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Great Wall Sections

1. Badaling — the most popular section

the summer scenery of the Great Wall at Badaling SectionThe Badaling section of the Great Wall is always full of tourists, especially at weekends and in the holidays.

carDistance from Beijing:72 kilometers (45 miles),2 hours

grea twall pictureRestoration:From 1953

clock Open:Summer: 6:30am–7pm; Winter: 7am–6pm.

great wall hikingFeatures:This section of the Great Wall has been open to the public the longest (since 1957, after some restoration work). It is the best preserved and the most popular of all the sections. It commands fine views of mountain scenery below, and has been visited by over 300 world celebrities such as Richard Nixon and Margaret Thatcher.

hotel Facilities:Cable cars, Great Wall Museum, a circular-screen cinema, shopping and dining facilities, and some wheelchair access.

clock Typical tour time:2 hours (3 hours in the peak season)

knife and forkEating:Badaling Hotel Restaurant, McDonald's, Yonghe King, Great Wall Commune Restaurant, and Jindian Friendship Restaurant.

hotelHotels:Badaling Hotel and Great Wall Commune.

cameraActivities: Walking tours of the Wall, Badaling Great Wall Red Leaves Ecological Festival

See Why Visit Badaling

Recommended tours:

2. Mutianyu — the longest fully-restored section

the autumn scenery of the Great Wall at Mutianyu sectionThe Mutianyu section is the longest fully-restored Great Wall section open to tourists.

carDistance from Beijing:73 kilometers (45 miles), 1½ hours drive.

grea twall pictureRestoration:Completely rebuilt to its original glory for your safety and enjoyment.

clockOpen:All the year round, 7:30am–5:30pm

great wall hiking Features: A superb example of Great Wall fortifications, Mutianyu is uniquely designed with watchtowers and fortresses densely located along its length, and crenellations on both sides. First Lady Michelle Obama has visited it.

hotelFacilities:Cable cars up/down and roller coaster carts down

knife and forkEating: The Schoolhouse/Subway

hotelHotels:Brickyard Eco Retreat, Home of the Great Wall.

camera Activities:Sightseeing, hiking

See Why Visit Mutianyu.

Recommended tours:

3. Simata — the most steep and dangerous section

the scenery of the Great Wall at Simatai sectionThe Simatai section is the most steep and dangerous section of the Great Wall.

carDistance from Beijing:120 kilometers (75 miles), 2 hours 15 minutes drive.

grea twall pictureRestoration:Simatai has just undergone major restoration work to make it safer and more accessible.

great wall hikingFeatures: Steep and inspiring, Simatai was acknowledged as a World Heritage Site in 1987. The red leaves there are a fine sight in fall.

hotelFacilities: Cable cars (80 yuan one-way ticket, 120 yuan round-trip); battery carts: 10 yuan one-way between the entrance and the Great Wall.

clockOpen: All the year around, 8am–5pm

knife and forkEating: At farmhouses

hotelHotels:Youth Hotel at the foot of the Great Wall.

cameraActivities:Hiking, photography

See Why Visit Simatai.

Recommended tours:

4. Jinshanling — a popular hiking route

the beautiful scenery of the Great Wall at Jinshanling section under the blue skyThe Jinshanling section is part of a popular hiking route, with well-preserved wall and restored beacon towers.

carDistance from Beijing:154 kilometers (96 miles), 2 hours 10 minutes drive.

grea twall pictureRestoration:Half restored and half wild

great wall hiking Features: There are well-preserved wall and dense fortifications and restored beacon towers.

hotelFacilities: Cable car

clock Open:All the year around, 8am–5pm.

knife and forkEating:Jinshan Hotel

hotelHotels: Jinshan Hotel

cameraActivities: Hiking 

See Why visit Jinshanling.

Recommended tour:

5. Gubeikou — a totally wild and unrestored section

the scenery of the Great Wall at Gubeikou sectionThe Gubeikou section of the Great Wall is totally wild and unrestored.

carDistance from Beijing: 146 kilometers (90 miles),2 hours drive.

grea twall pictureRestoration:Wild, it is totally in its natural appearance.

clockOpen: All the year around, all day. Entry costs 25 yuan.

great wall hikingFeatures: It boasts untouched Great Wall without any renovation, with Crouching Tiger Mountain in the west and Entwining Dragon Mountain in the east, with the former rather steep and latter relatively gentle.

hotelFacilities: Cable cars

knife and forkEating:At farmhouses

hotelHotels: Farmhouses. There is an amazing Boutique Guesthouse called Great Wall Box House with 4–5 rooms and a courtyard with ruined ancient walls.

cameraActivities: Hiking

See Why Visit Gubeikou.

6. Jiankou — a totally wild and most dangerous section

the scenery of the Great Wall at Jiankou section The Jiankou section is totally wild, and it is one of the most dangerous sections of the Great Wall.

carDistance from Beijing:100 kilometers (62 miles), 2 hours 50 minutes drive.

grea twall picture Restoration:None, completely wild.

clockOpen:Not officially open to the public, but local villagers charge visitors 20 yuan per person.

great wall hiking Features:Completely original, wild, and untouched, some sections are really steep and dangerous. It winds its way along mountain ridges in the shape of a "W".


knife and forkEating: At farmhouses

hotelHotels: Farmhouses

cameraActivities: A great section for keen photographers and those who want to challenge themselves on a hike.

Warning:Jiankou section is definitely not recommended for seniors, kids, and people suffering from vertigo. Evaluate the risk before heading to the Wall.

See Why Visit Jiankou.

Recommended tour:

7. Huangyaguan — an annual marathon race site

the scenery of the Great Wall at Huangyaguan sectionThe scenery of the Great Wall at Huangyaguan section

carDistance from Beijing:118 kilometers (73 miles), 3 hours drive.

grea twall picture Restoration:Fully restored.


great wall hikingFeatures:The Great Wall Marathon is held on Huangyaguan's Great Wall each May.

hotelFacilities: Farm houses and hotels around provide dining and accommodation.  

Typical tour time: 1½–2 hours

knife and fork Eating: There are farmer-owned restaurants providing local food.

hotelHotels:Huangya Villa


See Why Visit Huangyaguan.

Recommended tour:

8. Huanghuacheng — the unique section with wall immersed in the water

the summer scenery of the Great Wall at Huanghuacheng SectionHuanghuacheng Section of the Great Wall is noted for its perfect blend of lake scenery and ancient wall.

carDistance from Beijing:75 kilometers (47 miles), 1½ hours drive.

grea twall pictureRestoration:Most parts have been restored, with a few wild parts.

great wall hikingFeatures:Some parts of the wall are immersed in the water, and there is a 500-year-old Ming Dynasty chestnut orchard at the foot of the wall.

hotelFacilities: Cruise boats

clockOpen:All the year around

knife and forkEating:At farmhouses


cameraActivities: Hiking, camping (May–September recommended)

See Why Visit Huanghuacheng.

9. Juyongguan — the First Pass under Heaven

the scenery of the Great Wall at Juyongguan sectionThe scenery of the Great Wall at Juyongguan section

carDistance from Beijing: 60 kilometers (37 miles),1½ hours drive.

grea twall pictureRestoration:From 1992

clockOpen:Peak season 8am–17pm; low season: 8:30am–4pm.

great wall hikingFeatures:An 18-kilometer canyon winds its way alongside Juyongguan's Great Wall section, where peaks rise one behind another. It boasts of being ‘the First Pass under Heaven', and is the closest section to Beijing.

hotelFacilities: Hotels around provide dining and accommodation.  

Typical tour time:1½-2 hours

knife and forkEating:Great Wall Commune, Jindian Friendship Restaurant

hotelHotels: Juyongguan Great Wall Hotel Beijing, Juyongguang Youth Hotel

cameraActivities: Hiking

Read more on wild Great Wall hikes.