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Great Wall Hiking

Beijing, China
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About Great Wall Hiking
Great Wall Hiking offers a variety of tours of hiking, trekking, walking and camping on the Great Wall around Beijing. Great Wall Hiking's commitment to a Western standard of service and responsible travel helps travelers minimize their impact and maximize their connection with people and the environment.
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Tours and Tickets by Great Wall Hiking

Full-Day Small-Group Great Wall Hike: Simatai West to Jinshanling

The Great Wall of China is one of the world’s most famous monuments, a centuries-old barricade that snakes through the countryside. Most people head straight to the most crowded sections, taking just enough time for photographs. But anyone in search of a more immersive, in-depth adventure will appreciate this gentle, photogenic trek, where you’ll discover two of the most scenic and rugged stretches of wall.
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9 hours
from $144.00
1105Reviews36Q&A
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John S wrote a review Jul 2021
New Brunswick, Canada39 contributions72 helpful votes
+1
I was fortunate enough to do the three day trek with this company. I was “the group” and as the solo trekker I had lots of great attention and care for safety given some rainy weather. The hike in non restored sections was breathtaking and even the restored portion was no piece of cake in spots. My guide Woody was informative and had a good sense of humour. The Great Wall Inn where I spent a couple of nights had one of the most comfortable beds I have have found in my 4 years living in China. The owners were kind and generous and the food was amazing. So grateful I had this experience and with all the research in options to select for this experience I definitely picked the right company. Thanks to Gary the boss, Woody the guide, and Jason the safe driver for making this once in a lifetime trek so memorable!
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Date of experience: June 2021
2 Helpful votes
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Nicole L wrote a review Apr 2021
Dearborn, Michigan1 contribution2 helpful votes
Fantastic experience. I just went with myself and my dad and our tour guide, Jimmy. We went pre-pandemic, this is a late review. But when we went it was fantastic. Since it was just our small group it was very personal and we could tailor the day to whatever we wanted to do. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the area and history.
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Date of experience: May 2020
2 Helpful votes
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tamaletown wrote a review Jan 2020
Perth, Australia1518 contributions282 helpful votes
+1
I had booked with this organisation after much research on what is possible for a multi day trek on the Great Wall. As I was travelling on my own, safety was important, and on that front, they certainly delivered. I had both a driver and a guide. The driver was truly excellent, and the car (a new model Volkswagen Passat) was sparkling clean and high quality. My guide Peter spoke excellent English and was extremely knowledgeable about the Wall’s history, etc. This was a huge advantage, compared to other independent hikers I saw who were simply zipping along without the context and amazing history. So for these reasons, I would definitely recommend this company. They are certainly not cheap, but it would be far more affordable if you don’t do it solo. Also, I wanted to get away from the teeming hoards of people that you see photos of near Beijing. Success! We were definitely on a more remote section of the wall, and there were sometimes hours between sightings of other trekkers. Which was great. Three things let it down, that made me give four stars and not five. Perhaps these are unavoidable. First, the accommodation is very basic. For the price you pay, I would have expected better. Having said that, we were staying quite off the tourist trail, so there probably weren’t a lot of options. They also own one place that we were at for two nights. You can read my review of that place under “Great Wall Inn” in Gubeikou. Second, I had thought this three day / two night trek would be tough, as it is certainly written up that way. It most decidedly is not. If you are an experienced hiker (as I am), and have a modicum of fitness, the reality is these are half day walks strung out to give the appearance of full day treks. I would rate the walking as moderate. Of course, that is for someone who is very experienced. I certainly saw a lot of people suffering in some areas, including my guide. So I know it is all relative. Which brings me to my third point. My guide simply did not have a level of fitness to match my own, so I was often waiting for him on the steeper sections, and also carried gear/ food for him, to assist him on two of the days. Although we joked about it, and he let me go ahead at times, the reality is this was a limiting factor for how far we could go. He was definitely setting the pace, not me. Again, this likely wouldn’t be a problem for most clients. My last little complaint was that I am a coffee fiend, and China is not the place to get a decent coffee. But even so, I would have been happy to have instant Nescafé, which would have tasted like manna from heaven compared to the instant crappy version we had. Again, my guide was not a coffee drinker, and when we were getting food at a grocery store for the trek, he insisted we didn’t need any Nescafé, as he had some coffee for me. Big mistake. So if you go, make sure you bring your own coffee option with you, if coffee is important to you. Ha ha. I hope that helps! I am glad I went with this company, and can I say that this itinerary is certainly worthwhile for getting a good Great Wall experience.
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Date of experience: August 2019
2 Helpful votes
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Mish M wrote a review Dec 2019
Johannesburg, South Africa57 contributions48 helpful votes
+1
The adventure of a lifetime! Thanks to good fortune plus meticulous preparation and care by our guide Peter and his team throughout, we were able to experience the most extraordinary wild wall and its surroundings in perfect conditions - almost entirely alone, just after a snowfall, and sparkling clear sunshine. The views are spectacular, the history is astonishing, and remember - this is a defensive wall, through some pretty steep mountains, so expect to go up and down at 70 degrees, frequently! This was a strenuous but entirely doable two days of hiking for us as a fit couple in our sixties. Our particular route included some off-wall sections which we really enjoyed - it was great to hike through snowy valleys amongst birds and chestnut orchards. Every metre of the route was spectacular and the whole experience was one of the most joyful and uplifting in my life. Peter picked us up at our hotel and on the ride out, gave us a fascinating briefing about the history of the great wall including beautifully annotated maps and notes for us to read later. He and our very experienced driver got us up and going on the trail with a minimum of fuss, yet helpful items like hiking poles for us to borrow. Our guide was always careful to inform us what was going on and to consult us about every decision and option along the way, while being very careful about our safety. We had enough breaks, but it was too cold to take long breaks. We hiked about 10 km on Day 1. Peter continued to add layers of understanding in manageable chunks, from the extraordinary sticky-rice-enhanced cement used with locally baked bricks to the ways the wall was only part of a larger defensive system, to translating the individually-marked quality stamps in every 100th brick, telling the stories of who made and who laid the bricks in each section. There is quite a hike down off the wall at Jinshanling and then another km or so of regular road that is not open to the public - our amazing guide Peter arranged a shuttle van to take us along that section back to the main road to meet our regular driver. On the way to our overnight accommodation in what they call a farmer's house, which is basically a BnB setup, we went for a feast of a late lunch at a local restaurant. Another feast was on offer for dinner but when we opted for an early night, our guide was able to rustle up a fresh fruit tray for us in moments - just an example of the exceptional care we received at all times. Day 2 was just as amazing. We were so excited that Peter proposed an early start, to get up to the top of the wall for sunrise - it was around -15C when we left the BnB in the darkness but totally worth it to be on top of the world as the sun made its way over the furthest peaks around 7:30 am. Most of the day was on restored sections of the wall, which does make the hiking easier, but towards the end we ventured back onto wild wall sections and also off the wall again. Each different terrain has its own charm but don't underestimate the challenge of hiking through rough ground and scattered fallen stones and bricks covered by snow, all on steep slopes. On the way back to Beijing Peter took us to a brilliant Mongolian-style hotpot restaurant and ever the courteous host, he taught us a whole lot more about the different hotpot cultures and the make-up of the dipping sauce he personally mixed for us. Everything including beer was included in this experience-of-a-lifetime tour.
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Date of experience: December 2019
3 Helpful votes
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consultwithme wrote a review Dec 2019
Dallas, Texas1 contribution3 helpful votes
To see such a massive structure that still stands the test of time is a marvel to witness in person.
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Date of experience: December 2019
2 Helpful votes
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