Hike the Great Wall of China's Mutianyu Section
China › Mutianyu Great Wall
Added by Michael Gabbert
Hike arguably the most beautifully restored section of the Great Wall of China
The 2nd most visited section of the Great Wall of China, Mutianyu is a beautifully restored and a relatively accessible spot of the wall. Located 43 miles from Beijing, it can take between 1 ½ to 2 hours to drive to the entrance. Note that you’ll have to park slightly away from the actual entrance and take a bus up to the gate once parked. Be prepared as the area surrounding the entrance of the wall is quite touristy – with restaurants, street vendors, and merchandise booths everywhere. The craziness will all be worth it however as the Mutianyu section is the longest and best fully-restored section of the Great Wall.
At the entrance you can get up to the wall in one of three ways (in order of cost):
1) Hike up the 4000 stairs to the wall
2) Twin-Rider Chairlift
3) Four-Person Gondola
Once on the wall, there are more than 3.4 miles and 25 watchtowers to explore of Mutianyu. It's easy to spend a full day alone on this section but if desired, you can head west on the wall to encounter the Jiankou section of the wall. This section is a stark contrast to Mutianyu as the wall is completely unrestored and significantly less crowded. It’s a great comparison but allow for a full day if you’re going to combine each and the round trip to and from the Mutianyu entrance.
Once your day is done and ready to head back down to the entrance, you have the same options as you did going up but the added option of taking a Toboggan Run down to the bottom. A fun option unless you get stuck behind slow-pokes.
Note: while you can easily do this section on your own accord, from my experience there will be significantly less churn, translation issues, and frustration if you can hire a driver and/or guide for your time at the wall.
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This is a really nice hike, and a much better option than the other popular Great Wall site, Badaling. To get there by public transportation from Beijing, take Bus 916快 from Dongzhimen station to Huairou Beida Jie (怀柔北大街) where you should easily be able to find a driver to take you to the ticket entrance of the wall for 20-30RMB. Beijing has tons of traffic, so I'd say be prepared to spend 3 hours one way on transportation on any normal day. Total ticket price we paid for the entrance ticket and cable car up was 160RMB/person.
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