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 watch towers along the way.
Challenge the most precipitous Jiankou section of the Great Wall, wild, weathered and primitive which takes about 5 hours to complete a distance of 10 km (6 miles) from Jiankou section to Mutianyu section.
Architectural features: Complete wall, most watch towers on the shortest section, and fortified passes. This area is a reconstruction but done very well.
Mutianyu is the most popular attraction in Beijing on Trip Advisor, and most recommend section with international travelers, guidebooks and travel bloggers. It is less crowed than Badaling and Juyongguan sections. Winding on the high mountains and lofty hills, the Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall features a great deal of historical, architectural, and military significance.
Architectural features: Winding and zigzagging on “gentle” slopes
Badaling is a contender for the top tourist location in China. It is popular with domestic Chinese tourists mainly because Chairman Mao visited this section and gave a famous speech. It was the first selection of the Great Wall to be opened to the public as a tourist attraction. Numerous international and domestic dignitaries have visited the Badalling Section of the Great Wall including Deng Xiaoping, President Nixon, and Margaret Thatcher.
Architectural features: An original section with a series of watchtowers and peculiar structures
The Great Wall at Jinshanling was first built in the North Qi Dynasty (550–557). You can still find the ruins of the wall from this period. This section of the Great Wall is situated on the ’Golden Mountains’. It is one of the best places for Great Wall hiking.