Jan ,1, 2014 updates: Jinshanling Great Wall cable car service ( which runs between the check-in office of Jinshanling and Big Jinshan tower) has been shut down for repairs and maintenance from Nov, 10th, 2013 to Mar 15th, 2014.
If you’re looking for stunning scenery in relative isolation, combined with some exercise, then the Great Wall one day hike from Jinshanling to Simatai West is definitely for you. You will go from tower to tower until you walk to tower 22 (Simatai West) as Simatai East is closed. Along the way, you will enjoy the best scenery/ landscape views of the Wall. Hiking from Jinshanling to Simatai West will bring you the classic Great Wall hiking experience. It’s worth your effort!
How difficult is it to hike from Jinshanling to Simatai West?
The entire distance of your guided walk is 7-8 kilometres (4-5 miles) with a total vertical climb of around 200 meters (660 feet). The track is well formed and easy to follow but there are some places where you must walk on vertical steps, rugged terrain or through broken towers. Be ready for a demanding hike as Jinshanling Great Wall has the crumbling stairs and wall– this is definitely not a stroll along a level path.
Our Great Wall one day hike from Jinshanling to Simatai West is all about enjoying the amazing environment of the Great Wall. The fun and informative day trip is good for you, with stops along the way to take in the views, and take pictures while learning about Great Wall’s past. We provide walking poles and your guide will always be on hand to help you. There is NEVER any pressure to walk at a certain pace, either fast or slow. It certainly is not a race!
How fit should I be?
This moderate-rated one day hike requires that you be fit. Since you will not be hiking long distances, this trip is appropriate for beginners. However, in order to enjoy the trip to the fullest, you will need to be in good shape.
The hike from Jinshanling to Simatai West generally takes about 3 – 5 hours. If you are seasoned hikers you shouldn’t have any problems. The fastest hikers on the Great Wall experience are the children, they are so flexible and adaptable. The adults are slower to some degree….If you are at the age of 50s, better do it in a easy pace–stop and rest a few times along the way. The wonderful view really makes your hard labor worth it.
Good walking shoes, waking poles are advisable. Take plenty of water. If you do a little walking each week, even around a city, and the idea of walking at an easy pace for 3-4 hours (with plenty of breaks along the way) does not bother you then you will be fine! If you have time then practice going up and down some hills at home so your knees are ready before your departure! However, this hike is not good for handicapped people.
The wall is very steep in places but in general it isn’t especially strenuous. It usually takes me about 3.5 hours with lots of stops for pictures and resting. Do make sure you wear good hiking boots as there are parts where the surface is gone, the steps are missing, the terrain is rugged and the footing is not always reliable.
If you want to just see and walk on a section of the Great Wall, this can be easily done in Badaling Great Wall or Mutianyu Great Wall. For people who agree that it’s about the journey rather than the destination, the relaxed-paced of Jinshanling to Simatai West hike is perfect.
For those who want to spend a hiking-filled day away from the hustle of mainstream tourism, with the connection to nature, this is the hike they want to do. It is worth every minute and I would highly recommend the Great Wall one day hike from Jinshanling to Simatai West for you. You will be extremely satisfying to complete it although you might have sore leg muscles for a couple of days. Enjoy, and be safe.
Admission fees for Jinshanling Great Wall is RMB 65 in spring, summer, fall. RMB 55 in winter. Fees can be paid at each point.
Recommended time for visit
Plan your whole day around the Great Wall hike from Jinshanling to Simatai West. Leave early from Beijing, allow at least 2 hours to arrive at your starting point, 4-5 hours trekking time and another 2 hours to return to Beijing.
Best time for hiking
Spring and fall will offer the best views. Summer will be very hot and winter could be dangerous due to snow and ice. Avoid to go when it is raining / snowing.