The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is a masterpiece of restoration, with 22 original style watchtowers. Mutianyu, meaning 'Admire Fields Valley', is the longest fully-restored Great Wall section open to tourists. Visit Mutianyu to see the Great Wall in its awe-inspiring former glory, winding through mountain scenery, with easier walking conditions and fewer crowds.
The wall, built with slabs of granite, is 22 km long, seven or eight meters high and four or five meters wide, crenellated on both sides. With the greens of pines and cypresses covering ninety percent of the surrounding area, the scenery here is beautiful all the year round.
The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall has 1500 years of history (see below) and today's wall is a replica of the fortifications of 1568. Construction began on this section of the Great Wall in the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-577). During the reign of Emperor Hongwu (1368-1398), General Xu Da rebuilt the Great Wall on its original foundation. Mutianyu Pass was fortified in 1404 (the 2nd year of Emperor Yongle's reign) with a rare triangular formation of three interlinked watchtowers.
Construction was finished on the wall at Mutainyu, as it now stands, when General Qi Jiguang was transferred the area to command the garrison in 1568 (the 2nd year of Emperor Longqing's reign).
The Jiankou (Arrow Nock) section is only 20 minutes away.
When to go
The scenery of the Great Wall varies with the seasons and each season has its pros and cons. Click here for what you can expect on the Great Wall near Beijing.
What to Wear
Dress for hiking and dress for the weather. Choose comfortable footwear with good grip and support for the feet. Layers of clothes that can be taken on and off allow for greater comfort and temperature control.
Wear/bring sun protection in the summer and dress for sub zero temperatures in the winter. It can feel much colder on the wall than down in the valleys because of altitude and exposure.
What to Bring
Bring breathable waterproofs for protection from rain and wind. Umbrellas may be used here as the ascents and descents are not difficult, but may be inconvenient in strong winds. Bring a camera and money for souvenirs and refreshments. Bring snacks and water if you want to walk a long portion of the wall.
The paths, pavements and steps ofthe Great Wall at Mutianyuare well-paved with granite slabs and walking conditions pose no significant risks. There is the option to use a cable car to avoid the trek up to the wall. See map below.