Gubeikou is one of the longest sections of the Great Wall near Beijing and, after Jiankou, is the most isolated section. Gubekou has a western section that is in its original, unrestored condition and an eastern section that has been fully restored. There has been no commercial development of Gubeikou and there are no shops, toilets or other tourist facilities. You may need to squat in the bushes!Gubeikou doesn’t have the crowds of Badaling or Mutianyu and it’s not dangerous or difficult to hike like Jiankou. This makes Gubeikou an excellent section of the Great Wall to visit if you want a bit of adventure but aren’t into cracking your head open. Hit Gubeikou for an excellent view of the old and the new; the contrast of the east and west sections is a unique sight.
Hiking & Info
The wall at Gubeikou does not follow any steep cliffs or ridges and all the important steps are fairly intact, so walking it is not dangerous or too difficult. There are some sections with steep drops, but crossing these can be done safely. The eastern section is restored and very similar in condition to Mutianyu. Avoid the difficult western section unless you are a fit and experienced hiker.
The beginning of the western section is in such crumbly condition that the wall is not visible at all and there are only the brittle remains of two watchtowers. The condition of the wall at the beginning is so bad that much of the trail is beside the wall because the actual wall itself is either in ruins or is just piles of brick and rubble. As you head east the conditions improve, and certain areas of the wall (and several watchtowers) are almost complete.
If you want to stay overnight you have two options: Gubeikou Hexi Village ( Gǔběikǒu Héxīcūn 古北口河西村) or Gubeikou Town Folk Village ( Gǔběikǒu Zhèn Mínsú Dùjiàcūn 古北口镇民俗度假村). They offer local cuisine, and guests can participate in local activities, including fishing, dancing, cards and Mahjong.
Pack & Additional Options
Sunscreen, Water, Snacks, Camera, Toilet paper
Gubeikou Hexi Village – about ¥60 per person, per day
Gubeikou Town Folk Village – about ¥60 per person, per day
Taxi - ¥700 to ¥1,000 round trip
Bus - Hop on the subway to Dongzhimen Station (Line 13, 10) and leave through Exit B. Dongzhimen Wai long distance bus station is a short walk to the northeast. From here catch the 980 or the 980快 bus to the village of Miyun and hop off in the center of the town. From here you can either catch another large public bus to Gubeikou township or one of several minibuses (¥10).
980 – ¥15; 1.5 hours; all day until 19:00 (last one from Miyun)