Located seven miles from Jiayuguan City in Gansu Province and four miles northwest of the pass city of Jiayuguan Pass, the Overhanging Great Wall is an important part of the defensive work of Jiayuguan Pass. It was built in the year 1539 during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) in order to strengthen the defensive capability of the Jiayuguan area.
Built on the eastern slope of Mt. Heishan (Black Mountain) the Great Wall isnot visible to anyone looking from west to east. Enemies thought they could enterinner China from here, the Heishan Canyon, as long as they rounded the Jiayuguan Pass. However, they were totally mistaken. After they went over the mountainwith great difficulty, they found a very firm Great Wall in their path that was impossible to cross. Therefore, this place has always been considered a natural barrier.
Viewed from a distance, the Great Wall appears very like a dragon overhanging the slope, hence the name. The wall was built by using local gravel and yellow earth, layer upon layer, and consists of the main path, battlements and threeobservation posts. Originally, it measured 0.9 miles long. However, due to natural disasters and human destruction, only 820 yards of the wall remains, with 253 yards climbing onto the north slope of Heishan Mountain, which is 492-feet high and tilted 45 degrees. Its imposing appearance and manner are very much like those of Badaling Great Wall in Beijing, so it is reputed as 'the Western Badaling Great Wall'.
Along the steps of the Overhanging Great Wall, you can start from the foot of Mt. Heishan to reach the top of the mountain. The steps are so steep that it's not easy for weaker people to reach the summit. Standing at the top of the walland scanning widely, you will see the boundless desert extending to faraway places, with the rare oasis dropped in. What a desolate and lonely view!