China Great Wall Hiking Tours 2022/2023
There is no better way to explore China's Great Wall than by hiking or walking along with it. Tread the centuries-old bricks and walk through watchtower ruins. Take your time and feel the history come to life.
We understand that you want a top-notch hiking experience and we will present you with the best hiking tours and tips here to help you have an enjoyable Great Wall hike. The history will come alive for you with an expert guide. In short, if you love a hiking trip with no hassle, no disappointments, and pleasant surprises, you will love our tours and tips.
The Best Great Wall Hiking Routes
There are about nine sections of Great Wall around Beijing. Here we have recommended these two best routes for you to consider due to their scenery, the hiking experience needed, and the accessibility.
Route 1: Jinshanling to Simatai West
This route is also called Jinshanling Great Wall hiking. It is definitely the best hiking route if you want to see the original Great Wall including some ruined sections as well as some fabulous scenery that includes the wall snaking along the mountain ridges into the distance.
- Distance from Beijing: 2.5 hours by road
- Wall conditions: half ruined
- Time needed: about 3 hours on the wall
- Length: 5 kilometers (3 miles)
- Difficulty: 3 stars
- Best tour: Hike the Picturesque Great Wall at Jinshanling (1 day)
Route 2: Jiankou to Mutianyu (Wild Hike)
This is a totally wild hiking trip. You will trek on the Great Wall ruins along the mountain ridges.
It is challenging — on the way, you need to climb wooden ladders, step over piles of stone blocks, weave around trees growing on the wall, and descend a 50-degree slope on the wall.
The experience will be extraordinary. When you reach the mountain ridges, you'll have a panoramic view of the wall snaking along the sheer peaks.
What's more, there are no crowds around you — it's just you, the mountains, the ruined wall, your guide, and the history behind these ancient wall ruins.
- Distance from Beijing: 2.5 hours by Road
- Wall conditions: totally ruined
- Length: 10 kilometers (6 miles)
- Time needed: about 5 hours
- Difficulty: 5 stars
- Best tour: Conquer the Most Challenging Great Wall Section (1 day)
Map of the above two best Great Wall hiking routes:
Our Best Great Wall Hiking Tours
Our Great Wall hiking tours are private. There are no strangers with you. You can travel at your own pace, giving you plenty of time to take great photos or just to feel the majesty of the wall at certain places. Our hiking itineraries can be customized, which means your travel advisor can help you make the tours unique to suit you.
- See both wild and repaired Great Wall
- Enjoy walking on the most photogenic Wall
- Conquer the wild Great Wall at Jiankou
- Enjoy the restored glory of the Great Wall at Mutianyu
- Discover the 3 most popular hiking sections
- Stay overnight in beautiful Gubei Water Town
Great Wall Camping Tours
The following itineraries are designed for people who want to have a unique Great Wall camping experience — enjoy a sleepover on the Wall with a BBQ meal and great views including sunset and sunrise... They are flexible and can be customized to suit your budget and interests.
- Enjoy a BBQ dinner on rugged Great Wall
- Sleep under the stars on aged ramparts
- Hike the best-restored section of the Great Wall
- Walk on incredible waterside Great Wall
- Sleep in a Great Wall watchtower
- Discover the Great Wall in depth
- Enjoy amazing sunsets and sunrises from the Wall
Great Wall Hiking Tips (FAQs)
Customers from 5 years old to senior couples in their 70s have hiked on the Great Wall with us. So the key factors are how fit you are and what the weather conditions are like.
Some rugged and steep sections are challenging but your private guide is patient — if you need more time then so be it! Free trekking poles are also available.
More Great Wall Travel Articles
Read more articles from our local travel experts to help you plan your Great Wall trips:
- How to Visit the Great Wall (Great Wall Travel Guide)
- The 10 Best Sections of the Great Wall
- Best Hotels at the Great Wall
What Our Customers Said
GREAT Forbidden City tour!
We took a guided tour with Ivy through the Forbidden City. She had everything perfectly organised, knew all the amenities and explained the most important facts around history and design of the palace in an enticing manner. Can absolutely recommend her as a guide, we had a great day!more
Oct 2022, Adam A
Beautiful Day at Great Wall in Mutianyu
We had a wonderful day visiting the Great Wall together with our guide, Ivy. The organisation - from the pick up to the return - was excellent, we had nothing to worry about. So It was a lovely and relaxed day profiting from the experience to the fullest without having to trouble about transport or tickets. Ivy explained well the history and knew about all nice parts of the part of the wall that we visited. She is very nice company. We had a very good experience.more
Oct 2022, Nina
Excellent time in Beijing
Ivy was a true professional who spoke excellent English and engaged us with stories of the very rich Chinese cultural heritage and history. We went away with so much more knowledge with her as our guide giving us a live commentary as we walked around. She brought us to the off the beaten track spots, less crowded corners of the attractions and very importantly, knew which toilets were clean and more foreigner friendly. Highly recommend Ivy to any future visitors to Beijinmore
Oct 2022, JCCEBJ
Our travel planner Monica is kind, very attentive, and there is no pressure or "hard sale". Great service and highly recommended!more
Sep 2022, Julia
A great tour
Our trip to Beijing was brilliantly organised and stress free. As usual with China Highlights our guide Ivy was really well prepared, knowledgeable and dealt with all the security, covid checks and tests etc. It made the trip really easy.more
Aug 2022, Peter F
Trip to Beijing
I spent a couple of excellent days in Beijing thank to this agency and my private guide Ivy! An adorable journey, I swear! If you want to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of historical Beijing, here’s the place to address! I can’t recommend it enough. Ivy was just adorable, she woke up my curiosity with her methods of leading me through the historical time line by challenging my imagination and rationality at the same time. All the facts were given in the context which I especially appreciate, she had the answers to all of my questions, and moreover she knew what made me ask them! The service was 10/10. The driver and the guide were both very patient, resourceful and attentive to their clients problems and little suggestions. It literally took them 1 day to organize everything for me as I decided to go to Beijing at the very last moment; every single member of the China highlights team was attentive to my needs and wishes.more
Aug 2022, Take_the_money
Trip to Beijing
Zac is helpful and very professional。more
Aug 2022, Take_the_money
Successful Trip to Beijing from Shanghai Shortly after Lockdown
As always, Monica has helped us with all the travel arrangements, planned our trip and followed up with us during the whole travel. It was challenging coming from Shanghai to Beijing shortly after the massive lockdown so we appreciated this attention a lot. It was too hot, so first day in the Forbidden City was a challenge but Ivy was helping us find as much shade as possible. We also visited Mutianyu Great Wall section, Temple of Heaven, Universal Studios, Summer Palace, Olympic Site and went on Hutong tour. Even though it might seem a lot, our small children managed well and loved everything about this trip. Ivy was very flexible with the length of explanations and rerouting our travel depending on temperate and tiredness. Overall, it was a success and we will for sure travel again with China Highlights.more
Jul 2022, ondrej1980