10 Guidelines for Travel to Great Wall of China in Winter
1. Know the Great Wall Weather in Winter – Cold, Below 0℃
Beijing’s winter is chilly enough to prevent a lot of tourists and the number of tourists to the Great Wall drops dramatically in blistering cold days. When planning a trip for the Great Wall, it is better to check Beijing’s weather forecast so that you can choose a relatively not that cold day or a day with the weaker wind.
Great Wall of China in November: -4 – 8℃ (25 – 46℉), cloudy and windy
Great Wall of China in December: -12 – -1℃ (10 – 30℉), sunny and dry
Great Wall of China in January: -12 – 1℃ (10 – 34℉), windy and occasional snowy
2. Wear Wind Resist Clothing and Outdoor Jacket
3. Wear Shoes with Good Grip
In winter, the steep steps of the Great Wall can become slippery and frozen because of snow and frost. Suitable hiking shoes can facilitate your trip. Shoes with good grips are recommended and a pair of boots are warm enough to walk on the Great Wall in winter. The leather shoes should be avoided since they can easily freeze.
4. Wear Grip Gloves
The grip gloves are one of the must things you should take when traveling to the Great Wall of China in winter. Its first function is to keep your hands warm and prevent them from exposing in freezing air. What's more, the good grips of gloves are very helpful to climb on an icy path. You can hold the railings along the sides more tightly.
5. Choose a Proper Section: Badaling and Mutianyu
Badaling and Mutianyu are undoubtedly the best sections of the Great Wall to visit in winter. They are not far from Beijing and easy to access. The facilities are most developed and cable cars are available in both sections. Also, the path condition is good, not too steep.
See more: 6 Best Places to See Great Wall of China
6. Pay Attention to Opening Time of Great Wall and Transport
Pay attention to the opening hours of the Great Wall and bus operation time. Generally, the opening hours in winter will be shortened. For example, the open hours of Badaling in winter is 7:00-18:00 and Mutianyu is 8:00-17:00. The last bus back to downtown from Badaling and Mutianyu depart separately at 16:30 and 17:50.
7. Take Food and Hot Water
Taking a bottle of hot water and sufficient food is necessary to help you stay hydrated, warm and refuel your energy. No food and water are provided upon the Great Wall. The food in nearby restaurants are not very tasty and the price is much higher compared with that in the city area.
8. Bring Android Phones rather than iPhone
The problem is that the iPhone is designed to turn off under extremely low temperatures. The chilly weather of the Great Wall just makes it hard to use iPhone as usual. So the Android phones are more recommended since they won't be affected a lot in very cold weather so that you can avoid temperature-related issues.
9. Don't Hike on the Wild Great Wall
The wild Great Wall sections like Jiankou is dangerous. In winter, the slippery icy road makes it even more dangerous. The wild Great Wall adventure is suggested to plan out in other seasons.
10. Never Camp on the Great Wall in Winter
As the night temperature in winter of the Great Wall can be below -15℃ (5℉), it is too cold and risky to camp in winter. You cannot even fall asleep at such a low temperature and strong wind. Generally, the best season to camp on the Great Wall is still summer when you can have a close experience of nature and enjoy bright stars.