The Great Wall at Mutianyu

HARD 6 reviews
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The Great Wall at Mutianyu is a 9.2 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Beijing, Beijing, China that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from April until October.

9.2 km
830 m
Out & Back


nature trips




historic site

no dogs

The Mutianyu Great Wall is one of the best-preserved sections of the Great Wall. Although it is popular with tourists, it is not as crowded at the heavily-visited Badaling section of the wall. Some of the types of watchtowers are seldom seen along other sections and quite rare in the architectural history of the Great Wall. Examples are the Zhengguan Terrace (No. 6 Watchtower) comprised of three hollow watchtowers, and Big Corner Tower (No. 1 Watchtower). The surrounding natural scenery is breath-taking. Woods cover over ninety-six percent of the total scenic area. Flowers bloom all over the mountains in spring. Grasses dress the hillside green in summer. Trees are laden with sweet fruit in autumn, and especially in October, leaves turn red or yellow, touching the mountain tops with gold. In winter, the wall is covered by snow, making it more magnificent. Although this section of the wall has two gondolas that can take visitors up to the wall, for a premium price, a visit to this section of the wall should not be considered an easy walk. Some of the sections of this wall are extremely steep, with staircases that will test the care of your steps. The wall is exposed to the elements, so expect extreme heat in the summer, and cold wind later in the year. This is not a wheel-chair or stroller-friendly path! This section connects to older, unrestored sections of the Great Wall on each end. However, these old sections are usually closed, and are guarded. This section of the Great wall was first built in Northern Qi Dynasty (550-557). In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Tan Lun and Qi Jiguang, two famous patriotic generals, rebuilt it in order to strengthen its defensive potential when they guarded the strategic pass. It served as the northern protective screen, guarding the capital and imperial mausoleums for generations. There are 23 watchtowers distributed at close intervals along the wall. They are located not only in the main wall but also at the distinctive "branch city". Branch cities are built on the hill ridge against the inner or outer side of the wall. For example, No. 11 Watchtower can be found on the branch wall. Getting to the Mutianyu section of the wall is not too difficult from Beijing. There are various public transportation methods that provide transportation to Mutianyu. It doesn’t hurt to have someone who speaks Chinese assist in getting there. Do not expect to catch a taxi coming back from Mutianyu. However, hiring a taxi for the round trip from Beijing to Mutianyu is not too expensive.

1 month ago

Went on a camping trip with Beijing hikers. Highly recommend as the whole trip was excellent start to finish.

8 months ago


9 months ago

The Great Wall workout.

10 months ago

There is a cable car up to the wall, which is why it is more crowded than other parts of the wall. We chose to walk rather than take the cable car, which saved some money. Regardless, it's a great experience. Bring plenty of water if you plan on going in the summer and wear proper shoes.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I was visiting Beijing for work, and decided to take some friends to visit the Great Wall. Badaling is almost always filled with tourists, so we went to Mutianyu. Our visit was timed for the finish of three days of solid rain. The sky was incredibly clear, impossibly clear for those who are familiar with the typical pollution levels in north China. We went early in the morning, so there were very few people. We had an outstanding hike along the wall, and I must confess, the steep stairs utterly tortured my legs. I am standing in the airport as I write this review, and days later, my thighs and calves are still stiff. This is a great place to visit, if you are in north China, and a great place for a hike in China.

I have hiked Mutianyu a few times over the years, and it never gets boring.

5 months ago