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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Karenkatz,
Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  Beijing Tour  »  Great Wall Tour  »  Great Wall Sections & Tours  »  Shixiaguan Great Wall
Shixiaguan Great Wall


Shixiaguan Great Wall ( literally means "Stone Gorge Pass Great Wall") is officially known as Ruined Badaling Great Wall. It is 5km southwest of the restored Badaling Great Wall,a western gate of the Badaling Defense Works. Shixiaguan Great Wall is totally unrestored with only some iron railings and wooden board walkways for the first few bits of the Wall. Shixiaguan Great Wall is the only wild and unrestored section of the Wall around Beijing which is offically opened to the public. So it is a less touristy section of the Great Wall around Beijing. Its hikers are mainly foreign travelers instead of domestic ones who prefer hiking at the restored Badaling Great Wall.

The entrance to the Shixiaguan Great Wall starts with Shixia Pass (Stone Gorge Pass), but, which is now non-existent. Shixia Pass used to link both the east and west sections of the Shixiaguan Great Wall with its east section extended to the present restored Badaling Great Wall. It was blasted to the ground in 1644 when Li Zicheng ( 1606–1645) led his troups having a fierce fighting with Ming Dynasty defence soldiers. Li Zicheng was a Chinese rebel leader who overthrew the Ming Dynasty and ruled over China briefly as emperor of the short-lived Shun Dynasty.

The legend has it that after Li's Army had failed to conquer the defense soldiers on the Pass at Badaling Great Wall, he learned from a local senior that there was another pass west of Badaling Great Wall which was relatively weak in defense and the pass was known as Shixiaguan ( Stone Gorge Pass). He lost no time leading an elite force and broke through Shixiaguan Pass (Stone Gorge Pass). Then this an elite force hiked along the valleys in the moutains and steathliy reached the headquarters of Ming Dynasty Army at Juyongguan Pass Great Wall, south of Badaling Great Wall Pass. After wiping off the soldiers at Juyongguan Great Wall, Li's army marched north to Badaling Great Wall. After being sandwiched by Li's amry outside and inside Badaling Great Wall Pass, the Ming soliders on the Badaling Great Wall Pass were smashed. Li Zicheng led his troops successfully entering the capital of Beijing and the Ming Dynasty ended.

Now Shixia Pass is an open place, a starting point for the wall hike. At the time of my writing, the east section is forbidden for hiking, which is connected to the restored Badaling Great Wall due to treacherousness. So you enter the non-existent Shixia Pass and turn right (west) and start your hike of Shiaxiaguan Great Wall. Some railings and waking boards on the first sections, then the wall remains relatively unspoiled, wild and empty, a great place keeping you from the hordes of tourists on other sections of the Great Wall around Beijing.

The hiking is a bit tough, basically it takes 3-4 hours crossing the whole section of Shixiaguan Great Wall. It is much rewarding with picturesque views on the way, a mecca for those who want to see an orginal Great Wall of China.

Be well prepared, wearing good shoes wear and long trousers, sunscreen, insect repellant, sunglass, lots of water.

» Hiking Cross the Wild Great Wall at Shixiaguan Day Tour
Hiking Cross the Wild Great Wall at Shixiaguan Day Tour Departure: Daily
Tour Type: A private tour
Duration: Approx.8 hours (4 hours on the wal)
Hiking Area: Shixiaguan Great Wall ( or Remnant Great Wall at Badaling)
Pick-up point and time: Your Hotel around 8:00am
Finishing point and time: Your Hotel around 5:00pm
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Hiking Level: Intermediate
Cable car: not available
Service: Entrance fees + lunch + private tour guide & driver + private car / van
Tour Code: GWPD-10
Price: Starting from US$69 p/p


How to get there
Entrance Fee: RMB 50 Opening Time: 08:00 - 17:00 ( all year around )
How to get there:
1) Public Bus: Take Bus 919 from Deshengmen Bus Terminal to Badaling Township, then take a taxi from Badaling Township to Shixiaguan Great Wall ( Ruined Badaling Great Wall)
2) S Trains: Take a S train from Beijing North Railway Station to Badaling Township, then then take a taxi from Badaling Township to Shixiaguan Great Wall ( Ruined Badaling Great Wall)

On Nov 27, 2013, we, a group of five, made a fam trip crossing the whole section of Shixiaguan Great Wall (4 hours and 8km hike) in defiance of the cold and strong breeze. Now please follow us to see, feel and touch the impressive section of the wild Great Wall of China.

Nov 27 (Wed), 2013 ( Beijing Time UTC+8)
Clear
Temperature: -5℃ – 0℃
PM-10: 39
Humidity: 19%
Wind: Strong Breeze
Sunrise: 07:12am
Sunset: 04:51pm


Arriving at the Shixiaguan Pass around 10:00am, we start to walk up the mountain. The pass is totally non-exitent with two ruined sections of the wall on both sides of the valley ( or the pass ) - the west leading up to Shixiaguan Great Wall and the east up to the restored Badaling Great Wall. For safety reasson, we start our hike by avoiding the risky ruined section from the foot of the valley. We walk along the paved stone steps leading up to the Wall.

The ruined west side leads up to Shixiaguan Great Wall
The ruined west side leads up to Shixiaguan Great Wall


The east side of the former pass ( or the valley ) meanders along the mountain ridges towards the restored Badaling Great Wall.
The ruined east section leads to the restored Badaling Great Wall
The ruined east section leads to the restored Badaling Great Wall


So we first walk along the paved stone steps from the bottom of the former pass up to the Wall, a 10 minutes mountain climbing.
We walk up along the stone paved steps
We walk up along the stone paved steps


We find that the lower parts of the wall are protected with iron railings and wood walking boards for safety reasons. So Shixiaguan Great Wall is an officially opened section of the wild wall, a safety measure is a must. But later, we discover the wall is just totally unrestored without any safety measures involved. So you must take a great care while hiking Shixiaguan Great Wall.

The lower parts of the wall are protected with iron railings and wood walking boards
The lower parts of the wall are protected with iron railings and wood walking boards


We are amazed by the large slabs built for the foundations of the Wall. How the Ming people carried all the large stones up to the Wall. It is incredibale!

Amazed by the large slabs built for the foundations of the Wall
Amazed by the large slabs built for the foundations of the Wall


Up on the Wall, we turn back and look at the first tower atop the Shixiaguan Great Wall. The local guide says we could spot the restored Badaling Great Wall at a distant.

The first tower atop the Shixiaguan Great Wall
The first tower atop the Shixiaguan Great Wall


Hiking Shixiaguan Great Wall is a great challenge due to its steepness of the mountain. The wall hike is more like a mountain climbing. In fact, we have to climb over a high mountain from its southern slope over to its northern slope.

Hiking Shixiaguan Great Wall is a great challenge due to its steepness of the mountain
Hiking Shixiaguan Great Wall is a great challenge due to its steepness of the mountain.


Continue to walk on the narrow path fored by bushes and sapalings. Unlike the restored section at Badaling Great Wall, the path on the wall is overgrown with bushes and soil-obstacles.

Continue to walk on the narrow path fored by bushes and sapalings
Continue to walk on the narrow path fored by bushes and sapalings


Some parts of the wall are collapsed and broken with its stone foundations disclosed. The loose stones and bricks make our hike add much difficulty to our hike.

Some parts of the wall are collapsed and broken
Some parts of the wall are collapsed and broken


The stone path on the wall is very treacherous with loosing stones, overgrown saplings. We have to walk slowly to avoid making falling stones to hit other people.

The stone path on the wall is very treacherous with loosing stones, overgrown saplings
The stone path on the wall is very treacherous with loosing stones, overgrown saplings


Along a narrow path through the bushes, you could easily see the mansony and mortar.

You could easily see the Masonry & Mortar
You could easily see the Masonry & Mortar


On the way scrambling up, we see a drainage ditch once used to drain rain water. The paths on the wall are paved by bricks and others by stones. You should always test your hike for each step.

On the way scrambling up,  we see a drainage ditch once used to drain rain water
On the way scrambling up, we see a drainage ditch once used to drain rain water


We are marching to the final and highest two towers ( the 6th and 7th towers ). Unlike most of the other sections of the Wall around Beijing, Shixiaguan Great Wall doesn't give us mild ups and downs to balance our hiking. It seems our hike is always up and up. Later we find the hike down is always down and down, making your legs shake all the way.

The final and highest two towers ( the 6th and 7th towers )
The final and highest two towers ( the 6th and 7th towers )


This is the 6th tower viewed from its west side. There are 7 towers on the southern slope of the mountain and the 7th tower is highest. From the 7th tower, you are going to hike down.

This is the 6th tower viewed from its west side
This is the 6th tower viewed from its west side


The path up to the 7th tower is very steep and treacherous. The 7th watch tower is the highest tower along Shixiaguan Great Wall. Most of the travelers would stop here and return to the starting point. If you'd like to cross the whole section of Shixiaguan Great Wall, you are encouraged to walk down here. It turns out the hike down is more difficult than hike up!



Walk through the 7th tower, we start to walk down the wall snaking a steep hill slope. There are no mountain ridges ups and downs to balance your hiking pace. It keeps hiking down and down, a really challenging walk!

We start to walk down the wall snaking a steep hill slope
We start to walk down the wall snaking a steep hill slope


We continue to descend and our legs are hard to stand on a flat and slippery path on the wall.

We continue to descend and our legs are hard to stand
We continue to descend and our legs are hard to stand


It seems we are having an endless downside walking on a steep and slippery path.

It seems we are having an endless downside walking
It seems we are having an endless downside walking


This is the last section of the Wall without any battlements, full of loose stones and bricks, too steep and risky to walk. We have to walk along a makeshift dirt path by the side of the ruined wall.

This is the last section of the Wall without any battlements
This is the last section of the Wall without any battlements


We have to walk along a makeshift dirt path below the wall without battlements

Walk along a makeshift dirt path below the wall
Walk along a makeshift dirt path below the wall


Now we are about to finish the 8km hike along the rugged Shixiaguan Great Wall. The end of the Shixiaguan Great Wall is another pass or valley called Huajiayaokou Pass in the southeast of Bangshuiyu Village. Today the pass is also gone with two broken sections: east leading to Shixiaguan Great Wall and the west extended to the wall in Hebei Province. To our pleasant surprise, in the middle of the Huajiayaokou Pass stands atop a hill an independent watchtower protecting the pass!

an independent watchtower guiding the pass!
an independent watchtower guiding the pass!


The end of the Shixiaguan Great Wall is another pass or valley called Huajiayaokou Pass in the southeast of Bangshuiyu Village with the independent watchtower in the middle

Huajiayaokou Pass
Huajiayaokou Pass


Let's have a look at the last section of Shixiaguan Great Wall before we say goodbye to it.

the last section of Shixiaguan Great Wall
the last section of Shixiaguan Great Wall


At the end of Shixiaguan Great Wall, we have to take half hour's walk along a dirt path before we meet our driver.

Half hour's walk along a dirt path to meet our driver at Bangshuiuyu Village
Half hour's walk along a dirt path to meet our driver at Bangshuiuyu Village


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