Jinshanling Great Wall

Jinshanling Great Wall, Beijing
Jinshanling Great Wall, Beijing

Jinshanling Great Wall has been restored for easier climb. Visitors can hike all the way from Jinshanling to Simatai west. The Great Wall at Jinshanling has complete defensive system including barrier walls, battlement walls, watchtowers, gun emplacements, shooting holes, horse blocking walls, and branch cities. It is known as the 'paradise of photographer'. Located about 130 kilometers (80 miles) northeast of Beijing downtown, visitors can take a bus nearby Wangjing West Subway Station to get there.

Basic Facts of Jinshanling Great Wall

 It is situated on the Big and Small Jinshanling Mountains, hence its name.

 It was constructed under the direction of general Xu Da in 1368 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and renovated under the supervision of the great general Qi Jiguang and the local governor Tan Lun in 1567.

 It zigzags from Longyu Pass in the west, and ends at the Wangjing Tower in the east, with a total length of 10.5 kilometers (6.5 miles), a height of 5 meters (16 feet) to 8 meters (26 feet), and an altitude of 700 meters (2,297 feet) above sea level.

 It has 67 watchtowers, 3 beacon towers, and 5 passes. They are densely distributed, at intervals of 50 meters (55 yards) to 100 meters (110 yards).

 The watchtowers differ in construction materials, the number of tiers, and the patterns of roofs. Some of them are made of bricks and wood, while others are made of bricks and stone. Some has one storey, while others have two or three. The roofs of the watchtowers also vary, including domes, flat roofs, square ones, and octagonal ones.

Opening Hours April to October: 6:00 - 18:00
November to March: 6:00 - 17:30
Admission Fee April to October: CNY 65
November to March: CNY 55
Free for children under 1.2 meters (3.9 feet).

Second entry:
Jinshanling Great Wall is free of charge for the second entry, which means you can enter the scenic area for twice from the time when you buy the tickets to the closing time the next day. If you want a second entry, please explain in advance when purchasing tickets and buy the fingerprint ticket. Register your fingerprint at the ticket gate and verify the fingerprint when entering for the second time.
Along this section, there are some sites you should not miss the following sights: 

General Tower

The General Tower (Storehouse Tower) is the essence of the defensive system, known as the "Most Representative Enemy Tower". It is 10 meters (11 yards) long, and 11 meters (12 yards) wide. There is a stone staircase leading to the top of the tower. On the upper story is a sleeping den, while a storehouse can be found on the lower storey. There are complex constructions outside the tower. To its north are beacon towers, branch walls, buttress walls, and horse blocking walls. Barrier walls stand to its east and west. Beacon towers were used to detect and transfer military information. The branch walls protect the General Tower, the Zhuanduokou Pass and the Shalingkou Pass from being attacked. Buttress walls stop enemies from attacking the General Tower directly. The horse blocking wall prevents cavalry from approaching the Great Wall. The barrier walls are to defend against enemies ascending the wall to attack the General Tower.

Small Jinshan Tower

The Small Jinshan Tower measures 12 meters (13 yards) long, 11 meters (12 yards) wide, and 8 meters (26 feet) high. There is a stone arched door on the east and west side of the tower. There is one shooting hole on the east, four on the north, and three on the west and south. A storehouse is on the upper storey, with two windows and one door.

Big Jinshan Tower

The Big Jinshan Tower is 12 meters (13 yards) long, 8 meters (9 yards) wide, and 36 feet (11 meters) high. The base of the tower is paved with seven tiers of stone slabs. There is a stone arched door on the east and west. There are two shooting holes on the east and on the west of the tower, and four shooting holes on the south and north. A stairway in the east leads northward, which consists of ten brick steps. On the second storey is a delicate storehouse made of bricks and woods. The most striking feature of the Big Jinshan Tower is that the gates are pretty difficult to find.

Bricks with Characters

There are thousands of bricks with characters. The bricks are engraved with the time when they were made and the troops who made them. For example, the characters on a brick read "In the Six Year of the Wanli Period, By the Zhenlu Cavalry Battalion".

Kylin Screen Wall

As a highlight of the architectural art of the Great Wall, the Kylin Screen Wall can be found on the Small Pot Tower (Xiaohu Tower) between the East Five-window Tower and the Three-window Tower. It is a precious screen wall with exquisite relief sculptures. It is made of 15 blue bricks. The Kylin Screen Wall is 2.5 meters (2.7 yards) long, and 2 meters (6.6 feet) high. The kylin is standing on auspicious clouds, with its mouth open and tongue sticking out. It is very vivid and interesting. Because there are no stone stairs leading up to the top of the tower, visitors rarely see the Kylin Screen Wall. Therefore, it is well-preserved. Nowadays, a copy can be found beside Jinshan Gallery inside the scenic area, so that visitors can see the mysterious screen wall easily.
Broken Wall and Steps at Jinshanling
Jinshanling Great Wall Hiking

How to Tour Jinshanling Great Wall

 There are three gates: the Middle Gate, the Front Gate (West Gate), and the East Gate. Shuttle buses run the routes 'Middle Gate - the core scenic area' and 'Middle Gate - East Gate', and a single trip ticket charges CNY 10 per person.

 From November 16th to March 15th, visitors are not allowed to enter from the East Gate and only the Front Gate is available, but they can still exit from the East Gate before 15:00.

 The Front Gate is closer to famous watchtowers like General Tower, Small Jinshan Tower and Big Jinshan Tower, hence more popular among visitors.

 If you don't want to climb, a cable car is available from the Front Gate to Small Jinshan Tower. A single ride takes about 16 minutes.

Schedule of the Cableway 8:00- 17:30
Fee of the Cableway CNY 40 for a single trip
CNY 60 for round-way ticket
Jinshanling Great Wall Map
Jinshanling Great Wall Map (Click to enlarge)

Recommended Jinshanling Great Wall Hiking Routes

 Route 1: You may hike from Zhuanduokou Pass, via General Tower, to Shalingkou Pass. The distance is about 3km (2 miles) and it takes about 1.5 hours to finish the journey. Afterwards, you can go down the mountain from Shalingkou Pass.

 Route 2: You may also start from Zhuanduokou Pass, via General Tower and Shalingkou Pass, to Small Jinshan Tower. After that, you may take a cable car down the mountain. The distance is about 4 km (2.5 miles), and it takes about 2 hours to complete the hiking.

 Route 3: Start hiking from Zhuanduokou Pass, via General Tower, Shalingkou Pass, Small and Big Jinshan Towers to Houchuankou Pass. The whole journey is about 5 km (3 miles), and it takes hikers around 3 hours to finish it. After the visit, you may go down the mountain from Jinshan Horse Track.

 Route 4: Start hiking from Shalingkou Pass, and go by Small and Big Jinshan Tower, Houchuankou Pass, Eastern Five-window Tower, bricks with characters, and Kylin Screen Wall. Finally, you may go down the mountain and exit through the east gate. The route is about 7km (4 miles), and it takes about 4 hours to complete.

Great Wall at Jinshanling Broken Great Wall at Jinshanling

When is the Best Time for a Visit?

The best periods to visit Jinshanling Great Wall are April, May, September and October when the temperature is moderate and the scenery is the most beautiful. One thing to mention is that in early April, the mountains slopes are covered with beautiful apricot flowers in full blossom, making it a sea of apricot flowers. The Apricot Festival is held this time annually.

How to Get To Jinshanling Great Wall from Downtown Beijing

→ Take the east section of subway line 14 to Laiguangying Station, get out from Exit A 
→ Take bus no. 858 to Luanping Coach Station. The bus departs from 07:00 to 16:30 with an interval of about an hour; ticket fare for a single trip is CNY 33, and it takes about 2 hours on the way. The bus returns from 06:30 and 16:00, also with a frequency of about an hour. 
→ After arriving at Luanping Coach Station, hire a cab to Jinshanling Great Wall directly, costing CNY 40-60 and taking around half an hour.. 
Jinshanling Great Wall Watchtower Jinshanling Great Wall

Jinshanling Great Wall Marathon

Notably, the Marathon Race is held in late April annually. If you are energetic enough, you may take part in the full marathon, half marathon, or 10km race. It will certainly leave you with a wonderful experience.
See detailed Great Wall Marathon

Where to Stay and Eat

 Inside the scenic area, there is a camp site at the foot of the mountain. But you need to pay for it: CNY 150 for camping and admission fee, or CNY 200 for camping, admission, and tent rental fee. Camping on the Great Wall is not allowed. Alternatively, there are some hotels and farmhouses nearby, where you can stay overnight too.
 There are some restaurants near the Front Gate, where you can taste some local delicacies.

Further Reading:

Simatai Great Wall

Simatai to Jinshanling Great Wall Hiking  

Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall Hiking

6 Best Places to See Great Wall of China

8 Interesting Places in Beijing You May Not Know

12 Best Places to Visit near Beijing

- Last updated on Aug. 15, 2023 by Brenda Lian -
Questions & Answers on Jinshanling Great Wall
Asked by Lucas from FRANCE | Oct. 24, 2023 23:48Reply
Bus from Beijing to Luanping coach station and tourist bus from Luanping to Jinshanling
Hello, I would like to know where I can buy tickets for the bus 858 from Beijing Laiguangying Road Cross West.

As well, I would like to know the time table of the tourist bus from Luanping to Jinshanling and its way back

Thank you very much, I did not know the existence of the bus 858 !!
Answers (3)
Answered by Kina | Oct. 25, 2023 01:02

1. You can buy a ticket when you get on the bus and the ticket fare is CNY 33. The earliest Bus Line 858 departs at 07:00 and it takes about 2.5 hours to reach Luanping.

2. From Luanping to Jinshanling, there are only 3 buses departing at 7:00, 9:00, and 10:00 and the return time is at 14:00, 15:00, and 17:30.
Answered by Lucas | Oct. 25, 2023 05:55

Thank you so much, last question: what is the last time to take the bus from luanping to Beijing ? 858 line back to Beijing

Thanks a lot
Answered by Jesse | Oct. 25, 2023 18:06

The last bus departs at 16:00 from Luanping to Beijing.
Asked by Mariusz from UNITED KINGDOM | Sep. 17, 2023 01:20Reply
Bus (or other public transport) to Jinshanling Great Wall on weekdays (from Beijing)

Could anyone advise if it's possible to get to Jinshanling from Beijing via public transport on a weekday in October. As per other answers we've already established that the tourist bus no. 8 only runs on weekend & public holidays.

Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Mike | Sep. 18, 2023 20:06

On weekdays, you may take bus no. 858 from Beijing Laiguangying Road Cross West (next to Laiguangying subway station on line 14) to Luanping Coach Station, then change to tourist bus (departing at 7:00, 9:00, 10:00) to Jinshanling.

You may also take a train from Beijing to Gubeikou, then hire a taxi to Jinshanling. The Gubeikou railway station is about 15km away from Jinshanling.
Asked by La Francy | Aug. 15, 2023 14:53Reply
Bus to Jinshanling Great Wall
Is there a bus during the week to go to Jinshanling Great Wall?
Answers (1)
Answered by Emily | Aug. 15, 2023 23:31

As I know, the shuttle bus is only available on weekends and official holidays. The bus departs from Dongzhimen at 8:00 and returns at 16:00, costing CNY 50 per person.
Asked by Jeffrey Stokes from SWEDEN | Apr. 22, 2023 02:18Reply
Can you run Jinshanling?
I’m an avid trail runner and would like to run Jinshanling, or connecting a few sections,is this allowed?
Answers (1)
Answered by Andy | Apr. 23, 2023 19:15

Yes, you can run on Jinshanling. Before the covid attack, there was even marathon being held up there every year.
Asked by pim from CHINA | Jan. 02, 2022 17:34Reply
are dogs allowed
Does somebody know if dogs are allowed on this section of the wall? Or in the scenic area in general?
Many thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by Dylan | Jan. 06, 2022 10:35

Dogs are not allowed on Jinshanling. You can take your dogs to Huanghuacheng or Xiangshuihu sections instead.
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