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2 Days Self-guided Jinshanling Great Wall Hiking
Day 01: Beijing - Jinshanling Great Wall
Take Beijing subway line 13 to Wangjingxi Station, and then transfer to the bus bound for Luanping and get off at Jinshanling Service Area. After arrival, check in an agritainment resort around the Great Wall and have a short break. Later, you can head to the Great Wall and spend a leisure time to go hiking and appreciate the sunset. Finally, go back for rest.
Day 02: Jinshanling Great Wall Tour - Beijing
Get up earlier and climb Jinshanling Great Wall to watch the beautiful sunrise. Then go on hiking to explore the magnificence of the Great Wall. Finally, take the bus back to Beijing and end the pleasant trip.
With a total length of 10.5 kilometers (6.5 miles), Jinshanling Great Wall stretches from the famous historic Gubeikou Pass in the west to the Wangjing Tower in the east. Along the Great Wall, there are 5 passes, 67 watchtowers, and 3 beacon towers. This well-preserved section is famous for its wide vision, dense watchtowers, peculiar landscape and complete military defense system. Specially, the watchtowers there are quite different from each other in materials, number of layers and roofs. The main scenic spots are the General Tower, Small and Big Jinshan Towers and Bricks with Characters.
1. Take the subway from your hotel in Beijing and transfer to subway line 13. Get off at Wangjingxi station and leave from exit D. Then you will see the coach station across the street where you can take the bus to Luanping and get off at Jinshanling Service Area. It departs when filled up with passengers with a ticket price of CNY32/person. Remember to contact your hotel or agritainment to pick you up at the service area ahead of time. Most agritainments offer pick-up and see-off service, so please consult in advance when booking.
2. You can also take the bus to Gubei Water Town at the north of Dongzhimen Public Transport Hub Station. The ride takes about 2 hours and the cost is CNY48/person for single way. Tickets start to be sold half an hour before the bus departure and can only be bought on site. The departing time of the bus is 09:00, 12:00, and 15:30 from Monday to Friday. On weekends and public holidays, there is one more leaving at 14:00. Before arriving, ask the host of your hotel to pick you up. It takes 20 to 30 minutes from Gubei Water Town to the Great Wall.
3. When going back, ask the host to transfer you to the Jinshanling Service Area where the bus from Luanping to Beijing will stop. Remember to book a ticket in advance from the servant in the supermarket at the Jinshanling Service Area, so that there is a seat left for you. The bus is available every 30 minutes to 1 hour and the destination is Exit C of Wangjingxi Subway Station. Alternatively, you can ask the host to drive you to Gubei Water Town and take the bus there. You will buy the tickets after sitting on the bus. It starts to sell the tickets 30 minutes earlier till the bus is full of passengers. Reservation needs to be done one hour early at the comprehensive window of the ticket office in the Visitor Service Center. The buses leave at 13:00, 17:00 & 21:00 from Monday to Friday and 12:00, 17:00, 19:00 & 21:00 on weekends and public holidays.
4. If you decide to have an independent travel, we recommend you get a Chinese phone number and download a translation app in advance to facilitate the communication.
1. Dhawa Jinshanling Hotel. It is right beside the entrance of Jinshanling Scenic Area. With a small supermarket and a cafe, it is very convenient to live there. It belongs to the world class boutique hotel brand Banyan Tree Group and is the sister brand of Banyan Tree Hotel. So the price is relatively higher which is usually CNY1,200 per night. Guests requiring high demand of accommodation can choose it.
Friendly Tips: Please do not expect too much before booking. It is in the scenic area so the advantage is its location; however the facilities and services are not comparable to that in downtown area though it is a five star hotel.
2. There are also plenty of hostels and agritainments around the entrance or the farther Hualuogou Village. The cost is lower, ranging from CNY100 to 500, but the facilities and services are not so good. You may consider if you do not require the best accommodation and with limited budget. It would be better to book online and talk over the transfer service with the innkeeper ahead of schedule.
Peak Season (Mar. 16 - Nov. 15): CNY65/person
Off Season (Nov. 16 - Mar. 15 the next year): CNY 55/person
A single trip of the cable car is CNY 40 and a round trip is CNY80. The cable way is 1,000 meters (1,094 yards) long and the altitude difference is 150 meters (426.5 feet). A single way takes 17 minutes.
Open Time: 06:00 - 18:30
Friendly Tips: Since Aug. 6th, 2019, 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.
The whole Jinshanling Great Wall is about 10.5 kilometers long and the tour area is about 5 - 6 kilometers (3.1 - 3.7 miles). The Great Wall in east-west direction is located on the ridge in the south of the scenic area. After stepping into the main entrance, there are four passes to climb the Great Wall: Zhuanduokou Pass, Shalingkou Pass, Houchuankou Pass and a cableway to the Jinshan Tower. If you enter from the East Gate, go hiking from Eastern Five-window Tower. All the hiking routes are splendid. It takes about 40 minutes to 1 hour from each entrance to the Great Wall so it requires certain physical strength. For travelers without enough strength, the cable car is more suggested which only takes about 20 minutes.
1. Take the convenient and fast cable car to Small Jinshan Tower, the essence of Jinshanling Great Wall.
2. Entrance - Zhuanduokou (eastward) - Shalingkou. Length: 3 kilometers (1.8 miles); Time: 1.5 hours.
3. Entrance - Zhuanduokou (westward) - Six-window Tower. Length: 2 kilometers (1.2 miles); Time: 2 hours.
4. Entrance - Zhuanduokou (eastward) - Shalingkou - Houchuankou. Length: 5 kilometers (3.1 miles); Time: 2.5 hours.
5. The final route is Entrance - Zhuanduokou Pass - General Tower - Small Jinshan Tower - Big Jinshan Tower - Eastern Five-window Tower. Along the way, you are able to explore 24 completely different watchtowers and appreciate the cypress and pine forests around the Great Wall. Go down through the Eastern Five-window Tower and get to the East Gate. The journey time is about 3 hours.
Recommended Hiking Route for 2 Days Jingshanling Tour:
After arrival on the first day, start from Zhuanduokou Pass, and then head to the west to Taochun Tower. Without any maintenance, this section is completely original and wild. Before going back the same way, you can watch the sunset at the Six-window Tower.
On the second day, climb the Great Wall from Shalingkou Pass. Go hiking eastward to Heigu Tower, Small Jinshan Tower and Big Jinshan Tower. Finally, go downhill from Houchuankou Pass. If you want to see the sunrise, you can set out a bit earlier.
1. Most part of Jinshanling Great Wall is not maintained, and its 24 watchtowers keep the original appearance for 400 years. The hiking route is relatively long and some parts are steep, so it is necessary to wear antiskid shoes suitable for climbing and lightweight clothes.
2. Jinshanling Great Wall is a good place to hike and a paradise for photographers. The most magnificent is the scenery in the morning and evening. Also, the cloud, mist and rainbow after the rain in summer and autumn are great. May to October is the best time to take amazing pictures.
3. Hiking is energy-consuming, you can prepare some snacks, water and high-calorie food.
4. Remember to wear warm clothes in the morning and evening and pay attention to sun protection in summer.
More Independent Beijing 2 Days Tours:
Huanghuacheng Great Wall: enjoy the unique landscape of "the Great Wall in water"
Jiankou Great Wall: to be surrounded by the charming scenery of unexploited Jiankou
Shanhaiguan & Beidaihe: know about the history of Shanhaiguan and relax at Beidaihe seaside