Secrets of the Simatai Great Wall

The Simatai Great Wall is famous not only for its challenge and danger, but also for its fantastic views. Many people wish to try to reach the summit at tower number 18, the famous Wang Jing tower, or tower for viewing the capital. But the Wall is closed to the public beyond tower 14, and there are guards present to prohibit you from passing.

In 2004, I was prohibited from proceeding beyond tower 14, and time did not allow me to explore other options. At least, not in 2004. But during the following year I did some research, which was furthered by talking with local villagers once I arrived at Simatai in 2005 with the goal of reaching Tower 18.

I found that there are actually three viable options for accessing the closed section of the Wall, and of course I tried them all.


The first option is to arrive very early in the morning.


The second option is to walk from the upper cable car station.


The third option is to approach from Ba Ge Zhuang village.

I also tried walking from the lower cable car station, and while it was interesting, it became apparent after about two hours that this was not the right way to reach the Great Wall. The terrain is very difficult and the distance is much further than I had imagined.