Autumn in Beijing is very short-lived. Some years, we only get a few days of awesome autumn weather and beautiful yellow and red leaves. This year has taken away many of our daily pleasures, but we were gifted with an exceptionally long autumn season of about a month and a half.
Unfortunately for me, I was in a quarantine hotel for two weeks of that time and missed the peak time for the beautiful colours in the areas outside of Beijing. However, the opportunity to get away from the big city and take in the majestic views from Jinshanling is something that should never be missed.
I’ve been to Jinshanling three times before, once in 2017 and once in 2018 with the X-Pro2 and M10, and also in 2019 with the GFX. I still haven’t gotten the perfect conditions in this location, but I’m confident that one day, I will time it right and get that mix of clouds, sunset, clear air, and autumn colours. I won’t repeat the background on Jinshanling which can be found on the 2018 post here, and from the 2019 post here.
For this visit, we hiked further up the left side when you get off the gondola. We hiked almost to the point where you reach the wall around Gubei Watertown. There as a steep area towards the end that 99% of people don’t hike up, so if you want to get some private time to contemplate life, or to soak in the views in privacy, go that extra tower or two and you’ll have the whole Wall to yourself.
However, I should note that it gets very dark and very cold up there really fast after sunset. Coming down the steep section in the dark was a bit scary, especially when our shoes were sliding down while just standing due to how steep it is. Take into consideration that there are no side walls at that part of the Great Wall of China, and you have a recipe for disaster if you’re not careful.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my fourth attempt at Jinshanling. I’ll be back for a fifth attempt next year as I’m not going to give up on this spot until I can get the perfect conditions that this location rightfully deserves.