Discover Three Original Great Wall Sections
North of Beijing are many varied Great Wall sections, named according to their features (ask your guide). Hike the most renowned wild Great Wall sections in the Beijing area — Jiankou, Gubeikou, and Simatai West. Appreciate the bleak but picturesque scenery of the wild wall, and the authentically restored glory of the Mutianyu and Jinshanling sections.
Your private guide will greet you in arrivals and you'll be taken by private, professionally-chauffeured car directly to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for your acclimatization, and discovering Beijing. Feel free to ask you guide for ideas. You may be interested in one of our Beijing day tours to supplement this tour.
Your private Great Wall hiking guide will pick you up from your hotel at 8am, with prepared bottled water and snacks. You will be driven to the Olympic venues for a 20-minute walk. Your guide will help you get your picnic lunch prepared before departing for the Great Wall at Jiankou.
It takes about 2½ hours to drive to Xizhazi Village, at the foot of the Great Wall at Jiankou. Hiking from Jiankou to Mutianyu allows you to see collapsed wild wall and graceful restored wall.
Hiking through the bushes up to the wall, you will reach Zhengbei Building in about 1 hour. Zhengbei Building is a watch tower situated at the peak of the Great Wall at Jiankou. There you can have a bird’s eye view of the collapsed wall rolling along the steep ridgeline when looking westward. This section is the most dangerous around Beijing, with loose bricks and stones on the crumbling wall.
You will hike eastward to the restored Great Wall at Mutianyu. It takes about 3 hours to hike the quiet section from Zhengbei Building to where the Jiankou section meets Mutianyu.
At Mutianyu you might come across some travelers, mostly foreigners. To descend from the wall you can continue hiking, try the fun toboggan, or take a cable car.
After your hike you will be driven to Gubeikou Village and will stay a night there.
Your hike will start at 9am after breakfast. This section is not as challenging as Jiankou. Though you will also hike about 5 hours on the Wall, it is more of a leisurely experience. After the hike you will be driven back to Gubeikou Village.
Gubeikou's section of the Great Wall is composed of two parts: Panlongshan and Wohushan. As Wohushan is completely wild and rugged, our hiking route usually starts at Panlongshan.
You will pass several watch towers and beacon towers, some of which were destroyed by rain and wind, only leaving foundation stones. The scenery is often bleak yet picturesque.
After about two hours’ hiking, you will reach a military zone. You will need to make a detour down the deep valley to begin the second, much tougher and challenging, part in bushes or fields, leading to the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall.
Good to know:
The Jinshanling section of the Great Wall is a heaven for photographers. We guided Australian Geographic on their chosen Great Wall hiking adventure from the Gubeikou section of the Great Wall to the Jinshanling section.
It takes about 20 minutes from your guesthouse to the Great Wall at Jinshanling. Arriving at the wall early, you can photograph the amazing scenery with balanced light and no other tourists. You will hike about 3 hours eastward and descend from Kylin (Qilin) Tower. The east section of Simatai is closed, so you cannot continue eastward.
Compared to the Great Wall at Jiankou, there are more tourists. However, your guide will guide you to some parts of Simatai West where travelers rarely go, and you can have the wall to yourself.
Simatai West is extremely photogenic with panoramic views. Hike and record the bleak but beautiful scenery with wild and ruined walls. The watch towers and varied gradients give constantly wide views and changing perspectives.
There are 15 watch towers along this section, built with flat roofs or upturned eaves. In some two-story or three-story watch towers, you can have a wider view over the Great Wall.
A unique hotpot lunch will be waiting for you after you finish the hike and get back to the city. Your guide will help you order dishes. Enjoy the fun of practicing your chopstick skills.
After lunch you can relax with a traditional reflexology foot massage, which will give you a comfortable end to your Great Wall hiking experience. Your private hiking guide will escort you to your hotel by 5pm.
Your private vehicle, driver and guide will be ready and waiting at your hotel lobby to get you to the airport on time. Sit back and relax. They will help you check-in and escort you to the correct security gate. Have a nice homebound trip!