Jinshanling is located between Gubeikou in the west and Simatai in the east. We often hike from Gubeikou to Jinshanling, or from Jinshanling to Simatai, or sometimes even all the way from Gubeikou to Simatai, passing Jinshanling along the way.
Much of Jinshanling has been restored, and the towers are in excellent condition. Steep climbs up hundreds of stairs had our quads burning, but the views were worth it! We were especially lucky to have a completely clear sky that let us see for dozens of miles. We were able to appreciate that the change of seasons is in full swing as the plants have all budded and put out verdant foliage, transforming the entire landscape.
A fantastic springtime view of the Great Wall, as we approach it from the north.
We had a clear day where we could see for miles and miles!
While much of the Great Wall at Jinshanling has been restored, some is in its original condition.
The towers are still in very good shape. With a clear sky, we could see all the way to the highest towers of Simatai in the background.
The inner core of the Great Wall is composed of rubble and packed earth. When the Great Wall was originally built, the earth was heated up in large cauldrons to sterilize it so that no seeds would germinate and destabilize the way. Since the core has been exposed through erosion though, some plants have taken root in the Wall itself.
The section at Jinshanling has been restored. The bricks are even and the walkway is flat, but hundreds of stairs mean that climbing up the Great Wall is still a challenge!
The Wall was built along ridgelines to deter raiders who travelled along them instead of valleys for fear of ambush.
We had quite a few stairs to climb!
Oftentimes, reaching the doorway of a tower brings a sense of relief as it means a little break from uphill climbing. In some towers like this one, though, the route keeps ascending inside the tower!
The Great Wall follows the contours of the land as far as the eye can see.
The Great Wall as it stretches east, towards Simatai.
Looking west from Jinshanling towards Gubeikou.