Simatai Great Wall Travel Guide: A Journey Through History

Why Simatai Great Wall

The Simatai Great Wall is widely known as one of the most accessible sections of the Wild Wall in Beijing.

Stretching over 5.4 kilometers, it boasts towering rock faces that reach an astounding 1,000 meters into the sky.

A remarkable 75% of the bricks and the massive granite base are original, which means your visit offers an authentic experience of the Great Wall’s history.

Perched on a rocky mountain, the Simatai Great Wall is located on a mountain range that resembles the crest of a rooster, found in Miyun county and just 120 kilometers away from Beijing.

With its unique features, Simatai is a breathtaking sight and is often captured in countless photographs, making it one of the most popular parts of the Great Wall to visit.

Simatai Great Wall Guide Map (Right Click to Enlarge or Print)

Hidden History

Originally constructed in the 6th century and significantly restored by the renowned General Qi Jiguang, the Simatai Great Wall stands today much as one might imagine it to appear around 500 years following its initial construction.

The atmosphere at Simatai is filled with clean and invigorating air, while the sky remains consistently clear and vibrant.

Thanks to its elevated position, you can take in far-reaching views of the surrounding landscape.

Embrace the tranquility of this splendid world heritage site all to yourself and revel in its peacefulness.

Practical Information

When planning your visit to the Simatai Great Wall, it’s essential to be well-prepared and equipped with practical information to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:

A. Information about the entrance fees, opening hours, and seasonal considerations:

As of now, the entrance fee for the Simatai Great Wall is approximately 40 RMB for adults, with discounts available for children and seniors.

It’s important to check for any changes in the fees or special discounts on the official website before your visit.

The wall is generally open to visitors from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, but it is always a good idea to confirm the opening hours in advance, as they may vary depending on the season or special events.

In terms of seasonal considerations, be aware that the weather can be quite hot and humid in the summer months and cold in the winter. Spring and fall offer the most comfortable temperatures for exploring the wall.

B. Tips for bringing appropriate clothing, footwear, and other essentials:

Dress in layers to accommodate changes in weather and be prepared for rain or strong sun.

Comfortable, sturdy footwear with good grip is a must, as some sections of the wall can be steep and uneven.

Bring a hat and sunscreen to protect against the sun, and carry a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.

A small backpack with snacks, a first aid kit, and any personal items you may need is also a good idea.

Don’t forget to bring your ID or passport, as it may be required for entry.

C. Suggestions for staying safe and respecting the historical site:

The Simatai Great Wall is a historical treasure, and it is crucial to respect its cultural and historical significance.

Follow any posted signs or guidelines, and avoid climbing on or damaging the ancient structures.

Stay on the designated paths and be cautious when walking on uneven or steep sections.

In case of any emergencies or issues, notify the site staff or seek assistance at the visitor center.

Keep in mind that it’s essential to pack out any trash and leave no trace of your visit, helping to preserve the wall for future generations to enjoy.

Facts & Trivia

Landscape: You can see so far away because of the height of the mountain.

The sky there is always clear without any foggy days.

Scenery: The mountain’s impressive height allows you to enjoy expansive views that stretch far into the distance.

The sky consistently remains clear, free from any foggy days, creating a beautiful backdrop.

Referred to as the “backyard of Beijing,” you’ll spot numerous apricot trees on the mountainside, accompanied by squirrels playfully leaping along the Wall’s edge.

Environment: The neighboring mountains feature steep cliffs and deep valleys, along with many orchards in the vicinity.

To the east lies the Simatai reservoir, Beijing’s largest, while to the south is the Miyun reservoir.

Both reservoirs are vital sources of drinking water. Notably, the Chengde Summer Resort, once a retreat for Qing emperors (1644-1911), is located around 120 kilometers away.

What to Look Forward To

Get ready for an exciting Great Wall adventure as we take you through the incredible journey from Jinshanling to Simatai West.

Covering a distance of 10 kilometers and taking around 3 to 5 hours, this hike promises a truly fantastic Great Wall experience.

While Simatai East is temporarily closed, you’ll exit at the 22nd tower, backtrack a bit, and then descend via a brand-new trail to a newly established parking area.

Don’t miss the chance to hike through Simatai East as well!

Split into Simatai East and Simatai West by a picturesque valley, Simatai East boasts 35 charming towers. To add to the adventure, a rainbow-like chain bridge spans the valley, linking Jinshanling and Simatai.

As you stroll along the zigzag path leading to Simatai East, prepare to be amazed by the sights!

You’ll come across the mandarin duck lake, a reservoir that’s simply stunning. Keep an eye out for the slide on the lake and the suspension bridge too.

About a 1.5-hour walk will lead you to the 12th tower in the east. Beyond the 10th tower, you’ll be surrounded by impressive cliffs on both sides of the Wall.

For safety, there are 2 guards stationed at the 13th tower to ensure tourists don’t venture further.

And if you’re looking for an easy way down, you can catch a cable car ride from the 8th tower.

Get ready for a memorable adventure that’s full of wonder and excitement!

Additional Tips

When planning your visit to the Simatai Great Wall, it’s essential to consider a few additional tips to make the most of your experience:

A. Insights on the best times to visit to avoid crowds:

To avoid large crowds and enjoy a peaceful exploration, consider visiting on weekdays and during the off-peak season, which usually falls in the late autumn or early spring months.

Mornings and late afternoons are typically less crowded than mid-day. Also, take into account the local holidays and school vacations, as these can draw larger crowds to the site.

B. Advice for capturing great photos and respecting the site’s rules on photography:

The Simatai Great Wall is an incredibly photogenic location, offering stunning views and unique architectural details.

However, it is essential to respect the site’s rules on photography.

Be mindful of signs indicating no-photography zones, especially inside certain historical structures.

Additionally, remember to be respectful of other visitors when taking photos, and avoid blocking pathways or causing congestion.

For the best shots, consider using a zoom lens to capture distant details, or a wide-angle lens to encompass the sweeping vistas.

Sunrise and sunset are ideal times for capturing the changing light on the ancient stones.

C. Considerations for those traveling with children or people with mobility issues:

If you are traveling with children or people with mobility issues, be aware that some sections of the Simatai Great Wall may be steep and challenging to navigate.

It is essential to research the different sections of the wall in advance and choose a route that suits your group’s abilities.

If you’re traveling with children, make sure they’re closely supervised and understand the importance of safety when exploring this historic site.

Wear appropriate footwear and bring walking poles for additional stability if needed.


Visiting the Simatai Great Wall is a journey into China’s rich history and a remarkable testament to the engineering prowess of ancient Chinese civilizations.

Its unique features, breathtaking views, and relatively preserved condition make it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the iconic Great Wall of China.

 Related Tours: Gubeikou to Jinshanling