As a Tour Operator and Planner to China and Tibet only, I am asked many times about going to the Great Wall. There are several sections of the Great Wall outside of Beijing. The closest is Badaling where all the Group Tours go because of the freeway and large parking lot besides being close to the Ming Tombs and a shopping stop at the Cloisonne Workshop. My choise for the average person is Mutianyu which is a bit further but on a good country two lane road with more scenery and few if any buses in the smaller parking lot. There is also a cable car there to take you up onto the Wall with little walking needed. There are other sections of the Wall also for those who want a challenging hike but also further out and takes the whole day to get there and back. Mutainyu takes about 2/3rds of a day depending on how much you want to hike or walk on the Wall with enough time to maybe stop at the Lama Temple on the way back. If you think the Great Wall is an easy hike, see the photos above. The distant photo showing the almost verticle climb is at Mutianyu but is about one mile out from the entrance and at that point begins where there is a section left as it was found not repaired. Other shots show you sections that have a very steep incline for those who are looking for more of a climb than a walk. For more information check my web site. Private and Customized Tours to China are my expertise for the past 25 years. Click on the photos for a full screen view.