The Great Wall at Jiankou

Discover the Splendor of Great Wall

Destinations: 6-Day Jiankou to Simatai West Hiking Tour
Suggested Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Beijing

Your private guide will be waiting for you at arrivals. You will then be transferred to your hotel in a comfortable vehicle. Your guide will help you check in.

Day 2: The Original Great Wall Experience in Jiankou (4 hrs, 3km)
huanghuacheng lakeside great wall reserve

Your specialist hiking guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel lobby and then transfer you to Xizhazi Village, where your hike starts. The driving takes about 2½ hours.

Though you will hike about 3 kilometer in day 2, it still takes about 4 hours for the rugged steps and the sharp rises and descents in this section. Starting from Xizhazi Village, you will spend about one hour walking up to the wall, and then continue westward to the foot of Sky Stairs (Ladders to the Heaven and you will skip this place), one of the most dangerous place of Jiankou.

The entire Jiankou section was building on the rolling ridgeline, with varied gradients. It is the most photographed Great Wall in recent years due to its authentic wall and its graceful scenery.

You will enjoy a picnic lunch on the Great Wall. This night you will stay at a local famer’s guesthouse.

Day 3: Hiking from Jiankou to Mutianyu (5 hrs, 10 km)
the mutianyu great wall

You will start to hike at 8am and will hike about 5 hours on the wall. The hike in day 3 will allow you to experience both original and renovated walls.

Your hike will begin around 8am. The hike on average takes 5 hours. Starting from Xizhazi Village, you will spend one hour walking up to the peak of the entire Great Wall at Jiankou — Zhenbei Building. There you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of Jiankou. It is a great place to photograph the panoramic beauty. Then you will go east to the Great Wall at Mutianyu via several original watchtowers, which are connected by rugged wall. Don’t miss the architectural art of the fortifications — the elaborate brickwork was built with crenelations on both side and curved eaves on some watchtower roofs. Some of the bricks were stamped with symbols. Ask your guide about them. The wild wall to the west is the original Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty, a dangerous and collapsed section including the section you hike in day 2.

After you hike finish you will be driven to Gubeikou and stay at a local famer’s guesthouse.

Day 4: Wild Great Wall Disvoery from Gubeikou to Jinshanling (5 hrs, 10 km)
The Gubeikou Great Wall

Your hike will start at 9am after breakfast. This section is not as challenging as that in Jiankou. Though you will also hike about 5 hours at the wall, it is still a leisure experience. After the hike you will be driven back to Gubeikou Village.

You will have a 5-hour hiking tour from the Gubeikou section of the Great Wall to the Jinshanling section. There you will discover the original Great Wall of China.

Gubeikou's section of the Great Wall is composed of two parts: Panlongshan and Wohushan. As Wohushan is completely wild and rugged, usually the hiking route 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. Visitors, except spies ;) 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.


  1. The Jinshanling section of the Great Wall is a heaven for photographers.
  2. We guided Australian Geographic on their Great Wall hiking adventure on this section. Their trekking route was right from the Gubeikou section of the Great Wall to the Jinshanling section.
Day 5: Wild Section with Panoramic Views: Jinshanling to Simatai West (3 hours, 5 km)
the simatai great wall

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 get off at Kylin Tower. The east section of Simatai is closed, so you cannot continue eastward.

Compared to the Great Wall at Jiankou, there are more tourists in some parts. However, your guide will guide you to some parts with rare travelers and you can have the wall to yourself, like the Simatai West.

This section 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-storey or three-storey 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 will take a relaxation with a traditional reflexology foot massage, which will give you a comfortable ending of your hike. Your private hiking guide will escort you to hotel by 5pm.

The Great Wall at Jinshanling is honored as a photography gallery. Get your camera ready to record the breathtaking scenery along the hike.

Day 6: Depart Beijing

Your driver and guide will meet you at your hotel and take you to the airport. Your guide will assist you with checking, handling luggage and see you off at the security gate.