Wall, you can stay longer at Jiankou. At Mutianyu, if you take 1B, you can try the toboggan ride to get down from the wall, which is a thrilling and exciting way to end your time on the wall (the ride is fit for all ages).
1B was the best seller of 2010 and 1AA was the best seller of 2012. Both take you to unrestored sections, therefore you'll find most of the Wall has been overtaken by foliage leaving only a footpath to walk along. "Once on the wall you'll be treated to magnificent views in all directions," said a former Great Wall hiker. 1S1 and 1S2 are new sunset routes that were created from the feedback and input from many clients who wanted to catch the beauty of sunset on the Great Wall.
If you want to explore more history of the Great Wall and feel one-day hike is not enough, consider sleeping in a watchtower where soldiers were formerly garrisoned. Take our featured overnight route 2AA that combines the values of 1AA and 1B into one.