Jason Walker

Travelled to 12 countries / regions

Written 70 briefs
Has been teaching and living in China for 6 years.



Asia > China > Beijing > Great Wall Of China > Useful Info
Updated on Sep 17, 2020 Useful Info

How to Hike the Great Wall from Gubeikou to Jinshanling and to Simatai

Travel to Beijing

  • In SeptemberGubeikou is one of the most important gateways in history, serving as a vital link between Beijing and the northeastern region. The Great Wall from Juyongguan to Shanhaiguan was built from here in 555 AD, and was overhauled in 1403 when Ming Chengzu moved the capital to Beijing to strengthen the city's defenses. The Great Wall, especially the 600-kilometre section from Juyongguan Pass to Shanhai Pass, is particularly strong, with Juyongguan Pass in the northwest and the Shanhai Pass in the northeast. The Gubeikou became the gateway to Mongolia, the capital of the Ming Dynasty, and was known for its majestic topography. The name of the company is "The New York Times". 2019, spurred on by a desire to hike a few stretches of the Great Wall, I bought a plane ticket to Beijing and spent a few days wandering the city on my feet, capturing what I experienced with my camera.
  • First visit to the capital - Beijing is a city full of historical memories, which can be traced back as far as 3000 years ago, when King Wu of Zhou sealed the land to Zhaogong of the same clan at the beginning of the Western Zhou Dynasty, and then moved the capital here at the beginning of the Northern Song Dynasty after Emperor Song Taizong destroyed the Liaoning province.User submitted photo of Great Wall Of China
  • The feeling I get in the subway in Beijing is very similar to that of Hong Kong, with people silently sliding their cell phones away after entering the train, or quietly staring at the advertising wall with the windows flying by, or just closing their eyes and resting.
  • Hutongs, the core of Beijing, without which there would be no Beijing, are also the historical memory of Beijingers. Just after the eleventh holiday, the celebration flag is still hanging on the front door of the house, and this is the Wang Shizi Pudding Alley of Zhang Zizhong Station. The middle room, owned by a Qinghai girl, has four branches in Beijing, and this is one of them. Although the owner has been living abroad for a long time in recent years, this place still maintains its tradition of being full of flowers and plants, and the staff of the shop still come here every week. When I came back from the flower market, there were a few handfuls of unpruned flowers on the table in the living room, and the roof in the backyard was also full of flowers and plants. In an urban jungle like Beijing, such a piece of green space is invaluable.User submitted photo of Great Wall Of China
  • Getting Ready for the Gubeikou → JinshanlingSimatai Great Wall walk.

Locations of the Great Wall in Beijing

  • In addition to Beijing, there are several other capitals in Chinese history, such as Chang'an (Xi'an), Luoyang, Nanjing.... The concept of geography is mostly located in the south of the Yinshan Mountains and in the inner area of the Loop Plain, which is the geographical center of China. Since the Spring and Autumn Warring States period, the Great Wall has been built as a border between different countries. In winter, when there was a shortage of food in the north, the nomadic tribes would head south across the Shadow Mountains, the Great Wall, and the Great Plains. It may be too late to send troops across the Loop Plain after the message has been sent back to the capital. The decision to set the capital of Beijing at the end of the Song dynasty was based on the belief that the emperor had to guard the border in order to deal with the invading foreigners in a timely and effective manner. Make disposition.
  • User submitted photo of Great Wall Of China

The 600-kilometre Great Wall in Beijing, mostly built in the Ming Dynasty, was built by Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty on the basis of the idea that Wu-San-Gui had led the Qing army into the country. When the people are happy, the nation will be able to secure itself, and the frontier will be self-reinforcing," he argued. In the late Qing dynasty, it was pointed out that since the Qin dynasty, various dynasties had spent huge amounts of manpower and resources on the construction of the Great Wall, but the problem of border troubles could not be solved at all, showing that the way to defend the country was not easy. Therefore, the Great Wall was not built during the Kangxi period, but was built by the other Qing rulers, but in terms of scale and preservation. Most of the sections of the Great Wall are still from the Ming Dynasty.

In modern times, the Octopus Ridge, Juyong Pass and Makuhari Yu Great Wall are famous for their easy accessibility, good maintenance, and popularity among young and old alike.

The *No Great Wall: A section of the Great Wall that has not undergone any special renovation or management.

The main route is located in Miyun County, Beijing, and is divided into three sections of the Great Wall

  1. Gubeikou Great Wall

2. Jinshanling Great Wall

3. Simatai Great Wall

  • When I looked back at the Great Wall of Wolverine, I was still surrounded by a golden color. I had brought along an infrared SLR with modifications to turn the green leaves into snowy white, but when I saw such a lush autumn scene, I decided not to use it.

The Gubeikou Great Wall is considered a wild and unmanaged Great Wall, the Jinshanling Great Wall is semi-developed, and the Simatai Great Wall is operated by an outside group.

The goal is to finish these three sections in three days, one section per day, and stay in a hostel or homestay by the Great Wall at night. Strictly speaking, the hike is not a trekking one, but a section-by-section one, with a completion rate of about 80%. The detailed itinerary is at the end of this article for reference by those who need it. User submitted photo of Great Wall Of China

  • Since it was almost noon when I reached the wall, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to finish the 10km section to Kam Shan Ling or I would get lost. Therefore, whenever I met people, I would ask them about the condition of the trail and the remaining mileage so as to put my mind at ease. About 90% of the hiking companions were foreigners with blond hair and white skin. Yes! They are all locals who come to be guides for the crooks, so all the people I asked are experts who know the roads well, and can even tell you a bit about Gubeikou! History, distribution of buildings and how to memorize routes. User submitted photo of Great Wall Of China
  • Most of the bricks used in the Beijing section of the Great Wall are blue bricks, which are about the same hardness as the red bricks used in the common houses, and red bricks can be mass-produced by machines. After firing, water is used to force cooling so that the master brick will not oxidize completely. Although the hardness of the green bricks is the same as that of the red bricks, they are more resistant to oxidation and erosion. Archaeologists have found a large number of brick kiln remains along the Great Wall, and the remaining bricks have been analyzed and found to be of the same composition as those used to build the Great Wall. It was a unit that showed the scale of brick manufacturing that was already in place.
  • The enemy towers of the Great Wall are used for the command and observation of the troops guarding the various sections of the Wall, and for the storage of equipment and materials, and are also used by the soldiers guarding the Wall at ordinary times. It was a shelter for patrollers to take a break from the wind and rain, and was a kind of facility to strengthen the defences of the city walls. The city tower is not named deliberately, but the locals have a very effective memory rule of looking at the arched windows on the city tower, called The number of "eyes" is used as the memory of the location of the towers. The famous Nine-Eyed Building near the arrow-knuckle section of the Mutianyu Great Wall is also known as the 24-eyed building. The official name of this unofficial name was accepted by the government, but the official name was limited to the area that was developed as a tourist attraction. The Wild Great Wall still relies on word of mouth to remember the relative positions of the towers.

User submitted photo of Great Wall Of China

In front of the 24-eye building there is a staircase with a lower wall, there are obvious traces of people walking on it, and along the way there will be red cloth road signs tied by enthusiastic hikers. There are some places where you will need to go, but long pants and long sleeves are still a must.

  • Jinshanling Great Wall hike

Usually when I came across a fork in the road, I would put down my backpack and check out the situation before making a decision, but this time, I came across a road that looked like it was heading downhill, while another road continued along the Great Wall.

User submitted photo of Great Wall Of China

The steepness of the slope and the narrowness of the land make it impossible for large machinery to enter, so the only way to build up the wall is to use the earth method of steel making.

  • Simatai Great Wall

Some of the walls have crumbled in the absence of maintenance, and the originally flat bricks and tiles are scattered on the ground, making it necessary to use both hands and feet to maintain balance when walking uphill and downhill.

User submitted photo of Great Wall Of China

User submitted photo of Great Wall Of China

Recommended Tour Operator:

Great Wall Adventure Club: Website. Call their toll-free number 1-800-347-9981 for help.