Stretching around 8,800 km, the Great Wall isn’t just for sightseeing and taking pictures. If you fancy outdoor activities, why not go hiking along the wonder? Nibbling vicissitudes and history hidden in those aged bricks while enjoying the fresh air and beautiful view in Beijing suburbs, your sweater will be paid off. Generally speaking, you can hike along most sections of the Great Wall, however, the section between Jinshanling and Simatai can be the best choice if you’d like to be challenged physically and enjoy a less-crowded and scenic hiking experience.
Jinshanling Great Wall
Located 130 km northeast of Beijing, the Jinshanling Great Wall is arguably one of the least visited and best-preserved parts of the whole Great Wall. Here watchtowers go taller and stay with their original Ming Dynasty appearance, each one was built in a different architectural style; the walls were more durable and stronger and quite steep and stony, trekking it can be a real challenge.
Simatai Great Wall
Also called "Wild Great Wall", the Simatai Great Wall hasn’t been restored and much of the section is in a state of ruin. Zigzagging along precipitous jagged ridges, the wall is not easily accessible and hiking here can be strenuous. But, quite a few tourists visit here, so it’s very likely to have the Great Wall on your own, though you may encounter some other tourists and a handful of vendors. Crumbling staircases and ruined watchtowers are along the way. The trail in some parts is broken down and overgrown. The steps are very uneven, some very steep and some very shallow. Parts of the bricks are loose so be careful. The cable car is also available at Simatai Great Wall. So don't worry about being trapped on the Great Wall.