The Best Hiking Section of the Great Wall

29/03/2012
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Spring is always a good season for Great Wall hiking, because it’s not too hot and not too cold for hiking and offers more clear days to appriecitate the beautiful view of the wall. While there are many sections near Beijing, such as Badaling, Mutianyu, Jinshanling, and Simatai, it is difficult for travelers, expecially who come to Beijing for the first time, to choose the best section to hike.

Compare and choose your favorite section to hike.

Section Distance from city center Hiking time Condition Hiking lever Speical Features
Badaling 75 km (Drive 3 hrs) 2-3 hrs Best – preserved Beginner-intermediate Most Visited & Crowded
Mutianyu 73 km (Drive 2 hrs) 2-3 hrs Intact Beginner Most Beautiful Landscape
Jingshanling 120 km (Drive 3 hrs) 4 hrs Ruined Intermediate Wild Great Wall
Simatai 110 km (Drive 3 hrs) 4 hrs Ruined Intermediate Most Adventurous Section
Badaling Great Wall-the most popular and crowded section

Badaling Great Wall-the most popular and crowded section

According to our experience and former customers’ reviews, Badaling Section is absolutely the most popular spot the Great Wall, as it is the closest one to Beijing and has been opened for the longest time to visitors (since 1957). At the same time, this means you may have to fight hoards of bussed-in tourists. If you’re looking for a less crowded experience, try the Mutianyu Section.

The most beautiful view of foliage changing in Autumn at Mutianyu Great Wall

The most beautiful view of foliage changing in Autumn at Mutianyu Great Wall

The Mutianyu Great Wall, always combined with a visit to the Ming Tombs, is less crowded with tourists for it’s a little farther away than other sections of the Great Wall. For the over 90% forest coverage, Mutianyu Section offers the most beautiful views in four seasons, and it is the best place to enjoy the changing foliage. So Mutianyu is becoming more and more popular during these years. Alway for the moderate hiking level on this wall, it is a wonderful trekking places for most visitors, especially for families with kids or the old.

Adventure Hiking on Wild Great Wall from Jinshanling to Simatai

Adventure Hiking on Wild Great Wall from Jinshanling to Simatai

However, for the real hikers, it is not a real adventure to hike either Badaling or Mutianyu Great Wall. A hiking from Jinshanling to Simatai will gives you a truly “authentic” great wall hiking experience. Most parts from Jinshanling to Simatai are called wild great wall and they are very steepy and rocky with loose stones at times.

It is better to start at Jinshanling (about 2 hours’ drive from Beijing), and trekking 4-5 hours to Simatai. For it’s less crowded in Jinshanling and easier to find a way back to Beijing from Simatai.

NOTE:

Simatai Great Wall has been closed for renovation from June 17, 2010 to 2013 (the exact open date is still unknown). So for Jinshanling – Simatai Great Wall hiking, you need to turn round at the meddle way back to Jinshanling.

Read more Great Wall Hiking Tips