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One-Day Simatai West to Jinshanling Great Wall Hiking Tour

This moderately challenging, 3-hour hike offers breathtaking views of the Great Wall from Simatai West to Jinshanling, snaking along the ridge of the mountains, taking you through crumbling, ancient watch towers along the way. Hiking along this thoughtfully restored section of the Great Wall will transport you back in time to the heyday of imperial China and allow you to get a sense of what it must have felt like to be a Ming Dynasty soldier sent to the northern frontier of the Chinese empire to protect the imperial capital, Beijing, against nomadic invaders. Jinshanling is also famous for being one of the most photogenic sections of the Great Wall and is a fantastic place to take photos.

Important Note:

We’ve been informed that the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall will be closed for renovation starting on June 1st, 2017. The specific dates for reopen, however, are yet to be advised. We shall slightly adjust your itinerary and replace the Jingshanling section of the wall with the Gubeikou section, at no extra charge.

Gubeikou Tourism Map

 Tour Highlights

 Hike up to the most beautiful and photogenic section of Great Wall on the ridge of the mountains.

 Walk through ancient watchtowers of various styles and see the mechanisms of defense used on the wall.

 Enjoy free cold drinks and snacks at a China Highlights Refreshment Kiosk.

 Spend your day with an professional expat guide or a bilingual local guide who will discuss Chinese history and culture with you along the way.

 A delicious post-hike meal at a China Highlights vetted and approved restaurant.


 Guide, Driver, Vehicle, and Customer Service Support

 Guide: a bilingual expert guide who is friendly, professional and knowledgable.

 Driver: reliable licensed local driver with at least 5 years’ driving experience.

 Vehicle: air-conditioned business car (max: 7 seats) with GPS facilities, big windows and ample space.

 China Highlights Beijing Office: 24/7 customer service, providing backup support.

 Great Wall Hiking Map from Simatai West to Jinshanling

Jiankou - Mutianyu Great Wall Hiking Route

Great Wall Hiking Route Map from Simatai West to Jinshanling 

 Detailed Itinerary

 7:00 AM (hotel pick-up) – 9:45 AM (arrive at the Great Wall)
Hotel pick-up  drive to the Great Wall at Simatai West (also called the east gate of the Jinshanling Great Wall)

In order to avoid highway traffic and the scorching mid-day sun, we like to leave at this early hour (around 7:00 AM – 7:30 AM). Depending on where your hotel is in the city, it will take 15-30 minutes to get to the highway (the highway entrance is at the north 3rd ring road; if you are staying close to the Forbidden City, for example, it will take around 20 minutes to arrive).

Once on the highway, there will be a restroom break (if needed) after about 20 minutes of driving. In total, the drive will take up to 2 hours without traffic, and closer to 2.5-3 if we run into a jam.

When we arrive, we will purchase your entry tickets and start our climb on a trail leading up to the wall. Simatai Great Wall is located along the ridges, so we will have to complete a 15-minute hike up some stairs before we reach it.

 Good to know:

  • The day before your tour date, you are advised to find more details about your tour guide, driver and pick up time via this site: http://www.trippest.com/track-your-trip.html. All information will be updated only 24 hours ahead of your tour date. If you failed in getting the information, please try to contact your trip advisor.
  • Great Wall at Simatai West is also called the east gate entrance of the Jinshanling Great Wall. And tourists are not allowed to enter the east part of Simatai Great Wall due to the repaire of the Great Wall.
  • The Great Wall at Simatai West is about 130 kilometres from downtown Beijing, right on the border of Hebei province and Beijing municipality, this part of Great Wall weaves along steep mountain ridges for 10.5 kilometres through a mountainous rural area with dense vegetation. First constructed in the early period of the Ming Dynasty during the late 14th century, the Simatai West – Jinshanling Great Wall was subsequently rebuilt to a much higher standard in the late 16th century after the Ming Dynasty decided to beef up its border defenses following a major military raid on Beijing by Mongol nomads in the mid 16th century.

Jiankou - Mutianyu Great Wall Hiking Route

The East Gate of Jinshanling Great Wall (Great Wall at Simatai West)


A brief stop at a pavilion to warm-up

Hike to to top of the mountain

To access the wall, it is necessary to hike up a long, winding staircase through the foliage.

 9:45 AM – 12:45 PM
Hike the Great Wall from Simatai West to Jinshanling

We will mount the wall through an unrestored watchtower called Houchuankou Pass (后川口), the first among many towers that we will be seeing along the wall.It is at this first pass where we will climb up on to the Great Wall itself. From there onward, hikers will be rewarded with stunning panoramas and be able to see the Great Wall stretching out to the horizon. This section of the Great Wall is known for being built atop sharp ridges, and hikers will have a great chance to understand the impressive feat of engineering the Great Wall represents with each section we ascend and descend.

Houchuankou Pass

Houchuankou Pass – the first watch tower you’ll be seeing

We can stop to take in the amazing view from one of the highest points we will reach that day. About halfway through the hike, at approximately 10:50, we will stop at a China Highlights water and snack station for a 15-minute rest and a pick-me-up. If you feel that the hike is a little more difficult than you expected, we can certainly make more rest stops along the way, especially during hot summer weather. We will pass through several towers that offer shade; some even have a small temple on the top that you can check out if you have energy.

Great View from the top of a watch tower

Beautiful view of the Great Wall at Jinshanling

A short break at China Highlights Refreshment Kiosk on the Great Wall

Get a surprise at the Great Wall

Drinking a cup of Great Wall wine on the Great Wall makes it really great! (The wine is not included in the itinerary, feel free to let us know if you need it.)

Ultimately arriving at Zhuanduokou Pass (砖垛口),the end of our hike, it is a three-story tower with large red, wooden windows facing north. This will be our last few moments on the Wall, so make sure you have taken enough pictures along the way! We will then get off the wall and walk down a short path to where we will have lunch.

China Highlights Refreshment Kiosk

Zhuanduokou Pass of the Great Wall at Jinshanling

Dance on the Great Wall

A girl dancing on the Great Wall

 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Lunch at a small, local restaurant

Villagers have set up a restaurant at the base of the entrance to Jinshanling, and offer traditional, tasty dishes made with fresh vegetables and meat. We’ll enjoy Northern Chinese favorites including fried tomato with egg; roasted eggplant with potatoes and peppers; stir-fried bok choy, among other tasty dishes.


A tasty lunch at a local farmer’s house

 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Return to your hotel in Beijing

Once we’ve been fed and watered, we’ll walk a bit further down the road and meet our driver in the parking lot. Use the toilet, do some final post-hike stretches, and jump in the car for a nap or reflections on the day’s hike at the Great Wall.

Depending on traffic heading into the city, and the distance from the expressway to your hotel, the drive home may range from 2-3 hours. We will be driving on the same expressway that we took on the way to Simatai West. Usually, though, this is an early enough time to avoid evening rush hour, so we shouldn’t have to sit in much traffic. When you arrive, make sure you back up your camera or phone’s memory card so you don’t lose your photos of this spectacular section of the Great Wall.


 Tour Price

Adult (age 12+) Child (age 2-11) Infant (age < 2)
$119 USD $109 USD free

Important Notes:

  • This tour is available every Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. You’ll be a part of a samll group with maximum 6 people.
  • This tour might be not open during Nov. 15. 2017 – Feb. 13. 2018 due to the cold and snowy weather condition.

Price Includes:

  •  Entrance fees to the Great Wall at Jinshanling and Simatai West.
  •  Transport between Beijing hotel and the Great Wall
  •  Chinese lunch at a local farmer’s house
  •  English-speaking professional tour guide service
  •  Drinking water on the Great Wall

Price Excludes:

  •  China visa
  •  Cable cars at the Great Wall
  •  Gratuities to the tour guide & driver (usually CNY 60 – 100 per person per day for each of them, please tip them separately.). It is not compulsory but would be a great encouragement for them.
  •  Airport transfer. Click here to book airport transfer service.(price from 18 USD p/p.)

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