Picturesque scenery and less touristy are the main features that differentiate Huanghuacheng from other walls. Nicknamed “The Lakeside Great Wall”, it's a less known, and less developed Great Wall section near Beijing. It's also where you could see the lake, dam, wall, various plants, and animals. On exciting hiking to the west to Xishuiyu, you will enjoy both restored and pristine part of wall, and experience climbing several steep ascents and descents. Hiking Huanghuacheng is very challenging, perhaps only slightly easier than hiking Jiankou.
Around 80 km's on the northwest side of Beijing locates Huanghuacheng Great Wall. Huanghuacheng, or Yellow Flower City in Chinese, literarily means the Great Wall is surrounded by yellowish flowers. It was built during the Ming Dynasty. Being separated by a reservoir, it embodies a well reserved Ming style defensive system. There're 32 watchtowers on Huanghuacheng section.
A 1.5- 2 hours westward hiking will take you to Zhuangdaokou; from Zhuangdaokou to Xishuiyu you will be hiking on a pristine part to experience slippery path and crumbly wall. While some parts of the roads are in bad conditions (sandy), you need to take extra care while hiking/climbing.
At here, you can circumvent some narrow and steep barriers that block your way to Xishuiyu, or simply exit at Zhuangdaokou if you find the road condition ahead is a lot more challenging than you've expected. Though it may be difficult for a visitor who's afraid of height, it has no problem for a veteran to finish a 3.5-4 hour hiking.
What to do:
1. Huanghuacheng to Xishuiyu hiking is an 8 km-long hiking course which takes about 3.5- 4 hours to finish. During a hike, you will experience several risky steps.
2. You could also hike a less challenging course to the halfway, where you get down from the wall at Zhuangdaokou. The journey takes about 1.5-2 hours. Go further west will take you to Xishuiyu.
3. Activities like camping, boating, and BBQ are available when you arrived at the Xishuiyu scenic area, but you need to pay additional money for them.
1. Toilets available on both ends of the hiking route, but not available on the wall. Don't expect too much as public toilets here only equipped with very basic facilities.
2. It's recommended that you prepare hiking boots, sunscreen, sunglasses, and trekking poles. Remember to wear long sleeve and pants as you need to bushwhack from time to time.
3. Bring 3-4 bottles of water, snack, energy supplements is necessary.
4. Pre-organize vehicles in advance to pick you up at Zhuangdaokou or Xishuiyu.
5. It's a long journey through a less restored part of the Great Wall, so it's recommended that you hire a professional guide for the hiking.
6. Visitors afraid of height may consider other sections of the Great Wall below.
More: Mutianyu, Jiankou, Jinshanling, Simatai, Gubeikou, Badaling Great Wall & Badaling Remnant Great Wall
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