This reasonably tough Great Wall hike involves a lot of climbing and scrambling, and you’ll need strong legs and a good head for heights to make it to the end.
We start the walk in a valley that some hikers might recognise as the end point of one of our other hikes, the Great Wall Spur. We’ll do about half of the Great Wall Spur hike, making a steep hill climb to get up to the wall, and then following the wall up until the beginning of the spur. Just after we pass the highest point of the Great Wall Spur we’ll turn off onto another section of wall and follow it down into a valley.
The section of the wall that leads down into the valley is a fairly tricky walk – the wall is not in good condition, and it’s rocky and slippery. We’ll take it slow heading down here, and regroup just before where the wall starts heading uphill again.
From there, we’ll follow the wall all the way up and over the mountain. There’s a particularly difficult part along the way where we’ll have to jump off the wall and scramble our way through trees up a steep dirt path to avoid a broken section. Depending on what you like in a hike, this is either a fun scramble, or an arduous climb. You’ll need to use your hands to pull yourself up a few steep bits, and the trail is slippery in places.
Soon after that we’ll pass the Knot and reach the peak of the trail, around 1,000 metres above sea level.
The Chinese Knot (also known as the Beijing Knot) is the point where Beijing’s inner and outer lines of Great Wall join up—the inner wall coming from the Huanghuacheng direction and continuing past Mutianyu and out to the northeast, and the outer wall heading out towards Yanqing District and then farther into Hebei Province.
After a rest and some great photo opportunities just past the Knot, we’ll continue along the wall, heading down towards the valley that will lead us down toward a small village where we’ll find our bus.