Heituo Mountain | A craggy ridge near the peak of Heituo Mountain
A craggy ridge near the peak of Heituo Mountain.

Heituo Mountain Crossing

A variation of our tough hike up to the craggy peak of Heituo Mountain that finishes by hiking out below the tall cliffs on the Nine-Eyes Tower side of the mountain.

Level 5
Some steep descents on tricky trails. 6–7 hours over 15km (Can I do it?)

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HAD TO CANCEL THIS ONE, SORRY :(

Make the long slow climb up to the saddle below the 1503m peak of Heituo Mountain, and then take on the steep climb to the top. We’ll finish the hike by walking down and out below the tall cliffs on the Nine-Eyes Tower side of the mountain.

This is a fairly rough hike and parts of the track are very steep, so we’ll be limiting the number of participants. Because of the steep ascents and descents on this hike we wouldn’t be able to do it in or after rain.

You’ll need to be in good shape and have a good head for heights to enjoy this hike, and we’ll ask you about that as part of the sign up process.

The hiking trail

We’ll start the hike in a tiny farming village by the roadside, and follow a concrete fire service track up into the mountains.

After about 2km of concrete, we’ll make a little scramble to get on to the track that leads through forest up towards the peak.

Hiking on old forestry trails behind Heituo Mountain
Hiking on old forestry trails behind Heituo Mountain. (Click for larger image)

The forest track is good walking: a well-formed dirt trail that is mostly clear of close vegetation. As we hike up through the forest we’ll have views of the peak and the other mountains around the Jiankou Great Wall.

We’ll get up on to a fairly flat trail along the saddle below the peak, and we’ll be able to catch our breath before we take on the big climb up to the summit.

The track starts getting seriously steep here, and goes up about 225m over just 600m of trail. But it’s worth the effort—the views from the top are amazing on a clear day, with the Jiankou Great Wall far below, reservoirs and lakes seen farther out, and maybe a glimpse of Beijing’s CBD in the far distance.

We’ll take a rest in a grassy meadow near the peak, and start getting ready to hike down the other side of the mountain.

Grassy meadows near the peak of Heituo Mountain
Grassy meadows near the peak of Heituo Mountain. (Click for larger image)

The trail crosses over the craggy ridge of Heituo Mountain’s peak, and then we start the steep descent down the south side of the mountain.

On the south side of the peak is a crossroads in the trail. On this hike we’re going to take the turn that leads towards Nine-Eyes Tower instead of continuing down into the wild Valley of the Pigs.

The path down towards Nine-Eyes Tower is very steep to begin with, and could feel tough on the knees. The trail twists and turns through forest and leads below the face of tall cliffs, and just past the cliffs we find the old line of Great Wall that leads down to Nine-Eyes Tower and Jiankou’s ‘Big West’ Great Wall.

After a break at Nine-Eyes Tower we’ll take our regular trail down to the bottom, walking a short stretch of repaired wall before following hill trails down and back to the bus.

Different versions of this hike

We have variations of this hike called ‘Heituo Mountain’, ‘Heituo Mountain Loop’, and ‘Heituo Mountain Crossing’. The middle part of these variations is the same: the climbing around the peak of the mountain. The differences are in the start and finish points, and whether or not we go down into the ‘Valley of the Pigs’. (We do the ‘Valley of the Pigs’ on the Heituo Mountain hike, the toughest version.)

Related content

Photos and trip reports: Heituo Mountain Crossing

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