Breaking News - Simatai is
Simatai section of the Great Wall is closed for renovation
from June 17, 2010. This is a very short notice from Miyun Government and
Simatai Authority regarding the repair and renovation. There
is no information of when Simatai renovation will be completed. The
estimated time is about three years according to some "internal"
sources. Tours to Simatai have to be altered because the way to Simatai
from Jinshanling has been blocked.
The last news is that
Simatai will reopen by October 1, 2013, China's National Day!
We'll update you on this page when we hear more information.
Photo below: A black board at the former entry
point to Simatai from Jinshanling announcing that Simatai is closed
written in poor Chinese and English.
How we help you now
The Great Wall Adventure Club, the world's
famous Great Wall hiking organization (learn
more about the Club) has immediately inspected the situation
and developed new paths to hike part of Simatai and walk toward
Jinshanling section of the Great Wall.
TOUR 1AA: Hiking from Gubeikou
The new hiking route has been changed to the
hike from 2000-year-old section of the Great Wall at
Jinshanling, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Please visit the
1AA itinerary here.
Please go to
Great Wall hiking home page to learn more about our
Great Wall hiking programs. We are confident we'll bring as much fun
as you had expected to hike the Great Wall.
We bring you the exciting hiking tour
from Simatai to Jinshanling
But first, let's see who have successfully completed their
hiking and become our Hall
We are the experts at bringing you exciting Great Wall hiking tours,
and the Great Wall at Simatai certainly fits the description. Read on to
learn more about one of the most amazing sections of the entire Great
Wall, and why it is such a fantastic hike.
If you can successfully complete the hike, you can become one of our
hallowed Hall of Famers. Do you have it in you?
Why Visit Simatai?
The Simatai section of the Great Wall is one of the few sections to
retain the original appearance of the Great Wall. Incorporating a
variety of characteristics of other sections of the Great Wall, Simatai
also displays some unique features of its own. It is often described
with the following five words: perilous, dense, diverse, artful, and
With densely dispersed watchtowers snaking along the mountain ridges,
Simatai looks spectacular. In 1987, Simatai was acknowledged by UNESCO
as one of its World Heritage Sites. When you visit the Simatai Great
Wall, you will witness in person the magnificence and glory of this
The Great Wall at Simatai retains its original appearance in the Ming
Dynasty (1368 - 1644). With its fantastic scenery and precipitous
topography, Simatai Great Wall is a remarkable place for sightseeing,
hiking and exploration.
Simatai Great Wall is 5.4 km long (3.4 miles) with all together 35
watchtowers. On the east part of Simatai, the elevation goes abruptly up
from 295 meters (968 ft) to 986 meters (3235 ft), making a breathtaking
Simatai Great Wall was built along the steep mountain ridges, with
Heavenly Ladder and Sky Bridge being the most thrilling parts. Heavenly
Ladder is a steep and narrow (about 50cm/1.64ft at its narrowest point)
wall that go up 85 degrees to the mountain peak, with cliffs on both
sides. At its end is the Sky Bridge, which is not more than 100 meters
(328 ft) long, but only 40 cm (1.3 ft) wide. When this part was being
constructed, bricks were bundled on goats’ back to the mountaintop.
Visitors can admire Simatai Great Wall by ropeway, pulley, or boat.
Simatai Great Wall is separated into two parts by Simatai Reservoir,
over which a chain bridge runs through east to west. Another popular way
is hiking. A popular hike is to traverse from Jinshanling to Simatai,
which takes about 4 hours.
The average distance between two watchtowers is 100 – 200 meters (328 –
656 ft), with the nearest two only 44 meters (144 ft) from each other.
This is very dense because the average distance is 500 meters (0.3 mile)
for the Ming Dynasty Great Wall’s watchtowers.
What is interesting along Simatai is that, visitors can find a section
laid with bricks carrying inscriptions that recorded the date on which
they were made, and the code number of the armies who made them.
History of the Simatai Great Wall:
Its construction started in the early Hongwu years (1368-1398) of the
Ming Dynasty. Like most sections of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall often
visited today, this section was also built under the supervision of
General Qi Jiguang (1528 - 1588).
The Gubeikou and
Jinshanling sections are only 20 minutes away. Jinshanling to
Simatai is a popular hike.
Simatai Travel Essentials
Simatai is located about 120 km (75 miles) northeast of Beijing (a 2
hour 30 minute journey from the city center). Great Wall Adventure Club
uses high-quality air-conditioned private transport to take the hassle
out of getting to the wall.
The steps of the Great Wall at Simatai are rather steep and at some
points very narrow. Hikers need to be in good physical condition to
complete this hike. However, there are options such as pulleys or
ropeways to avoid trek up to the wall.
What to Wear:
Dress for hiking and dress for the weather. Choose comfortable footwear
with good grip and support for the feet. Layers of clothes that can be
taken on and off allow for greater comfort and temperature control.
Wear/bring sun protection in the summer and dress for sub zero
temperatures in the winter. It can feel much colder on the wall than
down in the valleys because of altitude and exposure.
What to Bring:
Bring breathable waterproofs for protection from rain and wind.
Umbrellas may be used here as the ascents and descents are not
difficult, but may be inconvenient in strong winds. Bring snacks and
water if you want to walk a long portion of the wall.
Tour to Simatai and Hike in Simatai
You can join our private tour to Simatai or a bus tour to
even better, a hiking from
Our Great Wall hiking Today!