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One-Day Simatai West to Jinshanling Great Wall Hiking Tour


This moderately challenging, 3-hour hike offers breathtaking views of the Great Wall from Simatai West to Jinshanling, snaking along the ridge of the mountains, taking you through crumbling, ancient watchtowers along the way. Hiking along this thoughtfully restored section of the Great Wall will transport you back in time to the heyday of imperial China and allow you to get a sense of what it must have felt like to be a Ming Dynasty soldier sent to the northern frontier of the Chinese empire to protect the imperial capital, Beijing, against nomadic invaders. Jinshanling is also famous for being one of the most photogenic sections of the Great Wall and is a fantastic place to take photos.

Tour Highlights

  • Hike up to the most beautiful and photogenic section of Great Wall on the ridge of the mountains.
  • Walkthrough ancient watchtowers of various styles and see the mechanisms of defense used on the wall.
  • Spend your day with a professional expat guide or a bilingual local guide who will discuss Chinese history and culture with you along the way.

The Design of the Day Trip

  • Guide: better than a normally licensed tour guide; friendly and helpful with fluent English
  • Driver: reliable licensed local driver with at least 5 years' driving experience
  • Vehicle: Air-conditioned business car (max: 7 seats) with GPS facilities, big windows, and ample space
  • Trippest Beijing Office: 24/7 customer service, providing backup support

Trip Video Preview

Detailed Itinerary

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7:00 AM (hotel pick-up) - 9:45 AM (arrive at the Great Wall)

In order to avoid highway traffic and the scorching mid-day sun, we like to leave at this early hour (around 7:00 AM - 7:30 AM). Depending on where your hotel is in the city, it will take 15-30 minutes to get to the highway (the highway entrance is at the north 3rd ring road; if you are staying close to the Forbidden City, for example, it will take around 20 minutes to arrive).

Once on the highway, there will be a restroom break (if needed) after about 20 minutes of driving. In total, the drive will take up to 2 hours without traffic, and closer to 2.5-3 if we run into a jam.

When we arrive, we will purchase your entry tickets and start our climb on a trail leading up to the wall. Simatai Great Wall is located along the ridges, so we will have to complete a 15-minute hike up some stairs before we reach it.

Great Wall Hiking Map Great Wall Hiking Route Map from Simatai West to Jinshanling (click to enlarge)

Good to Know:

  • Great Wall at Simatai West is also called the east gate entrance of the Jinshanling Great Wall. And tourists are not allowed to enter the west part of Simatai Great Wall due to the repaired of the Great Wall.
  • The Great Wall at Simatai West is about 130 kilometers from downtown Beijing, right on the border of Hebei province and Beijing municipality, this part of Great Wall weaves along steep mountain ridges for 10.5 kilometers through a mountainous rural area with dense vegetation. First constructed in the early period of the Ming Dynasty during the late 14th century, the Simatai West - Jinshanling Great Wall was subsequently rebuilt to a much higher standard in the late 16th century after the Ming Dynasty decided to beef up its border defenses following a major military raid on Beijing by Mongol nomads in the mid 16th century.

Our comfortable vehicle Our comfortable vehicle

East Gate of Jinshanling Great Wall The East Gate of Jinshanling Great Wall (Great Wall at Simatai West)

hike u To access the wall, it is necessary to hike up a long, winding staircase through the foliage.

9:45 AM – 12:45 PM Hike the Great Wall from Simatai West to Jinshanling

We will mount the wall through an unrestored watchtower called Houchuankou Pass (后川口), the first among many towers that we will be seeing along the wall.It is at this first pass where we will climb up on to the Great Wall itself. From there onward, hikers will be rewarded with stunning panoramas and be able to see the Great Wall stretching out to the horizon. This section of the Great Wall is known for being built atop sharp ridges, and hikers will have a great chance to understand the impressive feat of engineering the Great Wall represents with each section we ascend and descend.

Houchuankou Pass - the first watch tower you'll be seeing Houchuankou Pass - the first watch tower you'll be seeing

We can stop to take in the amazing view from one of the highest points we will reach that day. About halfway through the hike, at approximately 10:50, we will stop at a water and snack station for a 15-minute rest and a pick-me-up. If you feel that the hike is a little more difficult than you expected, we can certainly make more rest stops along the way, especially during hot summer weather. We will pass through several towers that offer shade; some even have a small temple on the top that you can check out if you have energy.

An old man on the Great Wall An old man on the Great Wall

Beautiful sunrise Beautiful sunrise on the Jinshanling Great Wall

Hiking up the Great Wall Hiking up the Great Wall

Ultimately arriving at Zhuanduokou Pass (砖垛口), the end of our hike, it is a three-story tower with large red, wooden windows facing north. This will be our last few moments on the Wall, so make sure you have taken enough pictures along the way! We will then get off the wall and walk down a short path to where we will have lunch.

Zhuanduokou Pass of the Great Wall at Jinshanling Zhuanduokou Pass of the Great Wall at Jinshanling

A young girl dancing on the Great Wall A young girl dancing on the Great Wall

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Lunch at a small, local restaurant

Villagers have set up a restaurant at the base of the entrance to Jinshanling, and offer traditional, tasty dishes made with fresh vegetables and meat. We'll enjoy Northern Chinese favorites including fried tomato with egg; roasted eggplant with potatoes and peppers; stir-fried bok choy, among other tasty dishes. Lunch fee is not included in the pricing.

A tasty lunch at a local farmer's house A tasty lunch at a local farmer's house

2:00 PM – 5:00 PM Return to your hotel in Beijing

Once we've been fed and watered, we'll walk a bit further down the road and meet our driver in the parking lot. Use the toilet, do some final post-hike stretches, and jump in the car for a nap or reflections on the day's hike at the Great Wall.

Depending on traffic heading into the city, and the distance from the expressway to your hotel, the drive home may range from 2-3 hours. We will be driving on the same expressway that we took on the way to Simatai West. Usually, though, this is an early enough time to avoid evening rush hour, so we shouldn't have to sit in much traffic. When you arrive, make sure you back up your camera or phone's memory card so you don't lose your photos of this spectacular section of the Great Wall.

You may follow us on our Facebook page to see the latest updates, photos and posts from your tour guide at:

Know Before You Book

Price Includes:

  • Entrance fees to the Great Wall at Jinshanling and Simatai West.
  • Transport between Beijing hotel and the Great Wall.
  • English-speaking professional tour guide service.
  • Drinking water on the Great Wall.

Price Excludes:

  • Cable cars at the Great Wall.
  • Lunch.
  • Gratuities to the tour guide & driver (usually CNY 50 - 100 per person per day for each of them, please tip them separately.). It is not compulsory but would be a great encouragement for them.
  • Airport transfer.

Important Notes:

  1. This tour is available every day. Minimum number of participants required for the tour to run is 3. Tour may be canceled in case of minimum number of participants not met. You will get a full refund.
  2. This tour will be not available during the winter months Dec. 1 - Feb. 28.

FAQs About This Tour

What is the hotel pick-up and drop-off area?

Hotel pickup and drop-off services are available within the 4th Ring Zone of Beijing, if it is outside of this area, we provide the following ways for you to meet the tour guide:

  • Go to one of the meeting hotels below. Transportation is at your own expense. The meeting time will be confirmed and emailed you one day earlier.
    The Regent Beijing, address: No.99, Jinbao Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing. Closed to Exit C of Dengshikou Subway Station (Line No.5). Taxi from the airport: 27km far, cost approx. US$20 one way.
    Gehua New Century Hotel Beijing, address: No.19, Gulou Outer Street, North 3th Ring Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing. Closed to Exit E of Anyuanqiao Subway Station (Line No.8). Taxi from the airport: 27km far, cost approx. US$20 one way.
  • Book additional transfer service with us. Cost will be advised by your travel advisor according to your hotel location.
  • In order to save your valuable time, according to current traffic conditions, the tour guide might arrange a private DiDi Taxi (Uber) for you to return your hotel after the tour. Your Didi car can be monitored on DiDi APP, and the tour guide will also call your hotel to check if you arrive safely.
  • If you are not sure whether your hotel is within our pick up area, please kindly check with your hotel. Or add WeChat ID: trippest666 for more assistance.

Hotel Pick-up and Drop-off Area Map of Beijing City Hotel Pick-up and Drop-off Area Map of Beijing City

What is your cancellation policy?
  • If we are not able to implement the contract due to war, flood, typhoon, fire, strikes, storm, earthquake, or any other condition we are not able to foresee and avoid, we will inform customers at the first possible opportunity and offer the best possible solutions, and the final bill shall be settled based on the service we actually provide.
  • Up to 7 days before departure: 100% refund of all money paid, excluding penalties charged by hotels, railways, airlines, and PayPal, if applicable. All penalties will be itemized.
  • From 3 to 7 days before departure: 90% refund, excluding penalties charged by hotels, railways, airlines, and PayPal, if applicable. All penalties will be itemized.
  • Within 3 days before departure: no refund.
  • After the trip has commenced, we are unable to refund any amount for canceled services due to non-participation, early departure, late arrival, or missed days on tours.
  • For groups of more than 10 people: The terms for cancellation may vary from case to case. Please ask your travel advisor regarding the cancellation policy for your group.
Can I apply the 72-Hour Visa-Free Transit Policy?

Citizens of certain countries who meet the criteria are allowed 72-hour visa-free transit via and travel in nine China cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi'an, Guilin, Shenyang, and Dalian. Please make sure you have read the detailed Visa-free policies before you decide to take the Visa-free policy. And please keep in mind that China Highlights does not take any responsibility for the risk or loss of a customer who uses the Visa-free policy. more details

What Makes Us Different

We are experienced and professional on Great Wall hiking!
  • We have been touring the Great Wall hiking trails for 8 years, and all the relevant services we provide are reliable and optimized.
  • You don't need to prepare trekking poles, water, hip bag, GPS, first aid kit, or walkie-talkie, because we will provide them FREE OF CHARGE (please let us known if you need them).

We are experienced and professional We are experienced and professional

We use real western standard service!
  • Professional mountain guide from your own world: some of our guides are well-trained westerners, the sensibility from the same world would be the best guarantee to the REAL WESTERN STANDARD service.
  • All our guides are professionally trained in mountain trekking. Your tour guide will be with you to take care of your needs during the trip.

Professional mountain guide Professional mountain guide and customers

We are local based. We are more flexible and are able to serve you better.

Unlike some other online travel agents who sell tour products made by local travel agents, we built our own branch company in Beijing in 2010, and since then we started to make our own unique products. We aim to deliver a high-value tour to every one of our customers. We have more than 50 local staff in Beijing to solve your problems on the spot.

  • Emergency contact: +86-18807734970 (24/7 customer service)
  • Beijing address: Room 204, Building 8, Beijingxiangsu, Wuliqiao Erjie, Chaoyang District

Trippest Beijing Office Trippest Beijing Office

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For any questions please contact us via
Mobile: +86 18807734970
WeChat: trippest666
Price from USD 146  p/p

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