Great Wall Hiking from Jinshanling to Simatai

Highlights:

  • This is the perfect hike for first-time visitors and hikers of the Great Wall! The hike, while 4 to 5 hours, is not too difficult and allows you to have some quality time on the wall. For Great Wall hikers, this is the most popular hike, and you will see why!
  • The Jinshanling to Simatai hike includes both beautifully restored sections (with plenty of watchtowers), along with the unrestored “Wild Wall” portion. Therefore, this hike perfectly encapsulates what the Great Wall is all about. While some of the wall on your hike is unrestored, it’s state is not to the point where it is unwalkable.
  • Unlike most trips which charge outrageously expensive prices for private tours, this trip is a reasonably priced “group hike”, which leaves daily every day (as long as 2 or more people sign up). However, the maximum that may sign up is 6, otherwise the hike could slow down to the point where it is not enjoyable.

Simatai Update

From June 17, 2010, Simatai is partially closed for renovation by the government. However, Great Wall Adventure Club has managed to keep Simatai hike alive by developing new paths after recent inspections. You still have the opportunity to walk three hours between Simatai and Jinshanling, although you will miss three to four watchtowers than before.

Trip Overview:

Upon your reservation, we are departing on any date. Weekend or weekdays do not matter much because these destinations are not mainly for tourists but for hikers, although weekdays are always better.

While this hike will be a bit long, it will easily be the highlight of your time in China. For those of you who feel the need to stretch their legs after being cooped up in an office in Beijing (or wherever you may be from), this is the perfect opportunity to get some exercise and adventure, while also having loads of fun!

Because everyone one of us have different abilities and limits when it comes to hiking, we offer 3 levels of difficulty that will better suit your needs while getting the most out of your Great Wall experience.

Please note while this hike is not overly difficult, there are some points where the hike gets a little challenging. The challenges mostly include narrow and small steps, along with at times some very steep climbing. For those of you who have knee or lower leg problems, you might want to consider the leisurely and first-time hiker level. If you are under the age of 8 or over the age of 70, you should also strongly consider the leisurely and first-time hiker level.

Detailed Hiking Itinerary

Morning Pickup: Our minivan will pick you up anywhere within the 3rd ring road, and from pick up we will drive directly to Jinshanling. From this point we offer 3 levels of hikes:

For the skilled hiker: Hike all the way from Jinshanling to Simatai, then climbing to the highest point in Simatai, and following the crest of the mountain, before descending to the village at the bottom of the Simatai Great Wall (this option takes about 3-4 hours, 15km/9 miles).

For the regular hiker: Going from our starting point in Jinshanling to the bottom of Simatai, and then proceeding directly to the parking lot to meet our minibus (about 3-4 hours, 10km/6 miles).

For the leisurely and first-time hiker: Starting from the bottom of the Simatai Great Wall, hiking the Simatai part only, and then walking back to the parking lot to meet our minibus.

Note: For those of you starting at Jinshanling, you have the option of walking up to the starting point of the wall (taking around 40 minutes), or have taking a cable car up ( 50rmb, cost of cable car not included in tour price). If you are not starting at Jinshanling, you will then drive with us to Simatai, where you will start your walk on the wall.

Wall Summary:

The Jinshanling Great Wall, while much of it is restored, is not nearly as crowded as Badaling or Mutianyu, allowing you to have a more intimate experience with the wall. Jinshanling is known for it many beautiful watchtowers, as well as the way it winds and snakes its way along the mountains. When you first get up on Jinshanling you will be stunned. When you first reach Jinshanling it will be mostly restored, but as you make your way towards Simatai the wall deteriorates to its natural state, and the hike will get progressively more challenging.

Hanging precariously onto the Yanshan Mountain, Simatai Great Wall is known for its steepness. Divided into eastern and western parts, the western part appears gentle with 20 well-preserved watchtowers dotting along the wall. The eastern part is much steeper, following more rugged terrain that includes cliff edges and kilometer-high peaks. From the summit, at Watching Beijing Tower, one on a clear night can see the lights of Beijing shimmering in the distance 120km (72 miles) away.