Jinshanling Great Wall Discovery

Firstly established in 1368 and extended in 1567, Jinshanling Great Wall is one of typical and complete Great Wall of Ming Dynasty (1368~1644). It links Simatai Great Wall in the east and Gubeikou Great Wall in the west. Till now, it has been partially restored only, so you can get a wider variety of shots than some other sections of Great Wall. Located in the mountainous area in Chengde, about 130km northeast of Beijing, it is much less crowded than any other sections of Great Wall near Beijing City.

Stretching to 10.5km long from east to west, Jinshanling Great Wall has 67 watchtowers, 5 passes and 3 beacon towers. Most of the towers are built in different shapes, which make Jinshanling Great Wall a wonderful place to explore the architectural art of Great Wall. Plus the scenic surrounding natural scenery, the view of this section Great Wall is breathtaking. It is also available to enjoy some featured activities on the wall, like photography, hiking and camping.

Architectural Art of Jinshanling Great Wall

Architectural art is a typical feature of Jinshanling Great Wall. Among its 67 watchtowers, 5 passes and 3 beacon towers, you will find many sites to catch your eyes.

General Tower (将军楼): General Tower, firstly constructed in 1569, was a hollow defense tower of post and panel structure. It has long been a great representative of military defense system and acted as the command center on Jinshanling Great Wall, that's why it got its name of “General”. It is also the best shooting spot for sunrise sunset and sea of clouds.

Dajinshan Tower (大金山楼): Dajinshan Tower is a two-storeyed tower seated at the summit of Dajinshan Mountain. Its two floors are connected by one brick stairway. The first floor enjoys a structure of brick while the second is of brick wood structure. The exquisite and lively eaves, purlin and column demonstrate the supreme skill of ancient people. Moreover, this architecture can prevent fire accident effectively.

Xiaojinshan Tower (小金山楼): Xiaojinshan Tower is a two-storyed tower with a structure of brick as well. It features in its boat-shaped internal structure. The west great wall is not directly linked with this tower. If you want to enter the tower and reach to the east wall, you have to pass through a door inside the wall.

Kylin Screen Wall (麒麟影壁墙): Kylin Screen Wall is the highlight of architecture of Jinshanling Great Wall located in Small Pot Tower (小虎楼). On this 2.5-meter-long and 6.6-meter-high screen wall, you can admire the elegant relief sculptures of a kylin standing on auspicious clouds.

Five Window Tower (五眼楼):There two Five Window Towers – West Five Window Tower and East Five Window Tower which are famous for the five windows on their north side and east side. They are the perfect places for sightseeing and photography.

Jinshanling Great Wall General Tower on Jinshanling Great Wall
Jinshanling Great Wall Ruins of Xiaojinshan Tower
Jinshanling Great Wall Kylin Screen Wall with Vivid Sculpture

Featured Activities on Jinshanling Great Wall

Jinshanling Great Wall Photography

If you are a photographer and want to shoot the majesty of Great Wall, don't miss Jinshanling. You won't have to deal with any crowds and the views are stunning all the time. It is easy to discover impressive Jinshanling through the eyes of a shutterbug and take nice shot of the picturesque landscape with plenty of opportunities. Apart from the awe-inspiring architecture of Jinshanling Great Wall itself and the mountainous landscape, you can also get some great works by shooting sunrise, sunset and sea of clouds.

Sunrise is many photographers' favorite. When the first gleam lights up the sky and the sun rises slowly from the surface of earth, the sketch of Jinshanling Great Wall becomes clearer and clearer. Best Sites for sunrise includes Xiaojinshan Tower, Flower Tower (花楼), Eastern Five Window Tower, Six Window Tower (六眼楼) and General Tower.

If the weather permits, you can photograph the beautiful sea of clouds. It looks like a fairyland when the Great Wall becomes partly hidden and partly visible. Best site for cloud sea includes General Tower, Xiaojinshan Tower, Western Five Window Tower, Eastern Five Window Tower, Six Window Tower, and Gaojian Tower (高尖楼).

For some photographers, no good travel photo album is complete without the token sunset picture. The colorful evening glow combing with the surrounding scenery makes up an appealing oil painting. Best site for sunset includes Taochundong Tower (桃春东楼), General Tower, Yaogou Tower (窑沟楼) and Gaojian Tower (高尖楼).

Jinshanling Great Wall Sunrise over Jinshanling Great Wall
Jinshanling Great Wall Sunset over Jinshanling Great Wall

Hiking Jinshanling Great Wall with Other Sections of Great Wall

Jinshanling Great Wall is a good place to stretch your legs, but hiking on Jinshanling Great Wall is not enough for hiking enthusiasts. It is strongly recommended to hike from Gubeikou Section of Great Wall to Jinshanling Section directly to appreciate wilder natural scenery and more terrific adventure.

Gubeikou Great Wall is a completely wild and unrestored section of Great Wall connected with Jinshanling Great Wall on east. You will hike about 1 hour on the wall and pass through 10 towers to get to 24-Eyes Window Tower. Since the wall was built on a rising and falling mountain range, the hiking on Gubeikou Great Wall is enjoyable and challenging. Then you will bypass a bushy mountain path for Jinshanling Great Wall. On Jinshanling Great wall, you can admire the featured in steep mountains, ornate and dense towers. After the whole hiking, descend Jinshanling Great Wall from Zhuanduokou Pass (砖垛口).

The whole hiking from Gubeikou to Jinshanling reaches to 6km (3.7 miles) and it needs about 4 hours to finish it. You are suggested wear hiking boots and clothing to ensure a comfortable journey. It's also important to bring trekking sticks, sun-glasses, backpack and necessary supplement.

>> 2 Days Wild Great Wall Hiking with Camping Experience

Though Simatai Great Wall is adjacent to Jinshanling Great Wall as well, it's not available to hike between them directly. If you want to travel them together, you can hike Simatai Great Wall after you finish your Jinshanling Great Wall.

>> 2 Days Jinshanling and Simatai Great Wall Scenic Hiking

Jinshanling Great Wall Hiking on Gubeikou Great Wall
Jinshanling Great Wall View of Simatai Great Wall

Best Time to Visit Jinshanling Great Wall

Generally speaking, it is available to travel Jinsahnling Great Wall all the year around. In different seasons, you can savor different beauty of Jinshanling. In every spring, Jinshanling Great Wall is decorated by apricot blossoms. Annual Apricot Flower Festival will kick off in mid-April when the flowers are in full blossom. When summer comes, the plants grown in Jinshanling Great Wall presents in their most vigorous condition and you can capture the lush green forests. Most people visit Jinshanling Great Wall in autumn to enjoy the colorful scene that the mountain is covered by trees with yellow, red, oranges leaves. If want to see the brilliant snowscape on Jinshanling Great Wall, travel Jinshanlign Great Wall in winter.

Though visiting Jinshanling Great Wall in different seasons provides different views, the best time is spring (March ~ May) and autumn (September ~ May), especially in April, May, September and December when you can enjoy the most comfortable weather. It is always hot in summer and cold in winter. Read more about Best Time to Visit Great Wall>

Jinshanling Great Wall Seasonal Views of Jinshanling Great Wall

How to Travel Jinshanling Great Wall

According to your interest and strength, you can choose different routes to travel Jinshanling Great Wall

Essential Jinshanling Great Wall Tour (2 hours)

If you have limited time and just want to see the highlights of Jinshanling, this visiting route is suitable for you. Starting from the Middle Gate of Jinshanling Great Wall, you can ascend Jinshanling Great Wall through the walker's path and get to Zhuanduokou Pass. Then turn east to enjoy the alluring sight of Jinshanling Great Wall and the natural landscape. You will pass through General Tower and reach Shalingkou Pass from which you can descend the wall through another walker's path.

Jinshanling Great Wall Jinshanling Great Wall Travel Map
Click to Enlarge

Great Wall Tour for Photographers (2.5 hours)

For photographers with short stay on the wall, you can travel in this route. Enter the scenic area from Middle Gate and climb to Zhuanduokou as well. Then you will turn east and hike longer to Xiaoinshan Tower. You won't miss various towers with different features. It is available to get some nice photos from General Tower and Xiaojinshan Tower. After photography, take a cable car from Xiaojinshan Tower to Middle Gate.

Jinshanling Great Wall In-depth Tour (4 hours)

Some travelers want to spend more time on the wall and this route is available. Starting from Middle Gate and walking to Zhuanduokou Pass, you can enjoy a hiking to East Five Window Tower. En route, you will see over 10 towers, including General Tower, Xiaojinshan Tower, Dajinshan Tower, Flower Tower, etc.

Challenging Jinshanling Great Wall Hiking Tour (4 hours)

If you want an in-depth exploration of Jinshanling Great Wall and a physical demanding experience, chose this 4 hours' hiking route. You are suggested to start your hiking from West Gate of the scenic area, and then hike to Taochunkou (桃春口) through the Fitness Trail. Next, hike to Zhuanduokou Pass via West Five Eyes Tower and get down through walker's path to Middle Gate. If you need to get back to West Gate, you can take a shuttle Bus.

Location & Transportation of Jinshanling Great Wall

Situated in Bakeshiying Town, Luanping County, Chengde City, Hebei Province, Jinshanling Great Wall is about 100km away from Chengde City and 130km away from Beijing City. Usually, travelers prefer a Jinshanling Tour from Beijing City.

  • Adjacent to Gubeikou Great Wall and Simatai Great Wall
  • 140km away from Beijing Capital Airport
  • 150km away from Beijing West Railway Station and Beijing South Great Wall
  • 15km away from Beijing City Center (Tiananmen Square)

Public Transfer in the Scenic Area

There are accessible shuttle buses and cable cars to help you avoid trek up to the wall.

Shuttle Bus: All cars and buses will stop in the Parking Lot of Jinshanling Great Wall Scenic Area. Then travelers can take a 10 minutes' free shuttle bus to the check gate.

Cable Car: It is available to take a cable car to transfer between the Middle Check Gate and Zhuanduokou Pass which takes CNY40 for a single trip and CNY60 for around trip. Or you need to climb about 40 minutes.

How to Get to Jinshanling Great Wall

It's a bit complicate to reach Jinshanling Great Wall via public transport. There is a direct tourist bus departing from Beijing Dongzhimen Wai Bus Station around 7:40am to Jinshanling Great Wall in the peak season (mid-March ~ mid-November) usually. In the low season, you need to transfer several times to reach Jinshanling. Firstly, take No. 980 Bus from Beijing to Miyun Shaoniangong Station (密云少年宫站) and walk to China Mobile Building (中国移动大厦). Then take No.25 Bus to Gubeikou. At last, use a private car service to get to Jinshanling Great Wall. Read more about How to Get to Jinshanling>

Travel with China Discovery

If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Mutianyu Great Wall with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.

Jinshanling Great Wall Jinshanling Great Wall Transportation Map
Jinshanling Great Wall Jinshanling Cable Car
Jinshanling Great Wall Jinshanling Great Wall Transportation Map

Tips for Jinshanling Great Wall Travel

1. Bring Food and Water

It will be helpful to bring a small bag with snacks and sufficient water for the long walk. There are some vendors at each of the towers selling water and food in peak season but premium priced.

2. Choose Suitable Route

The recurring stretches of uphill and downhill climbs may make the hiking pretty strenuous. You are not suggested to hike a long time unless all of your group members are in great physic condition.

3. Dress Properly

If you hike Jinshanling Great Wall in winter, dress in warm layers and put your puffy coat against the chilly wind up top. In the summer time, you need to wear hat, sunglasses and sun cream to protect you from the strong sunlight. It is always important to wear comfortable hiking shoes.

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