We went in early August, but it’s not so hot in this village called Xizhazi (西柵子村). Wear a pair of long pants (because of the shrubs) and good pair of walking/hiking shoes (because of loose stones every where) when hiking up to the Great Wall. Do not climb the Great Wall when it rains!
There’re several entrances to the hike, and it only takes a few minutes to reach from the village. You’ll know you’re at the start of the trail when you see a giant sign (in Chinese & English) saying one should not climb the Great Wall, etc. The total time to & from the Great Wall is about 2 hours. Plan more time if you actually want to be on the Great Wall.
This village is in Huairou district located at the foot of Jiankou Great. There was an entrance cost to the village for 20 Yuan per person. We stayed at HF Hostel (we strongly recommend it). It was only 100 Yuan per night for the two of us. (Price includes 3 meals; need to ask for drinking water if you don’t mind drinking their water. They raise their own chicken for eggs and grow their own vegetables & corn. The owner Mr. Zhao makes an excellent grill trout – so fresh! If you clean out your plates, they’ll think they don’t feed you enough.) Tourists go there all year round. Weekdays have much less tourists. Remember to bring toilet paper & be polite!
We also took a walk in a lavender farm which is located on the west side of village.