Visiting the Juyongguan Great Wall
Juyongguan Pass is one of the three most famous passes along the Great Wall of China, and the other two are Jiayuguan Pass and Shanhaiguan Pass. Enlisted in the World Heritage site in 1987, it was considered in ancient times one of the most strategically important sections because of its position as a link to Beijing. Both sides of the Juyongguan Pass are steep mountains. In the middle, there is a deep valley with a length of 18 kilometres. The Juyongguan Pass Great Wall section was built by the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) and in this Pass were fought great battles against Jurchens and Mongols.
- How to visit Juyongguan Great Wall
The path along the Great Wall is a loop with a length of about 4 km long. The widest point of the wall is about 16 meters, whereas the narrowest measures only 1.2 meters.
The Great Wall in Juyongguan has two gates respectively called Nan Guan (south gate) and Bei Guan (north gate) with two high watchtowers built at each of them. The south gate is the main entrance and where you can start your tour either eastward or westward. It is sectioned into two semicircles with 8 watchtowers (from tower 7 to 14) on the west and 6 on the east (from tower 1 to 6); therefore, you can finish your whole trip without backtracking.
Stairs on the western semicircle are quite steep, and they make the hike quite tricky if you are not so fit, while the eastern side is gentler and shorter (1,5 km), suitable for those who are less energetic. The west section’s hiking time is around 2 hours and a half, for the east around 1 hour and a half. Unfortunately, there are no cable car or pulley. If you want to visit the only west semicircle, we suggest starting your hike from the North gate.
Our Tour: We visited the whole eastern section, starting from the south gate (tower nr. 6) until the North gate, and a part of the western section until the tower nr. 12 (the highest point) before backtracking without finishing the whole semicircle.
- How to get to Juyongguan Great wall
1. Guided tour: This section of the Great Wall is the closest to Beijing, about around 50 km. You can book your trip through a local tour agency, asking at your hotel reception desk or with a web platform like GetYourGuide.com, Viator.com and Klook.com that offer a great choice of tours managed by the local tour operators. For example, if you want to get the most out of your tour, you can combine it with Badaling Great Wall or the 13 Ming Tombs.
2. Taxi: Another good choice is to haggle the price with a taxi driver for the round trip to Juyongguan, but it’s tough to interact with them and explain what you want to do because they only speak Chinese.
3. By Bus: Take the subway line nr. 8 and get off at Zhuxinzhuang, then take the Changping line and get off at Shahe station (Exit A2). You should walk along the Baisha road for 15 min. After the small bridge, you should turn right to reach the nr. 68 alighting point. You can also take a taxi from the Shahe station to get to the bus stop. Get off at Juyongguan Station (39 stops – around 2 hrs). Alternatively, you can catch the bus nr. 345 (Express) from Deshengmen to Shahe, and then take the bus nr. 68 (Changping).
Another choice is to take the ‘Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch‘ (BHTD), a government-run company that offers special one-day tour package services to many Beijing famous attractions. The buses depart from the southwest corner of Tiananmen Square (Qianmen subway station, exit C). You can buy the tour on-site into the Beijing Tour dispatch hub. We suggest going there early in the morning and check the schedule and routes. Juyongguan should be route A, the same as Badaling.
4. By Train: Take subway line nr. 8 or line nr. 13 and get off at Huoying Station, then get out from exit G4 to reach Huangtudian Railway Station. Here, take the train S2 to Badaling Railway Station. Take the free shuttle bus to Badaling Great Wall entrance where you can transfer to bus nr. 879 (or a taxi) to get to Juyongguan (only 9 km). Another option is to take the S2 train and get off at Nankou Station, then catch the Changping bus nr 68 to Juyongguan (the bus stop should be at the end of Jiatong street, along Wennan road).
Opening time and ticket: The ticket costs 45 RMB per person in high travel season and 40 RMB in low season. The opening time is from 08:00 to 17:00 and from 08:30 to 16:00, respectively. Spring and autumn with mild temperatures are the best seasons to visit the Great Wall. You’ll find the ticket offices close to both gates.