Great Wall of China Hiking 2019

Great Wall of China is one of the most known destinations in the world which has many brilliant fames – one of “Eight Wonders of the World”, visible from moon and Earth orbit, the longest wall in the world, the greatest military project of ancient China, one of World Heritage Sites…visit this brilliant walls is once in a lifetime trip, while hiking is the best way to explore this iconic Chinese structural masterpiece.

The State Bureau of Cultural Relics announced in 2012 that the Great Wall of China has a total length of 21196.18 km, covering more than 15 provincial regions. But only 6259 km are actual walls. The condition ranges from excellent to ruined. Geographically the Great Wall stretches on thousands of mountains and hills with different heights. As a result, the hiking ease varies from easy to very difficult. China Discovery takes you to hike the best sections which keep the original features, and are available for hiking, such as the Mutianyu Great Wall, Simatai Great Wall, Jinshanling Great Wall, etc. The hiking experience can be customized according to your dates, budget and physical condition.

Best Great Wall Hiking Tour Packages

Below are our travel experts’ handpicked the top Great Wall Hiking tour packages which take you to explore the best sections of Great Wall. The hiking usually departs from Beijing, after a short driving to the outskirts region of Beijing where you can get valuable Great Wall hiking. If time allows, we advise you take a Beijing city tour plus the Great Wall hiking, which is more enjoyable and fun.

  • Great Wall Hiking

    2 Days Wild Great Wall Camping

    Enjoy a peaceful night during your camping in a watchtower of Gubeikou Great Wall which was the site for over 130 ancient battles.

    Great Wall Sections Visited: Jiankou / Gubeikou / Jinshanling
    Difficulty: 4 stars (5 stars)
    Theme: Hiking / Camping
    Type: Private Tour

  • Simatai Great Wall

    2 Days Wild Great Wall Scenic Hiking

    Jinshanling is the most beautiful section of the Great Wall, while Simatai is said to have all the features of other sections of Great Wall.

    Great Wall Sections Visited: Jinshanling / Simatai
    Difficulty: 4 stars (5 stars) Theme: Camping / Photography
    Type: Private Tour

  • 2 Days Great Walls Adventure Hiking

    Enjoy the contrasts of Great Walls during hiking from Jiankou to Mutianyu as well as the tranquility of Huanghuacheng Lakeside Great Wall.

    Great Wall Sections Visited: Jiankou / Mutianyu / Huanghuacheng
    Difficulty: 4 stars (5 stars) Theme: Hiking
    Type: Private Tour

Popular Beijing Tours including Great Wall Exploration

Great Wall is the No. 1 highlight in Beijing. To make fully use of your time and money, you should cover other No. 2, 3, 4, 5...highlights either in your Beijing tour. Below are top 4 most recommended Beijing tours which include not only the Great Wall exploration, but also cover other best attractions in Beijing, such as Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Hutong, etc.

Great Wall hiking

4 Days Most Classic Beijing Tour with Mutianyu Great Wall

Great Wall Sections Visited: Mutianyu
Tour Pace:Comfortable

This 4 days tour takes you to visit the best and featured highlights of Beijing in a single trip and explore the glorious past and present of Beijing in one go. Apart from Beijing's time-honored landmarks – Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace and Great Wall, you will take a special visit to 798 Art Zone to enjoy different galleries and admire the most outstanding architectures in Olympic Park.

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Great Wall hiking

4 Days Beijing Tour with Wild Great Wall Hiking

Great Wall Sections Visited: Jiankou / Mutianyu
Tour Pace:Comfortable

This 4 Days Beijing Highlights Tour will take you to enjoy a 4~5 hours’ hike along the safe but adventurous trails between Jiankou and Mutianyu. You will be accompanied by an experienced local hiking guide from the very beginning to the end of the trip. Beside the Great Wall hiking, you also won’t miss other highlights of Beijing during your stay, such as Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Hutong, etc.

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Great Wall hiking

4 Days Beijing Simatai Great Wall Night Tour

Great Wall Sections Visited: Jinshanling / Simatai
Tour Pace:Comfortable

This tour will not only offer you a taste of traditional Chinese culture, but also escape the crowds to hike the less touristy Jinshanling and Simatai sections of Great Wall in a moderate pace with your expertise English speaking hiking guide. You will stay a night out of the town, perfectly at the foot of the Great Wall. A leisure night walking on the Great Wall is the best highlight.

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Great Wall hiking

4 Days Classic Beijing Tour with Great Wall Hiking

Great Wall Sections Visited: Jinshanling / Simatai
Tour Pace:Comfortable

During this 4 day Beijing tour, you will first explore the famous sites, including Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Hutong where keep the fabulous history and local culture of Beijing, and then take a side trip to the hike the Jinshanling Great Wall (open to tourists now) which is one of the best preserved sections of Ming Great Wall featured in steep mountains, ornate and dense towers.

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Recommended Great Wall Hiking Routes

It is the better idea to explore the sections of Great Wall which has less crowds, and keep the wild original feature well. The Ming Dynasty Great Wall in Hebei Province, Beijing, Tianjin is the most suitable for hiking. Well, since some great walls are forbidden for hiking, some are filled with tourists. We have selects following great walls which are suggested for hiking most. (Ultimate Great Wall Trip Planning Guide)

1. Mutianyu to Jiankou Day Hike

The hike from Jiankou Section of Great Wall to Mutianyu Section of Great Wall is a hard but very popular. It starts from Xizhazi Village at the foot of Jiankou, going up-and-down with Jiankou Great Wall along the ridges of the steep and narrow mountains, and reach Mutianyu, the stored section of Great Wall with enjoyable stairs. You will enjoy interesting contrasts between wild sections of Great Wall and restored Great Wall. This hike is only recommended for experienced hikers travelling with a group or with an experience Great Wall hiking guide.

2. Jinshanling Great Wall to Simatai Great Wall Hiking 2 Days Hike

This route is the best for those who want to see some original features of the ancient great wall. Jinshanling and Simatai are two great sections of great wall which have kept some original things. And the challenging paths there seem to be the most attractive reason. You need two days to finish this route. You will drive nearly 3 hours to get to Jinshanling firstly, then start your hiking in Jinshanling from Zhuanduo Tower on the west to the East Tower with Five Holes. This hiking takes about 4 hours. Then get back to your hotel close to the tourist center. On the second day, go to hike the Simatai Great Wall. Since Simatai Great Wall is divided by the Yuanyang Lake into two parts. If you want to hike both sides, you have to hike about 5 hours.

3. Gubeikou to Jinshanling Day Hike

This hike is strongly recommended for those who want to camp on the Great Wall after hiking. You will hike from Gubeikou Section of Great Wall to Jinshanling at a leisure pace. Gubeikou's walls and towers are wild and unrestored, and not hard to walk. If you like, you can camp for overnight in watchtowers of Gubeikou Section of Great Wall. It usually takes about 1.5 hours to get from Gubeikou to Jinshanling Section of Great Wall which is believed as the best essence of all sections of Great Wall, also the paradise for great wall hiking lovers. It is one of the best preserved sections of Great Wall with steep mountains, ornate and dense towers. You can decide how long to hike according to your time and energy as Jinshanling Great Wall is quite long. Only 1/3 of Jinshanling Great Wall are restored. The rest part are all wild and authentic.

4. Mutianyu Great Hiking Half Day Hike

This half day hiking tour is perfectly taken as a brief great wall experience in a Beijing tour. You can see the best views of great wall, but also get rid of the crowds. You drive from Beijing to the Mutianyu Great Wall, then hike the great wall with enjoyable pace. The rest time is still enough for you to get back to Beijing, and see Ding Tomb of Ming Dynasty.

5. Huanghuacheng to Xishuiyu Day Hike

The best highlight of this hike is to enjoy lakeside Great Wall. Its first half is to hike the restored section (about 1.5 hours ), and the second half is to hike the wild unrestored section (2.5 hours). Not a long trek, but it is tough because you have to hike the trails on the wall up and down along the rising and desending of the mountains. You will finish the hike at Xishuiyu Village which is close to the lake at the foot of the Huanghuacheng Great Wall.

6. Mutianyu + Jinshanling Great Wall Hiking 2 Days Hike

Mutianyu Section and Jinshanling Section of Great Wall are not connected. It takes two days to hike both. You will need 3 hours to hike Mutianyu, then get down the foot of Mutianyu to drive about 2 hours to find a hotel or camp near Jinshanling Great Wall to stay a night. In the next day, you can start hiking early to enjoy the amazing sunrise from the great wall. Then spend about 4~5 hours to hike highlighting section of Jinshanling Great Wall.

Best time to hike Great Wall

The Great Wall is suitable for travel during all year around. But hiking the great wall is really something that weather matters most. Generally, April to November is the recommended time to hike the Great Wall. And summer and autumn are two best seasons to have a wonderful Great Wall hiking. Though summer is hot, but it is usually sunny, which makes the walls and towers clear to see. Besides, in summer, the mountains the Great Wall built on welcomes a flourish period for green plants. You will see the fabulous Great Walls snaking along the green hills and mountains. In autumn, it is usually cool and sunny when is the best time for hiking and photography. The plants turn to golden and red. But put it in mind to watch out the strong wild.

How to get to the Great Wall

There are mainly 5 different sections of the Great Wall opening to the public, which are scattered around the outskirts of Beijing, namely, Mutianyu Great Wall, Badaling Great Wall, Jianshanling Great Wall, Simatai Great Wall and Jiankou Great Wall. Since the geographic condition, distance to Beijing and available transportation methods of the great walls differ from one another. Here, we did some research and the detailed information on how to get to each section is provided for your reference. If you have any question, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Useful Great Wall Hiking Tips to Know

1) Packing list for Great Wall hiking: hiking boots and clothings, rain coat, trekking sticks, backpack, sun-glasses, sunscreen, snacks, gloves, flashlight, repellent liquid;

2) Traveler who is not fit or having arthritis, heart disease, hypertension, asthma are not recommended to hike Great Wall;

3) Kids less than 3 years old and travellers over 80 years old are not recommended to visit kids(seniors) friendly sections of Great Wall, such as Badaling and Mutianyu;

4) You'd better not wear short pants if you are going to hike the wild sections of Great Wall hiking because some paths are bushy;

5) Please go to toilet at the entrance of the wall before the hiking because there is no toilet on the wild sections of Great Wall. Toilet paper should be brought by yourself;

6) You are not advised to hiking Great Wall wild sections during rainy days, snowy days and strong-wind days, etc.

Longer China Tours including Great Wall Visit

You are strongly recommended to travel the Great Wall with other popular attractions in China, such as Terracotta Warriors in Xian, Li River and Yangshuo in Guilin, Zhangjiajie National Park, etc. If you have other idea, please feel free to contact us to customize a trip for you.

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Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once enquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

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