Pinyin: Qīng shān guān
English: Green mountain pass
Coordinates: 40°17'35"N 118°24'4"E
Qingshanguan makes a very nice place to visit. It combines a restored fortress, a Great Wall area with interesting features, beautiful lush rolling mountains, a hotel, and a restaurant. Some of the houses in the restored fortress are available for guests as well. Although Qingshanguan is intended to be a tourist area, it's not often crowded. The autumn colors of late September and early October attract the greatest numbers of visitors.
In the valley there is a fortress that has been repaired and opened to the public. The Great Wall connects to the fortress on both sides. The mountains are not very steep close to the fortress, so the Great Wall is not especially dangerous to climb.
Qingshanguan Great Wall
Photo by Kim Siefert
Some of the wall areas around Qingshanguan are brick and others are stone.
Watchtowers are placed close together in this area to form a secure defense system. One tower contains no less than 72 arches of varying sizes and designs. Some are brick and some are stone. Near this tower, another tower was used for holding prisoners. It has no doors or windows down low and only one air vent which is six meters (twenty feet) above the ground.
East of the town is a water gate tower with an arched gate. It previously had a bronze water gate of about one ton, but this gate has been lost, possibly due to a powerful flood.
Location summary: Qingshanguan is about 192 kilometers (119 miles) east of downtown Beijing. It is about 112 kilometers (70 miles) west of Shanhaiguan. It is about 19 kilometers (12 miles) east of Xifengkou.
The path of the Great Wall from Hongyukou in the east to Qingshanguan is about 27.7 kilometers (17.2 miles) with one significant gap north of Yumuling and several smaller ones. The path of the Great Wall from Changziling in the east to Qingshanguan is about 20.8 kilometers (12.9 miles) with one significant gap north of Yumuling. The path of the Great Wall from Yumuling in the east to Qingshanguan is about 6.3 kilometers (3.9 miles) with one significant gap north of Yumuling. The path of the Great Wall from Qingshanguan to Dongjiakou in the west is about 8.3 kilometers (5.2 miles). The path of the Great Wall from Qingshanguan to Tiemenguan in the west is about 15.3 kilometers (9.5 miles) including one significant gap. The path of the Great Wall from Qingshanguan to Xifengkou in the west is about 26 kilometers (16 miles) including 3 significant gaps.
Driving directions: From Beijing, drive east on the G1 Jinghua Expressway for 139 kilometers (86 miles). Exit at G25 and drive north for about 20 kilometers (12 miles) to G112. Continue north for about 29 kilometers (18 miles) to Zunhua. From Zunhua, drive east on S356 for about 51 kilometers (32 miles) and turn right towards Shijiayu. Continue east for 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) and pass Linghou. Turn left and drive for 3.1 kilometers (1.9 miles) to Xinlicun. Turn left and drive for about 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) to Qingshankoucun.
Just some information from a Qianxi tourist map about Qingshanguan. The heavily restored small village is often referred to as a 'castle' in many Chinese sources, although it clearly isn't.
This is in Qianxi county, close to Qingshanguan. Took a taxi from the bus station for 80 kuai, but going back a taxi offered to take me for only 50 kuai – that's nearly 1 kuai per kilometer. Something to keep in mind when haggling.
This section is pretty short, only six guard towers. Beautiful views, though.
Anyway, here are some pictures:
One of the first watch towers on the north ridge
Different sized watch towers
Small and big watch tower
A view south from the north ridge – no wonder why they call it green mountain