The Round Tower sits on top of the mountain at the end of this stretch of the Great Wall, overlooking a deep valley. Round towers were usually constructed at the end of a stretch of Great Wall and used as a lookout and beacon.
The drop down to the valley far below the tower is not just vertical, but actually hangs over the canyon-like valley.
The tower is situated in a perfect place for a lookout, with amazing views in almost every direction – the deep valley on one side, mountains on another, and a broad view of the Beijing plain and our path up and down the mountain.
There are two main trails up and back down the mountain, all in good condition and paved in many places. Because the path to the top and back is so clear we can make this a flexible hike.
There are three other towers on the way up to the Round Tower – if you don't want to climb all the way to the top you can take your time and visit as many of the other towers as you like. This means the hike is suitable for children in the low teens, but it would still be a bit difficult for them.
To end the hike we will follow one of the forks in the trail down to a small village at the foot of the mountain, passing a disused bamboo hotel and then walking through the village. We'll then duck under a newly constructed road and head to a nearby restaurant for a good lunch of Chinese food and views of the Miyun Reservoir.
What to bring on this hike
- Snacks to eat
- Warm clothes, gloves, and a hat
- Good hiking boots
- (Click here to read our full What to Bring on a Hike list)
Reasons you might not enjoy this hike
- The trail is beside the Great Wall, and for much of the hike we don't see a lot of wall. If you plan to make only one Great Wall visit then the Round Tower might not be the best choice
- This is quite a short hike, but it's very steep going up and down – almost no flat walking