Note: Today will be a working day for most, which means we shouldn’t see too many other hikers out at Jinshanling.
With the Simatai section of the Great Wall rumoured to be in a ‘soft opening’ phase and maybe opening properly next March, we’re going to take a little look over that way just before we head back to our regular finish point at Jinshanling.
On this hike we’ll walk all of the eastern section of Jinshanling; hike a few towers of Simatai and maybe get a little look at what they’re doing over there; and then backtrack a little to follow a park trail through the hills to finish at Jinshanling’s other car park.
Much of the Jinshanling Great Wall is outside the Beijing Municipality, in Hebei Province. It’s a well-known part of the Great Wall that is in good condition after a lot of restoration work, and it is extremely picturesque, with large towers that are more closely-spaced that usual.
We’ll follow the Great Wall towards Simatai. The walk is steep in places with a lot of steps – in one place it’s 107 steps up, then 120 steps down. This means it can get a bit tough on the knees, but the views make up for any temporary pains.
Once we reach the end of the Jinshanling section, we’ll continue on a little into Simatai. We should be able to get good views of much of the Simatai Great Wall, including the steep eastern ridge where the famously hard-to-reach Sky Bridge and Fairy Tower are located.
After a little look over that way, we’ll backtrack a little to reach a park trail. This trail leads down a valley, and after about thirty minutes we’ll arrive at the bottom and meet our bus.
Before heading back to the city, we’ll have a late lunch (perhaps after 2pm) at a local restaurant. The cost of food and drinks is included in the price of the hike.
What to bring on this hike
- Snacks to eat along the way
- Warm clothes, gloves, and a hat
- Good hiking boots or comfortable shoes with some grip
- (Click here to read our full What to Bring on a Hike list)
Reasons you might not enjoy this hike
- There are a few places where the wall is very steep, and the footing is quite tricky.
- There’s no shade on this hike, except for in towers – this hike will be tough in hot weather.