The 18-km Jiankou to Mutianyu Great wall camping offers an in-depth exploration of the Wild Jiankou with a finish on the restored Mutianyu Great Wall. The first day, we hike the eastern section of the wild Jiankou Great Wall and camp overnight on top of the Great wall. On day 2, we pick up our trek on the Jiankou from the famous Zhengbeilou Watchtower and hike east all the way to Mutianyu Great Wall.
Hiking Distance: 9km/day
Hiking Duration: 4h/day
Hike level: 3 medium/strong
Departure time: 9:30 am
Back in Beijing: 6 to 7pm
Price: RMB 1600 (RMB 1440 for kids 7-17, RMB 1280 for membership, RMB 800 for kids younger than 7)
From our meeting point (Lama temple subway station) we drive for about 2 hours till we reach picturesque Dazhenyu village. Before we start this Great Wall trek, we enjoy a good farm house lunch in a yard surrounded by chestnuts trees and with a view on the Jiankou Great Wall. It is going to be an 8-km hike with a total ascend of 600 meters, so you’ll need a fair bit of energy to make it to the top.
The start of this Jiankou Great Wall trek is amazing. The Great Wall drops down into WangQuan (spring valley) and climbs back almost vertical. We ascend about 500 meters following a small trail up the mountain for about 1 hour until we reach the Great Wall at the second beacon tower. From here it’s all about enjoying the scenery.
As our trek on the Great Wall continues, you can enjoy fantastic views of the valleys and the middle of the Jiankou Great Wall. We will walk through and over 7 beacon towers, the best-preserved ones are called the 5-eye watchtower and the Jade tower.
At the highest point of our hike, we reach a Great Wall intersection and follow the wall towards the middle of Jiankou. This part of the hike is all downhill till the camp tower. You’ll need a little balance here occasionally but it’s all safe. At the wall’s lowest point, we will be camping on top of the Great wall.
Day 2 East Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall trekking
We get up early and enjoy a good local breakfast before we step into our van for a short drive to the eastern part of the Jiankou Great Wall. Jiankou to Mutianyu is a breathtaking 10-km trek that combines wild and restored Great Wall. You need a bit effort to reach there but you will be rewarded with fantastic sceneries.
From a Chestnut orchard, we start walking on a dirt trail that leads to the east Jiankou Great Wall. It is 500 meters ascend that will take us about 1 hour. You will agree that it is worth the effort when you finally climb the ladder to the Zhengbeilou Watchtower (991meters) where some of the most spectacular pictures have been shot.
We walk east on the wall to the highest point of Jiankou (1029 meters), allowing you to see the entire Mutianyu Great Wall plus most part of Jiankou as well. It’s a very enjoyable walk on top of a well preserved Great Wall where we pass the famous “bull’s horn section”. After a good hour hiking on top of the Jiankou Great Wall, a tree full of prayer flags announces the start of the Mutianyu Great Wall. Here the Great Wall is restored. A short hike on the Mutianyu Great Wall leads us past 4 guard towers before we take start our 1 hour downhill hike through the valley. The trail ends at a picturesque village where celebrate the Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall trekking with a good lunch and a few beers. By 6 pm we should be back at our meeting point in Beijing.
Level 3: medium-strong
We rate the West to East Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall trekking Level 3 because both days include a steep climb to reach the Great Wall. Good hiking shoes are recommended as we will hike some crumbled sections of the Great Wall. We always hike at a relaxed pace so if you have an average to good physical condition you will enjoy this trip. There is little shade during start of the first day’s hike so don’t forget to bring sun lotion and a hat during summer.