Date: Jan. 3, 2017
Location: Mutianyu Section, near Beijing
Distance: the whole section is over 3 miles one way
Elevation Gain: substantial stair climbing
During a family vacation’s long layover at Beijing airport, we visited Mutianyu, about 40 miles away. There are at least 8 sections of the Great Wall accessible from Beijing Metro area. Mutianyu is one of the most popular due to its beautiful locale and excellent wall preservation.
About 3+ miles of Mutianyu Wall is open to the public. While one could climb up to the Wall from visitor center, most people opt for a ski-lift style open lift or a cable car to get to the wall. We took the cable car to Tower 14.
Mutianyu contains 23 towers, and most scenic section is between tower 14 and 20 which is where we hiked.
The Wall follows a ridge with mostly moderate up and down slopes until the steep climb to the last open tower.
This section of the Wall was rebuilt in AD 1405. The entire Wall is 6000+KM (4000+miles) long or 1500 mile longer than a New York to Los Angeles trip.
One wonderful bonus of visiting the Great Wall in midst of winter is the sparse crowd.