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Great Wall Maps — Where the Great Wall Is and Was

Our Great Wall maps cover where the main Great Wall sections are in China today, from Jiayuguan in China's northwest to Shanhaiguan on the east coast, with the most popular sections being around Beijing. Then our historical Great Wall maps chart where the Great Wall was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) all the way back to state walls of the Chu Kingdom (c. 650 BC).

Where All the Great Wall Sections in China Are:

great wall of china map

The Great Wall of China in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) started from Jiayuguan at Ming China's northwest frontier and ended in Hushan on its Manchu/Korean border, crossing nine provinces and municipalities. The Ming Great Wall was over 8,500 km (5,200 mi) long. See below for more location detail on the Beijing area Great Wall sections, then Jiayuguan and Shanhaiguan...

Where the Great Wall is Around Beijing

The Great Wall north of Beijing is about 628 km (390 mi), and split into many sections. The famous sections include Badaling, Jiankou and Mutianyu, Jinshanling and Simatai. The travel time diagram below shows which Great Wall sections north of Beijing can be visited/hiked together. Find some ideas on our Great Wall hiking tours

Times to and between beijing's great wall sections

Where the Great Wall at Mutianyu Is:

mutianyu great wall location map

The Mutianyu Great Wall section is the best restored Great Wall section. It is less crowded than Badaling's. The hike to the Jiankou section gets progressively steeper and treacherous. The adjacent Jiankou section is original unrestored Ming Dynasty wall.

Where the Great Wall at Jinshanling Is:

jinshanling location map

The Jinshanling Great Wall section is highly-recommended for its restored and original Great Wall architecture. The adjacent Simatai section is also very popular, though part of the classic hike between the two is currently not possible due to restricted access.

Where the Great Wall at Jiankou Is:

jiankou map

The Jiankou Great Wall section is difficult to get to, especially by local transport. It is the steepest section of the Great Wall, and recommended only for adventurous fit hikers.

Where the Great Wall at Simatai Is:

simatai Great Wall location map

The Simatai Great Wall section is well-developed for tourism, reopened recently with better facilities and access. It's famous for its cable bridge linking to the Jinshanling section, and its steep ridge section, which is now off limits. Not all of the Jinshanling hike is possible due to restricted access.

Where the Great Wall at Badaling Is:

badaling location map

The Badaling Great Wall section receives 70% of all Great Wall visitors, so it can get very crowded. However, its popularity is not without cause, as it guarded the most vulnerable route to the capital. Many Badaling tours include a visit to the Ming Tombs, to see the combine the Ming Dynasty's great engineering feat with the tombs of the emperors who ordered it. 

Where the Shuiguan and Juyongguan Great Wall Sections Are:

water pass location map

Unless you really want to see the Shuiguan Great Wall section, avoid being conned into a visit instead of nearby Badaling. Juyongguan is a Great Wall fort occupying the main valley leading to Beijing from the northwest.

Where the Great Wall Is at Huanghuacheng:

huanghuacheng great wall

The Huanghuacheng Great Wall section offers reservoir-side hiking, original Ming wall, and submerged Great Wall sections, only about 1½ hours from Beijing.

Where the Great Wall at Baimaguan Is:

The Baimaguan Great Wall Section

The Baimaguan Great Wall section is mostly gone, but there are some interesting Great Wall towers and relics around the village of Baimaguan. But be prepared for some hiking. Baimaguan can be accessed via Miyun County using public transport, or more conveniently using private transport direct from Beijing.

Where the Great Wall at Gubeikou Is:

gubeikou location map

The Gubeikou Great Wall section interestingly has original wall from the Ming Dynasty and the Northern Qi Dynasty (556 AD), though little of the latter is intact. Gubeikou is a small town in a hilly rural district, so we recommend that you arrange private transport from Beijing. It is not possible to hike to/from Jinshanling due to restricted access.

Where the Great Wall at Huangyaguan Is:

huangyaguan tourism map

The Huangyaguan Great Wall section is in Tianjin Municipality, but is still closer to Beijing. It has fully-reconstructed Great Wall and several interesting tourist features. It is the site of the official Great Wall Marathon.

Where the Great Wall Fort Is at Jiayuguan:

jiayuguan tourism map

The Jiayuguan Great Wall Fortress is just west of the remote city of Jiayuguan in China's northwest. It was the western-most garrison of the Great Wall, marking the edge of China in the Ming era. The First Abutment of the Great Wall is half an hour by bus to the south, for those who want to see where the Great Wall began.

Where the Hanging Great Wall Is at Jiayuguan:

The Overhanging Great Wall

Jiayuguan's "Hanging Great Wall" section is a reconstruction built on a perilously steep ridge with displays of Silk Road life below it.

Where the Great Wall Is at Shanhaiguan:

shanhaiguan location map

The main Shanhaiguan Fort, in the town of Shanhaiguan, guarded the eastern end of the Great Wall, and the northeastern tip of the Ming empire. It's about 300 km east of Beijing. The Shanhaiguan Great Wall section blockaded the coastal plain from Jiaoshan Mountain to the sea at Old Dragon Head.

Where the Great Wall Is at Shanhaiguan's Old Dragon Head

Laolongtou Great Walll Section Map

Shanhaiguan's  ‘Old Dragon Head' Great Wall is the striking seaward end of the Great Wall, which extends out further than the lowtide mark. The smaller fort there was a crucial coastal defence in the Ming era.

Great Wall History Maps — Where the Great Wall Was Built

The "Great Wall" was built from the (Pre-) Warring States Period (about 600 BC) to the Ming Dynasty. During the Warring States Period, seven states built their own defensive walls.

The northern state walls were linked in the Qin Dynasty to form the first true Great Wall. China's northern border wall changed location greatly in subsequent dynasties though some sections were reused. 

Follow the path of the Great Wall in key dynasties and states back in time, from the most recent Ming Great Wall back to the first Great-Wall-like wall of the Chu Kingdom:

Where the Great Wall Was Built in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644):

map of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall

Most of the remaining Great Wall is from the Ming era. "Guan" refers to a Great Wall Fort at a crucial valley pass. Find out more about the Ming Dynasty Great Wall.

Where the Great Wall Was Built in the Northern Qi Dynasty (550–577):

Northern Qi Dynasty Great Wall Map

Where the Great Wall Was Built in the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD):

The Han Dynasty Great Wall Map

Where the Great Wall Was Built in the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC):

Great Wall of the Qin Dynasty Map

Where the Great Wall Was Built in the Warring States Period (475–221 BC):

The Warring States

For more on the Warring States "Great Wall" sections read Great Wall History.   

Where the Great Wall Was Built by the State of Zhao (403–222 BC):

The Zhao State Great Wall Map

Where the Great Wall Was Built (312–279 BC) by the State of Yan:

The Yan State Great Wall Map

Where the Great Wall Was Built by the State of Wei (358–225 BC):

The Wei State

Where the Great Wall Was Built by the State of Qi (c. 650–221 BC):

The Qi State “Great Wall” Map

Where the Great Wall Was Built by the State of Chu (c. 650–223 BC):

The Chu State Great Wall Map

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