Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall Hike

Price guide: Expensive

G45 Daguang Expressway, Beijing

Price guide: Expensive

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By Tom O'Malley, your Beijing expert

#3 of 20
expert-rated things to do in Beijing
Expert overall rating:4.7 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Seasoned travellers, Sporty types, Escaping the crowds, Great views / scenery, History, Nature / wildlife

Expert review of Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall Hike

An exhilarating 10km ramble across a remote, unrestored stretch of Great Wall.

To really earn your Great Wall stripes, get off the touristy stretches and find your way out on to the wild wall. This popular, far-flung hike is the easiest way to do just that. About three and a half hours north of the city, your driver will drop you at Jinshanling, a small restored section of wall that quickly gives way to loose bricks, teetering watchtowers and eye-watering views of the mountain wilderness. Tough going at times, it should take about 4 hours to reach Simatai and your pick up. I persuaded my parents to give it a go (nearing 60 years old) and they were fine, though admittedly the words “never again” were uttered more than once in the bar that evening.

Price advice: 

Economically it’s worth doing this hike as part of an organised tour unless you’re in a group of four or more. A tour should cost in the region of RMB 300 per person plus 50 RMB ticket fees for entrance to the final stretch of wall at Simatai.

Expert tips: 
Carry at least 1.5 litres of water per person in summer.
There’s a fair chance local villagers will follow you for the entire hike in the hope you buy a T-shirt or drink from them. They simply won’t be dissuaded, so just put up with them.

More information on Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall Hike:

Price guide:
Historic site, Mountain
G45 Daguang Expressway, Beijing
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Daily 7am-5pm
Free tags / Keywords:
Great Wall

Have you been to Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall Hike? Would you recommended it?