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I traveled to Beijng last December and I hiked from Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall with a friend. It was the highlights of my Beijing trip. I've been to Badaling Great Wall before, but there are always large crowds of tourists. And the Great Wall at Badaling was restored. Unlike Badaling, there are less tourists travel to Jinshanling and Simatai. And neither of themwas restored. It is said that there only 300-400 tourists per day at the peak season. We get to Jinshanling around 10:30am. It is quite late for a hiking tour. Some tourists have returned, they just visited Jinshanling section. We were impressed by the beauty of the Great Wall.
Even through, some of the watch towers were broken, but we thought this is REAL Great Wall! The hike route is very steep, sometimes you can't walk, and you have to jump from the watch tower to ground. It is about 10 kms from Jinshanling to Simatai (West section), and we hiked for 3.5 hours,
and we also hiked some distance of the East section of Simatai Great Wall. But we didn’t get to Watching Beijing tower as we it is too late.
Please bring water and snacks. Vendors will be around at the start but may not follow you all the way.
I would this hike to anyone who is energetic!