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I'll be visiting Beijing in March and I've been reading about the various sections of the Great Wall that are near by. I'm always interested in places that are off the beaten path and it seems many suggest that the Jiankou section of the Great Wall might offer the most scenic and less touristy spot for visiting.

With that reading though, it suggests that this might be a dangerous area for lone visitors, due to the sustained damage over the years. Many blogs suggest you should be a seasoned hiker. I would like to visit, but likely only for a few hours, I'm not a seasoned hiker, however I'm comfortable enough with the outdoors to know when I might be in danger and not.

Is this section of the wall really that dangerous that I should not visit alone?

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Yes you should be fine to go but know your limits.

A quick Google Image search for "Great Wall Jiankou" will give you a good idea where you will find images like this and others of people climbing fallen sections of the wall there. The Lonely Planet is rather brief: "40-minute walk uphill from the drop off ... to a fork in the path among the trees that leads you to either side of a collapsed section of wall".

I'll assume that this is the same spot that I visited in early spring (for Beijing read winter) a few years ago and remember under the name of HouJianKou and recount my experience below: The access along the path is a normal hike along a trotten path and not dangerous unless wet (then might be slippery). You then scramble up a partially collapsed section of the wall (in my eyes still doable if you are reasonably fit) and stand on the wall. The scenery is truly beautiful. Now you have the choice to follow the wall in either direction but (at least in the direction we took) you will encounter passages where the wall is collapsed due to steepness or other decay. There are paths/climbs around those parts but I would not recommend those to you. They compare to a medium difficulty rock climb or steep descends without any safety precautions and make for horrible falls. (Also at some point you have to go back and you can not even descend the wall at any spot plus find a way back to the village where your driver awaits you is another climb through a forest on a hill without any path.) I guess if you stay away from those parts it makes for an excellent day-trip.

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