Climbing the Great Wall is a must experience for your trip to Beijing. There is a saying in China that you won’t become a hero till you climb up the Great Wall. There are about 8 sections of the Great Wall around Beijing. So choosing your favorite section of the Wall is very important prior to your hike.
Badaling Great Wall and Juyongguan Great Wall are both located on the north-west of Beijing. They are usually coupled with the visit to the Ming Tombs when you choose one of the two sections of the Great Wall. The Badaling Great Wall is much developed and equipped with cable cars while the Juyongguan has no such facilities and you have to climb up the wall on foot. Juyongguan Great Wall is less commercial with easy parking area. It parking lot is just close to the starting point of the Great Wall. Badaling Great Wall can be easily reached by S Trains and Buses.
Mutianyu Great Wall is located in Huirou District in the north of Beijing. This section of the Greta Wall is a little bit less crowded. You can use the cable car to get to the top of the Wall. The Mutianyu Great Wall is very green with dense trees.
Gubeikou Great Wall, Jinshanling Great Wall and Simatai Great Wall are connected. Gubeikou, Jinshanling and Simatai are all wild and partially restored. People can choose any of the three or put them together for hiking packages. You may have one day tour of Jinshanling, or hikng from Jinshanling to Simatai West or from Gubeikou to Jinshanling. The hike between Jinshanling and Gubeikou takes about 4-6 hours with over 10 kms. At the time of my writing, people are still not allowed to hike from Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall.
Jiankou Great Wall and Huanghuacheng Great Wall and Shixiaguan Great Wall are wild sections of the Great Wall and unrestored. These sections of the wall are yet not open to the public with little safety measures taken by local tourism departments concerned. Hike from Mutianyu Great Wall to Jiankou Great Wall is much sought after by experienced hikers.
There are different Great Wall tours provided. Look for details and register here.