Simatai to Jinshanling Great Wall Hiking

Simatai and Jinshanling are two neighboring sections of the Great Wall lying to the northeast of Beijing downtown. As Jinshanling is said to be the most beautiful section of the Great Wall and Simatai the steepest one, the Simatai to Jinshanling hiking route had been a prior pick of photographers and hikers. However, this route is not feasible any more. But you can hike separately along this two sections: first along the east part of Jinshanling to the west end of Simatai, then go up to hike along Simatai, which will offer you a similarly wild and genuine experience. 

Simatai to Jinshanling Great Wall Hiking: Currently Not Feasible!

Since the Simatai Great Wall was restored and opened as a tourist site, its periphery has been enclosed for both management and tourists’ safety concerns. From then on, the Simatai to Jinshanling Great Wall hiking cannot be done any more. 

Some says that they can still hike from Simatai to Jinshanling if taking the mountain roads to make a detour, but this is not recommended because it is unsafe. You are easily to lose your way and cannot truly take in the beauty of the Great Wall. Anyway, once the blockade is lifted someday, we will update our page immediately to guide tourists.

Previous Simatai to Jinshanling Great Wall Hiking Route

Once being one of the best hiking routes in Beijing with stunning beautiful scenery and less crowds, the route from Simatai to Jinshanling has a length of about 10 km (6 mi) and takes about 4 hours to finish the whole hiking. Along the wild path, hikers would see the most authentic Great Wall, some of which are deteriorated due to natural erosion and human activities. However, there are still a large number of magnificent watchtowers. They stand close to each other at a distance of 50 to 100 meters (55 to 110 yards), so that one could encounter them every now and then.

If you want to do Simatai to Jinshanling Great Wall hiking desperately, it’s advised to walk from Jinshanling to the west end of Simatai and return on the border, and then go up to hike Simatai alone. By combining these two sections, you will find that they actually make up a route the same as the Simatai to Jinshanling.

Jinshanling to Simatai West Hiking

This route is about 13 km (8 mi), taking six hours. First, take Beijing subway line 13 or subway line 15 to Wangjing West Station. Then take the bus to Luanping, and get off at Jinshanling Service Area. Later, take a free shuttle bus or walk two kilometers (1.3 miles) to the scenic area. Upon arrival, your hiking formally starts. You should hike eastward and will pass by the famous watchtowers successively including Zhuanduokou, Black Tower, Small Jinshan Tower, and Big Jinshan Tower. On the way, there is a special section measuring about 500 meters (550 yards) in length. It was all built with bricks bearing characters, which is rare to see in other sections. These characters mostly tell the year when the brick was fired and the name of the worker who made it. After you reach the closed area, it’s time to return on the same way.

Simatai Hiking

This route is inside the Simatai Great Wall scenic area, requiring about 3 hours. You can take subway line 2 or line 13 to Dongzhimen Station and then transfer to the direct tourist bus to Gubei Water Town and start your hike. There are altogether 10 watchtowers on the way. As this section is quite steep, please watch your step while hiking. The night tour in Simatai is very famous, though one can only visit the section between the East 5th Tower and the East 6th Tower.

- Last modified on Nov. 26, 2020 -
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