The Great Wall of China: an unforgettable hike from Jinshanling to Simatai

The Great Wall of China, also known as the Great Wall, is a series of military fortifications built from the 3rd century BC to protect the northern border of the Chinese Empire against barbarian invasions. Stretching over 20,000 kilometers and classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987, the Great Wall attracts millions of visitors from around the world each year.

One of the most popular and spectacular sections of this incredible construction is located between Jinshanling and Simatai, where the wall winds through the mountains and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. In this article, we will introduce you to this unique route and give you some tips to succeed in your hike on the Great Wall of China.

The route from Jinshanling to Simatai

Extending over approximately 10 kilometers, the section of the Great Wall between Jinshanling and Simatai is considered one of the best-preserved and most authentic portions of the entire wall.

It also strikes a good balance between accessibility and tourist density, making it an ideal choice for those wishing to enjoy the beauty of the wall without having to fight the crowds.

Characteristics of this section of the Great Wall of China

Built in the 14th century, the section from Jinshanling to Simatai is characterized by its numerous watchtowers, zigzagging walkways, and brick fortifications. It also features a good mix of restored and unrestored parts, allowing visitors to better understand the history and construction techniques of that time.

The density of watchtowers in this section is particularly impressive, with a tower located approximately every 100 to 200 meters.

Elevation gain and difficulty

The hike between Jinshanling and Simatai includes several steep ascents and descents, with a total elevation gain of about 400 meters. On average, it takes between 4 and 5 hours to complete this hike, depending on your level of physical fitness and the time you wish to spend on breaks and enjoying the landscapes.

It is worth noting that some sections can be quite narrow and steep, making the hike slightly dizzying for those prone to vertigo. However, there is no real danger as long as you remain cautious and aware of your limits.

Jinshanling, great wall of China

How to prepare for the hike?

Choose the right time of day

To avoid heat and crowds, it is recommended to start your hike in the morning. The early hours of the day usually offer better visibility and cooler temperatures, ideal for fully appreciating the beauty of the landscape.

Equip yourself with the right gear

To complete this hike in the best conditions, it is important to wear appropriate footwear for mountain hiking. Hiking poles can also be useful to assist you during ascents and descents.

Don't forget to bring enough water and energy snacks to maintain your energy levels throughout the hike.

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Respect the environment

The Great Wall of China is a protected historic site, so it is essential to respect the environment and leave no trace of your visit.

Avoid picking plants or moving rocks, and take all your trash with you.

If you come across a damaged or unrestored section, make sure not to worsen the situation by climbing on it or attempting to repair the damaged elements yourself.

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Tips to make the most of your experience

There are some tips to know in order to fully enjoy your hike on the Great Wall between Jinshanling and Simatai:

Take your time

Don't rush and enjoy the present moment. The Great Wall is a unique and majestic structure that deserves to be carefully observed.

Take the time to stop and admire the landscapes, observe the local fauna, and soak in the historical atmosphere of the place.

Learn about the history

Before you go, it can be interesting to research the history of the Great Wall of China in general, as well as the Jinshanling to Simatai section in particular.

Understanding the issues and context in which this structure was built adds an additional dimension to your experience during the hike.

Hire a local guide

If you want to deepen your knowledge and benefit from personalized guidance, don't hesitate to hire a local guide. They can provide valuable information on the history, culture, and anecdotes related to this section of the Great Wall of China, while helping you pinpoint the best viewpoints and avoid tourist traps.

In summary, the hike between Jinshanling and Simatai offers a unique and unforgettable experience for hiking enthusiasts, history buffs, and lovers of magnificent landscapes. By following these tips and taking the time to prepare yourself, you can fully enjoy this exceptional adventure in the heart of ancient China.