Remote and largely unrestored, this section of the Great Wall is ideal if you're seeking adventure. Near the frontier garrison at Gubeikou, the wall traverses towering peaks and hangs precariously above cliffs. Be prepared for no-handrails hiking, tough climbs, and unparalleled vistas.
The first 10 of the watchtowers is currently accessible to visitors, and the hike to the top and back is just under two hours. Alternatively, a cable car takes you two-thirds of the way up; from there it's a steep 30-minute climb to the summit.
The trip by car from central Beijng to Simitai costs about Y800 and takes about two hours. By public transportation, take the 980 or 980快 (fast bus) from Dongzhimen bus stop to Miyun, getting off at Gulou. Cross the road to the opposite bus station and transfer to Bus 51 or 38 toward Simatai and get off at Gubeikou Water town (or Gubeikou Shuizhen). Follow directions to the ticket hall where you can pick up your pre-booked online tickets for the wall.
It's necessary to reserve a ticket online using a Chinese mobile number, to which a ticket code will be sent (your hotel or a travel agency can help with these arrangements).