Chinese: 石峡关
Pinyin: Shí xiá guān
English: Stone valley pass
Coordinates: 40°18'38"N 115°56'33"E

Just beyond Huajiayao to the west is the Shixia area, including the village of Shixiacun and the pass of Shixiaguan.

At Shixiaguan, the Great Wall is known as the Huajiayao Great Wall to the east and as the Gu Jin Great Wall to the west.

On the east side of the pass, the Great Wall comes all the way down to meet the road. It is possible to climb all the way up the wall directly from the road; however, the lower parts of the wall are very slippery and steep, a combination that makes climbing difficult and risky. Every step has to be carefully placed because of the many fragments of brick and stone that cover the top of the wall.

If you walk along the road to the north of the wall for about 100 meters (330 feet), you will see a path on your right. Follow this path for about 80 meters (260 feet) and you will see another side trail to the right. This path leads up to the wall and joins it about 130 meters (420 feet) from the bottom, bypassing the worst part but still leaving you with a long and difficult incline to ascend.

If you walk along the road to the south of the wall for about 820 meters (2700 feet), you will see a small area on the left that serves as a bus stop. On your right will be the village of Shixiacun. At the back of this area is a trail that leads up a long incline and meets the Great Wall at the top of its first slope. This will allow you to skip the entire long and dangerous first incline of the east side of Shixiaguan. This path is about 700 meters (2320 feet) in length and in some places it is steep.

From here the walking is much easier and the scenery in all directions is impressive. Unfortunately, large power poles and wires clutter what would otherwise be a sublime environment.

Following the wall here, you will go up and down several times before reaching the final downward slope into Huajiayao. After the tower in the middle of the downward slope, be sure to exit the wall and take trails through the woods down the rest of the mountain; the end slope of the wall is far too dangerous if not impossible to descend directly.

Looking down the initial slope of Shixiaguan's east side

On the west side of the Shixiaguan pass, the mountain is much more steep and the wall does not come all the way down to the road. Looking up from the road, you can see Kouzilou, the tower that marks the end of the wall high above you, and it appears to be all but impossible to reach. In fact, there is a trail on the north side of the wall. Walk north along the road and you will see the trail beginning on the left and leading up the mountain to the wall.

Once you join the wall, you can walk to your left (east) to the end tower. This tower is called Kouzilou. It's a pretty high step to get from the wall up into the tower, but it can be done. Looking out the door on the east side of the tower, you will see a magnificent view of the valley and the wall on its other side. You will also see that there is a further, short segment of the wall leading to a dead end to the east. I was tempted to climb out of the tower and down to this segment, but realized that I may have difficulty getting back up into the tower, or otherwise getting off of this precariously situated piece of Great Wall, so I decided not to try it.

Turning around and heading the other way, you will find the wall not excessively steep but challenging nonetheless due again to the many loose bricks and stones. When you are near what seems to be the high point before the wall's descent into the next valley and the Chenjiabao area, you will reach a spot where there is a very steep downhill climb of about fifty steps and well over a 45-degree angle. Fortunately, these steps are in decent condition and there is a parapet to hold onto for most of the way while you carefully make your way down. Unfortunately, it ends before you reach the bottom, and here you must be even more careful.

Kouzilou tower on Shixiaguan's west side

Shixiaguan is located in an area that is particularly windy. In fact, it is an area of wind farms. From the Shixiaguan Great Wall, the Guanting Reservoir can be seen to the northwest. Around this reservoir, you will also see that there are many windmills. So you can imagine that up on the mountain ridges, it can become very windy, and the wind can be surprisingly gusty.

Shixia village (Shixiacun) is just south of where the wall crosses the road. This historic village has not only walls and fortresses but other places of interest to tourists.


There are many freestanding towers to the north of the Shixiaguan. Be sure to notice them from the surrounding walls.

"We did little rebuilding on the Shixiaguan section, because we want visitors to see the real Great Wall ruin with its original look," said Zhang Liuquan, deputy director of the Beijing Badaling Special Zone.

The new section has a total land area of 2 square kilometers.

Shixiaguan is often misspelled "Shixiguan".

Location summary: Shixiaguan is about 59 kilometers (37 miles) northwest of downtown Beijing. It is about 1.1 kilometers (0.7 miles) southwest of Huajiayao, about 7.4 kilometers (4.6 miles) southwest of Badaling, and about 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) northeast of Chenjiabao. The path of the Great Wall from Shixiaguan to Chenjiabao is about 2.1 kilometers (1.3 miles).

Driving directions: From Deshengmen City Gate near the Jishuitan subway station on the north side of Beijing, drive north and northwest on the G110 Badaling Expressway for 62 kilometers (38.5 miles). Exit onto S220 and drive north for about 1.3 kilometers (0.8 miles). Make a U-turn and drive south for about 1.3 kilometers (0.8 miles). The road curves to the left to parallel the expressway. Drive for another 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles). Turn left at Waipocun and drive south on Waishi Road for about 6.5 kilometers (4 miles) to Shixiaguan.

Shixiaguan Great Wall maps

Shixiaguan Great Wall map

Shixiaguan Great Wall map

Shixiaguan Great Wall map – The red line in this map represents the Great Wall

Shixiaguan Great Wall map

Shixiaguan Great Wall west side photos

Views of the first tower (40°18'40.53"N 115°56'22.96"E) from across the road

Here you can se the road at the bottom and the long climb up to the first tower

Closer look at the first tower

Shixiaguan west side

Shixiaguan west side

Shixiaguan west side

Shixiaguan west side

Shixiaguan west side

Shixiaguan west side

Shixiaguan west side

Shixiaguan west side

Shixiaguan west side

Shixiaguan west side

Shixiaguan west side

Shixiaguan Great Wall east side photos

Here's a shot from the west which shows most of the east side. The inital incine is at the right.

Path to the north of the wall

A nice view of Shixiaguan's west side wall

Remains of the lower reaches of the wall

A view across from low down on the initial climb

Looking down from a bit higher

Finally, a view of the valley and the west side from the highest point

Beautiful colors of cut stone

Layers of surfacing

Steep entrance to tower