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Chinese Knot Great Wall

In Brief: A tough hike up and down unrestored Great Wall, peaking by the Chinese Knot, a section where three lines of Great Wall come together. Note: if you're not comfortable with making a short-but-steep climb on somewhat tricky terrain, you might not find this hike an enjoyable experience.

Looking across the hills to the Chinese Knot

Looking across the hills to the Chinese Knot. View more photos »

Key information

  • 4–5 hours start to finish over 9km

If you’re not comfortable with making a short-but-steep climb on somewhat tricky terrain, you will probably not find this hike an enjoyable experience.

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 start point of one of our other hikes, the Great Wall Spur. We’ll do about half of the Great Wall Spur hike, walking up to an disused hotel, making a pretty tough hill climb to get up to the wall, and then following the wall up until the beginning of the spur. Just before we reach 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.

After a rest, snacks, and the opportunity for some good photos 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.

What to bring on this hike

Reasons you might not enjoy this hike

  • There are some steep sections on this hike, and in one place in particular you’ll need to pull yourself over rocks and between trees on a steep hill trail.

There are risks involved in hiking. Please read our Risk Acknowledgment and Waiver and inform yourself before participating.

Level4

Level of difficulty

Level 4 hikes will usually take 4 hours to complete, and will be difficult for people who are not used to hiking or are out of shape.

Is the level of difficulty suitable for me?

Hike statistics

  • Distance: 9km
  • Time to complete: 4–5 hours
  • Total ascent: 963m
  • Total descent: 576m
  • Start height: 222m
  • Peak: 987m
  • Finish height: 636m
  • Location: Huairou
  • Drive time: 2 hours each way

Hikes in Beijing

We publish our hike schedule month by month, with updates around the 10th of each month.

If you're interested in hikes and trips during a month that's not yet listed, use our contact form to let us know and we'll send you a quick email when the schedule is online.

Hike in Beijing calendar

See the Hike in Beijing schedule in our calendar


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All upcoming hikes in Beijing

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